The first ten playlists are in:
1) Kenny Milliner – Xmas 2012 competition >>
Will score pretty well, has variety, genre spanning, silliness – it’s a bold move to start with a novelty track, it’s got the Beach Boys even if they can’t decided which song they are playing. The Tracey Thorn track is very pleasant and previoulsy unknown to me. Cyndia Lauper adds a great party track and Lou Reed is throughly bloody miserable – just like a family Christmas.
Update: Kenny has requested the removal of Dominic the Donkey and for it to be replaced with this: White Christmas – “On The Theremin”
He know’s me too well and that any inclusion of a Theremin is an instant points boost. The soviet abduction mystique of Lev Termain and the eerie ethereal sound of the worlds first electronic instument is a winner if you want a spooky Christmas. Of course Christmas is a great time for spooky and horror stories – from Scrooge to the M R James Ghost Stories that used to be on the BBC in the 70’s.
2) Mark Sims – Christmas 2012 Banging Tunes >>
A strict adherent to the classics, I alway stipulate that Christmas has never properly started until you’ve seen a video of Andrew Ridgely in a chalet with a christmas pudding so starting with Last Christmas is a good move. Shakin Steven’s is a guilty pleasure but the flaw is the un-ironic inclusion of Cliff. There’s no cover’s or mad genre’s – but it’s a pure honest list. It ends with Frank Sinatra which is a nice touch, better that it’s the 78 rpm version too.
3) John Owens – first cut
Back Door Santa – Clarence Carter
Shonen Knife “Space Christmas”
Santa Baby! – Eartha Kitt
Ella Fitzgerald – Sleigh Ride
Darlene Love – Christmas (Baby please come home)
John Lennon – Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
Glasvegas – Silent Night
Otis Redding – White Christmas
RUN-DMC – Christmas In Hollis
Frank Kelly-Christmas Countdown (12 days to Christmas)
A solid list, multiple genre’s, cover versions, classics, sleigh bells, regional accents, a touch of novelty, some emotional depth, geographically appropriate choices, it get’s the ‘spector uplift’ and has exotic appeal from Shonen Knife. Probably the list to beat at the moment…..
4) Paul Smith – Unexpected Christmas >>
Just to help gee you all along, here’s some more festive genius gems – Achtung Xmas is as close as I can find to a Kraftwerk Christmas Song, Iggy Pop is pretty much game for anything, there would be extra marks for including real muppets and a cover version in an 8bit style, but as I can’t win, this one’s just for fun.
5) Stewart Noble – All I want for Christmas is to never hear Mariah Carey again >>
This one’s a good one, a very good one – has a narrative arc and includes Punk, Pop, Comedy, references to paganism, extra marks for an ‘Irish Uplift’, good covers (better still that it’s a good cover of Slade) it’s even got a murder ballard – that’s what giving Socks get’s you. Starting with Tracey Thorn and a non cover is a nice starting point – it’s got sleigh bells and feels like a warm blanket in front of a fire. Moving on to a good cover of Slade is a fine move, following it with a murder ballard add’s the shade and depth required. Extra marks for geographic approriateness of Elvis Costello (and this means there’s an Elvis in the list). A further vintage nostaligc element arrives with Toim Lehrer and it’s all the better for it. International appeal and louche lounging from Rufus Wainwright doing a good job of ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ that makes it a more intimate version than either Dean Martin or the Tom Jones and Cery’s Matthews version. Saint Etienne have embraced the Christmas song quite frequently and ‘I was born on Christmas day’ is a bouncy pop joy. Appearing to finish with comedy from Cartman isn’t what you might expect – rather like finding Frankie Goes To Hollywood played it straight with ‘Power Of Love’, this is similar, but shriller. Out in front by a nose, with John Owens on his heels….
7) Alan Catherall – Not just 11 – this list goes all the way to 12 (days of Christmas) >>
Amon Amarth – Viking Christmas
Jingle Bells – Austrian Death Machine
Twisted Sister – Oh Come all ye Faithful
Corey Taylor – XM@$
Spinal Tap – Christmas with the Devil
Ronnie James Dio and Tony Iommi – God rest ye Merry Gentlemen
Rob Halford – Come all ye faithful
Reverend Horton Heat – Santa Claus is coming to town
Stiff little fingers – White Christmas
Bad Religion – Joy to the World
Review to follow – Neurofen first.
Note: there’s at least three people on the MSM team that want this to win, for themeatic consistency and a ‘more is more’ approach this is marshall-stack-mungous.
8) Laura Gelder – Christmas Songs I Like >>
Review to follow
In sending this Laura also noted that track 9 (Sufjan Stevens – Mr Frosty) has a great/disturbing video to go with it.
9) Paul Smith – A Blizzard Of Treats >>
Another from me – drum and bass Christmas anyone, a bit of Frank S (no, not Sinatra) and a santa sack full of soul.
10) Johnny Parker – Now That’s What I Call Christmas (Hell) >>
Johnny’s theme is Christmas songs that he likes but versions that he hates.
Review To Follow
I have some further rule’s & details you need to be aware of:
1) Downmarking will take place based on the artists propensity to wear terrible knitwear.
2) If tempted to use Jive Bunny, find the originals and insert those.
3) Synthetic brass will lose you points unless it’s in keeping with the rest of the song style (e.g. cheesy synth versions) – if brass is to be included it should sound like you have a full compliment of the Salvation Army at your disposal.