Sack of Streams #2: For Christmas

There’s an awful lot of Christmas tunes out there this year beyond the usual gubbins of Carey,  Como, et al. Some deserve to sit lonely and ignored in the further reaches of the interweb, like some cyber version of Eat Me dates, but some have piqued our Yuletide cravings and misgivings. Hence we’ve given over the second instalment of Sack of Streams to some big baubled tunes.

Santa’s perspective on the season he gives so much to is often ignored amongst the cacophony of pissed up jeers and board game family disputes. The Narrows have taken his viewpoint and filled it with yearning melancholia. The line “And in only a few years, you won’t love me. I won’t exist” can only bring a lump to the throat and a heaving of the chest [Bandcamp]:

Whilst we’re on the topic of work at Christmas we doubt you’ll hear a better lament to having to supply your labour on the day itself than this by The Wind-Up Birds. Although this seems to have been a voluntary move aimed at avoidance of all the people and pretence, the lyric “I forgot my packed lunch and all the shops are shut, but there are tins of chocolates provided by the bosses. So that’s my dinner right there” tickles the sentimental bone once again. Go buy it here – proceeds to charity.

Let us not forget that Christmas is also a time for the ghostly. Whether that be M. R. James’ supernatural orations or Andy Williams singing “There’ll be parties for hosting, Marshmallows for toasting, And caroling out in the snow, There’ll be scary ghost stories, And tales of the glories of  Christmases long, long ago”, the coincidence of  this jolly season and the spooky is one that we at BBO treasure. And somehow Tribal Fighters have tapped into or subconsciously channelled this tradition on their (as yet entitled) ‘Xmas Song’: a frisson of the night and a decking of the haunted halls fills this little apported gift [Bandcamp]:

Next up is BBO fave Benjamin Shaw, covering  ‘It’s Christmas Time For God’s Sake’ by original Audio Antihero heroes Nosferatu D2. Shaw has somehow managed to make Ben Parker’s sardonic lyrics about poundshop Santas even more xmassy; maybe it’s all the sleigh bells. “Call me sentimental, or maybe just mental, but I can’t get through this time of year without you.” Free download, on a free xmas album from the excellent HI54LOFI Records.

Finally we get to Paul Hawkins, another AAH recording artist, this time in the guise of Paul Hawkins & The Bleak Midwinters. ‘Tonight I Will Be Santa’ is a duet between a woman (Mary Boeker) who is woken in the small hours of Xmas Eve by a man who claims to be Santa, though she’s dubious: “You’re not a mythic figure, just a man who’s very drunk” Despite the ominous setup ‘Santa’ appears to be genuine about taking the big man’s place, rewarding good people, and cheering up his depressed hometown. From ‘Christmas in Haworth‘, a musical advent calendar from Darren Hayman, Fika Recordings and others with loads of free songs.

Paul Hawkins & The Bleak Midwinters: ‘Tonight I Will Be Santa’

Merry Xmas, and thanks to everyone who’s read stuff here or on our facebook page this year!

angrybonbon & jkneale


About angrybonbon

Both Bars On's Manchester correspondent

Posted on December 22, 2011, in Sack of Streams and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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