Thursday, December 20, 2012

christmas music

 Over coffee and super-doomsters Cathedral, we were talking about Christmas music and how most of it sucks, and due to having a more austere approach to the holiday and having already been burned out on winter wonderlands and frosty snowmen and jingle bells and anything involving Santa acting like a CIA spook, especially after several weeks of retail hell in the punkass years.

So my show falls on Christmas morning next week, and while I've always skirted around trying to find holiday music I can stand, (in the past I've always done an annual Joe Strummer tribute show), but this year, I really have to do something a little more of the season. I also have to pick church music for the Sunday before and always debate whether or not I want to go all quasi-medieval and such or play it safe. I also know I'll get no sleep that night, usually opting to duck out of family functions early to get chill at midnight mass in a dark old Clevelandia church with ample amounts of candles.

I really love these songs and their rendition, being all choral and somber in a way that I find missing in the saccharinity of the season. Something about the excess makes me crave more austere sounds. Also, I really hate the Trans-Siberian Orchestra for ruining Carol of the Bells.

My dad had some John Fahey Christmas album that is curiously absent from the interwebs but here's a few clips.

and I've really been loving on this Mark Lanegan Christmas EP. No St. Robert of Dylan schmaltz, no lounge music snake-dance shtick (Scott Weiland you suck). Old-school obscure carols and that voice that Randal so accurately describes as menacing yet inviting. Seriously this is so good that even though I don't listen to much holiday music I've been listening to this obsessively.  Minimal and do I mention that voice again?
So yeah, kind of at a loss otherwise. We had that Harry Simeon Chorale record when I was a kid which I also loved and Catholic neo-troubadour John Michael Talbot's fabulous recordings of old songs with orchestra and boychoir.

And then there's these...
 And then the more absurd...

Randal of course suggested this. 
oh Mike Doughty you scamp
 My aunt had this on a Christmas compilation that also included a song about a dead cat. These chicks are kind of cornball goth, but it's polyphonic and simple so it meets the Duchess' approval.
and of course, because I like spaced out sonics and crushy drone

So my zuckerbookers have weighed in with some I'll definitely be doing (Kristin Hersh, Monster Magnet) and ones probably not so much (nothing affiliated with Colin Meloy or Zooey Deschanel). Your suggestions, of course, are much appreciated.


    not xmas music but big in japan

  2. Not being the world's largest Clash fan, so glad you're doing this instead of that-which-shall-not-be-named.

    You should probably have to do some kind of penance for mentioning a certain holiday-themed, overblown schlock rock band, like, oh, play a track by a certain Dane.