Instant Playlist - December 11 2013

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Rick Moranis
I Can’t Help It, I Just Like Christmas
“I know it’s not supposed to be for us,” Moranis admits in deference to his fellow Jews, but the SCTV alumnus sheepishly extols the joys of eggnog, fruitcake, and Christmas trees anyway.

Bad Religion
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
Making full use of the harmonizing that informs some of their most iconic songs, the boys of Bad Religion turn a celebration of the baby Jesus’s birth into the kind of thrasher that makes you want to destroy the manger and set fire to the barn.

Walk Off the Earth
Little Drummer Boy
Fire up this video on YouTube and ask yourself two questions. How did Walk Off the Earth manage to write an arrangement of “Little Drummer Boy” that isn’t horrid? And where the hell did they find dogs that can play drums, keyboards, and cello?

Duck the Halls
Ragin’ Cajun Redneck Christmas
Not only is “Ragin’ Cajun Redneck Christmas” a totally legit entry in the down-home-country sweepstakes, it’s also better than being tracked down by a bunch of filthy hillbillies in the woods and being forced to squeal like a Christmas pig.

Kelly Clarkson
Underneath the Tree
No one will ever top the best holiday LP ever, Phil Spector’s A Christmas Gift for You. And let’s face it, Spector himself won’t be hitting a recording studio anytime soon, so props to Kelly Clarkson and Greg Kurstin for giving us the next best thing.

Sufjan Stevens
I Am Santa’s Helper
It’s all a matter of perception in this chestnut from last holiday season, where the merrier half of the elf army chants “I am Santa’s helper” while taunting the less-than-cheery toilers in the workshop with “You are Santa’s slave.”

Nick Lowe
Christmas at the Airport
There’s nothing shittier and more frustrating than being stuck in an airport at any time, let alone Christmas, but Nick Lowe somehow makes sleeping in a closet, raid ing trash bins for dinner, and riding the baggage carousel sound like a rollicking one-man party.

Erasure
Bleak Midwinter
Synth-pop survivors Andy Bell and Vince Clarke make a pretty good case that all this century-old English carol really needed to bring it to glorious life was a roomful of keyboards and a shitload of layered vocal tracks.

Leona Lewis
One More Sleep
The U.K.’s favourite new-soul sister gives a good idea of what Christina Aguilera would have sounded like had she been around to participate in the sessions for A Christmas Gift for You From Phil Spector.

Jewel
Panis Angelicus
Backed by lush strings and soft acoustic guitars, Jewel goes the almost-operatic route. If you’d like to give the gift of laughter this Christmas, simply change the lyrics to “penis angelicas” around a fart-humour-fixated fifth grader.

Heart
Please Come Home for Christmas
The Wilson sisters team up with Aaron Neville for a tasteful R&B–flavoured jam that’s more about snuggling up in front of the fire than about Heart going crazy on you (and anyone who looks like you) on top of a polar-bear rug.

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