Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Let nothing you dismay.

Warning: Because I have slew of holiday songs to post before Christmas and I have very limited web space, in the next few weeks, tracks will probably only remain on the site for a day or two. So download early and often, kids. I'm doing my best to let you know so I don't have to field questions like this from mannerless ingrates.

Now that that's out of the way, these tracks come from what was once my favorite holiday album, the long out-of-print A Christmas Present to You from Zero Hour. That was back when I was all about effects-laden and/or syrupy lo-fi bands nobody else had ever heard of. Especially those on Zero Hour, as I mentioned way back here. Sigh ... was it really a decade ago that I was in my early 20s and had that kind of time? It seems like just yesterday I was stealing all the crap promos from work, but I digress.

Unfortunately, my favorite tracks from this album are the non-cover songs, such as Kittywinder's "Don't Wanna Hear No Merry Christmas" and Nicole Blackman's spoken-word "What I Want for Christmas," but at least it's not full of the same ol' Nat King Coles, Bing Crosbys, Mariahs and Enyas most Xmas comps are jam-packed with.

  • Grover w/Kevin Salem "Fairytale of New York" (Pogues/Kirsty MacColl cover)
    This doesn't stray much from the feel of the original, but I like it nonetheless. In fact, I may be the only person who actually paid money for Grover's full-length album. The one with the Barbie doll face on the cover. Anyone? Anyone?

  • 22 Brides "A Coventry Carol" (Traditional)
    I think the gals in this folk duo were sisters. It's kinda pretty, I guess. That's about all I have to say here.

  • The Dirt Merchants "Jingle Bells" (Traditional)
    Kinda noisy, kinda poppy, kinda rockabilly-y.

  • The Black Watch "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" (Traditional)
    Back when the Black Watch were on Zero Hour, former Medicine frontman Brad Laner produced their album. And it shows. Very distortion-heavy sonic drones and goth-sounding violin and shoegazery overtones. (And I've never seen an album cover that screams "recommend me to fans of My Bloody Valentine or Medicine" than this.) If I could afford drugs on my measly salary, I'd consider getting into this kind of music again.

  • Space Needle "Silent Night" (Traditional)
    Um, speaking of distortion and sonic drones, allow me to introduce you to the song that saved my sanity on more than one occasion during the holiday season. No, it's not because I find this track aurally pleasing, to say the least. My love for this track comes from the fact that, back when I needed a break during my former holiday retail whoring, playing this track ensured that the entire music department would clear out. Yeah, I had to endure a scowl or two—not to mention the tedious and seemingly relentless dissonance of this "song"—but it was worth it not to have to sell another Yanni album to a bitchy Gold Coaster.
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