THE 30 WORST CHRISTMAS SONGS OF ALL TIME

Chris shares the 30 worst Christmas songs ever from his blog The Glass City. I can’t say I disagree with any of these songs.

The Glass City

Two years ago, I published an unexpectedly controversial list of the top 25 worst Christmas songs ever written, recorded, then churned out to the masses. As accurate as the list was, some took issue with it. This was to be somewhat expected, though the undying love for “Santa Baby” and “Dominick the Completely Culturally Sensitive Donkey” caught me a little off guard.

Also catching me off guard, was that folks had seemingly ignored the fact that I posted a counterpoint list of the top 25 best songs. I guess the two lists found trouble reconciling each other, and now we’re left with Christmas-shaped debits and credits all over the place.

Well, good news! I’ve moved on and updated BOTH lists so that they are now TOP 30’s! I’d like to pretend it was just as easy to find 5 more Christmas songs I love as it was to find…

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ALTERED STATES

by Jason.

Welcome to holiday edition of Altered States. A weekly playlist to help your weekend’s adventure get to the right destination. Featuring music left of center and slightly askew; ranging from post psychedelia, psybient, jam, ambient, hip hop, and world music. Whatever I’m listening to during the week that I feel might help you through life’s journey.

I’ve done a good job staying away from my jamband love on this list so far, to make up for that, you’re getting an entire Christmas album from one of the most prolific jam bands of the last 25 years. This week’s list features one of my favorite bands moe.

 

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

3:1: Christmas Eve Eve

 

by Valerie

This week, I’m pulling from the archives of my Christmas Mix CD collection to share 3 originals and a cover for Christmas Eve Eve.

3 Originals:

 Kevin Devine– Splitting Up Christmas

“I know the world’s almost over, but you make it seem better and I hope for you I do the same”

Belle and Sebastian– Are You Coming Over for Christmas?

“…me and you singing a carol on the tough side of town”

Jimmy Eat World– 12.23.95

“Merry Christmas, Baby.” 

and a cover:

Pedro the Lion– I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day. 1863 poem “Christmas Bells” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. It was set to music in 1872 and has been over and over again since.

“And wild and sweet, the words repeat
Of peace on earth, goodwill to men”

 

Merry Merry Christmas, Static and Distortion readers and listeners!

xo

 

 

 

 

Altered States

by Jason.

Welcome to Altered States. A weekly playlist to help your weekend’s adventure get to the right destination. Featuring music left of center and slightly askew; ranging from post psychedelia, psybient, jam, ambient, hip hop, and world music. Whatever I’m listening to during the week that I feel might help you through life’s journey.

This week your trip is short. I’ve paired down the weekly playlist  for a more succinct ride. This week’s list uses Inspired Flight’s song It’s the Chemicals and Sky With Hand’s Blue Sky Black Death as it’s two main centerpieces. The list builds to and peaks with these selections before evening out with a rare Beach Boys selection Feel Flows.

Like every other week here at Altered States, I post 2 play lists. This week’s list and the running main list. If you like what you hear, follow the running main list at the bottom. The weekly list gets deleted every week and fed into the running list.

Without further ado,

Altered States Weekly #8

 

And now the main Altered States playlist:

 

3:1: Christmas Double Feature

by Valerie

After a week hiatus (sorry everyone!) 3:1 is back with a double feature to make up for lost time.

Folks, we are in the middle of the most cover song filled time of the year and the people in your life can probably can easily be divided into 3 groups: the people who hate Christmas music, the people who are indifferent to it, and the addicts who just can’t seem to get enough.

Growing up, my mother would play A Very Special Christmas volume 1 and volume 2 on rotation every day of December. She would always quickly skip Vanessa Williams‘ “What Child is This?” on volume 2, but play John Mellencamp‘s “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” from volume 1 on repeat at least 3 or 4 times in a row. The repeat button on CD players was designed for her, I’m convinced. Those compilations will always feel like home.

For me, Christmas is very much about being home and being with the people you love, reflecting on the year and appreciating the people you have been missing. Perhaps missing for a very long time. My favorite songs this time of the year follow that theme.

So today, let’s look at 6 Christmas covers and 2 originals. All worth throwing on your playlist this season and maybe, just maybe worth repeating.

6 covers:

Death Cab for Cutie‘s heartbreaking take on “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” originally sung by Darlene Love (composed by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich, Phil Spector)

Jon and Valerie Guerra mash-up Bing Crosby‘s classics “The Way You Look Tonight” (also made famous by Fred Astaire) and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”

The Eagles famous take on “Please Come Home for Christmas” by blues singer and pianist Charles Brown.

A Fine Frenzy’s take on the country classic “Blue Christmas” made famous by Elvis Presley.

Dikembe changes up “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey and composer Walter Afanasieff.

Florence + the Machine plays “Last Christmas” by Wham! live

 

and 2 originals:

Slow Club “Christmas TV”

Jack’s Mannequin “The Lights and the Buzz”

 

Join us next week for more Christmas tunes, before we return to our regular 3:1 programming!

 

 

 

Season 3, Episode 22: The Mary Stuart Mastodons

By John

Have we finally done it? Is it the best podcast we’ve ever recorded?

Thankfully for you, listeners, someone finally had the guts to uncover the most popular yet unheard band ever: Mary Stuart Mastodons. We delve into their eclectic style of music, drama within the band, and even with all the fanfare, Robert is still not a fan.

In music news this week, we talk about POTUS and FLOTUS’s favorite songs of 2015, Noel Gallagher hates Adele, apparently, and The Unattainable Wu-Tang album.

Quotes from the show:

“If you’d like to email me and tell me I’m wrong, the email address is staticanddistortion@gmail.com, just put John in the subject line and I’ll read it in 6 months.”

“I would say, as a lover of chimichungas, for one, yes, I would steal Pat Smear’s chimichungas, personally, if I had the chance, but if someone stole MY chimichungas, I’d probably kick them off the tour.”

“You sound about 35% sexier this week, Jason.”

Enjoy! Subscribe to our podcast on iTunes or Podcast Republic on your Android phone.

 

Altered States

By Jason.

Welcome to Altered States. A weekly playlist to help your weekend’s adventure get to the right destination. Featuring music left of center and slightly askew; ranging from post psychedelia, psybient, jam, ambient, hip hop, and world music. Whatever I’m listening to during the week that I feel might help you through life’s journey.

 

 

Last week in my own “altered state” I accidentally deleted the master playlist. Every week after this is posted I move the previous weeks list into 1 playlist. That would be the one for you to follow. It’s posted below for you. If you’ve followed it previously, you’ll need to re-follow. The master list, follow this one: 

3:1: Be My Baby

by Valerie

Bum-ba-bum-BOOM.

This week, 3:1 visits what is arguably one of the best songs of all time: “Be My Baby,” written by  Phil Spector, Jeff Barry, and Ellie Greenwich and originally performed by The Ronettes in 1963. You may know it from the from the iconic opening credits of Dirty Dancing or Mean Streets, the sampling in Eddie Money‘s “Take Me Home Tonight,” or any of the many times it’s been used and covered over the years. It’s a staple of rock and roll history.

The original’s bold, full sound (known as Phil Spector’s signature “The Wall of Sound” styling) and powerful, beautiful vocals (which include backup by a young Cher), make it a difficult recording for anyone to beat, but I imagine it’s an irresistibly fun song to tackle as a cover.

3 covers: 

First, an emo/punk rock rendition from Bayside, found on their 2012 EP, Covers Volume #1. It’s an unexpected take that works surprising well.

Next, the posthumously released version by John Lennon, recorded in 1973 for the Rock ‘N’ Roll sessions with Phil Spector. It can be found on the John Lennon Anthology from 1998. There’s something really haunting about its slow pace and pleading vocals. How it didn’t make it on to the album baffles me.

 

Perhaps the most interesting cover in terms of background story comes from The Beach Boys in 1980. Brian Wilson has been interviewed many times over the years about his obsession with the song. It’s a fantastic tribute.

“I felt like I wanted to try to do something as good as that song and I never did,” Wilson said in a NY Time article titled Still Tingling Spines, 50 Years Later, “I’ve stopped trying…It’s the greatest record ever produced. No one will ever top that one.” Perhaps all these covers can ever hope to be are worthy tributes to the classic.

and the original, in all it’s timeless glory. Even if you’ve heard it a million times, give it a close listen and imagine a time when no one had heard anything quite like it: