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by Chuck Eddy

November 23, 2011

Holiday | Rock

Ultimate Holiday Party Playlist

by Chuck Eddy  |  November 23, 2011

You provide the eggnog and mistletoe (or dreidel and menorah); we'll provide the tunes. That's how holidaze work around here. Of course we've got all the eternal carols and trusty standbys about winter wonderlands, sleigh rides, jingle bells, frosty snowmen, drummer boys, feliz navidads, Santa Claus coming to town and/or Mommy kissing him, God resting merry gentlemen, and chestnuts roasting on open fires -- many of them harmonized by legendary girl groups or Motowners or recent rock/pop/R&B stars. And we've got all your favorite ubiquitous seasonal standards of less antiquated vintage, too -- from John & Yoko and The Beach Boys and The Waitresses and Mariah Carey and Run-D.M.C. Heck, we even have Neil Diamond deadpanning Adam Sandler's timeless Chanukah hymn.

But we've also stuffed your playlist stocking full of yuletide cooltides you definitely don't hear every year: forgotten goodies from folks like Kurtis Blow, Spinal Tap, Slade, SHeDAISY, August Darnell and Ying Yang Twins; holiday hipster bait from The Raveonettes, Vandals, Smashing Pumpkins, James Chance and Sarge (covering Wham!); and vintage historical performances from Clarence Carter, The Moonglows, Solomon Burke, Dean Martin, Mel Torme and two jovial and jumpable guys named Louis (Jordan and Prima.) Not to mention -- last but far from least, given an economy that, once again, may not be conducive to heavy gift-giving -- plenty of empathetic examples of income-inequity-and/or-dysfunctional-family-spurred seasonal affective disorder, both sociological (Was [Not Was], David Banner, The Fall, Merle Haggard, Ry Cooder, Montgomery Gentry) and psychological (Sparks, Alan Vega, Cristina, a few bleak midwinter goth bands, Aly & AJ). Which might seem kinda depressing, but those are all perfect party songs too, honest!

Scrooges and Grinches who could totally live without December deserve to celebrate too, right? Bah humbug? No, that's too strong. So deck those halls, trim those trees, raise up cups of Christmas cheer, surprise your secret Santa, gobble fruitcake and get down. Just don't spend so much time around the office-party wassail bowl that you wind up doing that sitting-on-the-Xerox-machine thing, OK? Ho ho ho.

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