Nov 29, 2012


It’s the week after Thanksgiving, if you’re reading this, then you survived your first interaction with the family and probably stayed as far away from the malls as you could on Black Friday. Christmas is just around the corner and Christmas music is in full swing everywhere. Although the songs are played only for a short time every year the biggest complaint from people who hate Christmas music is that the music hardly ever changes.

To be honest it can get not only boring, but annoying to hear the same songs over and over again, especially in concentrated doses. Of course the classics from Nat King Cole, The Beach Boys, Elvis and even Mariah Carey are already on heavy rotation, but in the past few years I’ve put a personal effort into finding newer songs and covers to throw into the mix. Lucky for you, Press Pass LA is  feeling the Christmas spirit already and I am going to share my findings. So, here are some of my ‘newer’ personal favorite Christmas songs. We’ve even included links to their Youtube videos for your viewing delight! Merry Xmas!

Follow the Star by Children 18:3. This song is so new that it was only announced this past week but has already gained some buzz. An original song composed by the band, which consists of three siblings, has a punk rock feel mixed with a slower tempo. Not my personal favorite but something I definitely plan on working into my Christmas playlist.

Santa Claus is Back in Town by The Deluxtone Rockets. The Deluxtone Rockets were around at the turn of the millennium and had this song on Happy Christmas: Volume 2. Their music has an overall swing revival and rockabilly tone to it, which pays an interesting homage to the old Elvis Classic. An automatic toe tapper whenever it comes up.

The 12 Days of Christmas by Straight No Chaser.  It’s really amazing how much Youtube can create or destroy someone’s career. One example is the a capella group Straight No Chaser who had a video of them singing a medley of Christmas songs go viral and brought all of the members back together years after their original performance. It’s a fun song and always brings a smile to my face.

This Christmas by Joe. Although I’m not the biggest R&B fan, and I’m not familiar with Joe’s work in general, this song is my Christmas slow jam. Whenever it’s on, I feel like I should watch out for The Lonely Island to appear out of nowhere sporting gold chains and brightly colored suits.

Heat Miser by Thousand Foot Krutch.  I’ve been a fan of TFK for years and I was so excited when this song came out. It’s a great cover of the old classic song from The Year Without Santa Claus, with a modern hard rock twist. Crank this baby up to max volume and throw up your rawkfist.

Happy Christmas (War is over) by Sent by Ravens. This one is pretty much a straight cover of the original song but Zach Riner, the lead singer, has a pretty decent voice and is a welcome switch up from the original by John Lennon.

You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch by Queens Club. Queens Club’s cover of this song is especially welcome to me because the popular cover before this was from Sixpence None The Richer, and although a good cover, Leigh Nash’s voice just is just not my favorite thing in the world. The Queens Club version is much more upbeat and even, dare I say, danceable.

Christmas Day by MXPX. A MXPX concert took my crowd surfing cherry and because you never forget your first, they will always have a special place in my heart. Even before I had my glasses broken in their mosh pit back in 2002, this was one of my favorite Christmas songs and I’ll continue to promote this song during the holidays until it becomes a new Christmas classic staple in department stores everywhere.

Jingle Bell Rock by Thousand Foot Krutch.I know that TFK made the list once already, but this song is just a head-bangin good time. If I could attach some bells to a hat that would stay on my head while I headbang I would totally attempt to play along with this song. Hrm, I wonder if the missing element is a chin strap…

Christmas Baby Please Come Home by Anberlin.  Anberlin is one of my all-time favorite bands and their cover of this song is arguably my overall favorite. Stephen Christian has an amazing voice and this song has just enough of a mellow vibe mixed with some rock to keep your head bobbing. If I ever end up doing a Christmas themed karaoke night, this would be my pick to brave the stage with.

This Time Of The Year by Project 86. This is going to sound really weird, but I love this song because it’s so menacing. Only Andrew Schwab can take a song from a children’s movie and turn it into a song that makes you afraid to be on the naughty list.

Christmas Shoes by FM Static. FM Static is a side project of Trevor McNevan (of TFK) and is more on the punk rock side of things with quite a few catchy songs to their name. Including F.M.S.T.A.T.I.C. which was featured on an episode of the popular CW show Hellcats. This cover of “Christmas Shoes” is just a rocking little ditty about caring for your fellow man. Who can’t get behind that?

Carol Of The Bells by Family Force 5. The final song on my list is from Family Force 5, a crunk rock band who would describe themselves as being “from the dirty south”. For the past few years FF5 has hit the road around the holidays doing their Christmas Pageant tour and I caught it last year. The guys hit the stage in costumes akin to something out of a production of A Christmas Story, complete with top hats. Like this song, the show and the band are full of energy and when this song came on last year the whole place was dancing.

Nothing like breaking it down with a few thousand of your new best friends to get you in the holiday spirit. If you’ve reached the end of this list and are craving more modern versions of Christmas songs most of these bands have more than one cover and often an entire Christmas album. Merry Christmas, you filthy animal. And a Happy New Year!