12 Days of Christmas Music That Won’t Turn Your Brain to Goo (Day 2)

If I told you Bad Religion had made a Christmas album, you might have one of the following responses:

  1. I’ll bet it’s offensive.
  2. If not offensive, it’s probably at least ironic.
  3. Was this a dare?
  4. I don’t believe you.

Fine, fine, but it’s TRUE, and the music is GOOD. With the exception of one original song, the playlist is all traditional carols, performed in a completely sincere way, just not in a traditional way. The force of their playing style only highlights the strength of the songs they’ve included. They made this album for charity, and I strongly recommend you go and buy it now. It’s become my family’s new favorite holiday album. There are so many good songs on it — including one track with the first verse done a capella in harmony — but because I’ve had so many other good entries this year for the 12 Days list, you’ll need to go and check out the whole album yourself to hear them all.

I’m presenting today one of my favorite carols, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.” Rock on, and enjoy.


12 Days of Christmas Music That Doesn’t Suck, 2014 Edition (Day 3)

So the last couple of days I’ve brought you some fun and goofy fare, but today we’re getting a little more serene, a little more toward the heart of the holiday — which has its roots in religious celebration. (And I’ll leave you to argue, if you must, over which religion or religions I’m talking about.)

Although I was raised a devout Catholic, that didn’t end up being my true path. But spirituality is very important to me as a feature of the Human Condition and as something which matters deeply in my own life. And so while I don’t necessarily share the same beliefs or faith of some Christmas carols, I can certainly appreciate them, either in a function of nostalgia or simply because they are beautiful. One of my favorite religious songs is “O Come, Emmanuel.” Some might accuse me of loving any song in a minor key, and that might be true. This particular song is one I used to sing regularly when I was a child, and it always made me feel peaceful, calm, centered. This version of it by ThePianoGuys is lovely, and the setting of the video is quite pretty, even if some could suggest the video feels mildly bombastic in tone.