It’s Christmas Time for My Penis!

This article was originally published in online magazine Pointless Banter on November 26, 2006.

Thanksgiving is over, Black Friday has come and gone, and the Christmas season is officially upon us. I’m as big a fan of Christmas as the next guy, but for the two months preceding, you can’t go anywhere, turn on a radio, or watch television without hearing dreaded Christmas music. I think of Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” and all of the traditional favorites. According to (a great place to buy music), the bestselling Christmas album right now is “Christmas Eve And Other Stories”, by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and that’s a terrific album. But after a month or more, those old favorites and instrumentals can get pretty old. So, Live at E’s has decided to compile a list of Christmas albums that are just a tad hipper than the old standbys, and every bit as festive. Enjoy, and have a rocking Christmas.

A Very Special Christmas 3 – Various Artists (1997)

This is a fun album with something for everyone, and includes Sting, the Smashing Pumpkins, No Doubt, Chris Cornell featuring Eleven, Mary J. Blige, Tracy Chapman, and many others. Standouts include Natalie Merchant’s “Children Go Where I Send Thee”, and Dave Matthews’ “The Christmas Song.” Grade: ***

Christmas With The Rat Pack – Various Artists (2003)

This one is a retro in a really cool lounge way, and if your Christmas celebration includes drinking martinis, possibly in Las Vegas, this album might be for you. Features, well, the rat pack. Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr. 21 tracks long; the standouts are Sinatra’s “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas (If Only In My Dreams)”, Dean Martin’s “Baby It’s Cold Outside”, and of course, there are several duets with combinations of all three artists. Grade: *****

Merry Axemas: A Guitar Christmas – Various Artists (2005)

This is a Christmas album comprised entirely of the collective Gods of Guitar. Features Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, The Joe Perry Project, Richie Sambora, Jeff Beck, and others. Standouts include Jeff Beck’s “Amazing Grace” and Joe Perry’s “Blue Christmas.” Grade: ****

A Punk Rock Christmas – Various Artists (1995)

A festive compilation featuring classic punk bands: The Dickies, Fear, The Ramones, Sloppy Seconds, The Damned, Stiff Little Fingers, Pansy Division, The Humpers, and others. Not all standard fare on this one; as well as some traditional Christmas songs, you’ll hear such hits as “There Ain’t No Sanity Claus”, “Here Comes Santa’s Pussy”, “Homo Christmas”, and “Feliz Navi-Nada.” D.I. even covers “Mr. Grinch.” This is a fun, irreverent album and may not be for the whole family. Grade: ***

Merry Fucking Christmas – Denis Leary (2004)

Speaking of the Grinch, the Scrooge in your family may enjoy this one. Featuring stand-up comedian Denis Leary, this album features the title track, plus “Fat Guy On The Plane”, “Deaf Mute Cocktail Party”, “The Theme From Jesus And The Gang”, Insane Cowboy (In Africa)”, and others. If you can’t embody the true spirit of Christmas, you might as well have an equally cynical soundtrack. Grade: ***

A Santa Cause: It’s A Punk Rock Christmas – Various Artists (2003)

Here’s another punk compilation featuring more modern punk bands than classic, and it’s for a good cause! Features Something Corporate, Blink-182, Chino Moreno (The Deftones), Fallout Boy, MxPx, New Found Glory, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and others. Also features five hidden tracks. They could have called this one “Have Yourself An Emo Little Christmas”, but as much as I’d love to hate it, this one is pretty good in spite of itself. Another mix of traditional and fun-poking. Who could resist an album with a song called “Yule Shoot Your Eye Out”? Grade: ***

Taste Of Christmas – Various Artists (2005)

Here’s another one which could pass itself off as a Very Emo Christmas, but it’s a little more hardcore than the previous albums. Features The Used, Skindred, AMPED, Bleed The Dream, Black Halos, and others. Also a mix of the traditional and original (mostly original), this one is definitely a unique choice for one’s holiday party soundtrack. Grade: ***

Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus – Various Artists (1995)

This punk-rock Christmas atrocity is actually a double-disc set featuring mostly (virtually) unknown non-mainstream punk bands, and a few classic artists such as Rocket From The Crypt, The New Bomb Turks, Man Or Astroman?, Supersuckers, and The Muffs. I mean atrocity, of course, in the nicest way possible. I’m not sure the baby Jesus would approve of his birthday soundtrack, but I enjoyed it. Jesus’ party mix includes “Little Drummer Bitch”, “Merry Christmas, Fuck You”, “Christmastime Is For Sinners”, “Snackin’ Santa”, and 24 others, including several traditional favorites. Top-notch stuff. Grade: ***

Christmas Gone Wrong – Various Artists

The title says it all for this one. This is a classic example of an album which contains one or two well-known artists who were goaded into appearing on the album so that a company can promote their unknown bands. The bands you have probably heard of include Less Than Jake and the Rx Bandits. 15 tracks, fast, fun, and festive. This album is probably worth picking up (on the cheap) just for Less Than Jake’s rendition of “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer.” Grade: **

Oi To The World: Christmas With The Vandals – The Vandals

No list would be complete without including the quintessential punk rock Christmas album. This album spawned the well-known “Oi To The World”, but also contains a blindingly cool instrumental version of “Dance Of The Sugarplum Fairy.” (Or, that song that was in the Tetris game, for you uncultured geeks.) Of course, we cannot forget “Hang Myself From The Tree”, “Thanks For Nothing”, and last but not least, “Christmas Time For My Penis”, an ode to the only person who did anything for you all year. Great stuff. Grade: ****

Merry Christmas!

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