Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Various Artists - Holiday Freak Out (Disc 1 & 2)
Well, it's that time of year again . . . time to:
- sweat over what to get the special persons in your life, trying to balance to desire for giving an amazing gift against the reality of a not-so-amazing bank account; time to
- brave mall traffic in the freezing cold and having to park six miles away from the shopping center because some bitchy old lady in a Cutlass cut in front of you and stole the parking spot you'd been patiently waiting for, then proceeded to give you shit about it when you complained; time to
- get jostled by dead-eyed shoppers laden with bags and packages of their own, as you race from store to store to find that the item they swore up and down they "had plenty of" when you talked to them on the phone two hours ago was now sold out, with no plans to replace their stock before January 10th; time to
- race around, looking for the perfect Christmas tree, only to find that every one you look at seems to have a flaw - and when you finally find a good one, you end up paying an arm and a leg for it, only to have the fucking thing fall off of the car and destroy itself as you travel down the highway, because the dumbass who sold it to you didn't properly tie it onto the roof rack; and time to
- spend Christmas Day in a flurry of present opening and stuffing ripped Christmas wrapping into big green trash bags, visiting nearby relatives you really don't like very much but have to go see because "it's the holidays", watching heavily hyped and stultifyingly boring college football games hunkered down on the sofa, eating and drinking WAY too much, then putting your head on the pillow that night and wondering where the day, and the holiday, went to so quickly.
I know, I know - I sound like friggin' Ebenezer Scrooge here, with all of that. Believe it or not, though, I really love Christmas. It's just that the fantasy we have of Christmas - snowflakes and mistletoe, sledding and Santa, caroling, cookies and gingerbread houses - seems to always get trumped by the actual REALITY of the holiday season, all of the stuff (and more) that I mentioned above. In this age of braying hucksters urging us to "Buy! Buy! Buy!" and the nonstop commercialism that now has the holiday "shopping season" beginning in late September, Christmas is becoming just another major reason to worry and stress and fret over the state of our lives.
And it really shouldn't be that way. Christmas should be about fun, and laughter, and happy children quivering with nervous excitement under the bedcovers on Christmas Eve, trying (and failing) to stay awake long enough to hear Santa's sleigh on the roof of the house. It should be about Charlie Brown, and Mr. Magoo, and Rudolph on TV as close to the holiday as possible (this crap about airing these classic holiday specials in November and early December irks me to no end). And it should be about silly, sappy, dopey, funny Christmas music, the songs we heard and loved as kids - and I'm not referring to the classics, like "White Christmas" or "The Little Drummer Boy".
Over the next couple of weeks, I'm going to try to bring a little bit of that type of zany holiday spirit back into your lives, by posting some of the many Christmas compilations I have in my possession.
And here's the first in this series: Holiday Freak Out, posted on a site called Otis Fodder back in 2002. I can't remember how I happened to stumble over this site or this music, but I'm glad I did - Holiday Freak Out is two discs of wacked-out Xmas gold! If you're the sort of person who thinks that "Hooray For Santa Claus" from the so-awful-it's-now-a-cult-classic movie Santa Claus Conquers The Martians is a misunderstood classic; or who sheds a tear as Jim Backus, in Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol, laments his sad childhood in "All Alone In The World"; or who knows and loves Bobby "Boris" Pickett's "Monster's Holiday", his less-well received follow-up to his smash hit "Monster Mash" - then this is the album for you! These two discs are full of sad, funny, weird, off-kilter - yea, 'freaky' (hence the name) Christmas songs that will put a smile on your face and on that of anyone else who hears it!
The Otis Fodder site has been defunct for quite a while now, making this compilation pretty hard to find online. It's too bad - the guys who compiled this collection were straight-out geniuses. So, here you are, for your listening pleasure - Holiday Freak Out, Discs 1 and 2! Enjoy the start to your holiday season, and as always, let me know what you think.
Please use the email link below to contact me, and I will reply with the download link(s) ASAP: