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Reid MacDonald: December 19, 2010

10 Xmas Tracks for Lindsay

My friend Lindsay wanted Xmas songs indie-style, here’s what I got.



  1. Summer Camp – Christmas Wrapping


    The OMG of Xmas Covers comes from my as of late favorite band Summer Camp. They take on the slightly sad, catchy-as-fuck and wrap-up-with-a-bow cover of The Waitresses original. Summer Camp definitely has the San Gabriel Valley-punk Go-Go’s / Romeo Void throwback to all nostalgia from the 80s. Beware, this is an addictive little treat.

    From GvsB:
    Christmas Wrapping




  2. Cocteau Twins – Winter Wonderland


    Originally difficult to find single that was released on Snow, I remember they did not want to make this and the cover of “Frosty the Snowman” easily available in fears that they’d be pigeon-holed into that Enya-esque new-age easy-listening labelling. Alas, it was re-released in box sets and other albums and now can be easily heard at Bed Bath and Beyond — it doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s an awesome cover.

    Video from shum65




  3. Sufjan Stevens – Come on! Let’s Boogey to the Elf Dance!


    For years unless you were in the Sufjan inner-circle, Steven’s would release an annual set of songs that could be hunted down and captured on in the wild-wild internet. But in 2006, all the songs up to that point were released on a box-set and available to all. There’s nothing like banjo in Xmas-songs, this song proves how fun modern renditions on the holiday can be.

    Fun montage by seikalym




  4. Low – Just Like Christmas


    I had the honor of getting to see Low’s Christmas Show at one of my favorite LA venus, Spaceland this past Wednesday. This was the first Xmas songs that Mimi sang and don’t let the upbeat tune trick you out: “On our way from Stockholm / It started to snow / and you said it was like Christmas / But you were wrong / It wasn’t like Christmas at all / By the time we got to Oslo / The snow was gone”

    Video and lyrics transcription from rtenewsontwo




  5. Maybe It’s Reno – Gravestones and Christmas Trees


    Like a sped up version of “June” from the Unrest Imperial F.F.R.R. days, this Bridgett Cross take on a holiday song was a stand-out on her Maybe It’s Reno LP debut. The song has Mark Robinson on those crunchy guitars and Phil Krauth on Drums (both play that jazzy Mellotron) — hey wait, isn’t that Unrest circa 1992-94? Even with Christmas inspired lyrics — “Falling star / December nights / Wish I may / Wish I might” — it ranks up there with the best Unrest tunes.

    Via The Insomnia Radio Network
    Gravesones and Christmas Trees




  6. Swastika Girls – Last Christmas


    For many, Wham!‘s “Last Christmas” is a dirty, shameful secret pleasure. My shame is out in the open, but for those who cannot bear it, there is the glorious lofi cover by the Eno/Fripp named Swastika Girls which predates the Parenthetical Girls.

    There are four sets of Christmas albums from Zac Pennington & Co. Christmas with Swastika Girls, Christmas, Again, Christmas with Parenthetical Girls, and Christmas Creep which can be bought together on bandcamp as Christmas. (as the original has been taken off the site).

    That first Swastika Girl release had no glockenspiel but did have sleigh-bells and sad-ole synths.




  7. Figurine – The Holidays Behind Uso


    One of those many offshoots of Jimmy Tamborello (Dntel / Postal Service), Figurine sings the title of the I’ll Stay ‘Til After Christmas compilation in this sweet treat of a song.

    Via The Indie Music Database
    The Holidays Behind Us




  8. Au – I’ll Be Home for Christmas


    Psych-folkers Au brings some dark and haunting Christmas harmonies on the same I’ll Stay ‘Til After Christmas compilation. I could go for a whole album of Christmas tunes like these as I imagine dark forests of fir-lined tree-tops being set afire in the holiday blaze (also with sleigh-bells).

    Via Stereogum
    I’ll Be Home for Christmas




  9. Snowden – Christmas Time Is Here


    To keep myself from posting any Vince Guaraldi Trio songs (I mean who doesn’t like A Charlie Brown Christmas and probably the most recognized rendition of this song) this dense electronic rock cover by aptly-named Snowden is a fantastic alternate. From their Licorice EP of Christmas songs.

    Direct from Snowden
    Christmas Time Is Here




  10. Casiotone for the Painfully Alone – New Year’s Kiss


    Not necessarily Christmas, but close enough. My favorite CFTPA song for both the electronic percussion and the punch line. Owen Ashworth is a master of rhyme and the painful and tiny vignettes that are his songs.

    Noisy Version direct from CFTPA
    New Year’s Kiss

    Video from prostoazz