Friday, December 24, 2010

Your Alt Christmas

It's that time of year. The time of year where no matter where you go, the FUCKING EXACT SAME Christmas songs are playing on a constant loop out of the really bad loud speakers that hang over you. You can't escape and eventually they start playing in your mind like tribal drums, and you half wish you saw your head open just to let the evil tunes leave your mind. Fear not, for although it may seem incredibly unlikely, many wonderful indie bands have managed to create memorable tunes that match the holiday times. And while I don't actually celebrate the holiday, I can appreciate the sentiment and songs all the same.

First in crafting wonderful holiday tunes is my beloved Los Campesinos! This is a band in my mind that can do absolutely no wrong, and this tune proves me right. "Kindle a Flame In Heart" is a the perfect example of what a Christmas pop tune should be, with a winter vibe, nostalgia lyrics of days past, and a stellar showcase of the band's new vocalist Kim. I would kill for this to become an actual holiday staple. As an added bonus, the band also craft a second holiday tune, "The Holly and Ivy" for those who subscribed to their incredibly awesome new zine Heat Rash, that included digital hymn sheets and art by Rob (Sparky Deathcap) Campesino! Now that's fan service.

Kindle A Flame In Her Heart by Los Campesinos!

My newest love, Parenthetical Girl, are no strangers to Christmas time songs as they have been releasing a steady stream of original and cover tunes in the forms of singles for years now. Recently, they decided to bring all the lose ends together and have released a digital compilation of all their Christmas tunes through their bandcamp. It is a nice balancing act, bringing attention to both the joy and pains of the season. Also, on a small side note, band member Zac Pennington has put together two Christmas mixes from his apparently extensive Christmas music collection over at the Parenthetical Girl's website.

Christmas time is also another chance to bring up my personal heroes Nosferatu D2 and their anti Christmas tune "It's Christmas Time (for God's Sake)". Well, it's less anti Christmas and more a realization of the pain the holiday tends to create for some people. It's heartbreaking, emotional, and point blank why I love this band. No wonder they decided to end their album on this note.

(mp3) Nosferatu D2-It's Christmas Time (For God's Sake)

I'm starting to release I have tendency to draw more closely to the depressing Christmas songs that seem to be crafted. Though I don't think the new Crystal Stilts Christmas song "Practically Immaculate" is actually suppose to be a sad Christmas song. Chances are it's just do front man Brad Hargett's monotonic voice that adds to the tone of the song. On the upside, cool Christmas style organ!

(mp3) Crystal Stilts-Practically Immaculate

And finally, a bit of an oldie from Oklahoma's favorite nut jobs, The Flaming Lips. Before the band decided to bless the holiday season with the LSD and drug induced surrealist film Christmas on Mars, the band actually crafted one of their best and underrated psych pop tunes "Christmas at the Zoo". The song of course being about what else...the band freeing all the animals at the zoo! OK, yes it is a bit silly, but would you rather hear this, or "Grandma Was Run Over by a Reindeer" for the one millionth time? I thought so.

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