Daily Illuminator

December 18, 2012: Christmas Music For Those Who Don't Like Christmas Music

Every year it happens.

As soon as Halloween is over, or sometimes even before, all the stores start playing Christmas music all the time. If you work in retail, then you know what it's like to have to listen to traditional Christmas music for eight hours a day, and even if you don't, it's hard to avoid.

For those of you tired of the standard fare and looking for something more off-beat, here are some suggestions:

Twisted Christmas and More Twisted Christmas from the Bob Rivers Comedy Corp take familiar pop tunes and make them into Christmas songs (like the B-52's parody, "Toy Sack"), or take Christmas songs and turn them into satire (such as "The Twelve Pains of Christmas"). Highly recommended.

Dr. Demento's Holidays in Dementia is another good source for off-beat holiday songs, such as "It's Christmas and I Wonder Where I Am" by the Bob & Tom Band and "Rusty Chevrolet" by Da Yoopers.

If silly isn't your thing, check out New Wave Xmas: Just Can't Get Enough, a collection from a variety of 80's and 90's rock bands that includes "Fairytale of New York" by Kristy MacColl and The Pogues and the much puzzled-over "Little Drummer Boy" cover by David Bowie and Bing Crosby.

Finally, Dr. Demento Presents: The Greatest Christmas Novelty CD of All Time is pretty much exactly as advertised, and one of my favorite Christmas albums of all time. It has some old favorites like "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" by Elmo & Patsy and "All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth" by Spike Jones & His City Slickers. It also has great songs like "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" by Gayla Peevey, "A Christmas Carol" by Tom Lehrer, and "Christmas at Ground Zero" by Weird Al Yankovic.

I hope these selections help you weather the season -- they've certainly helped me. Happy holidays!

-- Bridget Westerman

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