I LOVE Christmas music. It’s cheerful, catchy, and so damn fun. (The obvious exception is, of course, that killjoy Karen Carpenter who thought of Christmas as a time to sing these merry melodies in the style of some kind of heroin addict who’s stuck in a slow motion playback reel.)
However, if you’re a very sane person who can’t listen to Brenda Lee’s “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree” one more time or you’ll just fucking snap, I’ve compiled a hearty list of
bizarre unique holiday ditties to satisfy your thirst for festive carols without feeding into your mom’s questionable obsession of Elvis’ “Blue Christmas”.
Presenting the Definitive Guide to Alternative Christmas Music:
1. Deck Da Club – Ying Yang Twinz
“Deck da club with [piles/boughs] of money…” Actually, the entire album “The Ying and the Yang of the Holidays” is worth checking out. CAROL OF DA BELLZ. One YouTube user calls this the “most horrible Christmas song ever.” I completely disagree.
2. Ru Paul the Red Nosed Drag Queen – Ru Paul
Child, if y’all can’t name all reindeer drag queens in order y’all need to just get on up outta here. My favorite is Lady Comet.
3. Sleigh Ride – Christmas Disco
The album is described as “JOYOUS DISCO VERSIONS OF GREAT CHRISTMAS CLASSICS!” and I think that’s all that needs to be said about that. Shimmy into your leisure suits and fill up your coke rings, we’re going on a glittery, drug infused disco sleigh ride straight to the stars!
4. Oh Come All Ye Faithful – Twisted Sister
Amazing video. Enjoy those nightmares of Dee Snyder Santa Claus sliding down your chimney. Also – the guitar riff of “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “Hava Nagila” at the end. Priceless.
5. Christmas in Jail – The Youngsters
A special tribute to your well-meaning uncle who had one too many run-ins with the law this year. Or, in my case, an homage to my police officer brother who often has to work on Christmas Day.
6. Afroman is Coming to Town – Afroman
In other “why did they make a Christmas album?” news, Afroman made a Christmas album. “Slap yo grandma’s dentures out” ?!?!??! What do you mean, Afroman?!?!? Terrifying.
7. Get Behind Me, Santa! – Sufjan Stevens
This is the part of the list that isn’t so obscurely bizarre. You can actually play all of Sufjan’s Christmas compilations from Songs for Christmas and genuinely enjoy them. I love his whimsical sing-song lullabies about American culture and pleasantries so he’s a natural fit in the holiday music realm. Listening to Sufjan Stevens is like putting your bare feet up on the dashboard and doing the wave thing with your hand out of the window on a long road trip.
8. We Three Konami – 8-Bit Jesus
Ok, back to the weird. 8-Bit Jesus is an album of Christmas songs in the style of 8-bit Nintendo games. You can enjoy such hits as “O Come All Ye Vampires” and “Ryu the Red Nose Ninja”. Have a husband, brother, or girlfriend who loves video games? They’ll get a laugh out of this.
9. ‘Oy to the World – Klezmonauts
When Christmas crashes into Chanukah this happens. Klezmer is a musical tradition of the Ashkanazi Jews from Eastern Europe. Klezmonauts is an album of Christmas carols in the style of klezmer music. I am really fond of this one.
Other great Klezmonaut songs include “Deck the Halls” and “Jingle Bells”.
10. A Toolbox Christmas – Woody Phillips
Christmas songs performed by various tools. As strange as it sounds.