I like weird Christmas music. I’m not sure why. Halloween is my favorite holiday, and of course I dig the spooky sound/imagery with “scary” songs… but I listen to that all year long. I just listen to Christmas music when the holiday is approaching, then it’s locked safely away until next year. I’ve always had a thing for odd/goofy songs… and some of these are the goofiest ones yet. I’ll start with whole albums that I have lying around, then I’ll descend into random stuff that I’ve collected over the years.
Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus – Various Artists [Sympathy for the Record Industry] – This is one goofy 2-disc set. with 13 tracks on each CD. I mean, look at the cover. It looks like an LP from the 70’s… maybe 60’s. This is very punk and garage rock oriented… it’s a lot of sloppy dirty bands just rocking out some Christmas songs… some traditional, some original. One of my favorites is the opener “Christmas Is A Comin’ (May God Bless You)” by the Shitbirds. It starts out nice enough, then descends in to chaos. Claw Hammer’s “The Night Before Christmas” is unsettling, and The Phenobarbidols’ “O Holy Night Parts 1 & 2” is sure to win over a crowd until it gets to part 2 (The most awesome part).
Punk Rock Xmas – Various Artists [Rhino] – Of course, any compilation with the Ramones’ “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Wanna Fight Tonight)” is a win in my book. This actually has a couple of the same songs as the previously mentioned CD. I guess if you’re putting out punk rock Christmas songs, you’ve only got so many to choose from. This disc is tight, allt he songs are winners in my book. D.I.’s “Mr. Grinch”, The Damned with “There Ain’t No Sanity Clause”, Sloppy Seconds, Pansy Division, The Humpers… all with great solid catchy tunes. This is a definite one that you need to own if you’re a punk rock fan and Christmas music fan.
The Flesh Eating Rollerskate Holiday Joyride – Psychostick [Rock Ridge Music ] “Jingle bell. Jingle bell. Jingle bell. Metal!” is all you really need to know about this one. If you’re going to go out shopping on Christmas Eve, you’ll want to listen to this to prepare yourself for battle with those other maniacal consumers. This is all kinds of heavy and aggressive… and it’s Christmas music. These dudes are also hilarious, which there should be more of in metal. Some metal bands take themselves way too seriously. Psychostick does not… perhaps obvious from the title of the disc.
Oi to the World – The Vandals [Kung Fu Records] – While there are a plethora of awesome holiday albums out there, I’ll stop here. Everyone has probably heard No Doubt’s cover of “Oi to the World”, not even knowing it’s a cover. The song is catchy, it’s got a good message, and it’s funny. This whole album is ridiculous. With tracks like “A Gun for Christmas”, “Grandpas Last Christmas”, “Christmas Time for My Penis”, and “My First Xmas, As a Woman” you know it’s got to be good. These guys are crazy, and their songs make you tap your feel and put you in a cheery mood. It’s all-in-all a great Christmas disc.
Now, I’d just like to pop up some of my favorite Christmas songs… and I’d love to hear some of yours in the comments section…