Do You Hear What I Hear?
Has Mariah Carey told you yet? It’s Christmas. That means that the audio prison of terrestrial radio is going to assault us with the same old Christmas music they’ve been pushing for as long as they’ve had their broadcast licenses.
But I’m here to tell you that there’s something else. Christmas music beyond 80s schmaltz, Mariahs sheen and the dusty old depression that is another spin of Sinatra or one of his drinking buddies.
There are deeper cuts waiting to be unwrapped this year. These are just five pieces of musical fruitcake you’ll want to re-gift this and every Christmas.
“Have I Been A Good Boy? That’s None of Your Business!”
When Bing Crosby told you he was dreaming of a white Christmas, you knew he was talking about white rappers as he recalled his youth freestyling in front of the Five and Dime in Tacoma, right?
You do now.
First up on the list is internet rap-sation Froggy Fresh nee’ Krispy Kreme. And much like the donut company that sued him over that name, this track may not be to everyone’s taste but it captures the anxious energy of being a kid at Christmas as it smacks you in the face with a simple, selfish wonder and slick rhymes that stick like licked candy canes to an ugly sweater.
Hang in there until you find out what’s waiting in his stocking.
12 Daze of Christmas
Fay McKay was an old school show dame, who once even opened for Liberace. Her talents brought her all the way from New Hampshire to settle on the Las Vegas strip. Not an easy transition. It took raw talent, rye whiskey, a couple Old Fashions, the occasional Harvey Wallbanger, maybe a Screwdriver after lunch…
Look, the lady had a drink. You try tolerating Vegas, let alone Liberace while straight. I mean sober. 12 Daze was her signature tune, a tour around the Christmas liquor cabinet. She was in about her mid 70s here. See if you can keep up.
Fairytale of New York
Chances are you’ve heard of The Pogues, a rough Irish band that stopped their drinking career to, every now and then, tour or release an album. Here’s their take about goings on once the suns down on Christmas Eve. Tender as a smack with an empty bottle. It’ll bruise your heart and leave a little something on your collar in the shade of blood or lipstick.
Santa Claus, Go Straight To The Ghetto
There ain’t no funk in Christmas itself let alone most Christmas music. But that’s not for anyone’s lack of trying.
James Brown makes a plaintive call for Santa to make a visit to a different neck of the woods. One where the Grinch came through, five fingers and no heart.
James’ music was never what you would call simple but this one slides on through asking a little attention for the places and people you don’t see on Christmas specials without sounding condescending or desperate. We’re looking at you, Do They Know It’s Christmas?
The St. Stephens Day Murders
If you’re anything like me, there’s nothing like time spent with family. Time spent indoors as the world is lost to deathly low temperatures while the heater rattles it’s dry breath to tighten your skin and someone’s brat howls about their new iPad. Your cousins popping open another cold one picking a fight with your hot blooded aunt about grandmas will.
Yes, there is something about family that leaves you eyeing sharp objects while dreaming of cocktails mixed with paint thinner until the spirit of the season swoops in to remind you, hey, it’s Christmas.
Too many witnesses. You’d be blessed to get manslaughter. Best to dispatch the whole lot of them.
Or open your new ear buds and live cathartically through this song from someone who did want to be all alone on Christmas.
Sure, if we’re being technical, this is the St. Stephens day murders which would place it the day after Christmas but after more than a month of maudlin renditions of the Little Drummer Boy, or one more chirp from a chipmunk you’ll be forgiven for misplacing dates. If Christmas music can start up in November, we can slip St. Stephens some love before December 25th.
That’s all for now. Hope you enjoyed this step outside the usual Christmas fare. Even if you didn’t, it’s Christmas. Act suitably impressed and lie. It’s only polite.