We’re reaching the end of the worst year in modern history. The season of goodwill is upon us regardless. Christmas means different things to different people. To some of us, it means the chance to listen to some really obscure and sometimes really weird music…
1. MF DOOM – “Naughty or Nutz”
MF DOOM has done a lot since his early days with KMD. He carries a large discography, and has collaborated with a constellation of artists including Ghostface Killah, Gorillaz and Danger Mouse. His persona invokes one of Marvel’s greatest villains, and he released a Christmas album.
2018’s DOOM XMAS was produced with Spanish production duo Cookin’ Soul. It’s a stocking full of remixes, combining sharp rhythms and slick beats with a number of Christmas standards. “Naughty or Nutz” sees DOOM hijack Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song”.
“Naughty or Nutz” is seamless and a wonderful kick. It also comes with a fine advert for DOOM XMAS:
“Why spend Xmas Eve waiting for some extra fat white dude to come bursting through the ceiling… when you can spend Xmas Eve with yours truly the super villain, DOOM! HO, HO, HO!”
2. Erin McKeown – “Santa Is An Asshole”
MF DOOM is a phony. We all know who the real villain is.
Virginia’s Erin McKeown warned us as far back as 2011. F*CK THAT! ERIN MCKEOWN’S ANTI-HOLIDAY ALBUM is the soundtrack to The War on Christmas. “Santa Is An Asshole” is the album’s starkest assault on it.
You may think that this is just a mean-spirited hit piece. But McKeown makes a compelling case against this beardy, fat bastard.
They shine a light on Santa’s unsafe workplace environment and unethical use of animal labour. McKeown discusses how, as an icon of the right, he props up a capitalist system that encourages rampant consumerism despite stagnant wages. And then there’s the fact that he only visits Christians, a sure sign that he’s an antisemite.
McKeown is also keenly aware of Santa’s personal faults and prejudices:
“Santa is an asshole a liar and a thief. Don’t know how he gets away with it, think about it he’s a creep”.
“He’s an unrepentant pervert, all those children on his lap”.
McKeown’s voice and simple but striking guitar line is later joined by a chorus of backing singers who come together like a baying mob, pitchforks at the ready. His crimes cannot go unpunished.
3. Creationist Cat – “Adolf the Mustached Führer”
Okay, bear with me.
As we come to the end of the Trumpian nightmare, let’s cast our ears back to the beginning. 2016, the year of his ascent, was also the year that Creationist Cat Presents: An Alt Right Christmas! dropped.
Creationist Cat is something of a legend on political YouTube. The comic creation of Vadim Newquist, CC is a house cat who was zapped by God through the internet. With his newfound intellect and faith, CC went on to become one of the leading evangelical pro-Trump, American exceptionalists online.
An Alt Right Christmas! provides 13 tracks for patriots and herrenvolk to trigger libs to; including classics like “Deck the Halls with Racist Memes”, “Beta Cucks Roasting On A Fire” and “Little Trumper Boy”.
“Adolf the Mustached Führer” is pitch black satire delivered via a happy, jaunty Christmas standard. I’m amazed that it hasn’t ended up on one of those Christmas compilations yet.
4. wham! – “last christmas but you’re in a bathroom at a christmas party” [Olivia Flip]
Honestly, this is my favourite track on this list.
Some divine inspiration went into their interpretation of Wham!’s best song. Its simplicity is where its magic comes from. The concept is so bizarre but painfully real. The original song beautifully expresses heartbreak and hope, but George was still hanging out with his rich friends in a mountain resort. Crying alone in a bathroom is far more relatable to most people. At the very least the experience of being somewhere other than where everyone is partying.
It’s worth noting that there are like 4 million vaporwave remixes of “Last Christimas”. In fact, we touched on one of these in the very first Christmas list we published. But this weird little spin is possibly the best.
5. Thom Stone – “Merry Christmas (What a Hell of a Year)”
This one comes from an album with a decidedly festive title: Christmas at the End of the World. It’s obviously not a happy Christmas song, but it’s a good one to end on. Because it’s arguably the most meaningful.
There’s a certain sing-a-long element to it, despite how much of a downer it is. But not all xmas songs have to be happy or stupid.
Stone’s “Merry Christmas…” is a perfect summation of how many of us are feeling right. At least in our more wistful, exhausted, and less horrified moments. Especially since most of us can identify with a line like “Living in a world that I don’t recognise”.
It’s important to note that proceeds from this album are going to Manchester Cares – an outreach charity that brings younger and older neighbours together to tackle isolation and loneliness. At the very least we can channel some Christmas spirit, thanks to artists like Thom Stone.
It has been a hell of a year. But Pastel Wasteland still wishes you all a very merry xmas…