In this weekly feature, a different LEO staff member will share 7-10 of the songs theyve got on repeat right now. (Songs by Louisville artists are marked with an asterisk.) Got a track that you think wed like? Let us know at [email protected] or at the authors email below. You can also keep up with our Tuesday Tracklist and Listen Local picks on our Spotify.
Last week, I shared part 1 of my holiday tracklist. This week, Im back again with even more holiday tracks to shove down your chimney! So lets jump right in.
The Vandals - Oi to the World
If God came down on Christmas Day, I know exactly what hed say. Ah, the timeless Christmas tale of Haji (a punk) and Trevor (a skinhead) beating the crap out of each other on Christmas Day by L.A. punk band The Vandals and sung in a fake British accent. If you thought this was a No Doubt song, then I am very disappointed in you.
Twisted Sister - O Come, All Ye Faithful
There is a long history of artists and bands rerecording their hits but changing the lyrics to Christmas themes in an attempt to cash in. One of many plots in the movie Love Actually revolves around a fictional aging rock star character doing just this. Twisted Sister is no exception; however, they did it in an interesting way. O Come, All Ye Faithful is a rerecording of the bands biggest hit, Were Not Gonna Take It," but sung with the traditional lyrics of the title. And somehow, it works!
Sunshine - Little Saint Nick*
Recorded back in their infancy in 2019, Louisvilles Sunshine takes a lo-fi approach to the Beach Boys classic, giving it a jazzy lounge makeover. Just an all-around fun tune from one of Louisvilles best bands. [Editor's note: Sunshine is on an "indefinite hiatus."]
Wesley Willis - Merry Christmas
Say what you want about Wesley Willis, but the man was a great storyteller. He wrote honestly and from the heart with no pretentiousness. If he loved something, there was a song about it. He had a way of painting a very vivid picture of the subject matter with his lyrics, which were simplistic yet very compelling and Merry Christmas is a perfect example of that. It is, quite simply, a joy ride. Rock over London, rock on, Wesley Willis!
Foster Brooks - The Twelve Days of Christmas* (not on Spotify)
Louisville born and raised comedian Foster Brooks was famous for playing the lovable, fun drunk on stage, even though he rarely drank. His rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas in which the protagonist gets progressively drunker on the daily gifts the old bat gave to him is one of the funniest Christmas songs of all time. The way he says and a DUCK has never failed to crack me up in all the years Ive been listening to this. An essential Christmas song!
Lil Jon featuring Kool-Aid Man - All I Really Want For Christmas
People talk about great musical duos; Simon and Garfunkel, Hall and Oates, The White Stripes, but perhaps none have ever been a greater pairing than Lil Jon and the Kool-Aid Man (yes, that Kool-Aid Man). When Lil Jon said Feliz Navidad, no eggnog, more Kool-Aid, I felt that in my soul. This is more than a song; it is the new official theme of Christmas!
Blink-182 - Happy Holidays, You Bastard
42 seconds of catchy pop punk mixed with a ridiculous amount of juvenile vulgarity; i.e., the perfect Christmas song!
My Morning Jacket - Xmas Curtain*
If youre a Louisvillian, you cant do a holiday playlist and not include this its an unwritten law. From the flow of the rhythm to Jim James smooth voice to the island/beachy kind of vibe this song gives off to that guitar slide they keep doing at the beginning that sounds like a dolphin noise and annoys the shit out of me, this is a Christmas classic that you can just kind of float along to. And they just put out a new Christmas album a few weeks ago called Happy Holiday! Perhaps next year a few of those tunes will make my list as well.
Snoop Dogg - Santa Claus Goes Straight to the Ghetto
Remember back in '96 when you heard Death Row Records was releasing a Christmas album? Then you got it and heard this track first and thought, This album is going to be the shit! Then how disappointed you were when you listened to the rest of the record and it was mostly standard Christmas songs? Thankfully we got this tune out of it, where Snoop and Nate Dogg bring the G-Funk to Christmas. And if you have time, look up Snoop & Nates reading of Twas The Night Before Christmas." You wont be disappointed.
Run D.M.C. - Christmas in Hollis
This is it, no need to go further; there is no better Christmas song. This is the top of the Christmas music food chain. You can disagree all you want, but your argument is invalid because you cant front on lyrics like Looked at his dog, oh my God, a ill reindeer / But then I was illin' 'cause the man had a beard, The rhymes that you hear are the rhymes of Darryl's / But each and every year we bust Christmas carols, and My name's D.M.C. with the mic in my hand / And I'm chilling and coolin' just like a snowman." And lets not forget the gift of rhyming Hollis, Queens, with "collard greens," either. As is my tradition going back many years now, I close out Christmas with a listen to this right before I go to bed, because there is no better way to say farewell to the season than with the all-out celebration that is this song. Jack Frost chillin', the hawk is out / And that's what Christmas is all about!"
And never forget!