'Tis the season to acknowledge the Little Baby Jesus' message of love, forgiveness, peace and generosity to the lesser among us by pepper spraying people to get at deeply discounted waffle irons or knocking old ladies out of the way to get an additional 25% off an iWhatever.
Last year, we pressed the staff to come up with their favorite and most hated holiday tunes. There's so many to chose from, both fer and agin', and no lack of opportunity to be aurally assaulted by them for weeks on end. My fave Thai restaurant had me tired of "Jingle Bell Rock" a few days after Halloween. They even asked me what Auld Lang Syne meant. To hide my ignorance of the answer, I yelled at them for hating freedom.
Here's that posting from last year. I stand by my roiling hatred of the barked "Jingle Bells."
This year, we asked a few of our artist pals to chime in. Many of them have albums for sale during a humungous year-end sale (it would be UN-holiday NOT to tie this to some sort of commercial transaction, wouldn't it?)
Enjoy the season, be convivial, remember what's important, check out our STUFFED ANIMAL DRIVE, and maybe we'll see you out and about at the many events around Chicago.
-- Bloodshot Rob
WHITEY MORGAN & THE 78's
I hate Christmas music. Maybe that came from working in a grocery store when I was 14 and having it play every minute. Maybe its because it seems every time I walk into a mall, Paul McCartney's awful "....simply having a wonderful Christmas time...." comes on...but there is one album I dig.
"Christmas with Buck Owens and his Buckaroos" gets plenty of spins on my record player over the holidays. That and watching Will Ferrell in "Elf" over and over again pretty much sums up my holiday spirit.
SCOTT H. BIRAM
(in no particular order)
• Southpark, "Mr. Hanky The Christmas Poo"
• Anything on Dethklok Christmas Special
• The STANLEY Brothers,"Christmas Time is Comin'"
• The entire STATLER Brothers Christmas record.
• John Prine, "Christmas In Prison"
• All the Louvin Brothers Christmas songs
• Lightnin' Hopkins, "Merry Christmas Baby"
• Leadbelly, "Christmas is Coming"
• John Lee Hooker, "Blues For Christmas"
• Woody Guthrie, "1913 Massacre"
• Fear, "Fuck Christmas"
• The Jack Officers, "A Hawaiian Christmas"
• Bing Crosby, "White Christmas" (I love singing this one at Karaoke in the middle of July)
• Slayer, "South of Heaven"
• Scott H. Biram, "It's Christmas In My Pants!"
Favorite: “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen
First, a slight caveat – the song must be sung my Leonard Cohen. Why?
Because despite Mr. Cohen’s lifelong commitment to both Judaism and Zen Buddhism, his voice, when detached from any pesky biographical facts, is pure debauched atheist. It is gravelly, life-worn, jaded and spent. It is suspicious and cynical, so every raspy utterance of “Hallelujah” with full support of a misplaced choir of angels exposes a hope that even the most God-less among us may someday turn our faces skyward in devout selflessness, to God, to love, to the power of music, to rebirth, to the universe, and give ourselves over willingly to something awesome, in the true sense of the word. And after feeling all of those things within the first three base notes, it always inspires me to write something. Maybe not something that powerful, but something, for Pete’s sake. And that’s a good song.
Moonshine Willy appears on No One Got Hurt, our 2011 live album from our 15 year anniversary celebration. (On sale through the end of the year!)
Our pal from north of the border has contributed to all kinds of Bloodshot compilations including The Bottle Let Me Down.
Holiday Favourites (or Holiday FAVORITES as you American's spell it):
I like sitting under the kitchen table drinking gin while my mother cooks on Christmas Day (which is also my birthday, btw).
"Baby it's Cold Outside" is nice.
"Santa Baby" by Eartha Kitt.
I don't know—they all get kind of overplayed. The decorations were up in before Thanksgiving!
Too soon I say.
I love the Jingle Cats! I used to torture my roommates with them!
"Christmas in Jail" is also quite festive.
"Fairytale of New York" by the Pogues always tugs the old heart strings
"So Much Wine" by the Handsome Family is beautiful.
My Mother likes "Once in Royal David's City"
Carolyn appears on our award-winning children's compilation The Bottle Let Me Down.
Favorite: I am not even sure if it’s actually a Christmas song, but I remember wrapping presents to that “The Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” song and it kinda makes me giggle. Blue Christmas by Elvis is also pretty ok. My husband and I wrote an incredibly irreverent song about a Donkey taking a crap in the manger that I am partial to as well.
Most Hated: Any Christmas song I hear any sooner than two weeks before Christmas, any terrible recording of “Oh Holy Night” (there are tons), and that “Jiggity Jig, hee haw hee haw, Dominic the Christmas Donkey.” And that stupid Mariah Carey song, she is too ugly to be allowed to celebrate Christmas.
JANE BAXTER MILLER
Chicagoan Jane's appeared on many a BS compilation, and self-released her own record last year
"Walking in a Winter Wonderland": Still love to sing harmony on this with my sis. We used to pretend we were on the Lawrence Welk Show or featured on the Partridge Family Christmas Card album.
"God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen", "I Saw Three Ships", "Good King Wenceslas": Only the first verse of each and sung in this order because that's how they came in the piano book I had when I was 6, so that's how I learnt 'em.
"I'll be Home For Christmas" - Bing Crosby: Really jabs a knife into me and gets that Hillbilly/Scots/Irish melancholy stirred up. Yeah, a favorite song of mine sticks a knife into me. No one should be surprised by that.
"Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer": Fun to sing, especially with the "alternative" lyrics that end with..."Like Christopher Columbus...."
"Twelve Daze of Christmas" - Fay McKay: Because it's dern funny.
I guess really anything they play in a store over loud speakers.
Jane Baxter Miller's Harm Among The Willows can be found on our website in our "Drinking Buddies" section.
"Run Rudolph Run" -- Chuck Berry. Not written by The Inventor, but the swing-boogie moves all my cells.
"I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" -- Sure, its puerile, but so is Laurel and Hardy. Takes me back to my Christmases as a kid, sneaking out of our bedrooms in the pre-dawn to peek at the tree ....
"Santa Wants Some Lovin" -- Albert King. Well, it's ALBERT KING. His like will never pass this way again.
The very excellent Pickett retrospective, Bar Band Americanus, is available on CD. (On sale through the end of the year!)
The Gore Gore Girls
"Back Door Santa" - Clarence Carter . 'I make the little girls happy while the boys are out to play ... I ain't like old St. Nick, he comes but once a year ...'. Classic.
"Father Christmas" - The Kinks . British boys just want your money for Christmas.
"Snoopy v The Red Baron" - Vince Guaraldi Trio. Who doesn't like Snoopy?
"Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" - Brenda Lee. Her voice. Is. Perfect.
"I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" - The Ronettes. My version this year at the Annual Holiday Sounds & Spirits Spectacular in Detroit will be an updated, politically correct version, "I Saw Daddy Kissing Santa Claus". Because everyone deserves a little loving from the guy in the red suit.
The Gore Gore Girls' Get The Gore is available on CD. (On sale through the end of the year!)