Did you see part 1? I quickly realized I like a vast odd selection of Christmas music. There are so many I dig that didn’t make the cut, and I’m sure ones I forgot. Throw me your favorites in the comments!
I have been trying to post a Christmas song per day since the beginning of December. I think I make a new YouTube playlist every year. (I must have set YouTube to tweet when I add videos to playlists way back… because it seems to be doing that with the stuff I’m adding.)
I enjoy some Christmas albums, but seem to have found a bunch of random songs that I like over the years. Some traditional, some quite the opposite. Here’s the first batch. There is no rhyme or reason or favorite order or anything.
Post some of your favorite Winter Holiday songs in the comments. Links to videos, album names, artists, etc. Show me what you dig!
1. No Doubt – “Oi To the World” (Vandals cover!)
2. MxPx – “Xmas Night of the Living Dead”
3. Willie Nelson – “Silent Night”
4. Run DMC – “Christmas in Hollis” (The A.K.A.’s do a neat cover too.)
5. Johnny Cash – “What Child Is This?”
6. RAMONES – “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)”
7. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – “This Time of Year”
8. Bing Crosby & David Bowie – “Little Drummer Boy”
9. D.I. – “Mr. Grinch”
10. Laurie Berkner – “Santa’s Coming to My House Tonight”
So, recently turning 40 has me reflecting on life in general (which is pretty damn great) & on my accomplishments as a “musician” even though I’m not actively gigging right now.
I’m pretty self-deprecating of my musical talents, but I am proud of the major part of the aural art that I helped create. I compiled and uploaded a few of my favorites after using Audacity to clip out some silence and mp3Gain to try to get all the volume levels somewhat similar.
If you’ll indulge me I’d like to give my thoughts & memories on each of these songs that I was proud to be a part of with AiXeLsyD, Gasoline Dion, & Ernie and the Berts. If I have any of the stories, names, etc. wrong, please correct me in the comments. Being that these are punk rock(ish) bands, you may find the content explicit and/or objectionable. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Gasoline Dion – “Shameless Plug”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Tommy came up with this cool shuffling progression and I played a super easy solo over it. I believe we kept the first take of the solo even though at the time I thought I could do better. It’s not perfect, but it’s fun. It was cool to open shows with this then rip into something completely different. It was called “Tommy’s Jam” until an inside joke on a local message board inspired the new name.
AiXeLsyD – “Wait”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Probably the first song that I wrote that I liked, and probably the first original that we worked on in the band. We dug on this & recorded it a million times. It morphed a bit, but was basically the same simple jam. Ben doubling the vocals an octave lower and the guitar part at the end really fills it out.
Gasoline Dion – “Pickle Farm”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Tommy had recorded this song solo, and it contributed to the itch that I needed to scratch when we formed Gasoline Dion. I really liked the melody. I think he stole the lyrics from Space Ghost or Brak. This song to me is about not being a square peg that’s forced into a round hole. I liked singing background vocals & playing guitar.
Ernie and the Berts – “Toybox”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Erin wanted to start a band to play rocked-out Willy Wonka covers. That never happened. This did. It was the first original that stuck, and an early recording became the soundtrack to a friend’s video project. Dave learned to play drums in/for this band. This is a nice simple driving groove and is the perfect vehicle for the introduction of Erin’s gnarly gravelly voice.
AiXeLsyD – “Hopeless & Heartless”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | I wrote this on the outside of seeing someone with a broken heart. I thought it was pretty catchy. The “whoa-oh’s” are overkill but oddly necessary in my humble opinion. I think An-Die, Ben, & I are all singing on multiple tracks here.
Gasoline Dion – “Cold”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | This riff was a leftover AiXeLsyD riff that almost became part of two songs but never really went anywhere. Mike had some leftover Who’s.Keeping.Score? lyrics that Dave & I re-arranged. Dave & I work really well on arranging musical parts & lyrics. I really really dig Tommy & I singing together on this one.
Ernie and the Berts – “Fred Rogers”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Erin supposed that a local hero may not really be a hero on this one. Maybe he read that weird urban legend. I really like the guitar part here, although it’s missing some kind of effect in my head. Wah? Phaser? Not sure. Erin let me just go goofy with background vocals here. I felt like Danzig or that Not-Danzig guy in the Cult. I love how this song builds into chaos.
AiXeLsyD – “Stand Up”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | This is where it all pulled together, and it was the last proper thing we recorded. Ha ha. An-Die wrote the riff & lyrics, I arranged them. Ben came up with the guitar noodling& octaves riff. I think I came up with the stupid guitar part for the verse. I really dig my guitar solo here,even though I went too long. (Oddly, this sounds a lot like “Anything, Anything (I’ll Give You)” by Dramarama as played by Buckcherry.)
Gasoline Dion – “Political Songs (With Deep Meaning)”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | I was listening to a lot of the Unseen, I think. I don’t really write political stuff that often. This was taking the piss out of that genre. Dave sounded better on it with vocals. I scream “feet” in the background and give the creepy laugh at the end. We lost the original lyrics, so Dave used what he remembered and made the rest up on the fly. I don’t really think any one ever tried to intemperate a deeper meaning. If they did, they didn’t tell us.
Ernie and the Berts – “Don’t Fuck With Ernie”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | It was hard to tell if Erin was serious or joking a lot of the time. He had a deadpan delivery, and it was hilarious. To deliver this ridiculousness so seriously is hilarious to me. I think I sort of came up with this riff over top of his bass line.
AiXeLsyD – “Dave Ugly’s Girlfriend”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | It’s “Dave Ugly’s Girlfriend”, not “Dave’s Ugly Girlfriend.” People always seemed to get that wrong. Dave Ugly played bass & sang for one of our favorite local bands, Useless Torment. I don’t tell the story as well as An-Die, but Dave was apparently saying he loved him, and An-Die was playing the “even if…” game, and arrived at this. I remember being “mad” when Sum 41 came out as a punk band rapping. I think Boner played guitar on this one and Ben played Drums?
Gasoline Dion – “Bitch Pants Opera”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | I don’t know if we could do this one today. People seem so easily offended. It’s just a joke. We don’t really care if you wear girl pants. We’re not insinuating or implying anything. We look ridiculous too. Another Dave vocals song, I am screaming the high parts. All of us are in the beginning. I think the breakdown was inspired by hardcore /screamo kids in skinny jeans doing the windmill and Peelander-Z’s “S.T.E.A.K.”
Ernie and the Berts – “Ikea”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Dave suggested I try a little more dynamics with space and clean. Dave is usually right. You can do a lot with the same 3 chords over & over. This was a slice of Erin’s life, full of his observations. We almost got permission to go in & shoot a video there. Somebody must have really listened to the lyrics. He had “nicer” ones prepared just in case we needed to sell out.
AiXeLsyD – “Love, Hopes, Dreams, & Smiles”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] |I think An-Die hated this one. I liked the noodling& the melody. The lyrics are super dumb & trite. The song was made infinitely cooler when Ben put in that volume swell in the final mix. That was never there, then we started doing it live after he did that to the recording. This could probably be punched-up a little bit more.
Gasoline Dion – “Two of a Kind”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Tommy sings like an angel. I have no idea what in the hell he’s talking about here. I think Dave & Mike made this honky-tonk-ish. I played a little solo under Tommy’s vocals at the end because nobody ever told me not to. The end sounds like the Misfits’ “NY Ranger.”
Ernie and the Berts – “I Don’t Wanna”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Erin stole this one from a band called Suck-Your-Brains-A-Go-Go. I don’t know if they ever recorded it. I should ask the man who wrote it some time. We made it ours. I think Bengt punched-up some of the guitar & added a bit of harmonies during the recording process.
Gasoline Dion – “Shameless Plug (Reprise)”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Same thing as the first track, second solo take by me with a wah pedal this time. Dave is also on guitar making crazy noises and soloing in between all of my notes. Ha ha. If you don’t “get” the speaking part, watch the Josie and the Pussycats movie some time.
I’d love to know what you think, or to read/see/hear your own memories about these bands or in any bands or projects in which you have participated. Did I miss a song or two that you may have remembered or liked? Comments (or likes or whatever is deemed social-media-appropriate) on the songs on SoundCloud or YouTube would be awesome and greatly appreciated, too.
Check out the playlist on SoundCloud:
Check out the playlist on YouTube:
Can you Dig it?
I think you should be able to download a zip of the collection on Google Drive or SendSpace if you’re so inclined. If you can’t get it there, let me know and I can email it to you.
The AiXeLsyD stuff:
The Gasoline Dion stuff:
The Ernie and the Berts Stuff:
Check out some related posts:
NOTE: Edited to correct links to YouTube videos, made new ones for some slideshows that were too short. Also, check the comments!
The other day I plugged my crappy old Insignia Pilot into the truck stereo’s auxiliary input, & I started playing the songs on my trusty & hardly ever updated mp3 player in order by song title. I have no idea why I decided to take it off of “random”, but I did. (Sadly, my 500 GB hard drive has stopped working and unless it’s fixed I’ll lose a TON of music, so whatever this Best Buy generic brand mp3 player holds may be it for my collection for a while!)
I thought that “song titles that start with numbers” would be a pretty cool playlist. I’d thought I’d share some of my favorites.
I noticed I’m missing a song that starts with 8. Ha ha. What songs would you put on your numbers playlist? Dig any of these?
Snuff is probably my favorite band. I know virtually nothing about them, and every time I think I have a pretty damn close-to-complete collection of their stuff, I discover that I’m all kinds of wrong.
They seem to have different titles for the same songs. They have different recorded versions of many songs, which I really dig. They sing in Japanese and I think other languages sometimes. They have incredibly nonsensical album and song titles. I’ve never seen them live. They do a ton of crazy covers, and it’s hard to tell that they’re covers sometimes.
When I look them up on Wikipedia, I realize that there current/former members list is incomplete. I can only seem to find scraps and tidbits of information pieced together from outdated label sites. I don’t really know anything other than that there was an original formation, a revival, and a few changes since then… with Duncan Redmonds seeming to be the only constant. I have n idea why there were lineup changes.
There used to be an awesome site, Snuff.net… but it fell into the stagnant perpetual “updates coming soon” mode before it disappeared completely. I tried to start a Yahoo! Group, but there aren’t many of us on the list.
I know that there’s a seemingly infinite number of spin-off bands including (but not limited to) Guns ‘N’ Wankers, Dogpiss, Billy No Mates, Southport, Your Mum, Pot Kettle Black, URIN-8, and the list goes on.
Maybe I dig them more because they’re still a mystery? I really do enjoy actively earching for information about the seemingly now defunct Snuff & the related bands… especially whatever Duncan Redmonds has going on at any given moment. Maybe I’ll get it all sorted out some day.
Check out my Snuff playlist on YouTube: