21 December 2008

Whoopee in Hell Mix #3: Baby Jesus, Born to Rock! (and Getting to Phoenix...)

The desktop widget that updates me on the weather says it's -8° right outside my window. I was outside once today, to help my wife scrape her windshield and make sure her car started (it did, thank god). It's one of those days--the 25 mph winds, the bitter cold--when they would have canceled school when I was younger. Of course, it's not a school day, and in any case, my school year is over.

So, as you've noticed, we've had our first post from my good friend and fellow contributor. We'll do a post about us in a little while. But the proximate result of his first post is that we're happy to present you with dueling Christmas Mixes this holiday season.

Unlike my colleague, I've mellowed rather a lot over the years, and
can almost look you all in the eye and say I like Christmas. And I do--especially the cold, white aspect of it. I've lived in the Upper Midwest most of my life, and what I missed most last Christmas, sitting on the knife edge of the quickly approaching Sahara Desert in Nigeria, was the snow and cold. Obviously, apartment living helps--I haven't shoveled a meaningful amount of snow in three years.

But you're hear for the music. Instead of Compton's weakest link, we begin on this side with the Rev. A. W. Nix, who has a depression-era message of Christmas warmth--the kind that you feel deep down up in your bones from sidling up next to Satan! So having gotten our priorities and our souls right with God, we're able to get down to our sexy, funky business. While I love a great pop song more than the next guy ("Baby Jesus, born to rock!" is E's Christmas manifesto on track two), I spend half my time on rowdy soul and rockabilly--my highlights are Sonny Boy
Williamson II's message of Christmas materialism (blues singers almost inevitably call St. Nick "Santy Claus," which is fine by us), and of course Clarence Carter's loverman "Backdoor Santa," who looks ridiculous but still cuckolds you Christmas morning--"he don't come but once a year," if you get his drift.

Also, some of you may recognize the lead singer of Adam's House Cat as the Drive-By Truckers' Patterson Hood. He and guitar hero Mike Cooley were singing about smack-addled Santas long before writing
the "Southern Rock Opera." And, since I have a natural need for one-upmanship, if the first mix brought you "Christmas in Vietnam," on this mix the Black Lips will give you "Christmas in Baghdad," crackly from the 7 inch vinyl. And we end, naturally, with some spoken-word recollections my Mr. Johnny Cash, from his 1963 Columbia album, "The Christmas Spirit":
Christmas came, and Christmas went,
Christmas that year was heaven-sent.

And my daddy put on his rubber boots
and faced the floor, waitin' for the thaw,
back home in Dyess, ArkansasJohnny Cash's childhood home (Dyess, Arkansas, circa 2007)

Whoopee in Hell Mix #3: Baby Jesus, Born to Rock!
  1. How Will You Spend Christmas - Rev. A.W. Nix
  2. Everything's Gonna Be Cool This Christmas - Eels
  3. Christmas With the Devil - Spinal Tap
  4. There ain't no Santa Claus on the Evenin' Stage - Captain Beefheart
  5. Christmas Feeling Ska - Toots & the Maytals
  6. Poor Mr. Santa - Andre Williams
  7. Santa Claus - Sonny Boy Williamson
  8. Backdoor Santa - Clarence Carter
  9. Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin' - Albert King
  10. Christmas Celebration - B.B. King
  11. This Christmas - Donny Hathaway
  12. I Hear Jingle Bells - Freddie King
  13. Who Took The Merry Out Of Christmas - The Staple Singers
  14. Listening To Otis Redding At Home on Christmas Day - Okkervil River
  15. Christmas Card From A Hooker In Minneapolis - Neko Case
  16. Grateful for Christmas - Hayes Carll
  17. Merry Christmas from the Family - Robert Earl Keen
  18. Too Much Wine - The Handsome Family
  19. Christmas is for Losers - Mike Nicolai
  20. Here It Is Christmas - The Old 97's
  21. Jesus Christ - Big Star
  22. The Christmas Song - Weezer
  23. Sometimes You Have To Work On Christmas - Harvey Danger
  24. Santa Claus - Wild Billy Childish & The Musicians of the British Empire
  25. Christmas In Baghdad - Black Lips
  26. Christmas Lullaby - Cary Grant
  27. Santa's Out of Rehab by Christmas - Adam's House Cat
  28. Merry Christmas Baby - The BellRays
  29. Jingle Bells (Dan The Automator Remix) - Dean Martin
  30. Millie Pulled A Pistol On Santa - De La Soul
  31. My Christmas Bells - Hard Call Christmas (Peanut Butter Wolf)
  32. Jingle Bells - Ice-T
  33. Santa Claus is Sometimes Brown - El Vez
  34. Please Come Home For Christmas - Charles Brown
  35. Santa Claus' Daughter - Charlie Rich
  36. They Shined Up Rudolph's Nose - Johnny Horton
  37. Lonesome Christmas (Part 1) - Lowell Fulson
  38. Silent Night - Tom Waits
  39. Christmas As I Knew It - Johnny Cash
Get it in two parts (Part one, tracks 1-18) (Part two, tracks 19-39).

And as an aside, you'll notice that this mix is labeled #3. That's not a mistake. Whoopee in Hell mix #2 is lost in cyberspace, just as its author (and my buddy and co-contributor) is lost in Arizona. Coming from Illinois to Idaho this morning, his plane was late in Chicago, and having missed his connection, he's stuck in Phoenix, waiting for a plane. He's told me he may be stuck until Christmas morning, his mix sadly unposted. So until we get to see your take on Christmas music, brother, this is for you. Keep the faith.

Glen Campbell - By the Time I Get to Phoenix
Wanda Jackson - By the Time You Got to Phoenix
(the thunderclap of misery that is) Isaac Hayes - By the Time I Get to Phoenix

And, last but not least...

Centro-Matic - Keep the Phoenix in Slow Motion
Public Enemy - By the Time I Get to Arizona

Safe travels, good people. Leave and travel well.

Posted by Brandon

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