Archive for the ‘Really Original’ Category

More Christmas crap? Make it so.

December 4, 2013

For the fifth year in a row, the warmest Christmas greetings to you and yours from the team at Christmas Spirit Fail. Please join us as we boldly go on a trek to bring you the next generation of awful Christmas music.

(The charming Jean-Luc Picard mashup above obviously does not qualify.)

Can you handel the ’80s?

November 26, 2010

A merry Advent for a new year, Christmas Spirit Failers! Your favorite misanthropes had thought about hanging up their knit cap after last year, but let’s face it — awful Christmas music just goes on and on and on and on. And we haven’t even gotten to “The Christmas Shoes” yet.

But save that for another time. Here, we have what appears to be three-fourths of a Goth-ABBA tribute band strutting across a faux-marble stage while belting out a synco-pop version of “Every Valley Shall Be Exalted,” from Handel’s Messiah.

The band was called First Call, and this video dates to 1989[?], a contemporary Christian version of Messiah that features a whole array of mediocre singers, ear-rending accompaniment, and 80s hair.

Indeed, every great oratorio shall be made low.

With Filipino Christmas music, you can’t luzon.

December 9, 2009

Today’s entry comes from the other side of the globe, where the Filipino band Itchyworms (do they mean ohrwurms?) has given us “Season of Smiles.”

The video contains images of the Philippines’ off-the-hook Christmas celebration, and the song itself contains dozens of profound thoughts: “Don’t forget to wear a smile.” “Kiss me if you want to.” “One smile will make you feel at home.”

Man, these lyrics are so bland that you might call them plain manila.

Rock of ages

November 23, 2009

I remember when rock was young.
The songwriters had so much fun.
They took greetings of the holiday,
And played them in a rock-and-roll way!

First came Bobby Helms in 1957 with “Jingle Bell Rock.”

Then Brenda Lee upped the ante in 1958 with “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.”

Audiences swooned, and America’s department stores signed what can only have been an irrevocable, 200-year contract with Helms and Lee to play their songs every ten minutes from Halloween to New Year’s.

Despite near-total saturation of rock-and-roll Christmas songs, some artists have continued to inflict rock-themed songs on us. Indeed, by the 1980s, they just needed to stop:

(Go, Santa, go . . . far away from here.)

And this profusion of rock-themed ohrwurms has brought with it a hideous array of covers, which are designed to fill in all the empty spots between the original “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” on the radio. Because we care for you, we’ll leave you with only this example:

Sha-na-na

November 18, 2009

Refrains can be good: Psalm 136 comes to mind. (“His steadfast love endures forever.”) Others seem a little less inspired–if no less fun–filling out a line, looking for a rhyme. “Sha-na-na,” “Na na na na na na na na na na na,” and “Pa rum pa pum pum.”

“The Little Drummer Boy” is proof that oldies are not necessarily goodies. First written in 1941, it has been covered more than 220 times, by artists as diverse as the Trapp Family Singers, Joan Jett, Alicia Keys, Boyz II Men, Gladys Knight, John Denver, the Brady Bunch, Neil Diamond, and a very-strange-bedfellows pairing of Bing Crosby and David Bowie. It was Richard Nixon’s favorite Christmas song. (‘Nuff said.) Apart from its uncreative refrain, the song is a shiny plastic piece of Christmas kitsch, on the order of “Silent Night” or “Away in a Manger,” downplaying the gritty fleshiness of the birth of Jesus.

On the plus side, it is the centerpiece of a charming Rankin-Bass TV special, and I think we can all long for the days when Yuletide TV specials were more like this and less like this.

And, as a holiday bonus, enjoy this little gem: