Every [two weeks?] Jamie Hale takes a long, hard look at the music industry and the blog scene that feeds it. Here, he releases those findings and makes snarky, sarcastic remarks. Admittedly, both Jamie and Knox Road are a part of this scene. So sue us.
Every December, there is a war waged within the United States. It’s a brutal war fought with passion on either side. Each year the children all stand crying in the streets as anti-Christians wage battle on the very sensitive institution of Christianity and its sacred holiday, Christmas. “Happy Holidays?” “Seasons’ Greetings?” “Merry Xmas??” Each non-Christmas phrase is a slap in the face to those hard-working Americans who make such personal sacrifices to uphold the traditions of the holiday (popcorn doesn’t just string itself, you know).
Yet there is at least one community that is brave enough to break down the PC barriers and uphold the great traditions of this purely religious holiday (Wal-Mart? Try Myrrh-Mart). “Which strong soldiers of Christ could he be talking about?” you ask. “The great community of indie musicians!” I reply.
If your hippy ears are too stuffed with organic cotton, you might not have heard the great songs by these musicians. While one might imagine these precocious young artists as Christ-hating bohemians, their Christmas songs are actually some of the most religious on the market! Take, for example, “Kindle A Flame In Her Heart” by Los Campesinos. At first glance, it sounds generic and maybe even a little inappropriate (Kindle=Have sex with, Flame=Girl, Heart=Honda Civic). But a look at the lyrics reveals something else entirely:
“‘HARK!’ the herald angels sing, ‘the boy’s a cherub, let him be’ /
And you harmonised more beautifully than they could /
At 8 years old I played the role of Gabriel dressed head to toe /
in white denim though with less optimistic foresight.”
And did you know that singer/songwriter Sufjan Stevens (known most recently for some album about Mexican aliens or something) has made not just one but several religious Christmas albums? Maybe the Christian movement is scoring some points with these youngsters after all!
Of course, there will be some songs devout Christmas lovers should just avoid entirely. I haven’t listened to the new one from Atlas Sound because that band name sounds wholly evil (atlases don’t make sound, but WITCHCRAFT could make them). And anything by Kanye West is sure to be about how “bitches need stitches” or “sluts need cuts” or “skeeting for life” or whatever.
I’m just happy to see the indie music community release some of the most devout Christmas songs in decades. We already had too much of a fiasco when Madonna and Run-D.M.C. ruined the season with “Santa Baby” and “Christmas in Hollis.” It’s good to see religion firmly installed in the minds of these musicians. It’s only a matter of time before Animal Collective jumps on the bandwagon (I’m thinking something along the lines of: Merri Christmas! The Weather Outside the Pavilion is Frightful!).*
*In all seriousness, I think the “War on Christmas” is dumb and I don’t care whether or not these songs are religious. Do they sound good? Great. Thanks.