If you follow me on Twitter (and really, why wouldn't you when I give you gems like this in long format), you may have seen this little fellow last night:
First off, yes, I really do say "Holy Cats!". It is part of my ridiculous vernacular and you will just have to deal with that (or alternately see it as charming, in which case, come on over here and have a hug, Sugarbeet.)
However you see the wording, the point is that last night I downloaded about 170 indie holiday songs. And then I wiped my iPhone free of the delicious samplers, female vocalists and electro-rap-indie rock-whatever-the-hell-you-call-the-anticon-orgy-I-have-been-obsessed-with-lately, and loaded all the holiday biznaz on.
Upon listening, or at least starting to because I have other things to do than listen to 170 songs (like sleep, write papers, work and kill a sixpack while watching NCIS with Johnny and Dumbdog), I have come to a conclusion.
Indie christmas songs come in three flavors:
1) Covers of the old classics: Obviously. And I can kinda get behind these, because frankly, if I have to hear The Boss sing Santa Claus is Coming to Town one more time I am going to stab Clarence Clemons in the leg. Some of them are God-awful, but for the most part, they are unoffensive. Fair enough.
2) Whiny, sad, alone @ the holidays, nouveau-carols: Shit, son. Who the hell told you that you could market this as a Christmas song? You know what you need in your stocking? A set of nads! Pack up your emo and save it for Valentines Day or Memorial Day or Arbor Day...or better yet never.
3) Anti-holiday sentiment punk songs that are generally both terrible and hilarious: Here you have your Santa Has a Mullet
and your I Won't Be Home for Christmas.
They are mostly geared at people with the sense of humor of a 15 year old, which I am not ashamed to admit, is sometimes me (okay, I'm a little ashamed). They are good for a chuckle and I keep hoping that if I keep enough of them on there, they will somehow beat the shit out of the songs in group 2.
So I guess I'll keep listening through in hopes that I will find some spectacular new tunes to deck the halls to, but let's face it, you are probably better off just buying Sufjan Stevens's box set and Barenaked for the Holidays and calling it a (not so) silent night.
...as for me, I've said it before and I'll say it again, Christmas music for me will always mean Dan Fogelberg's The Innocent Age.