Double helping of Shonen Knife Christmas joy today because even bitter, cynical, black-hearted old curmudgeons such as we can’t help but smile at these tunes. And they’re coming back over to tour in the new year. Squeeee! as I believe the young interwebs folks are given to say. As a little bonus, a great little pic of the Knife with Thurston Moore.
Just about unbeatable really. ‘Just Like Christmas’ now turns up, slightly unexpectedly, playing over the p.a. in high street retail outlets from late November but it hasn’t dimmed its beauty. I particularly like that bandcamp lists track 4 as ‘If You Were Born Today (Song For Little Babby Jesus) as if Low were from Birmingham.
Fat Santa ringing his bell on a New York street corner is just about as ‘christmas movie’ as it gets right? Unless the movie is ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ I guess, hold that thought. Anyway, today in the ramshackle Hickeysonic advent calendar countdown it’s New Yoik art noise elves Thee Sonic Youth and a chaotically fun reading of a seasonal tongue in cheek anti drugs number. There aren’t a lot of those around really. Unless you count all the ones about drinking, of which there’s no shortage. The Youth’s version is fun while it lasts for sure but I’ve tacked on the Martin Mull original at the bottom because I think it just edges it in my affections. Mull was a 70’s musical comedian who really only came to be known by British audiences when he played Roseanne’s boss. He’s also in Arrested Development at some point comedy fans, which is just as well because I’ve never felt any need to investigate his earlier career and I doubt that many of you will be rushing to check out some 40 year old, allegedly amusing, songs either. It’s not promising is it? This one’ll do fine, let’s not push it. Mull is also credited with first making the old ‘writing about music is like dancing about architecture’ witticism. Make of that what you will but I can’t help feeling it’s become beloved of ‘real music’ bores who seem to miss that he was taking the piss. Elsewhere I thought the omnipresent, ever changing Goo cover meme might throw up something festive for us. I mean surely it should right? Damned if I could find one, and too lazy to make one myself, so here’s my favourite recent version featuring the kids from Bob’s Burgers who, if we want to tie things up with a neat bow, are a TV family not all that far away from the Connors. (apparently the new xmas special is great but I’ve not seen it yet)
It might not be their best effort but I’ve been enjoying The Damned a lot lately so here you go – ‘There Ain’t No Sanity Clause’ with some nicely faded, slightly creepy, vintage footage of Santa relaxing in his sparse but up to the minute living room. Or possibly an interiors display in a department store, who knows? foolhardy nonsense all round although I am fond of the ridiculous “Biting lady punters on the Norfolk Broads” line. Here also a forty year old clip of them doing ‘New Rose’ in Brighton on the White Riot tour. An amazing piece of really primitive video, it looks like a photocopied fanzine come to life (possibly due to the magic of christmas, although that seems unlikely). It also looks a lot further away in time than a mere forty years. Now that the internet has flattened time, and is full of much higher quality clips of them on recent tours shot on people’s phones – it’s curious to think this is from a time when some of us didn’t even have landline phones in our houses or colour TV.
We’re always fans of a lazy gag, and I suppose abject noise monster Merzbow taking on ‘Silent Night’ amused whoever first thought of it unreasonably. It is noisy but it’s not the utter destruction you might at first imagine building slowly, indeed soothingly, towards a more chaotic and distorted end – because apparently even Merzbow loves christmas.
a merzy christmas. so to speak.
Two weeks out, time to start panic buying terrible, unwanted gifts and drinking during the day as a matter of course. If you need a little balm for your fevered brow this is really beautiful. and nothing says christmas quite like a drunken accident.