Christmas “Music” For People Tired of Christmas Music, Vol. I
I’ve reached that point in the Christmas season where all the music everywhere is starting to get to me a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I love the classics…but still. Do they really need to be playing everywhere? I don’t need to be serenaded at the gas station. The grocery store is bad enough. And I’ve also noticed, in addition to it being everywhere, the music choosers everywhere seem to be choosing versions of songs butchered by new artists rather than the much more soothing (to me) classic original versions. If I have to hear ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,’ it’d better be Brenda Lee singing. And if it’s not John Lennon singing ‘Happy Xmas,’ I don’t really need to hear it. No one does.
See what I’m getting at? Christmas music is best served in smaller doses. Blanketing the entire retail landscape isn’t helping anyone get into the spirit at this point. (My town has found it necessary to pipe in terrible Christmas music outside as well; indoor-only music apparently isn’t good enough. *sigh*)
One way for me to handle all this unwanted Christmas music, as well as the rest of the general anxiety of the holiday season, is to drink copiously. While enjoyable, it’s not the best thing to do for my rapidly aging body. The only other thing for me to do when I get like this is to dive headlong into the crazy world of underground Christmas music. Go deep. Real deep. Start looking for the unheard. The strange. The weird. The unexpected. And man is there a lot of it. A lot of it is of a quality that I wouldn’t share with my worst enemies. Some of it is just off-center enough that I think it’s time to share some of it. It’s a really nice antidote to all the Mariah Carey and Justin Bieber tunes clogging the mainstream airspace.
Take for instance this sound-collage by some fella named Wayne Butane. I have no idea who this person is, or where this came from. With a lot of this kind of stuff, the less we know about it, the better. I heard it somewhere, and it caught my ear. It’s basically just a cut-up of all sorts of audio snippets, and well, hear for yourself.
Or how about the cherished tradition of animals singing carols? That’s always fun for a chuckle, right? The ‘Singing Dogs’ started the whole “animals singing Christmas Songs” phenomenon way back in the 50’s and since then we’ve been subjected to singing from cats, cows, pigs, horses, an entire barnyard of animals, still nothing can prepare us for this. Singing Goats. Yes, an entire album of solemn Christmas songs ‘sung’ by goats has been released in Sweden. Entitled ‘All I Want for Christmas is a Goat‘ is full of the nightmarish screams of goats, one of the unholiest sounds on Earth. But yet, somehow, it works. Or does it? The album is available to purchase. All proceeds go to charity. Go ahead, pick up a copy…It’s for the kids!
Shrieking goats too much for you? Sorry. This may go down easier. From a guy who goes by the moniker ‘The Found Sound Orchestra,’ here’s Sleighing Bells. Several years ago, he released an entire album of these Christmastime mashups. It wasn’t released through official channels, since obviously these tunes are made up of bits and pieces of other, ‘real’ Christmas recordings. Licensing all these samples would’ve cost a fortune, so bootleg-style was the only way to go. This is the only recording I could find on youTube, but it’s nice. Enjoy!!