Kooky Christmas #18 & 17: “Indian Giver” & “Gift of the Magi” by Squirrel Nut Zippers

Squirrel Nut Zippers had a big hit years back, “Put a Lid On It,” and I’ve been a fan ever since. In 1998 they put out a Christmas album that’s like no other: Christmas Caravan. It’s a crazy, hot jazz album with some slow and sweet bits threaded through (and an eerie final track that […]

Kooky Christmas: #19, “Bizarre Christmas Incident” by Ben Folds

We turn now to the seedier side of our Kooky Christmas (if philandering Santas weren’t seedy enough for you). Now Santa has turned to robbery, and the results are unpleasant for everyone involved. Number 19: “Bizarre Christmas Incident” by Ben Folds This song comes to us from Maybe This Christmas, a compilation of alternative artists […]

Kooky Christmas: #20, “The First Noel” by Crash Test Dummies

Picking up where we left off last year, let’s continue counting down my top 25 Kooky Christmas songs. “The First Noel,” Crash Test Dummies Those of us who remember when MTV played music videos all the time may remember Crash Test Dummies from their hit, “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm,” notable for the extreme low bass […]

25 days of Christmas

Oh hey! It must be December. I’ve been scurrying through the last few weeks (months), head down and nose to grindstone, largely oblivious to the seasons. But I can’t help but notice that holiday music is back. Even my own iTunes has started playing it, unprompted by me. The other night I turned on the […]

Kooky Christmas Countdown: #22 and #21

Continuing our Kooky Christmas Countdown of strange and wonderful holiday songs. Number 22: "Five Pound Box of Money" by Pearl Bailey Here’s a heartfelt plea from a practical woman. Hey, Santa Claus! You want to make me happy this year? Listen to me honey. Give Pearl something that’ll be of some use to me, Like […]

Kooky Christmas? Caca Christmas

The Caganer, a Christmas tradition from Catalan — a tradition I almost cannot believe is real — is explained by Stephen Fry on QI: Don’t believe it? Here is a photo gallery of Caganers for 2008. (Many thanks to I Let My Fists Do the Talkin’ for highlighting this delightful bit of video, as well […]

Kooky Christmas Music Countdown: #23

Our next sound in the Kooky Christmas Countdown is a late punk classic. Number 23: “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight)” by The Ramones Some background from Mistletunes.com: The Ramones were actually pretty slow to jump on the punk rock Christmas bandwagon; this is from 1989’s Brain Drain album and also appeared on the […]

Kooky Christmas Countdown: #25 and #24

It’s past time to start the My Brilliant Mistakes version of an advent calendar, our annual music countdown. This year the theme is "Kooky Christmas," and we’ll be highlighting strange and wonderful music of the season. Number 25: "Santa’s Beard" by They Might Be Giants What could be more appropriate to the season than a […]