Thursday, December 10, 2009

Santa's Out of Rehab

As promised, a repost of last year's alt country-ish/indie rock-ish Xmas comp. I switched up a few of the songs from last year's post. And I tried not to post too many that my main man at A Truer Sound hasn't already posted. But let's face it, some of these songs are so damn good that they have to be posted twice.

I also want to take this time to remind you to donate to your favorite charity this season. Since I like animals more than I like humans, I usually donate to the Humane Society, but the shit hit the fan at the Toronto Human Society this year, so I will be donating some cashola and other items to a local women's and children's shelter that is associated with where I work.

1. Adam's House Cat - Santa's Out of Rehab by Christmas.mp3
From: Town Burned Down (1990, out of print)
Adam's House Cat is the precursor to one of my favorite bands, the Drive-By Truckers. This track was probably recorded sometime between 1988 and 1990. Its fun listening to a young Patterson Hood scratch this one out. Compare this track with...

2. Drive-By Truckers - Mrs. Claus' Kimono.mp3
Buy: The Fine Print (A Collection of Oddities and Rarities 2003-2008) (2009)
...this one which was recorded roughly 15 years later. The Fine Print is one of my favorite albums of 2009.

3. Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison - Please Daddy, Don't Get Drunk.mp3
Buy: Happy Holidays (2006)
This song was originally recorded by John Denver in the 1970s, but I don't have that version. Help a sister out?

4. Robert Earl Keen, Jr. - Merry Christmas From the Family.mp3
Buy: Live at the Ryman (2006)
Families are a pain in the ass at Christmas, but at least there is booze. Sing along everyone!

5. Paul Kelly - How to Mark Gravy.mp3
Buy: Songs From the South - Greatest Hits (1997)
What a brilliant song. First, Paul Kelly is from Australia, where its summer when Santa delivers the toys in the sweltering heat. Second, the narrator in this song is calling from jail, full of regret, remembering the things that he loves about the holidays, and telling his buddy not to forget about him on Christmas Day. Heartbreaking.

6. Tom Waits - Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis.mp3
Buy: Blue Valentine (1978)
Another heart breaker. Do yourself a favor and watch Waits do this song with "Silent Night" on YouTube.

7. Ryan Adams - Hey Parker, its Christmas.mp3
From: KROQ Kevin & Bean: The Year They Recalled Santa Claus (2003, out of print)
KROQ is a radio station out of Los Angeles. Ryan Adams is such a talented artist when he isn't busy being a pain in the ass.

8. Okkervil River- Listen to Otis Redding At Home During Christmas.mp3
From: Golden Opportunities Mix Tape (2007)
In 2007 Okkervil River put out a free download of covers and live tracks, including this one. This version slays me. To me, its so much better then the original release from their 2002 album Don't Fall in Love With Everyone You See because lead singer Will Sheff's voice has matured so much in five years, and he sings this version with such emotion. Recorded live at the Hogg Auditorium in Austin.

9. Jim White - Christmas Day.mp3
Buy: No Such Place (2001)
Christmas at the Greyhound station. And you thought that your Christmas was going to suck.

10. Eef Barzelay - Joy to the World.mp3
Buy (MP3 only): Bitter Honey (2006)
A traditional song from the lead singer of the alt country band Clem Snide.

11. My Morning Jacket - O Holy Night.mp3
From: WFPK-FM X-Mas (2001, out of print)
WFPK is a public radio station in Louisville, Kentucky. Kills me how Jim James has to take his shoes off before he can go on. Ha ha ha! I always thought that he had an amazing voice, but this is ridiculous.

12. Alabama - Tennessee Christmas.mp3
From: The Time-Life Treasury of Christmas (1987)
For my family near Knoxville. One year we were spending Christmas with them, and all of the cousins were piled into the same room to sleep on the floor (even though we were all in our 20s and 30s), and the first thing I heard when I woke up Christmas morning was my cousin Tara saying "Holy shit!" There had been several inches of snow overnight, and everything looked spectacular. A true Christmas miracle! This song is originally from Alabama Christmas (1985, out of print).

13. Hayes Carll - I'm Grateful for Christmas This Year.mp3
From: Live on Imus in the Morning (2008)
Carll reminds us that the most important part of Christmas is spending time with your friends and family. The only bad part of this track is that you can hear Don Imus's voice at the end of it.

14. Steve Earle - Christmas in Washington.mp3
Buy: El Corazón (1997)
I interpret this song as Earle singing/praying to Woodie Guthrie and others to come back to earth to help fix this fucked up country. But told through Guthrie on Christmas Day as a metaphor for Jesus redeeming the earth. Or something.

15. The Pogues with Kristy MacColl- Fairytale of New York.mp3
Buy: If I Should Fall from Grace with God (1988)
According to our friends over at Wikipedia, this track is frequently voted the Number One Best Christmas song of all time in various television, radio and magazine related polls in the UK.

16. Asleep at the Wheel - Merry Texas Christmas, Y'All.mp3
Buy (MP3 only): Merry Texas Christmas, Y'All (1997)
For all of you that want to do some two-steppin' this holiday. Yee-Haw!

17. Old 97's - Holly Jolly Christmas.mp3
From: Honky-Tonk Holidays: Christmas in Deep Nöellum (1994, out of print)
This track freaks me out a little bit because its the Old 97's doing big band jazz.

18. Reverend Horton Heat - Santa Looked a lot Like Daddy.mp3
Buy: We Three Kings (2005)
Nothing celebrates the birth of Jesus like a song from the Reverend.

19. Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison - Oklahoma Christmas.mp3
Buy: Happy Holidays (2006)
A Bruce Robison original. "Its funny cause its true." Please let me know if you know where I can find the uncensored version.

20. Rocket Park - Rudolph the Redneck Reindeer.mp3
From: Better Than Fruitcake (2000, out of print)
"Freebird" meets "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer." Awesome. I bought this CD when I lived in St. Louis. 100% of the profits from the CD went to Operation Food Search, the St. Louis food bank. I have no clue what, if anything, ever happened to this band, but this song always cracked me up.


toomuchcountry said...

Re: #18 Rev. Horton Heat - my brush w/greatness. I went to junior high and high school with their drummer Paul Simmons. Before RHH, he rocked the skins for The Legendary Shack Shakers and a few other bands - including Nashville metal bands The Stand and Simmonz (with brothers Mike and Jamie). As a 7th grade percussionist, I stood in awe of his 8th grade drumming skills. Decades later, he still makes a living off of just being a ridiculously talented drummer. I sit behind a desk.

ron said...

"Xmas Day" by Red Star Belgrade is the saddest "holiday" song ATS introduced me to on last year's compilation.

Anonymous said...

Good good stuff. Anyone out there have I'll Be Home For Xmas by Old 97's?