I would like to give Dave a BIG “Thank You” for allowing me to write about Christmas music! I love music, Christmas and writing about things related to music and/or Christmas.
The following songs always put me in a cheerful mood and bring back very fond memories of Christmas. These are my personal top 5 Alternative Christmas songs, it is in no way definitive or do I claim to be an expert, (like Rob in “High Fidelity“) but I do love this time of year.
I’ve included links to the songs on the Amazon website. Give them a listen or do some other Christmas shopping. Shameless Plug: New Clear Winter (It’s a Christmas album I produced a few years ago – Dave’s former band is included)
So enough chit chat, on with the list!
5) MXPX – “Christmas Night of Zombies”
I have been a fan of MxPx since the early days of “Arthur” (Does that count for some Hipster street cred?) and found this song a few years ago. It brought back many good memories. Shows in broken down clubs, late nights and wandering the streets shirtless in the cold winter air after a show. Good times, good shows and zombies!
4) Vince Guaraldi Trio – “Christmas Time is Here”
The Charlie Brown Christmas movie always gets me ready for a joyful Christmas season. I love the simple character arch of the children and the music; it gets me every time. The stripped down arrangements and the low-fi sound quality remind me of listening to old Christmas records on the turntable. A few years ago I heard an energetic rendition that brought back fond memories. The cover version is a fun listen, but nothing can beat the original.
3) Twisted Sister – “Oh Come All Ye Faithful”
I was working early mornings in an electronics store a few years ago when I discovered this song completely by coincidence. I would wake up, have some breakfast and watch the music act on the nightly repeat of the “Tonight Show” before heading to work. I was shocked and amazed when I turned on the television to hear that Twisted Sister was coming up after the commercial break. Frantically I dashed over to the recorder and put in a VHS tape (that’s right… Old School!).
My friend Shawn was a big time Hair Metal guy from LA and was always at work before me. I sped to the store, popped the VHS in the main player that fed the wall of televisions, and cranked the overhead volume to “11”. Together in an empty department we rocked out (and laughed heartily) to some Twisted Sister, playing on the wall of televisions while Dee Snider’s vocals were blasting from the speakers. All in all, it was a great way to start a work day.
2) Brian Setzer Orchestra “(Everybody’s Waitin’ For) The Man With The Bag”
Seriously… how can you NOT love this song!? It’s poppy, festive and super energizing for those snowy winter days. I was a stray cats fan when I was a kid, and later became a fan of The Living End. How can you beat a 3-piece band with super aggressive guitars, fun sarcastic lyrics and a lot of attitude? Brian Setzer moved on to swing and big band music and put together some great Christmas albums.
1) Jimmy Eat World – “Last Christmas”
This is a great version of the Wham! classic, which they played during a show in December of 2004. This song is far more than a great recording; it created one of the best Christmas memories in my relationship with my then girlfriend. We went from wrapping presents by the fire, to the best “Jimmy” show ever and finally ended the night with some donuts and an encounter with the “Fu-Fu Bum”.
My girlfriend (now wife – Hi Heather!) and I were sitting in the balcony at the Crystal Ballroom chatting with the heavily inebriated couple sitting in the row before us. The man, I’ll call him “John” since I can’t remember his name, was going on and on about how awesome Jimmy Eat World performed live. “They’re part of my top 5 all time shows, ever! Jimmy, man… they’re freaking awesome!” He went on to name a few others on the list: ZZ Top, getting high with the guys in Sublime, then cut the hilarious proclamation short as the show started.
“John” and “Jenny”, I can’t remember her name either, were ecstatic and their zeal was NOT misplaced. I have seen “Jimmy” a few times since, but none of their shows compare to the joy of that night. Maybe it was “John and Jenny”; maybe it was the excellent blending of melodies during Jimmy’s rendition of “Last Christmas”; but just maybe it was meeting the Fu-Fu Bum after the show…
* Check out my blog for the continuation of the story: Patrick – Forcing the Issue
In honor of the new Muppets movie, and because this song is hilarious, I added an “Honorable Mention” to the list… Swedish Chef (The Muppets) – “Christmas Smorgasbord”
So those were my top 5 Christmas songs, hope you enjoyed the ride. Now the big question… What are your top 5 Christmas/Holiday songs?
Thanks again to Dave, and thanks to all of you for reading this entry. Check out the ads, comment away and spread the word ~ Thanks everybody!