The Big Issue : Edition 447
THEBIGISSUE6--25DEC2013 33 Their speedy hardcore take on 'Oh Come All Ye Faithful', 'Little Drummer Boy', and 'American Jesus' are a whole lot of pogoing fun (see the review on p48). Also intriguing is Duck the Halls, a holiday album from the cast of Duck Dynasty, an American reality show about a Louisianan family who look like ZZ Top in fatigues and created a duck- call business empire out of their shed. Songs on Duck the Halls include 'Ragin' Cajun Redneck Christmas', 'Hairy Christmas’, and ‘Camoufage and Christmas Lights’. In terms of 2013, the most-likely-to-please-the-ears release, for obvious reasons, is Kool and the Gang's Kool for the Holidays. This also points directly to... Rule Three When in doubt, go for classic Motown, soul, funk or disco. Carols get their groove on when pumped out by artists such as James Brown or Michael Jackson, and fne retro albums include the Jackson 5 Christmas Album (Michael's version of 'I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus' is a zinger), James Brown's Funky Christmas, and A Christmas Gift for You, produced by Phil Spector. The exception is Prince's sad-sack song 'Another Lonely Christmas'. Rule Four Don't rule out the locals. Tim Minchin's 'White Wine in the Sun' is possibly the most beautiful Australian Christmas song in existence. Tripod's album For the Love of God! is fantastic from start to fnish, with stand-out tracks being 'The Only Shepherd' and 'I Hate Your Family'. Rule Five Think outside the box. Background Christmas music is everyblah. What you want is something that's going to entertain and spark conversation during the Boxing Day tryptophan lull. To that end, try Christmas in the Stars (the Star Wars Christmas album), Jingle Cats' Meowy Christmas, Ludacris' single 'Ludachristmas' (with the line All I want for Christmas is two gold front teeth) and, for the fearless, Mr Hankey's Christmas Classics from South Park. And fnally, my gift to you, go to YouTube and type in 'Dubstep Christmas Lights'. You're welcome. MERRY CHRISTMAS! culture police Fiona Scott-Norman ILLUSTRATION BY GREG BAKES; ORIGINAL PHOTOGRAPH BY MILES STANDISH TIRED OF CHRISTMAS TUNES? A SILENT NIGHT IS NOT THE ONLY OPTION. TRA-LA-BLAH For virtually more FSN, visit fonascottnorman.com.au or follow her on Twitter @FScottNorman. IT'S AMAZING HOW Christmas manages to creep up on us every year, on tiny tiptoes, despite supermarkets leaving out helpful tinselly hints from Halloween onwards. Christmas, in that sense, is a lot like your partner having an afair (in retrospect, they were working late a lot), but it's still a shock when, a week out from the 25th, you haven't bought cards -- let alone posted the damn things. Coles has had mince pies on sale for two months... WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? Christmas is the annual exam most of us forget to study for, which is why we end up pulling an all-nighter at the local shopping centre, gut-busting our way through the department-store sock section while the closing bell clangs. This sucks all the fun out of the festive season, and means we forget to savour the positives of Christmas. You know what I'm talking about. The music! Wait, wait, come back! I know. You're up to pussy's bow with shopping-mall muzak versions of 'Jingle Bell Rock', and will snap if you hear another sleigh bell. But, trust me, there's a gulf between the dross that's played on rotation in Target and the dross you can play for pleasure in your own home. Yuletimes are defnitely enhanced by some decent joyful strains busting out through the stereo. The trick is choosing judiciously. So, without further ado, here's FSN's guide to what to plonk on your platter this festive season. Trust me -- I'm a DJ. Rule One Pay little or no attention to the new releases. In-your-face, point-of-sale displays of André Rieu's latest stocking stufer, or Susan Boyle’s digitally manipulated duet with Elvis Presley ('fraid so), do nothing to rid our hearts of the suspicion that Christmas is a stinking cesspool of commercialism. Unless you are already enamoured of Jewel or Italian operatic boy-band Il Volo, keep walking. I particularly don't recommend the blatant grab for cash compilation Gangnam Style Christmas Party, which includes 'YMCA' by Navy Gravy (like, who?) and 'Jingle Bells' by Psy-Co-Billy. Rule Two A disclaimer: Rule One may be comfortably defenestrated if you identify a more than 50% chance of 'awesome' in the product. With that in mind, I would suggest picking up punk band Bad Religion's Christmas Songs.