By Adam Lovinus
By Lilledeshan Bose
By Gabriel San Roman
By Rachel Mattice
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Daniel Kohn
By Nate Jackson
By Mike Seeley
Mike Watt releasedThe Secondman's Middle Stand in August. Visit hootpage.com for information on his many projects.
Stephen Perkins, Jane's Addictionand Banyan James Brown, "Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto," A Soulful Christmas (King, 1968): "It's this great funky tune, great lyrics, and it always puts me in a good mood." (RR)
Banyan releasedLive From Perkins' Palace in October on Sanctuary.
Clifford Meyer, Isis Tiny Tim performing the Beatles' "Nowhere Man," Live at Royal Albert Hall (Rhino, 1968): "When I was a kid, my parents were in the Beatles' fan club and received Beatles singles on a regular basis. One of them featured Tiny Tim doing 'Nowhere Man,' and George Harrison introduced him. I always liked that song with Tiny Tim on ukulele. That's my sentimental favorite for the holidays because I can't stand most Christmas music." (DC)
Isis releasedPanopticon on Ipecac Recordings in October.
Nels Cline, Wilco The music from Truman Capote's A Christmas Memory(unknown label,1966): "I don't know what the piece of music is, but there was a TV special that aired every Christmas called A Christmas Memory. It's based on a Truman Capote short story, and it stars Geraldine Page and is narrated by Truman Capote, and it's totally mind-blowingly good. And the music is great. It took me years to find a videotape of it. I watched it last year. I could barely watch it without crying the entire time because it evokes so many pleasant childhood memories."
Nels Cline releasedThe Giant Pin with the Nels Cline Singers in September and joined Wilco last year. Visit nelscline.com for information on his many projects.
David Pajo, Slint and Papa-M Washington Phillips, "Train Your Child," I Am Born to Preach the Gospel (Yazoo, recorded 1927, released 1991): "No other song captures the family vibes and innocence of snowfall of Christmas for me as [sometime preacher] Washington Phillip's sermon and Dolceola." (DC)
Slint embarks on a one-time reunion tour in spring 2005.
Evan Cohen, Comets On Fire Tom Petty, "Runnin' Down a Dream," "Won't Back Down," Full Moon Fever(MCA, 1989): "'Runnin' Down a Dream' or 'You Don't Know How it Feels' or 'Won't Back Down'. . . any Petty, really. It's jamming shit that'll just get you up above the traffic and the shopping and shit and work like coffee in a cold, dark, winter traffic jam." (DC)
Comets on Fire released its third album,Blue Cathedral, on Sub Pop earlier this year.
David Lowery, Camper Van Beethoven Alvin and the Chipmunks, "Here Comes Christmas," A Very Merry Chipmunk (Sony, 1995): "Ever since Patton Oswalt mentioned listening to the vinyl of Alvin and the Chipmunks' 'Christmas Time Is Here' at half-speed and stoned, I've been listening to it nonstop. I had to slow it down to half-time using a ProTools plug-in. The chipmunks are transformed into a rather banal Kingston Trio, but the father is a demon from hell: 'Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaalllllllllllllllllllllllllvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvviiiiiiiiiiiin.' GWAR could not do any better." (DC)
Camper Van Beethoven releasedNew Roman Times on Vanguard Records in October.
Michael Davis, MC5 The Beach Boys, "Little Saint Nick," Christmas With the Beach Boys (Capitol, 1964): "I pretty much hate all holiday songs, but this one is okay for me. The lyrics are totally inoffensive. No lame religious or maudlin emoting. No missing this or that or wanting something that's gone and best forgotten. Just hippy-hoppy good-natured California Christmas fun. Incredibly lighthearted and nice chord changes, just like the Beach Boys can do 'em. The drum fill on the intro is also a classic. Every time I hear the words 'Christmas comes this time each year,' I can't believe that someone brought Zen reality to the subject." (DC)
The MC5 box setPurity Accuracy was released this week.
Tyondai Braxton, Battles "Joy to the World" (traditional): "I don't know why, really. There's not any particular version I prefer—the song in general is great. I just like the harmony of it and the sound of the repeating 'Joy' line really seems to resonate with me. I love all Christmas songs actually; they're so good. They're fun to hear and a good seasonal change of pace." (AG)
Battles released theB EP in September.
Vicki Peterson, The Bangles John Lennon, "Happy Christmas/War Is Over" (EMI, reissued 2003): "A perfect this-is-supposed-to-be-a-time-for-love-and-peace-so-what-the-@#!!-are-we-doing Christmas song." (Kat Jetson)
Visit www.thebangles.com for more info on Vicki Peterson.
Alice Bag, the Bagsand Stay At Home Bomb "Jingle Bells" (traditional): "I can't hear 'Jingle Bells' without thinking of a Christmas-in-July party my friend Fertile Latoya Jackson and I threw one year. We decorated the apartment for Christmas, even though it was the middle of a summer heat wave. We even had a real tree. The party was already out of control when our friend Father Larry showed up. A rather hefty man, he was naked except for a pair of boys' Garfield briefs, which were struggling to cover his private parts. Later, someone lit an old couch on fire in the street and roasted marshmallows over it. The next day, we awoke with massive hangovers to spy Father Larry's Garfield briefs perched delicately atop the Christmas tree. Guests later reported seeing Father Larry singing 'Jingle Balls' as he trotted home, buck-naked." (KJ)