In celebration of the absurdity of Queens of the Stone Age’s recent Christmas carol announcement, let’s take a sleigh ride through holiday music hell as we uncover the sordid festive pasts of some of our favourite ‘alternative’ artists.
My Morning Jacket – Xmas Time Is Here Again
Somehow, the same year that My Morning Jacket released an entire Christmas record called My Morning Jacket Does Xmas Fiasco Style, they also had the capacity to record arguably their best album to date, At Dawn. Now if that isn’t a Christmas miracle, I don’t know what is. All I can deduce is that perhaps this was a case of having to hit rock bottom before soaring all the way back to the top. What a fiasco indeed.
Death Cab For Cutie – Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
I know that bullying is a really big issue at the moment and an evil that I wholeheartedly do not condone, but sometimes it’s hard to fight the urge to just want to punch someone in the face. Know what I mean? No? Just press play. Now you do.
She & Him: It’s Cold Outside
Is there anything more annoying and Garden State-esque than Zooey Deschanel? Yes, and it’s Zooey Deschanel singing Christmas carols. I’m still too disappointed in M.Ward to even bring him into this discussion, but I guess mortgage rates in Portland must be reasonably expensive. This painful number is from their first Christmas album, A Very She and Him Christmas (2011). Yep, ‘first’ implies that there is a second—it’s called Christmas Party, and was released in 2016. Must be a big house he’s paying off.
!!! – And Anyway It’s Christmas
I don’t get who the intended audience is here? Like, are they trying to appeal to the mainstream with this obviously unmarketable demo-button of a song? Or are they doing it for their fans? Because their fans must have hated this? I have so many questions and seemingly no answers?
The Smashing Pumpkins – Christmastime
Billy Corgan truly defines living life on the edge. And by ‘edge’ I mean the edge of reason and good taste. He’s captained one of the greatest voyages in musical history, 1995’s Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, but he’s also responsible for Zwan. Anyway, you might’ve hoped that this little hiccup was just a glitch in the matrix, but alas, Corgan just announced his plans for a future Christmas album. “I also have an inkling to try and get us to do a Christmas record one day, so I might try to use the Christmas spirit to put the record together in concept, even if we’re not ready to record it,” he said. Billy, come on now. Step away from the edge.
Blink 182 – I Won’t Be Home For Christmas
It’s not that I expected more, it’s just that I hoped it wouldn’t ever come to this for Mark, Travis and Tom. A fun fact about the song is that it was originally recorded as a radio promo in 1997, and then re-released in 2001 to become Blink 182’s only EVER Canadian number 1. So I guess you really can blame Canada for this one.
Bob Dylan – Must Be Santa
Damn, even you, Bobby D? No one is safe. This track is one of no less than fifteen re-imaged holiday classics on Dylan’s 2009 album, Christmas in the Heart. Excuse my ignorance, but I would have thought that a successful musical career spanning five decades would ensure financial stability, but this recording suggests otherwise. I know he’s the voice of a generation and everything, but this is the musical version of a lump of coal.