It's about that time of year when the bloggers take to posting their Top Tens or some sort of mix of x-mas songs, which invariably consists of copping some tracks from the Maybe This Christmas series. Generally, I can't stand most traditional Christmas songs or their covers because of their inherently saccharine nature (combined with a healthy dose of cynicism for the holidays), but here are a few choice tracks in the spirit of giving:
Jet - Back Door Santa
I didn't really realize until earlier this week that there's this large anti-Jet contingent and that the band's artistic credibility is "hotly debated". The other day a friend and I were in the car listening to Take It Or Leave It and I suddenly asked "Why the hell hasn't Jet had another album?". So I followed this up by doing a google search for their new album and after a news article on an album possibly coming out next year, there was page after page of adamant Jet-bashing. And according to the Wikipedia entry on Jet, my fellow Jet fans and I suffer from "obvious, but mostly mild, cryptomnesia". Mmmmmmmmmokay, if that's not rock snob pretentiousness, I don't know what is. Or maybe I'm just a chronic cryptomnesiac.
Everclear - Santa Baby [originally sung by Eartha Kitt]
A rousing cover by Everclear. I love the underlying cynicism of the lyrics.
Rockapella - You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch [originally sung by Thurl Ravenscroft]
Though narrated in the classic 1966 film by Boris Karloff, the original song was actually sung by Thurl Ravenscroft, the voice behind Tony the Tiger.
Whirling Dervishes - You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch
Another nice cover of the Grinch song with awesomely ridiculous lyrics written by Dr. Suess himself. "I wouldn't touch you with a
thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole." Classic. There's also another great version of the song by the Asylum Street Spankers on an archived episode of Coverville.
Ben Folds - Lonely Christmas Eve
This song written by Ben for the regrettable Jim Carrey remake is from the point of view of poor ol' misunderstood Mr Grinch. Wouldn't the Whos kinda piss you off too?
Harvey Danger - Sometimes You Have to Work on Christmas (Sometimes)
Last Christmas was an exciting time for HD fans as they staged a reunion concert and released a X-Mas EP. They even sent me a signed Christmas card with my order. Of course, back in September they released their first album in 5 years. It's available online for free from their website, though of course the physical album would make a snazzy Christmas gift...
Hayseed Dixie - Holiday [originally by Green Day]
This isn't really a X-mas song... or a holiday song for that matter. But I've been giving this a few listens lately. Like Richard Cheese, Hayseed Dixie takes a gimmicky stance towards contemporary covers. And like Richard Cheese, I find that some of their songs actually transcend the novelty value of a hillbilly cover. I actually think these guys got better after they evolved past the original AC/DC tribute album they did. Way better than those generic Pickin' On albums.... (Amazon lists 120 Pickin' On albums - do they crank out a new album every 3 days??)
The Polyphonic Spree - Happy Xmas (War is Over) [originally by John Lennon]
The Polyphonic Spree are an inspired choice to do cover this. By the way, this is from the Maybe This Christmas Tree album (my token offering).