Las Vegas Valley musicians share favorite holiday tunes
December 24, 2010 - 12:00 am
Sure, there’s peace and love and all that crap, but we all know what Christmas is really about: kickin’ out the jams.
So, in the spirit of the season, we thought we’d ask some of Vegas’ finest musicians to share their favorite holiday tunes.
Now, if only these guys and gals would show up at your door caroling instead of those frog-voiced neighbor kids.
* * *
"My two all time favorite Christmas songs are Charles Brown’s ‘Please Come Home for Christmas’ (although I will admit The Eagles did a great job on the song as well) and Elvis Presley’s ‘Blue Christmas.’ As a musician, I really relate to more of the darker holiday songs. There are plenty of bells and whistles and children singing, and that’s all good and well, but I really like a song that shows that the holidays are human. There are still wants and needs beyond sleigh bells and Santa. These songs really capture the sweet and sorrow of the holidays. They emulate the yearning for something that can’t be satisfied through a Black Friday sale or catalog shopping, and that’s of a heart that beats for you."
— Paige Overton, singer, The Clydesdale
* * *
"My own group Fa-Cock-Ta’s ‘Spin The Dreidel (The Hanukkah Song),’ of course. It’s Hanukkah, not Christmas, but I do rap about filling the hole in your bagel."
— Rapper/producer Jewish Dave, Fa-Cock-Ta
* * *
"Gotta go with Nat Cole’s version of ‘The Christmas Song.’ Just an amazing recording of a great song by a great singer, although at my house, the Little Steven garage rock ‘Christmas with the Kranks’ soundtrack gets a lot of play. Favorite tracks are the Raveonettes’ ‘The Christmas Song’ and ‘Hey Santa Claus’ by the Chesterfield Kings."
— Ronald Corso, bassist, A Crowd of Small Adventures
* * *
"Christmas being about kids and family, I’d have to say that ‘Christmas Time is Here,’ the smooth ‘Charlie Brown Christmas’ song by the Vince Guaraldi Trio, is a favorite. That song still makes Christmas memories for me. I’m a rock drummer, but also a closet jazz fan, having grown up listening to Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich, etc., and the brush work on that song is so smooth and cool and really sets a mood. ‘You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch’ is a close second, and ‘The Little Drummer Boy’ for obvious reasons."
— Joe Perv, drummer for The Lucky Cheats, founder of The Pervz, The Objex, The Tinglerz
* * *
"King Diamond, ‘No Presents for Christmas.’ During Christmas, people are always jolly and friendly. Imagine those people not getting presents. Well, that’s just how this song is. I’d say this is a classic right up there with anything by Bing Crosby."
— Shannon Frye, drummer/founder, Avenger of Blood
* * *
"My favorite Christmas song has to be ‘Merry Christmas Baby’ by the Beach Boys. Their whole Christmas album is fantastic. I grew up listening to it every year on my dad’s record player. Now I have a vinyl copy of my very own, and you better believe we listened to it this year while we decorated the tree. It’s the fastest way to get into the festive spirit. Hands down."
— Chani Riiell, singer, Dusty Sunshine
* * *
"Alvin & the Chipmunks, ‘All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth.’ I remember when I was a kid and I was missing my two front teeth. I would spit this song all the time (literally). Also, James Brown, ‘Soulful Christmas.’ Nobody can spice up a song like James Brown. So funky it makes you wanna grab your grandma by the hand and start dancing in front of the Christmas tree."
— Rapper HighDro
* * *
" ‘Mary Did You Know’ is one of my favorite Christmas songs. It’s amazing to know that lyricist Mark Lowry envisioned what it was like to be Mary, inspiring one of the greatest songs ever written."
— Vernell Brown Jr., composer/pianist/recording artist
* * *
"Christmas is a wonderful time of year filled with happy, heartwarming, wondrous things like sugar-plum fairies, spiced egg nog, sleigh rides on crisp winter nights and cute little babies being taught the importance of consumerism. Yet, if you took all of the greatest things about Christmas and added them up, the amount of awesomeness would still pale in comparison to the awesomeness that is Chuck Berry. That is why ‘Run, Run, Rudolph’ is my favorite Christmas song. Chuck Berry: even better than Christmas."
— Quint Olsen, singer/guitarist, Quint & the Cowpunk Calamity
* * *
"Our favorite Christmas song is a tossup between ‘Ding Fries Are Done’ (the ‘Chorus of the Bells’ spoof from ‘Family Guy’ about working at Burger King) or ‘Happy Holidays You Bastard’ by Blink-182. We like those simply because they’re funny and don’t take everything so seriously the way too many people do during the holidays."
— Ministry of Love
* * *
" ‘Mele Kalikimaka’ by Reel Big Fish. During this time of year, the spirit of Christmas latches onto us like peanut butter and snow. It’s not only a time for joy and peace, but a time for songs and music. RBF’s version of this Hawaiian classic takes it to a whole new level, bringing joy and ska-wesomeness, leaving you with a plethora of good times. Have a merry Christmas everyone and a happy New Year. Aloha!"
— One Pin Short
Contact reporter Jason Bracelin at jbracelin@ reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0476.