It’s that time again. When songs about frolicking in the snow make a mockery of your heat-stroke. When everyone spends the day shoveling down roast everything with lava gravy instead of acting sensibly and filling a paddling pool with ice cream. When the average age of the family playlist is ‘deceased’.
Balls to that.
Christmas isn’t white, Bing Crosby was an alcoholic child abuser, and the Elf on the Shelf is a streak-of-piss little snitch who should be knee-capped and fed to the pigs.
Who’s up for some real Christmas music? And I don’t mean the saccharine puke extruded by the likes of Wham and Mariah Carey. I mean real music: something with guts and rhythm and an authenticity that doesn’t make you want to gun down everybody in the shopping centre.
5 for Friday: Contemporary Christmas Songs
Oi to the World, the Vandals
Punk isn’t just the music of anger and disenfranchisement. It’s the voice of a street life that mirrors the inner-city dislocation of rap; the embodiment of a musical form that– at its purest– turns its back on the extruded musical product of the mainstream. It’s self-made, self-realised, the product of a bones-deep mistrust of the system. And like rap, and hip-hop, it’s a flag around which those who exist in that dislocated space can gather.
This is an anthem for a punk Christmas: one spent together, united by your outsider status. Mariah fucking Carey wouldn’t last 2 autotuned minutes…
Apocalypso, Mental as Anything
Santa Claus slowly gets drunk while watching the human race destroy itself, and wondering just exactly what the fuck is going on.
And that, my darlings, is the story of Christmas.
Santa’s Beard, They Might be Giants
TMBG are one of pop’s great jester acts, subverting and mocking everything they set their eyes on. Here they take aim at the great giver of gifts, and his inability to discern the difference between good and bad, and understand the nature of the gift he’s, uh, giving…
2000 Miles, the Pretenders
I’ll be honest. I’m not even remotely a Pretenders fan. Chrissie Hynde sets my teeth on edge: all wannabe posing and balladeer pretentiousness without any of the credibility that comes from a true punk performer. Here, though, she gets past my defenses with a song about the death of Pretenders guitarist James Honeyman-Scott: it’s not really a Christmas song, so much as it uses the imagery of snow and cold to parallel the sense of loneliness and isolation caused by the loss of a close friend.
Even so, it’s a bloody beautiful Christmas song.
The Season’s Upon Us, Dropkick Murphys
A song that eviscerates the family experience– let’s be honest, if you wanted to spend time with these muppets, you’d do so at some stage during th other 364 days— while somehow simultaneously explaining why spending time with these muppets on that one frenzied, uncomfortable day is one of the most joyous parts of Christmas. Bleakly funny and all too close to the bone. It’s a joy.
And just because it’s Christmas, and you know you can’t get away with out it, a special bonus…..
Merry Christmas Everybody, Slade
Heh. Let’s face it, it’s never really Christmas until Hans Gruber faceplates off Nakatomi Plaza, there’s a bowl of mango salsa the size of a gorilla’s skull in the fridge, and Noddy Holder’s screaming “It’s Christmaaaaasssssss!” all up in everybody’s face.
Merry Christmas, everybody 🙂