Let's face it: You can get a little sick of the usual seasonal standards. So here's an unconventional 24-tune mix of holiday-themed songs that you won't hear anyone caroling. It is thoroughly up-to-date. All songs were released, or reissued, in 2007. (All available on iTunes, unless otherwise noted.)
"Go Power at Christmas Time,"
. Unearthed selection from the Godfather of Soul, who passed last Christmas Day. From
Peanut Butter Wolf Presents Badd Santa: A Stones Throw Records Xmas
. Available only at Urban Outfitters.
"Run Rudolph Run,"
. Keef's 1978 rip off the old Chuck Berry ditty, out anew on iTunes.
. Pat DiNizio's savvy choice from the Who's
Christmas With the Smithereens
"Christmas in Southgate,"
. Hobo blues from guitar great's overlooked
My Name Is Buddy
"Carol of the Bells,"
The Bird and the Bee
. Ring-a-linging ethereality from duo of Inara George and Greg Kurstin.
. Swedish indie-dance diva has herself a nerdy Christmas.
"It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,"
Clash of the Choirs
Miss Patti's Christmas
"I'll Be Home for Christmas,"
The Isley Brothers, featuring Ronald Isley
. Still supremely soulful after all these years.
"Funky Fresh Christmas,"
The Busy Boys
. Scratch-happy old-school rap, also from
"Jesus Saves, I Spend,"
. Indie-popstress Annie Clark goes on a shopping spree.
"Christmas Is Awesome,"
. A giddy metal Xmas from Brit delighted to find a
DVD under the tree. Check out the YouTube video for subtitles.
"Don't Shoot Me Santa,"
. Brandon Flowers gets held up by St. Nick on his band's second annual Christmas single.
Robbers on High Street
. Unironic cheer from New York rockers.
"The Last Christmas on Earth,"
. A shoe-gazing Christmas, courtesy of Oklahoma rockers with no Pat Robertson connection.
"Take Me Away,"
. Cheeky ditty in which Rudolph reveals that "Me and Blitzen are planning on splittin', and besides I'm really a Jew." Free, along with the equally charming "A Christmas Dirge" on
"Taller Than Jesus,"
. 6-foot-3 funnyman Sean Altman rocks out and looks down at the son of God.
"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,"
. Quiet stunner from San Francisco siren.
"The Christmas Sound,"
. Motown bass line sweetens aural candy cane by top-notch Philadelphia indie band. Free at Jon Solomon curated site:
"Christmas Eve Night,"
. South Jersey art rockers toss and turn with 1 minute 22 seconds of gift-opening anticipation. Also available on Idolator.com (see No. 18).
"Please Daddy (Don't Get Drunk This Christmas),"
. Indie bookworm Colin Meloy goes country, begging his pops to lay off the eggnog. From
Alternative Rock X-mas
"If We Make It Through December,"
. Country great hopes to hold his love life together through the winter. From
"Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree,"
. Tough guy does Brenda Lee, slips Santa hat over his Stetson on double-disc winner
. Honky-tonk ax man makes his six-string ring out like sleigh bells.
"What a Wonderful World,"
Booker T. Jones and Jolie Holland
. Memphis soul vet and roots-soul singer team up for haunting yet hopeful Satchmo classic. Beats "Auld Lang Syne" any day.