Christmas this year, forget about buying that special hip someone
in your life another black mock turtleneck or run-of-the-mill Interpol
t-shirt. Instead, share the joy of the holiday season indie style!
That's right, this 13-track sampler features a handful of traditional
and not-so-traditional seasonal tunes by some of indie's best songsters
doing renditions that even your crusty old gram-pappy will like.
When the bands take the
easy path, the result is bah-humbug. Coldplay's "Have Yourself
a Merry Little Christmas" is Perry Como by way of Harry Connick,
Jr. Vanessa Carlton's "Greensleeves" is a bit too fey.
And it was probably a mistake closing with Canadian pan-Celtic artist
Loreena McKennitt's operatic "Snow."
That's about it for the
Highlights include Dan
Wilson of Semisonic doing the original, "What a Year for a
New Year," destined to be included on a ton of mix tapes; Bright
Eyes' countrified version of Elvis' "Blue Christmas";
Jimmy Eat World's quiet, chiming "12/23/95"; and Neil
Finn's Beatle-easque original "Sweet Secret Peace."
There is also an annoying
Ben Folds original and a thoroughly cheesy Barenaked Ladies w/Sarah
McLachlin rendition of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,"
both probably included for crowd appeal.
Christmas CDs are generally
a tough sell to begin with because, really, who wants to hear Jack
Johnson singing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" in July?
On the other hand, something like this is always cool to pull out
for the annual holiday party, plus a portion of the proceeds go
to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.
Posted Nov. 22,
2002. Copyright © 2002 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.