Saturday, December 1, 2012

Another 12 Tracks for the Yuletide

A few days ago I put together a playlist for the holidays.  As is the case with any mixtape, there were plenty of great songs that unfortunately didn't make the cut.  I would have just made the list longer, but how can you avoid the obvious 12-track template when compiling a Christmas soundtrack?  Anyway, I realized I had enough leftovers for a second list.  Besides, you only get to listen to this shit once a year.

I didn't like The Boss when I was a kid.  This was mainly due to the fact that Springstein was my parents' music, something to be endured on long car rides home from the ski resort, not to be played of my own accord.  I also have a natural aversion to the word "boss" and songwriters who romanticize their high school years.  I'm old enough to admit I was wrong.

The natural follow-up to the Springstein song.  Joan's kick-ass version is the other bookend to the chill rendition by Bowie and Crosby.

Goth rock interpretation of one of the most beautiful melodies in songwriting history, almost as cool as the one by Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

I don't want to live in a world without Muppets.

This is my absolute favorite song from a film full of catchy songs.  It makes me want to march down the street with a pitchfork.
Faith and the Muse are a counter-cultural force to be reckoned with.  They've dabbled in too many genres to list here, but they're best known for their early European revivalist work.  They contributed this cover of an old English drinking song to the Excelsis holiday compilation on Projekt Records.

It's not Christmas without at least one song by Frank.  You've probably heard this one so many times that the lyrics just fade into background noise.  Listen to it again.  It's about wishing it was possible to revisit your past.  If Christmas was a big deal in your family when you were growing up, the holiday season is a direct link to your childhood.  However, as you grow older, you move to a new city, your hometown changes, loved ones pass away, and that White Christmas seems more and more distant.  What's the upside?  It's still there in your dreams.

Yet another thing it's not Christmas without.

Another great song from the Excelsis compilation.  Audra's singer/bassist Bret Helm is also the founder of the cool music blog Life On This Planet, where he loves to put together lists like this one.

What the hell are they saying at the beginning?  Does it even matter?

This song would be perfect, but whenever it plays I can't help but hear Beavis and Butthead singing along with guitar noises. 

Cheech and Chong - Santa Clause and His Old Lady
Ma-ma-mamasita, donde esta Santa Clause?

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