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Everyone knows that Christmas is a time of cheer, a time of giving and a time for Christmas music. Now, the music you’re probably thinking of includes songs like “Let It Snow,” “White Christmas” and “All I Want For Christmas is You,” but I’m here to give you some faster, potentially more rocking (and controversial) alternatives to your usual Christmas playlist.
10. Blink-182: “I Won’t Be Home For Christmas”
Hey, not all Christmas songs have to be happy, right? This gem from pop-punk pioneers Mark, Tom and Travis will leave you wanting to stay far, far, FAR away from your friends and family this holiday season, as they regale you with a hilarious tale of wonderful Christmas insanity and subsequent incarceration.
9. Run-D.M.C.: “Christmas in Hollis”
Perfectly featured in the first limo scene in Die Hard (the best Christmas movie ever), as John McClane (Bruce Willis), asks his driver, Argyle, if he can put on any Christmas music, to which Argyle perfectly responds, “This is Christmas music!” RIP to Jam Master Jay, but you have to give Run, DMC and Jay kudos for being so virtuous as to mail Santa back his lost wallet.
8. Mighty Mighty Bosstones: “This Time of Year”
I might as well hit you with an incredibly upbeat song by the masters of ska-punk from good old Boston, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Filled with images of pretty lights, falling snow and tons and tons of horns, the Bosstones give everyone a reason to skank (ska-dance) around Christmastime.
7. MxPx: “Christmas Night of Zombies”
Yay, more punk! Why not grab some eggnog, cozy up near the fireplace and wait for hordes of the living dead to come barging through your window, only to find that you have a cache of firearms waiting to take them all down! Isn’t that what Christmas is really about? Peace, joy and killing zombies? You’re welcome; I just gave you the right holiday spirit.
6. The Killers: “Don’t Shoot Me Santa”
I never really pictured Santa as a degenerate ginger living in a trailer in the Nevada desert. But I guess what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Anyway, the Killers always release a super-catchy Christmas song around this time of year, so, finding it hard to choose just one, I decided to go with the one that came with the strangest music video. Thank God Brandon makes it out in the end. Phew.
5. Brian Setzer Orchestra: “Boogie Woogie Santa Claus”
You really can’t do Christmas without some of the gritty big-band blues of Brian Setzer. I, for one, would love to imagine Santa shimmying and shaking his way around the globe dropping off the presents, then going back to the North Pole to rock out some more with a big ol’ glass of eggnog.
4. Guster: “Carol of the Meows”
Yes, the only reason I know of this is because of The O.C., and you know what, I’m not ashamed of that. Why not take a Christmas classic and make it even better, with MEOWS? It’s like the cat game from Super Troopers, just Christmas-y and not nearly as subtle. Listen to it right MEOW.
3. No Use for a Name: “Fairytale of New York”
This is actually a cover of The Pogues’ Christmas classic, and probably one of the Irish band’s best-known songs. But I figure I would save the Celtic instruments for Saint Patrick’s Day, when everyone’s feeling a little Irish. Feast your ears, instead, on this faster-paced hardcore punk version.
2. The Vandals: “Oi! To the World!”
I think you’re starting to see a pattern: I like punk. This is The Vandals’ attempt to bring back the classic OI punk of the U.K., and they sure do a bang-up job bringing some great English punch-you-in-the-face-then-go-have-a-pint Christmas magic to the season.
1. Nerf Herder: “Santa’s Got a Mullet”
YES. This is for everyone who thinks Santa can’t party. That big tubby bro rocks out on Christmas night in a sled rigged out like a giant red El Camino, and yes, jamming out as he makes his rounds to the children of the world. Not sure how I feel about him drinking Coors Light though…drunk driving probably isn’t the message Santa wants to be sending.