I could tell my holidays were on the highway to hell when thanks to Jason and Jeff’s annual Mellowmas cavalcade of saccharine Xmas ear candy, I wound up not only singing Ed Chabot and Martin Jagodensky’s ‘I’m Stringing My Christmas Lights‘ while walking my greyhounds — I was LOVIN’ IT. An intervention was in order. I needed a quick fix of NEW and recent holiday hits that could possibly save my soul — and hopefully yours too:
The Killers: Christmas in LA (featuring Dawes)
The Killers have done what few things in Vegas ever do: paid off more than once. Every year, they faithfully deliver another winning holiday single to benefit the (RED) fight to cure AIDS. This year’s mellon collie “Christmas in LA” gives some much needed mass market exposure to some dears named Dawes and some much needed Hollywood exposure to Luke Wilson’s brother.
Stiffed that bell ringing Santa on the corner earlier today? Buy this song on iTunes, support RED, and you’re back on the “Nice List”.
Amilia K. Spicer: Love’s For Living
Earlier this year, I promised you this spicy number would be one of the 13 Women to Hear in 2013. While her third LP remained elusive to anyone who didn’t hear her sing it live, the new tracks are still worth lighting a whole menorah of candles for in 2014. In the meantime, here is a lovely little holiday ditty that eschews big picture production values of the Killers’ track for a little iPhonery and some re-gifted stock footage. If you got coal in your stocking this year, this song will surely warm your toes.
Nudge Ms. Spicer’s album along one buck at a time by buying this heavenly holiday track on Bandcamp.
Erasure: Make it Wonderful
Eternally ageless Erasure committed the cardinal sin this year — well, at least in my book — by releasing a holiday record. I hate holiday records, unless it’s a good one. Few are. This is. Snow Globe mixes originals with Erasurey covers of holiday classics. Andy’s voice wraps around these songs like a silky red scarf and Vince’s inventive bloops and bleeps guide them along like a blinking red nose. Only Erasure could turn a traditional Latin carol, ‘Gaudete‘, into a modern dance classic that makes me eager to defrost my Enigma cassettes. As for the video, if you thought “Christmas in LA” was rough for Wilson, check out the plight of a little lad who even Tiny Tim could beat up until a magical sleigh comes to save the day.
The Hives Versus Cyndi Lauper: A Christmas Duel
A blast from the recent past — the best knock down drag out holiday brawl not involving Madea since the Pogues and Kirsty MacColl told the ‘Fairytale of New York’ — or at least ‘The Dirty Glass‘ by the Dropkick Murphys versus Kay Hanley. Duel gets better with every passing year. Hopefully these lads will bring Cyndi back for their next record — every guy hive could use a queen bee.
Lady Gaga: A Christmas Tree
Every day since I got it, I’ve started to like Artpop less and less. I’m starting to believe it’s NOT a concept album about a rich celebrity who sells out her little monsters to do drugs with rap stars and the real life Devil Wears Prada crowd — its more of a memoir. Oh she used to be so much fun and this naughty little number is still way sexier than anything Miley Cyrus can do with a foam finger.
Wizzard: I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day
I promise you NO — the people who made the Star Wars Christmas Special did not just take aim at The Hobbit. And NO — this is not a cut from Duck Dynasty’s Duck the Halls. But we’re damn close. Until the Lost Turntable posted this last week, I had no idea the Girls Aloud version I cherished was a cover. Come for the Spinal Tap playing Top of the Pops produced by Syd and Marty Kroft insanity, stay for the creepy kids choir straight out of Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall.’
Happy Holidays to all the good people in POPDOSEland!