Most holiday music blows like the winds of a nor'easter. Every year, the usual suspects parade their awful smooth jazz and watered-down Yuletide pop, but rather than pick on Kenny G again (it's like cold-cocking an eight-year-old), we'd like to share some of the holiday albums we most enjoy. Forget Rosie O'Donnell and Dave Koz; here are some records to get your party started right:
Various Artists, We Three Bings: Vital Music's NY Thrash X-Mas Comp. (Vital) -- Nasty as the Grinch with a hangover, this disc will roust unwelcome carolers from your doorstep. The Rats of Unusual Size's "Santa Claus Is Coming" sounds like Christmas in the psych ward. Even scarier is the Reverb Motherfuckers' "Santa Claus Von Bulow." Best of all is the Honeymoon Killers' rippin' "Backdoor Santa." Blast this album and you might get tossed out the back door as well.
The Bobs, Too Many Santas (Rounder) -- You may know the Bobs as the a cappella group that contributed the theme for Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? But after that crime against the cochleas, the troupe redeems itself here. Highlights include "Christmas in Jail," an ode to heavy holiday drinking and the damage that ensues, and "Fifty Kilowatt Tree," the perfect kiss-off to the neighbor whose idea of seasonal cheer is layering his pad with enough lights to blind Toledo.
Various Artists, Just Say Noel (Geffen) -- The gem here is Sonic Youth's mind-warping "Santa Doesn't Cop Out on Dope," which sounds like the Nightmare Before Christmas set to wax. Check out Beck's "Little Drum Machine Boy" and the Roots' "Millie Pulled a Pistol on Santa," especially if that leafy green stuff Kris Kringle left for you ain't mistletoe.
Various Artists, Punk Rock X-Mas (Rhino) -- Remember that old MTV commercial where Santa's slam dancing? This platter is likely to produce similar results. Fear's "Fuck X-Mas" is an absolute classic that's all beer, no cheer. If that one doesn't send the in-laws running, there's always the Frogs' touching "Here Comes Santa's Pussy" or Pansy Division's "Homo Christmas." Shove Granny in the mosh pit and enjoy.
Gadler Brothers, Christmas in the Air (Gastrocity) -- The holidays often bring out the kid in us, so why not go all the way and revel in some truly puerile entertainment? An album of Christmas classics belched and farted out, this offering isn't for the weak of stomach. Still, the "gastromental" version of "Jolly Old St. Nick" is as much juvenile fun as taking a leak on the neighbor kids' snowman.
Rudy Ray Moore, This Ain't No White Christmas (Norton) -- Known as the man who put the XXX in X-Mas, Rudy Ray Moore makes the holidays as dirty as Euclid Avenue slush. With a cover shot of a naked Moore and a bevy of semi-nude ladies, this horny, hilarious disc is a good catalyst for a not-so-silent night between you and that special someone.
Various Artists, Corporal Blossom Presents a Mutated Christmas (Illegal Arts) -- You gotta work all that ham and peanut brittle off somehow, and this DJ mix might be the best way. Filled with bent rave-ups of all the seasonal standards, Mutated Christmas will have you sweatin' to the oldies for real. Corporal Blossom's take on "White X-Mas" intermingles Nat King Cole samples with stomach-churning bass, while No L's disorienting, stoned-to-the-bone version of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" is pure Nyquil in your eggnog.
Various Artists, Dr. Demento's Holiday in Dementia (Rhino) -- A chestnut not fit for roasting on any fire, this Dr. Demento classic is loaded with well-traveled Christmas parodies like Ray Stevens's "Santa Claus Is Watching You" and "Gridlock Christmas." There's also slightly more edgy material, like Nancy White's "It's So Chic to Be Pregnant at Christmas" and James and King's playfully antagonistic "A Terrorist Christmas." Create a terrorist Christmas of your own with this disc.