The New Christmas Canon, pt. 5

Coming towards the end, today we we some New Orleans jazz, a New Wave survivor, some earnest indie lads, and a whole album full of chilly instrumentals. And yet no Johnny Mathis, what’s wrong with me?

Kermit Ruffins
A Saints Christmas

Trumpeter (and star of the HBO show Treme), gives us a jazzy shuffle that is thoroughly sauced and far more aurally appropriate than any Kenny G. Xmas tune ever. And what’s Ruffins wishing for? The Saints in the Super Bowl! But of course.

Download: A Saints Christmas


Fanatic Records

Resist the temptation to shout “Christ-mas Baby!” in a nasally voice ever five seconds. Former B-52 Fred Schneider’s new outfit, the Superians, released a holiday album, Destination Christmas, this year. If this tune, a bouncy ditty evoking the Normal and Alan Vega’s solo work (weirdly) that has Schneider giving instructions on how to cook the perfect fruitcake, is any indication, this album is a surefire stocking stuffer. Best of all, the verses are punctuated by Devo-esque shouts of “Fruitcake!” from the rest of the band. I think I really like this.

Download: Fruitcake


Sleepy Rebels
California Christmas
Powerful Company

My god, are the Sleepy Rebels attempting an indie-friendly update of Jimmy Buffets’ absolutely horrid Christmas Island record? I believe they are.

Download: California Christmas


Various Artists
The Holidays Don’t Have To Be So Rotten
Flannelgraph Records

Bloomington indie label Flannelgraph Records have made this instrumental compilation of holiday-inspired music available for free or donation (to charity). Never heard of any of the acts, but the music within reminds me of those ace Xmas comps from Silber records; definitely coming down on the lo-fi space rock and shoegaze end of the spectrum.


The Hush Now
On Holiday

Kinda Belle and Sebastian, kinda Gene, it’s lyrically very clever, but sonically this orchestral pop number doesn’t really have the Xmas vibe down. Like the horn riffing on “Jingle Bells” though.

Download: On Holiday

2 Responses to “The New Christmas Canon, pt. 5”

  1. Brian John Mitchell says:

    Silber’s Christmas comps are big enough to be referenced in other reviews? When did that happen? Thanks. I put them all up on one page now at

  2. Matthew Moyer says:

    They’re the reason for the season, c’mon man! I loved them.

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