Thursday, December 22, 2016

Xmas Misery Megamix — to the max!

It’s been a rough year for everyone. There were countless tragedies around the world, most Americans finally understood that our political system is broken (whomever they supported), more jobs and industries just disappeared (never to return), many of us had our personal sadnesses, and a bunch of much-beloved cultural icons kicked off.

And now it’s Christmas. In an ordinary year, the holiday is burdensome enough — with its many obligations and simultaneous message that “time has passed, another year is gone, the clock is ticking, kids!” This year the Yuletide means that the crapfest that was 2016 is finally at an end, but another crapfest is on its way, right after this short break….

So I think it’s only right to once again get control over the emotions that the holiday produces and turn the whole thing on its head. DIVE into the misery and enjoy it! You ain’t getting’ away from it, so why not listen to talented tunesmiths, great vocalists, and rockin’ bands commemorate the emotional overload that is the holiday season?

Thus, I draw your attention my “Xmas Misery Megamix.” I started creating this, with the help of many friends (all thanked in the individual posts), well before Thanksgiving of last year, since Xmas music now starts to crop up after Halloween. I have waited this year until we are only a few days away from the Xmas holiday (and its less oppressive, but still gift-driven, Hanukkah cousin) to revisit this trove of gorgeously depressing music.

The first post I did about this topic was a super-survey of the saddest ditties that mention the holiday or are identified with that time of year. The selection here ranges from pop and classic r&b to novelty records and punk songs. A special section is devoted to incredibly sad Xmas country tunes and one of my fave candidates, submitted by a friend, a well-known and well-loved Xmas carol from the 16th century that was written to commemorate a massacre of children.

The artists included here include the Everly Brothers, Lawrence Welk, Miles Davis, Tom Waits, Fear, Wall of Voodoo, and a host of country music legends. 


After I wrote the initial piece I found a few more choice candidates and a few friends nominated their own favorites. Thus this second entry, in which (for no particular reason) the miserable-mas songs are done only by bands with one-word names. READ IT HERE.

In the third and final piece, I showcased the final two sad songs, jumping from James Chance and the Contortions to Willie Tyler & Lester. For some reason unknown to me, this shorter blog post was only a slight bit behind the very lengthy first entry in the series in terms of views. Perhaps all those Lester fans out there? 

READ IT HERE, and please accept my wishes of a hap… er, miserable holiday season!

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