Friday, December 25, 2015

Sex Pistols - Huddersfield, Christmas Day 1977

No holiday song today.

Instead, a holiday concert from my favorite band.

Sex Pistols - Huddersfield, 12/25/1977

In 1977, in Huddersfield, England, Sex Pistols put on a pair of free concerts - one during the day for the kids of striking firefighters. Another at night in the same venue, again, a benefit for the firefighters. These would be their last two shows in England before their band-ending US tour. It wasn't planned, exactly - it seems to have come out of a combination of the desperation of the band to play anywhere and the desperate need of support by the strikers and their families. But it's still something else.

The video daytime one is pretty amazing - kids dancing in their Never Mind the Bollocks t-shirts, John "Johnny Rotten" Lydon handing out cake (and smiling as kids smear him with it), Sid clowning it up for the kids, Steve Jones and Paul Cook goofing off in the back - all great stuff.

You can imagine the Pistols must have seemed quite a spectacle to kids. What might seem threatening to the rest of the UK looks a lot different when it's done in from of 7-year olds. It's contrary to the Sex Pistols' public image, but it's not hard to see how much they're enjoying it. John Lydon grew up poor and working class, as did the other three. Doing this benefit must have felt pretty amazing - something you can hear in their voices when they talk about it even today.

Here is some video smashed together into a music video.

There is also a Julien Temple documentary:

In it you can see Johnny Rotten belting out "Pretty Vacant" while kids smash cake on his head.

And finally, here is the audio of the whole show:

If I could go back in time and see one historical concert, this would probably be it. Both halves - afternoon and evening. At least now, thanks to archival footage and the internet, I can listen to it on Christmas. God save the Sex Pistols, and Merry Christmas to all.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Eric Cartman: Oh Holy Night & the MacKenzie Brothers: Twelve Days of Christmas

Double Post for Christmas Eve!

Not technically rock and roll, but a) it's my favorite traditional Christmas song and b) extremely funny.

I still sing "Jesus was born, and so we give presents" and "the night with the Christmas trees and pie" when the part comes up.

Not enough funny?

How about Bob & Doug MacKenzie?

I first discovered Bob & Doug from their movie "Strange Brew." It was on HBO a lot when I was young, and my cousin and I watched it once, and then twice, and then three times, four, five, six . . . I have no idea. Dozens of times at least. I still watch it at least once a year.

I'm just glad that for all the smoking they do in their SCTV skits, they don't smoke in the movie. If they had, I'd probably have started. All the beer, back bacon, and hockey is probably enough, eh?

"Good day, and welcome to day twelve."

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Joan Jett: Little Drummer Boy (Live 2013)

On the tenth day of Christmas, I bring you Joan Jett doing "Little Drummer Boy" live.

Let me just get this out of the way: if you don't like Joan Jett, we don't need to talk about music.

Here is the original version if you prefer that.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Alice Cooper: Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Not a song I really like, but an artist I really like:

Alice Cooper doing "Santa Clause is Coming to Town."

Actually, when I hear this song I remember one of my ESL students who, with his friends, had warped the song into "Santa Claus is Killing Children." Which actually sounds more Alice Cooper than Alice does here. Still, Alice Christmas to you all.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Aimee Mann & Liz Phair: Winter Wonderland

For the eighth day of Christmas, you get a cover.

This is a really recent one: Aimee Mann accompanied by Liz Phair on "Winter Wonderland."

This reminds me that I really need to do a Liz Phair centered song list.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Metallica: Linus & Lucy

One the seven day of Christmas, you get Linus, Lucy, and Lars.

Here is a short snippet of Metallica playing the Vince Guaraldi Trio's iconic "Linus & Lucy" - often erroneously called "the Peanuts Theme" or "Charlie Brown theme."

They segue into a little of "Burn" by Deep Purple, and "Run to the Hills" by Iron Maiden.

But the Christmas bit today is Linus & Lucy.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Dave Edmunds: Run Run Rudolph

On the sixth day of Who Will Save Rock and Roll's Twelve Days of Christmas, you get Dave Edmunds:

Not a great upload, but a great version of the song.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Ramones: Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight)

On the fifth day of Christmas, punk rock gave to me: The Ramones!

Badly acted video plus really catchy song.

I bet Johnny hated it.

But I love it.

I miss The Ramones. I only ever saw them once, in the CJ era. Great show. Made up for all the times I tried to go but it was sold out, weather intervened, our ride didn't show up, etc. etc. Once. Only once. But it was great.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Dickies: Silent Night

When I was a very little kid, I liked to sing this song. I had a nice voice, apparently, even if I made "silent" into a three-syllable word.

I couldn't do to it what The Dickies did.

It's amazingly loyal to the song, yet it's 100% Dickies. It sounds closer to "Stukas Over Disneyland" than any other Christmas song, that's for sure.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Kinks: Father Christmas

I love the Kinks.

Here they are, lip-syncing on German TV. Heh.

This song is pretty popular on the radio - I'm not highlighting something you don't know. But I always loved it. It's got that Kinks cheery cynicism to it. A touch of harsh, sad reality without losing a bit of optimism in the mix. Like the lonely guy in Waterloo Sunset looking out on the world, you've got this guy who wants to believe in Christmas and all it stands for. And some rough kids who'd like that too, but have more direct needs than cheer and season's greetings. Plus it's catchy. Can't beat catchy.

And like I said in the past few days, it's one of the songs I played a lot for my students in Japan.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Shonen Knife: Space Christmas

It's the 12 songs of Christmas. This is number two.

Shonen Knife - Space Christmas.

As I mentioned in The Darkness's entry, Space Christmas was one of the only Christmas songs I had on .mp3 with me in Japan. It's still one of my favorites. It doesn't make much sense, but it's joyful and fun. That also describes Shonen Knife - they do very fun, very happy, very poppy rock - very earnestly and seriously. So have a Space Christmas.

Monday, December 14, 2015

The Darkness - Christmas Time (Don't Let the Bells End) - Live 2011

It's the 12 songs of Christmas. Let's get this ball rolling.

The original video is also awesome. I love the Hawkins brothers playing the double-necked guitar together. Having seen the guitar stunts they do live, I believe they'd manage it at a show, too, if they tried.

True story - when I was in Japan, I had very few Christmas songs on .mp3. Living in the US, who needed them? They run non-stop for months. I had to do a class with two junior high special ed kids, M~ (a girl) and M~ (a boy), and I was called on to run Christmas songs the whole time in the background. Amongst Linus & Lucy, Run Run Rudolph, some South Park Christmas songs, the Kinks Father Christmas, and others, I had this song from The Darkness. I just remember the look my English-fluent co-teacher gave me when it came on. I kind of shrugged and said, well, it's a Christmas song.

And it's a good one. Silly but sweet.