Thanks to Stubby's House of Christmas, Rotten Xmas, Discogs and Juno Records, I have found some more Christmas single releases, so it's time for a little update of my earlier overview of Christmas 7” singles released in 2013.
Like I noted before, there is no substyle of music in which bands are recording more Christmas singles as punk, and this update is another proof of that. We have three more punk Christmas singles for you – or, if you count all different editions, in fact six.
Most famous of the punk bands doing a Christmas single this year is without any doubt The Misfits. One of the longest lasting punk bands (although not exactly still in its original line-up), and a band that will you expect more at Halloween than at Christmas. Still, the band released three different Christmas songs, on three different formats. Money has to be made, hasn't it? The record is titled 'Horror Xmas', and the first version comes on green vinyl... or, if you are lucky, green splattered vinyl, as some of the people ordering the green vinyl version, will get the even more limited green splattered version. On the A-side of the single, The Misfits cover 'You're A Mean Man, Mister Grinch', a song perfectly fit for them. For the B-side, the band penned an original, 'Land Of Misfit Toys', a straight forward punk rock song. The second version, that comes on blue vinyl (and again, also in a more limited blue splattered edition), has the same A-side, a pretty okay cover of 'Blue Christmas' on the B-side. And of course, doing this on blue vinyl is a nice idea. The third version is a very limited (and already sold out, I think) double single on red vinyl – in fact, just the two previous single pressed on a different colour vinyl. You can decide for yourself how many different versions you want to buy for yourself.
You're A Mean Man, Mister Grinch (Youtube)
Land Of Misfit Toys (Youtube)
Blue Christmas (Youtube)
Figgy And The Scrooges (ehum) is a Columbus, OH, punk band that is like the Angry Snowmans, that is a Christmas project featuring several members of other punk bands, in the case of Figgy And The Scrooges the bands Connections, Times New Viking, Grafton, Nervosas, The Ferals and Nom Tchotchkes... to be honest, never heard of any of these bands. Their single, titled 'Alcoholiday', features three raw sounding punk originals: 'The Scrooges' Carol (Figgy Cares)', the up-tempo 'Santa Is For Simpletons' and the bluesy and noisy 'Halfway Outta The Dark'. Profits of this single, that comes on three different colours (black, green and red), go to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.
Listen to the three songs on the Bandcamp of the band:
We can add another Christmas split release to the already quite large collection of 2013 Christmas splits. Girl Trouble! and The Dignitaries have organized their fifth annual Countdown To Christmas show in their hometown of Tacoma, WA, and to celebrate this, they released a split 7” on Unbreakable Records (cool name for a label, by the way, although I am sure the records will not live up to this claim). Girl Trouble! have written a 'Letter To Santa', while The Dignitaries claim 'I Know Why Santa Is Drunk'. As Tacoma is also the city that brought us The Sonics and The Ventures, they have large shoes to fill, as far as Christmas songs go... I haven't heard the Girl Trouble! track yet, but the track of The Dignitaries has a rocking garage punk sound (including a guitar solo!) - unfortunately, I can't really understand the lyrics, so I still don't know why Santa was drunk.
Last year, the Vancouver, BC (Canada) label Kingfisher Bluez started a new tradition: releasing a Christmas charity vinyl single every year, which is of course something we applaud! Each single comes housed in a sleeve portraying a nice house in a snowy street, so you can slowly build your own Christmas village. A really nice idea. Unfortunately, the first edition, a split 7” featuring the lo-fi anti-folk singer/songwriters Tim The Mute performing 'VGN SXE XMASX' (which stands for 'vegan straight edge Christmas', for those of you less into the hardcore punk underground) and Old Phoebe performing 'Christmas For Christmas', did not exactly live up to my high expectations, although it did live up to the label 'lo-fi anti-folk' for sure... but the 2013 edition is much better: it has Rose Melberg (once member of legendary indie bands Tiger Trap, The Softies and Go Sailor) and Gregory Webster (of twee pop band Razorcuts) covering what is one of the best punk Christmas songs ever: 'Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight)', originally recorded by (of course) the Ramones. Rose and Gregory turn it into a sweet acoustic pop song. If you still want to order copy, be very quick, as the record is almost sold out! All profits will be donated to 1-800-SUICIDE and Crisis Centre BC, so it's for a very good cause, too.
Another label that made sort of a tradition of releasing of Christmas 7” singles is Daptone Records, a funk/soul label based in Brooklyn, New York. Also this year, they have released one, or to be more precisely, their sublabel Dunham Records has. The single features two songs by a new group, called the Sha La Das. The group consists of Bill Schalda and his two sons, Paul and Billy Jr. The trio is accompanied on this record by one of Daptone Records housebands, the Menahan Street Band. Both songs, 'Sha La Da La La (Christmas Time)' and 'I Wish Christmas Time Was Over', are (co)written by Bill Schalda, and sound as if having been recorded in the early 1960s, the heydays of Soul, with the (quite highpitched) harmonies of the Sha La Das. Definitely a nice addition to the 21st Century Christmas soul discography.
The second soul/funk Christmas single has been released recently, on German's Tramp Records, known for their reissues of long forgotten soul and funk classics, and for their much applauded 'Santa's Funk & Soul Christmas Party'-album, of which the second volume was released this year. The Christmas 7” Tram Records is another long lost treasure, by a band called Bobby Allen & The Exceptions. Side A has a non-Christmas funky track called 'Soul Chicken', originally released as a 7” on the label 'Soul Sound... Is Coming', which was a division of the Crowley, Louisiana based-label MBM. The Christmas song is found on side B, and it called 'Lonely Christmas Tears' – and with a title like that, what else could you expect than a blues song... not much soul or funk in this song, but a lot of blues... it is also featured on the second volume of 'Santa's Funk & Soul Christmas Party'.