X-mas suX: A Compilation I Made for Christmas

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Gen 3 2007, 5:00



Last Christmas, I made a compilation of songs and gave it to some friends of mine as a (late) Christmas present.

These are the songs I chose:

1. This Holiday Season
This little gem is more commonly circulated as Christmas Sucks, and frankly, if it hadn't been labeled that way, I would have probably never heard it. The song is a dead-on parody of an imaginary duet between Tom Waits and Peter Murphy - it's so good that I was easily fooled into believing it was actually them.
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, I was totally sick of the whole thing although it hadn't even happened yet, and this song captured the spirit perfectly. My comp takes its title from this song (for lack of anything better - plus I wanted to say it as it was).
There's some more background info about the song here and you can actually listen to it here.

2. Jynweythek
The gorgeous, delicate opener to drukqs landed on here because 1) I wanted a fresh, new start after the theatrics of the first track, and 2) I wanted to introduce my friends to the mad raving genius that is Richard D. James. I was thinking of using "Girl-Boy Song" or "Milkman", but settled for this instead.

3. I Luv the Valley OH
I like Xiu Xiu. This is their most popular song, and it's easy to see why; it's readily accessible and ridiculously over the top at the same time.

4. Destroy Everything You Touch
Ladytron are by far the best thing to come out of the dying electroclash fad, and this song (and the album it represents) is one of the reasons why.

5. Common People
There was a time when I liked Pulp, but then totally forgot about them for about 4 years. Recently, I realised once more that Different Class rules.

6. For Real
This probably isn't their best song, as it lacks the moody texture of their more folk oriented stuff but it's certainly the catchiest. And sometimes that's what works best on a comp. (And a Christmas comp at that).

7. Jennifer
As much as I would have relished torturing the recipients of this CD, this isn't quite Pig Destroyer in full grindcore assault mode - it's just the computer narrated intro track - but it's some disturbingly hilarious stuff.

8. Modern Art
Pickung up from where the narration left off in the previous track, this seemed like an obvious choice. The chorus ("Modern art makes me want to rock out!!!! Owwwwwww!!!!) still makes me laugh.

9. Never As Tired As When I'm Waking Up
I needed a breather after the frantic pace of the last track, and this song delivers in that respect. It's uncharacteristically, err, slow for a LCD Soundsystem song, with Murphy completely dropping the (in)famous self-conscious music-geekery for this cool little number.

10. Tears in the Typing Pool
Trish Keenan's voice is devastatingly beautiful and her haunting delivery makes this song absolutely sublime.

11. Corporeal
Broadcast is the only artist that is featured twice here. After considering "Colour Me In" and "Before We Begin", I decided to keep the sequence of Tender Buttons intact and used this instead. Have I mentioned that I like love Trish Keenan's voice?

12. All You Need Is Hate
This is so much more than a supposedly fucked up version of the famous Beatles song. It could have gone terribly wrong - but as it stands, the dead serious delivery of the lyrics coupled with the 60's Beach Boys vibe make this a great, jarring song. This is as cynical as it gets.

13. Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying
This is one of the happiest songs I know - and I'm not being sarcastic. It gives me great comfort in times when I feel like murdering baby rabbits and giving the whole world the finger (which isn't that often).

14. Huddle Information
Be happy now, that's an order!

15. Opposite Day
"But if you think there's something else well you're right, there is. But if you think I'm gonna tell you, think again. Why should I even think of telling you what there is?" - love that line.

16. Marla
Another one of my fairly recent obsessions, the enchanting and mysterious fairy tale like atmosphere of this song is what won me over.

17. I Love You
I was looking for something lively after the slow crawl of the previous two tracks, which is where this genuinely charming little song came in handy. Yes, the Pipettes are a bona fide poppy polka dotted twee-as-fuck girl group - and I'm not ashamed to admit that I like them. A lot.

18. Past Present
Alright, but I'll reassert my masculinity (and credibility) with this electro-industrial-metal monster just in case. Honestly, I think this song works quite well because it's, well, kinda catchy. Not really comparable to old skool Skinny Puppy, but it rawks anyway.

19. New Paths To Helicon Part I (BBC Sessions 1996-2003)
This is taken from the excellent Government Commissions Peel Sessions comp and it's so much better than the original version included on the Ten Rapid EP. The final guitar climax is pure catharsis for weary souls.

20. Slå Sorte Hjerte
This song is simply beautiful. I wanted an ethereal closer of sorts, and this is exactly what was needed.

21. Suite No. 2 in B minor, Badinerie
I stole this idea from Belle & Sebastian's Late Night Tales comp - a solo flute accompanied by an orchestra as the coda to a lengthy series of rather uneven tracks.

22. Children's Story
But it ain't quite over yet. No comp of mine would be complete without Tom Waits, and this time the real Mr. Waits gets to narrate the epilogue on this delightfully macabre spoken word piece from the recent Orphans box set.

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