And here we are for our second and final installment of rock ‘n’ roll Christmas time. Today, we’ve got a list from Christmas Island that’s chock full of Christmas tunes.
Sure, Christmas Island may be a reference to the actual island instead of the time of year where we celebrate the birth of Jesus and await the coming of Santa Claus/sweet sweet gifts, but come on! It’s the holiday, and we at Five Tunes HQ don’t aren’t just listening to Bing Crosby and David Bowie’s beautiful collaboration. We’re listening to some thoughtful and addictive garage rock from In The Red and Captured Tracks. On this sacred day, the San Diego trio is the perfect antidote to your parents blasting Celine Dion’s Christmas album.
Christmas Island – “Bed Island” (from Blackout Summer)
Merry Christmas, everybody. Here’s a Christmas list from Christmas Island.
1) Darlene Love – “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” (from A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector) – “I first heard this song in the movie Gremlins, one of my all-time favorite Christmas movies. In my opinion, this is the definitive Christmas song. Phil Spector’s production is perfectly suited for holiday music. I like the bittersweet nature of the lyrics; innocent and knowing, sad and joyous.” – Brian
2) Alex Chilton – “Jesus Christ” (from Bach’s Bottom) – “A lovely song. I consider myself an atheist, but goddamn if I don’t appreciate the sentiment behind this tune. I prefer this to the version on Big Star’s Third/Sisters Lovers because it sounds rawer and more rockin’. Plus, you’ve got to love the hammy, Beatlesque affectations on Chilton’s vocals.” – Brian
3) Culturcide – “Depressed Christmas” (from the Santa Claus was My Lover 7”) – “Lucy opted not to pick a song because she’s not particularly fond of Christmas so I picked this one out for her. It was a toss-up between this and Fear’s ‘Fuck Christmas’ for a good anti-Christmas song but I like this one better because the singer’s mope-y delivery reminds me of comedian Steven Wright.” – Brian
4) The Fall – “Jingle Bell Rock” (from The Complete Peel Sessions: 1978-2004) – “Mark E. Smithmas!” – Brian
5) Run-DMC – “Christmas in Hollis” (from Greatest Hits) – “I’ve loved this song since I was a kid. Catchy and inviting, universal and personal all at once, sharing their experience and ours. I always get a kick out of hearing this in department stores during the holidays. Super positive and still kinda tough in that Run-DMC way. It’s the only holiday song I get stuck in my head and look forward to hearing again and again.” – Craig