Thursday, January 1, 2009

Homemade Christmas CD Playlist 3 (2001): Dark Christmas

Here is where the series started to get more creative, or at least more personal. I have always responded to the deep ambiguity of Christmas culture, the sentimentality and conviviality hanging on by their fingernails in the gusts of greed, rage, and despair, the sense of hope mixed with forebodings of doom. That's what you get in It's a Wonderful Life!, the best Christmas carols, or a good version of the Dickens tale. That's the true holiday spirit. And don't forget the bitter social commentary with your egg nog. Tracks 7, 9, & 21 are perhaps the best non-traditional Christmas songs ever.
    1. Steve Earle - Christmas in Washington (4:58) Emma Goldman in a Christmas song, what's not to like?

    2. Mighty Mighty Bosstones - Christmas Time (2:57)
    3. Aimee Mann and Michael Penn - Christmas Time (4:26)
    4. They Might Be Giants - Santa's Beard (1:55)
    5. Harvey Danger - Sometimes You Have To Work On Christmas (Sometimes) (5:21)
    6. Counting Crows - A Long December (4:57)
    7. Robert Earl Keen, Jr. - Merry Christmas from the Family (4:48)
    8. Neil Young - Star of Bethlehem (2:45)
    9. John Prine - Christmas in Prison (3:13)
    10. Willard Grant Conspiracy - Christmas in Nevada (3:43)
    11. Jethro Tull - A Christmas Song (3:09)
    12. Archers of Loaf - Assassination on X-Mas Eve (3:40) Two hobbies in one here, Christmas music and conspiracy culture. I wonder if the Archers of Loaf saw the weird Jeff Bridges film Winter Kills (1979), which also features a JFK-like assassination at Christmas time instead of Thanksgiving.
    13. The Who - Christmas (4:34) Why does this never show up on rock Xmas compilations? One of my favorite Who songs, period.
    14. Jimi Hendrix - Little Drummer Boy/Silent Night/Auld Lang Syne (4:29)
    15. Weezer - Christmas Celebration (2:22)
    16. Sex Pistols - Punk Rock Christmas (3:32)
    17. They Might Be Giants - Christmas Cards (2:32)
    18. Morphine - Sexy Christmas Baby Mine (2:06)
    19. John Lee Hooker - Christmas Time Blues (3:28)
    20. Local H - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (2:29)
    21. Kinks - Father Christmas (3:42) This one really spoke to teenage me when it would infrequently come on the car radio at the holidays in the late 70s & early 80s. I still own the 45 rpm single of this.
    22. Emerson, Lake and Palmer - I Believe in Father Christmas (3:30)

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