Calm, collected holiday shopper, what's on your iPod? (Part VIII)

Calm, collected holiday shopper, what's on your iPod? (Part VIII)

Let's abandon this governing conceit of this series, shall we? You're not buying any more presents. Neither am I, and neither is anybody else. We are so over mobbed outlet malls and web shopping when we're supposed to be pretending to work. Our spare bedroom closets are bursting with badly wrapped gifts that are, supposedly, from Santa. We have spent small fortunes on gift bags. Cheap holiday cards adorn our hutches. We are crazy broke; our debt has debt.

Eyes all aglow, we somehow sat through The Wizard of Oz last weekend and now? Now we're hankering, improbably, for a viewing of the super, duper long, non-Colorized Classic version of It's a Wonderful Life. Yes, the holidays do funny things to everyone. And now they're almost over. Thank God for that.

Paul McCartney, "Wonderful Christmas Time"

You're not going to believe this, but until just now, I had no idea that Macca was behind this whiz-bang Limburger blast, this uber schmaltz-y, mistletoe wind-up-toy of a Christmas single. For real, no idea. I guess I always figured a faceless cabal of European super-producers - like, say, Eiffel 65, the dudes behind "Blue" - cooked this abomination up to sweep the Eurovision Song Contest or some shit but then accidentally wound up winning the feeble hearts and minds of children worldwide who didn't know any better. Please convince me that I'm not an idiot, and listen to this song again with new ears, as if you had no earthly clue who performed and sang the thing. It really doesn't sound like a Beatle, does it? It's like a wannabe Chipmunks song, only somehow markedly more cloying and grating.

The Smashing Pumpkins, "With Every Light"

Not really a Christmas song, but, you know, religious and commercialized carols alike have this fetish for light-related imagery, and if you look outside right now - unless you live in the boonies or your neighbors are un-American atheistic Commies who don't believe in God, root for the terrorists, and hate freedom - there are probably lights shining and twinkling everywhere. Machina, the album "Light" appears on, holds the dubious distinction of being the second or third worst Smashing Pumpkins album ever recorded, but it holds out small pleasures here and there, and this is one of them.

Tay Zonday, "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch"

I don't care how old or evolved you are; it's really, really easy to get sucked into hating the holidays, to rage against the decking of the halls, the hoisting of mistletoe, the overall sense of forced merriment. It's almost like you're being ostracized for questioning the validity of the whole enterprise, for rejecting the monumental expectations foisted upon society year after year, for not wanting to expect too much from the season in terms of personal fulfillment lest ye be massively disappointed, yet again, when it's all over and it's time to go back to regular, dull, post-Christmas existence; I guess this is why I've always had a soft spot for characters like Scrooge in his various incarnations and How The Grinch Stole Christmas! (not the Jim Carrey live action version, mind), as opposed to pap like Elf. In other news: Tay Zonday is a tool, but hopefully the inclusion of his name will garner Gimme Noise some extra web traffic.

"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"

Right, so here's what I've never quite understood: why would any reindeer actually want to willingly help pull Santa's sleigh all around the world, ferrying toys to billions of kids who wouldn't appreciate them in what are often sub-arctic temperatures with few smoke or potty breaks? Old Saint Nick's not paying union scale, is he? Did he set the elves and reindeer up with half-decent health coverage and 401K options? This shit is a 60 Minutes expose waiting to happen, for real.

And with that, we're out. Merry Christmas, and to all a good night!

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