Thursday, January 13, 2011

Various Artists - Heavy Xmas

A free Christmas giveaway 7" from Metal Hammer Magazine. Features tracks from Pretty Boy Floyd, Thuderhead, Giant and Axel Rudi Pell (who?!) none of which are actually Christmas songs.

Released in 1989 by Metal Hammer

Descendents - Christmas Vacation

Following Milo's return from college the Descendents released I Don't Wanna Grow Up, their second full-length album. The song "Christmas Vacation" can also be found on their 1989 live album Hallraker.

Released in 1985 by New Alliance, re-issued by SST

THE DESCENDENTS - CHRISTMAS VACATION

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Stocking Stuffers - Santa's Gonna Get His Head Kicked In Tonight

I'm absolutely delighted that someone chose to make a Christmas song out of this 60's garage-punk nugget by  Fleetwood Mac (and maybe a little more notably by The Rezillos). As cheesy as it looks, this ain't no lump of coal! This 7" was put together by LIVE 105 DJ Big Rick Stuart and featured the bay area female Ramones-tribute band The Ramonas as well as other LIVE 105 personnel. Apparently this was done as a fundraiser for the Salvation Army, who refused the donation after they learned the title of the song. Now thats the Christmas spirit! The b-side is the "Karoke" version and while it leaves the vocal duties in the hands of the listener, they were clever enough to leave the gang vocals intact. I also get a kick out of whats printed below the fine print on the reverse side: "Home taping is killing the music business, GO FOR IT !!" Now thats some good advice.

THE STOCKING STUFFERS - SANTA'S GONNA GET HIS HEAD KICKED IN TONIGHT

Monday, January 3, 2011

Crucial Youth - Crucial Yule EP

The September 1987 issue of Maximum Rock And Roll featured a two page story on the New Jersey straight-edge band Crucial Youth. This spawned a small, but nonetheless hilarious controversy on the topic of what it really meant to be straight. The band claimed that in addition to refraining from the usual smoking, drinking, drugs and promiscuous sex, true straight edgers never used curse words or watched R rated movies and always ate a balanced diet and rewound their video tapes. Since the band appeared to be serious the next few issues were bombarded with letters of praise for the moral values of the band as well as hate mail for what seemed to be an extremely elitist attitude. Turns out it was all a joke (a rather funny one if you ask me). 

If there was ever a clue that Crucial Youth has a strong sense of humor its this EP. "Christmas Time (For The Skins)" is a clever re-working of the Iron Cross song turned Agnostic Front anthem "Crucified". In addition to the two holiday songs there's a cover of Jonathan Richman's "I'm Straight" on the b-side. The hilarious cover artwork depicts edgers enjoying mugs of [non-alcoholic] egg-nog and avoiding encounters under the mistletoe. A punk is shown drinking a beer and dumping out a stocking full of coal.

1988 on Faith Records (on green vinyl)

CRUCIAL YOUTH - CHRISTMAS TIME (FOR THE SKINS)


CRUCIAL YOUTH - SANTA CLAUS IS COMING (AND YOU'RE ON HIS LIST)

Franck Lester & Mark Robson - Christmas Rock

"If he was born in the present day, we'd give him a name and we'd call him Jesus but he'd be born in the USA, with rock'n'roll he would lead the way!" Well put guys! As hard as I've tried, I can't find any information on these great junkshop glam 45s from France. I first stumbled upon Lester's version (1974 on Barclay) and its been a favorite of my yearly christmas DJ night ever since. I only recently discovered Robson's 45, which was released on the FTC label. Both feature an instrumental version of the same song on the b-side and both records claim to be the "version originale" however, the songwriting on both 45s is credited to Robson and the vocals of Robson's version are credited to Mike Donagan. Robson apparently played in a French band called Le Poing, though I haven't come across any of their records yet. The song itself is a revved-up rendition of the French christmas carol Il Est NĂ© le Divin Enfant. Here's both the tracks so you can decide for yourself which is better.

FRANCK LESTER - CHRISTMAS ROCK

MARK ROBSON - CHRISTMAS ROCK