Before we kick off today’s round of exquisite Mellowmas torture, how about some discount music and a contest? Our friends at Rhino are celebrating the Twelve Days of Chri — er, Rhino, and for the seventh day, they’re not only offering a whopping 40% discount on the four-disc, 101-track Where the Action Is: Los Angeles Nuggets 1965-1968, but they’re giving away a $25 promo code to one lucky Popdose reader! Here’s what you need to do to enter:

Visit the Rhino site and find out which current release comes in a classy velvet-bound box. Then email the answer to Dave Lifton with the subject line “Kidz Bop Covers Bruce Springsteen.” Our winner will be chosen at random, and all entries must be received by noon PST tomorrow. Good luck!

Jason: Jeff, what the hell? This track you sent me doesn’t have any tags.

Jeff: Must be a mistake! Or something!

Jason: Uh-oh.

Jeff: I’m hoping for a Mellowmas miracle! Let’s fire this baby up!

Jason: Go! Accordion.

Jeff: Hey, I recognize these chords.

Jason: You do? I guess they sound vaguely familiar.

Jeff: You do too.

Jason: Wait, a second. This is…YOU ASSHOLE!

Jeff: Whee!

The Puppini Sisters – Last Christmas (download)

From Christmas With The Puppini Sisters

Jason: You just said YESTERDAY you wouldn’t send me “Last Christmas” for another year!

Jeff: Jason, I’m a complicated man.

Jason: I want to kick you in your complicated teeth.

Jeff: Shhh.

Jason: And what is this? “Last Christmas” from the 1920s?

Jeff: The 1920s in Hawaii, I think. Here, put on this coconut bra.

Jason: No, thank you. The one I’m wearing right now is very comfortable.

Jeff: It doesn’t have much lift, though. You’re not as young as you used to be.

Jason: Hmm. You know, I have to say…I don’t hate this at all.

Jeff: It’s quite slow.

Jason: I thought I never needed to hear another cover of this song, but this is at least unique and well-arranged.

Jeff: I bet this is how George Michael would record it today.

Jason: YES!

Jeff: Really, the worst thing about this is that it’s associated with the word “Puppini.”

Jason: I mean, I don’t know if I need five minutes of it, but it’s pretty faithful to the original in terms of the ad-libs and everything. This is kind of fun.

Jeff: It’s tastefully done, but five minutes is about two and a half too many. Hey, was that our first Mellowmas fadeout of the year?

Jason: I don’t know. Usually my ears are bleeding by the end.

Jeff: How many versions of this song do you have now? I think it’s kind of funny that it’s become a modern holiday standard.

Jason: Including Wham!? Surprisingly, only five.

Jeff: I need to do something about this.

Jason: The Puppini Sisters, Leigh Nash from Sixpence None the Richer, Wham!, Ashley Tisdale (fuck you), and….hey, I must have deleted yesterday’s Glee track! Awesome! As you know, I never delete Christmas music, so clearly that’s saying something.

Jeff: Hang on, I’m building a “Last Christmas” box set for you.

Jason: I hate you.

Jeff: Not as much as you will in a minute.

Jason: I think you’re right, though — this is definitely a holiday standard now. We’ve talked before about how there haven’t been many Christmas “standards” since the ’80s. Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, maybe…It was less of a cash grab in the ’80s, I guess.

Jeff: You might want to check your email.

Jason: Wait…you were serious?

Jeff: As a Mellowmas heart attack!


Jeff: leprechaun dance

Jason: Who is John Holt? Is this the guy that Maeby liked in Arrested Development?

Jeff: Who cares? He covered “Last Christmas.” Guess which genre John Holt records in?

Jason: Which genre, asshole? Oh fuck.

Jeff: REGGAE! Whee!

Jason: Hang on, fuckface. I’m downloading and e-mailing right back to you.

Jeff: Hey, what do you know? Hilary Duff covered it too.

I, uh, have that version.

Jeff: YES!

Jason: Yup, it’s right here. I, uh, must have missed it. So you don’t need to send it to me. Really.

Jeff: It probably doesn’t hurt to have it twice. [insert mom joke here]


Jeff: Hey, have you ever listened to the Cheetah Girls?

Jason: Isn’t that what your mother calls her thighs?

Jeff: No, that’s Celtic Thunder. I’m sending you their version too.

Jason: Ha ha ha ha ha!

Jeff: Not kidding, fucker!


Jason: OH GOD

Jeff: Hey, would you look at that! CRAZY FROG COVERED “LAST CHRISTMAS”

Jason: Jeff, I swear to God, I will shut down my computer and not speak to you until the 26th. Please, no more. Because now we have to listen to both John Holt AND the Cheetah Girls.

Jeff: I’m so excited. This is a Mellowmas bonanza of your favorite Christmas song ever. And it gets better, because Allmusic lists more than 700 versions of this song.

Jason: This is the worst day of my life. Let’s just listen to John Holt and get this over with.

Jeff: Let’s!

John Holt — Last Christmas (download)

From The Reggae Christmas Hits Album

Jason: Oh no. OH NO.


Jason: Are you listening to this?

Jeff: This is the best thing ever.

Jason: Circa 1985!

Jeff: Reggae in a box! How long do you think it would take you to program this track?

Jason: I’m ignoring your challenge.

Jeff: This is barely reggae.

Jason: Wait a minute, this is from 1985?

Jeff: This is the palest reggae I’ve ever heard.

Jason: Wasn’t the song only released in 1984? Or maybe 1985?

Jeff: John Holt doesn’t waste time, Jason.

Jason: This makes John Holt some kind of prophet.

Jeff: I wouldn’t be surprised if he covered it as he was hearing it for the first time.

Jason: He’s like, barely in key.

Jeff: I love this. This is Izod reggae.

Jason: Izod reggae! Yes! Jesus, why is every version of this song at least five minutes long?

Jeff: The best part is that I got it from a compilation with a title like “Reggae Christmas Hits,” so there’s at least a chance it was popular somewhere. I imagine this is what they play at Sandals resorts between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.

Jason: Yes. It also includes a song called “A Spaceman Came Travelling.” And don’t you even think about it.

Jeff: Leo Spaceman?

Jason: Not in 1985!

Jeff: I wish that hadn’t faded out.

Jason: Okay, that’s over. Quick, fire up the Cheetah Girls before I think too hard about it and jump out my window. Why can’t I just click “Exchange for an Amazon gift card”? I wish I didn’t have this compulsion to listen to everything you send me. Why don’t YOU have that compulsion?

Jeff: I totally do! I do listen to everything you send me!

Jason: Then why aren’t you fucking insane like me?

Jeff: Which one of us is combing the Amazon MP3 store for versions of “Last Christmas” and buying them for the other?

Jason: TouchÁ©.

Jeff: So what’s a Cheetah Girl?

Jason: I don’t know. Maybe a younger woman who goes after an older guy? So if my wife or your wife went after Lifton, that’d make them Cheetah Girls.

Jeff: #liftonfail

Jason: Ready to listen to this? Please say yes. I can’t take much more.

Jeff: I’m so ready.

The Cheetah Girls — Last Christmas (download)

From The Cheetah Girls: A Cheetah-licious Christmas

Jeff: Synthfunkjammas!

Jason: Whoa, listen to that bass!

Jeff: Ooooooh, yeah! This is so…soft.

Jason: THIS is the kind of cover George Michael would do today.

Jeff: Okay, those lead vocals need to go.

Jason: This is like, TLC Lite. Diet SWV.

Jeff: I don’t mind it when they all sing together, because their vocals are shoved down in the mix. That programmed percussion is hysterical, too.

Jason: Yeah, this is definitely a total of four people in the studio, and probably not all at the same time.

Jeff: She guesses she was a shoulder to cry on, Jason.

Jason: But this song does have one good thing going for it: it’s under five minutes long.

Jeff: applause

Jason: They just re-wrote the lyrics! What the fuck?

Jeff: Excuse me, sir. I assure you they didn’t re-write anything. Whatever a Cheetah Girl is, it probably can’t read.

Jason: Oh great, they’re breaking it down.

Jeff: And another fadeout!

Jason: I’m looking at the album cover. I wonder if they got sponsorship from a spray-on tan company.

Jeff: Hey, I just remembered that I sent you another version. You must have it by now.

Jason: What? No, you didn’t.

Jeff: Ah, I’d forgotten to click “place your order.” Problem solved.


Jeff: Too late! Whee!


Jeff: This is the best day of Mellowmas ever!

Jason: I want to die.

Jeff: Dammit, A Hawaii Stars Christmas isn’t available in MP3 format. I can’t send you Brandon Kahele’s version.


Jeff: You just be grateful I haven’t sent you the Crazy Frog version. Or the one included on The Panpipe Sounds of Christmas.

Jason: If I have to call your wife and ask her to take your laptop away from you, I will. Or I will call your credit card company and report your card as stolen.

Jeff: I’m using my desktop — and I’m paying for these with an Amazon gift certificate. Checkmate, brotha!

Jason: I’m crying. And not, like, “Mellowmas laughter tears.”

Jeff: I’m so excited to hear Celtic Thunder’s version of “Last Christmas.”

Jason: Shit, I accidentally hit “reply” and sent the mp3 back to Amazon. Who, of course, rejected it.

Jeff: I won’t be surprised if your account gets suspended for that.

Jason: please let my account be suspended

Jeff: Or if your “You May Also Like” recommendations start listing suicide guides.

Jason: Okay, check your e-mail.

Jeff: Hooray! Celtic Thunder! What’s Celtic Thunder, anyway?

Jason: Shut up. I don’t want to hear another word from you. Ever.

Jeff: I’m not sure life gets better than this.


Celtic Thunder — Last Christmas (download)

From Celtic Thunder Christmas

Jeff: Um.

Jason: This does not sound like Celtic thunder. Or Celtic anything.

Jeff: Yeah, exactly what I was thinking. This sounds like Restless Heart.

Jason: This sounds like a mashup of Cher, Oleta Adams, and Eddie Vedder sucking in helium.

Jeff: “Celtic Thunder is a singing group composed of six male soloists who perform both solo and ensemble numbers. Their latest album saw them being joined by Neil Byrne, who had played guitar and sang backup on the previous albums.”

Jason: Wait…that’s a guy?

Jeff: Check this shit out: Celtic Thunder debuted in August 2007, and they’ve released FIVE ALBUMS.

Jason: That means somebody’s buying this. This is a Garage Band backing track if ever I’ve heard one.

Jeff: “In December 2009 Billboard magazine named Celtic Thunder Top World Album Artist.”

Jason: I don’t understand this world.

Jeff: Yeah, I don’t think “world music” means what Billboard thinks it means.

Jason: This is just awful.

Jeff: I think I liked the Cheetah Girls’ version better.

Jason: Yeah, so did I. This is disappointing, even in a Mellowmas kind of way.

Jeff: This guy doesn’t even sound like he knows he’s singing the song.

Jason: Wow, what a terrible ending!

Jeff: It didn’t even fade out!

Jason: Now I know why every other artist fades out!

Jeff: This was just released last month. Lucky for us!

Jason: I refuse to listen to anything else today. You can’t make me.

Jeff: What do you think, readers? Has Jason heard enough “Last Christmas” covers?

Jason: Please, please, please. I’m begging you. Just let this be over.

Jeff: If you have more, send them to him at this address.

Jason: My account has been acting up, so you should probably send everything twice.

Jeff: I don’t know, man. I sense a Mellowmas tradition building.

Jason: We’re only finishing our first week today. How can I go on after this?

Jeff: We’ll probably be able to find three or four more of these next year.


Jeff: So I did! Hold on, I’m sending Sting an email asking him to cover “Last Christmas.” I’m copying Shelley Duvall on it.


About the Author

Jeff Giles and Jason Hare

Two people, separate rooms Trying to hurt the other Bound together by destiny Is there nothing they won’t do? Will we never see them through?

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