OE Monomania: The Christmas Edition


For this week’s OE Monomania, we decided to put together a playlist of some of our favorite Christmas songs, whether the classics, covers from some of our favorite bands, or new originals that should become holiday classics in their own right. These are the Christmas tunes we’ve got stuck in our head. Check down at the bottom for a Spotify playlist in one easy to listen place.

Alvin & The Chipmunks – “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)”

You kids know about The Chipmunks right? Didn’t they recently remake Alvin & The Chipmunks or something like that? I’m sure it was a smash hit and included this song, right? Possibly the best Christmas song recorded? At least in chipmunk voices it was. – MG

Andrew Bird – “So Much Wine, Merry Christmas”

Andrew Bird reimagines The Handsome Family‘s “So Much Wine” into his own classic. – MG

Andy Williams – “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”

Of course we love discovering new music, we love Christmas covers of the classics and some of our favorite “current” bands creating new Christmas songs that will become classics, but let’s be honest, there are some songs, some versions of these holiday tunes that will forever be synonymous with the holidays and Andy Williams classic “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” will always be right up there. – MG

Bahamas – “Christmas Must Be Tonight”

Toronto’s Bahamas, singer songwriter Afie Jurvanen’s moniker, has always known his way around a good melody, and here Afie has put together a beautiful version of The Band‘s “Christmas Must Be Tonight”. – MG

Ben Bridwell (Feat Jason Lytle and Brave Baby) – “The Christmas Thing”

While working on a new Band of Horses album, frontman Ben Bridwell was inspired with a new Christmas song and he enlisted one of Charleston’s best band’s, Brave Baby, and Grandaddy’s Jason Lytle for this one, and we are all better for another fun Christmas song from some talented musicians. – MG

Bing Crosby – “Winter Wonderland”

“Winter Wonderland” is a classic under any circumstance, a yearly dream and disappointment for any good Southerner, except for the maybe a few times in your lifetime it all comes through with a few magical snow flakes. Looks like 2015 isn’t that year, instead I’ll be listening to this while playing in 75 degree weather….gross. – MG

Beta Radio – “Winter Eclipse”

The Wilmington, NC folk/Americana duo, Beta Radio, have put out their The Songs The Season Brings Vols. 1-4, a collection covers and originals that is perfect for the your holiday tunes. On “Winter Eclipse” the band created a beautiful new tune that fits right in with any of the classics. – MG

Beta Radio – “Carol of the Banjos”

On this classic cover, Beta Radio has brought us a banjo centric instrumental that’s perfect to tis the season. – MG

Brenda Lee – “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”

Another classic I’m not allowed to leave out of a Christmas playlist, nor would I want to. – MG

Bruce Springsteen – “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town”

Ya damn right I’m including a cover of one of the all time classic Christmas songs by The Boss. – MG

Carly Rae Jepsen – “Last Christmas”

Carly Rae Jepsen covers Wham! and brings a whole lotta SAX! It’s fun and you can dance to it — all the makings of a great holiday track. – EH

Cassie Ramone – “Wonderful Christmastime”

Cassie Ramone (Vivian Girls, The Babies) released the fuzziest Christmas album of all this year via Burger Records. The Paul McCartney original, “Wonderful Christmastime”, is one that I can not stand, but I can dig Cassie Ramone’s cover. – EH

Cousin Dan – “Last Christmas”

Is any Atlanta Christmas complete without Cousin Dan‘s electro cover of Wham!’s classic? I think not. – MG

Crocodiles + Dum Dum Girls – “Merry Xmas, Baby (Please Don’t Die)”

I love this collab from Crocodiles and the Dum Dum Girls. It’s the perfect Christmas love song, IMO. – EH

Darlene Love – Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

Another holiday classic, released in 1963 and written by Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry along with Phil Spector, a must include. – MG
Dent May – I’ll Be Stoned For Christmas

“I’ll Be Stoned For Christmas” is a super chill tune by my favorite Mississippian, Dent May. It will forever appear on my Christmas playlist. – EH
Diamond Rugs – “Christmas In A Chinese Restaurant”

Yes, there has been that time that you might have been alone on Christmas and maybe even eating Chinese food, because let’s be honest it is the only thing open other than a movie theater on Christmas day. Diamond Rugs brings a little light humor on just how low it could be on a family oriented holiday. “Christmas In A Chinese Restaurant” is off their 2012 self-titled released album (Partisan, 2012). – LP

Dr. Dog  – “Christmas Party”

Dr. Dog is the band to get any party going, and Christmas is no exception. Having put out an EP in 2013 named Oh My Christmas Tree (ANTI-, 2013). “Christmas Party” instantly became a classic, and a go to holiday jam from one of my favorite bands.  They pack the first single off the EP with all the cheesy nostalgia that spirited songs of the season require. – LP

Dressy Bessy – “All the Right Reasons”

One of the few happy Christmas songs I enjoy, by one of the happiest bands out there. I hope you enjoy it, as well! – MS

Felice Brothers – “Carriage”

The Felice Brothers self-released a Christmas EP this past November appropriately named Felice Navidad. The upstate New Yorkers bring their trademark careless vocal, providing beauty to their single “Carriage” as they sing of loneliness in small town America while discovering the simple pleasures of the holiday. These are the songs that help us put things in prospective for the holiday season. – LP

Frankenstrangler – “Last Christmas”

Frankenstrangler was/is one of the late great Athens supergroup/cover bands featuring members past and present of The District Attorneys, Futurebirds, Tedo Stone, Crooked Fingers, Surf Bored. This is a Wham! cover that almost has a Hall and Oates vibe about. It rules so hard. – CF

A Frankenstrangler Christmas — https://frankenstrangler.bandcamp.com/

Frank Sinatra – “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”

Sorry, but any good Christmas playlist has a little Bing, Frank, and Nat on it, if not, you are just doing it wrong. Pure classic.  – MG

Hare and the Hounds – “Pretty Paper”

Atlanta’s Hare and the Hounds put their own touch on the Roy Orbison classic. – MG

Heartless Bastards – “Blue Christmas”

The Heartless Bastards put their own spin on the holiday classic, a perfect Christmas pairing for one of my favorites. – MG

John Lennon – “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)”

A protest song, this has become a Christmas standard since it’s release in 1971 and this playlist is incomplete without it. – MG

Julian Casablancas – “Christmas Treat”

Julian Casablancas‘ cover of the SNL Xmas tune “I Wish It Was Christmas Today” feels like an instant classic, cheesy, full of angst, rockin’, and catchy, what else do you need? – MG

Mariah Carey – “All I Want For Christmas Is You”

My girl Mariah was dethroned this year for having the most-played Christmas tune, but that doesn’t stop me from listening to “All I Want For Christmas…” nonstop from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. If it’s not on your Best of Christmas playlist, you’re doing it wrong. – EH
Meowy Catmas

For many years, I hosted the indie rock and hipster pop show, Goldsoundz, on WREK Atlanta 91.1 FM. Some of my favorite shows to put together were for the holidays. I also really, really like cats. One year, I found a Christmas song about cats. Then I found another the next year. And the year after that, another. Here’s a playlist of Meowy Catmas songs for your enjoyment. – MS

Mr Little Jeans – “Dear Santa”

Norwegian/LA artist Mr Little Jeans has been killing the pop game the last few years, and last year she put out “Dear Santa”, a Christmas song that automatically holds up to all the classics. – MG

My Morning Jacket – “Xmas Time is Here Again”

What’s a playlist without a little Jim James and the boys? Luckily back in 2000, My Morning Jacket put out Does Xmas Fiasco Style which included one of the better “modern” Christmas tunes: “Xmas Time Is Here Again”.  Old Sckool MMJ….mmm yes please. – MG

Nat King Cole – “The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You)”

Perfectly encapsulates the Christmas spirit, or at least how it’s supposed to be. – MG

 NSYNC – Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays

NSYNC’s Christmas album is honestly the only one of their albums that I still listen to on a semi-regular basis, so I have to include “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays” on my Christmas playlist. Obviously. This song is perfect. It’s upbeat, dance-y and perfectly describes the magic that is the holiday season. – EH

Palma Violets – “Last Christmas On Planet Earth”

The Brit rockers, Palma Violets, have already had one heck of a year with the release of Danger in the Club, and now they have decided to party into the new year with a Christmas rock anthem that will be sure to get you singing along. – MG

Parenthetical Girls – “Thank God it’s not Christmas” (Sparks Cover)

Looking through my old radio playlists, I also realized: Some of my favorite holiday songs are depressing, anti-Christmas songs. I think I’m okay with that. – MS

 Paul Baribeau – “Christmas Lights”

Another depressing Christmas song. Another catchy Christmas song. – MS

Phoenix – “Alone On Christmas Day”

Phoenix covering The Beach Boys classic with the help of Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Paul Shaffer, New York Dolls’ David Johansen (aka Buster Poindexter), nuff said. – MG

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings – “White Christmas” and “Funky Little Drummer Boy”

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings put out a record FULL of great tunes called It’s a Holiday Soul Party (via Daptone Records). “White Christmas” and “Funky Little Drummer Boy” are my favorites! – EH

Small Reactions – “Santa Clause” (The Sonics)

Atlanta’s Small Reactions have turned up your Christmas a notch with this fuzzed out rock n roll cover of The Sonics. I’ll be needing this one to get through my last minute shopping, hopefully a little quicker and a little less angry. – MG

Sparks – “Christmas Without a Prayer”

Art pop icons Sparks just released another holiday tune, not their first over their outstanding career, but another quirky song that fits right in with our Christmas playlist. – MG

Sufjan Stevens 

Sufjan Stevens has not only written plenty of holiday originals, but also covered many of the classics. What’s a holiday playlist without a few Sufjan songs these days? – MG

Sufjan Stevens, “Barcarola (You Must Be A Christmas Tree)” [Track 7/8, Vol. 6]

Sufjan Stevens – “Come On! Let’s Boogey to the Elf Dance!”

Sufjan Stevens – “Joy To The World”

Sufjan Stevens – “O Holy Night”

Sufjan Stevens – “Star of Wonder”

Sufjan Stevens – “That Was The Worst Christmas Ever!”

Sydney Eloise & the Palms “Under My Tree”

Atlanta’s Sydney Eloise & the Palms released their debut album Faces earlier this year, an album that feels like an instant classic. For Christmas they have released an original holiday song that certainly feels like another classic that will fit right in on any holiday playlist for years to come. – MG

Takenobu – “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”

Atlanta cellist and composer Takenobu released a wonderful EP Christmas Songs a few years back, and this is a stunning rendition of “God Rest Ye Merry Genetlemen”. – MG

Takenobu – “Silent Night”

Takenobu’s cello perfectly captures one of the all time classics. – MG

The Barr Brothers – “Dear Mrs. Santa Claus”

The Barr Brothers have created one beautiful original Christmas tune about the Mrs. herself. Throw this one on and enjoy the wonderful harmonies. – MG

The Decemberists – “Please Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk For Christmas)”

Colin Meloy and The Decemberists take on the country holiday classic! – MG

The Hunts – “O Holy Night”

The Hunts, a young folk group out of Chesapeake, VA of seven brothers and sisters have released a compelling version of the holiday classic. – MG

The Music Tapes – “Let it Snow!”

Julian Koster and the Music Tapes used to have a tradition of carolling across the United States every winter. I hope they bring it back soon. I hear their living room concerts were beautiful. – MS

The Shins – “Wonderful Christmastine” 

Hey, The Shins sure do sound pretty damn natural in the Christmas song space right here with this Paul McCartney cover don’t they? – MG

The Snails – “Snails Christmas (I Want A New Shell)”

Samuel Herring and Future Islands have reinvented themselves as The Snails, and have released a fun, quirky snail themed Christmas song with plenty of horns. Makes sense. I’ll dance to this. – MG

Vintage Trouble – “Soul Noel”

A bluesy, soulful new holiday tune for your ears. – MG

Listen to all the tracks on Spotify in one easy playlist:

This week’s contributors: Corey Flegel(CF), This Is American MusicEmily Hogan (EH); Lisa Parish (LP); Maria Sotnikova (MS) JORTSFESTMike Gerry (MG);


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Mike Gerry

Head music fiend at OpenEars Music

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