Simply Having A Sensational Xmastime (AXP) 7

People who still don’t know the meaning of etymology and entomology bug me in such a way, I can’t describe in words.

Day 7 of our Alternative Xmas Playlist brings us the sweet voice of Alex Harvey and his sensational band. Taken from SAHB’s 1972 debut album Framed, There’s No Lights on the Christmas Tree Mother, They’re Burning Louie Tonight is not only our longest song title so far, but it’s also a tender tale of gangsters, capital punishment and a dodgy electricity supply. Oh, and no christmas tree lights.

Paper sir, paper sir, paper sir

The mobs in town
And the guns are out
And Louie knows what it’s all about
He’s gunning down the cops with machine-gun tops
Moving in a black sedan
A stickup worth a hundred grand
Headline sensation:
“A Payroll Grab in the Union Station”

Now there’s no lights on the Christmas tree mother
They’re burning Big Louie tonight
There’s no electricity mother
They’re burning Big Louie tonight

Across the state the bandits fly
Victims scream, gangsters die
And sirens in the night and armoured cars and dynamite
Now Peter is on the mob
And the FBI is on the job
And now the headlines say:
“Louie Bannassas On Trial Today”

Now there’s no lights on the Christmas tree mother
They’re burning Big Louie tonight
There’s no electricity mother
They’re burning Big Louie tonight

But they got him in the final chase
Louie was running in a loser’s race
And on the day his case begun
He was Public Enemy Number One
And the jury’s back, they all agree
It’s murder in the first degree
Tie him down and shave his hair
Cause tonight Big Louie’s gonna get the chair

Now there’s no lights on the Christmas tree mother
They’re burning Big Louie tonight
There’s no electricity mother
They’re burning Big Louie tonight
The baby’s crying
They’re burning Big Louie tonight
They’re gonna fry him
They’re burning Big Louie tonight music and lyrics Jim Condron

How Black Was My Xmas (AXP) 6

I used to be a fortune teller, but I only ever predicted terrible winters.
Turns out the crystal ball shop sold me a snow globe.

Do you like Xmas? Do you like Black Sabbath? Do you wish that someone would merge the two together? Well today is your lucky day, because all the way from the snowblind peaks of Los Angeles, for our Alternative Xmas Playlist day 6, comes Santa Sabbath demolishing the holiday music paradigm and delivering your favourite Sabbath classics with holiday lyrics.

With 14 songs from from 5 releases, Santa Sabbath answers your holiday blues. Enliven Christmas Eve with the relatives or enrage co-workers at the dreaded office holiday party with Santa Sabbath! Santa’s sleigh brings Christmas Merry Christmas and Into the Yule for 2020!

click the link to enjoy more Santa Sabbath goodness https://santasabbath.bandcamp.com/

Only The Most Wholesome Xmas Music Here (AXP) 5

Day 5 of our Alternative Xmas Playlist and we ask the question: why is Santa always jolly? Because he knows where the naughty girls live. Well, Southern blues legend Clarence Carter has set that old joke into a great blues track with all the humour you’d expect from a song title like this.

They call me Back Door Santa
I make my runs about the break of day
They call me Back Door Santa
I make my runs about the break of day (oh, ho, ho)
I make all the little girls happy
While the boys are out to play

(Lookie here) I ain’t like old Saint Nick
He don’t come but once a year (oh, ho, ho, ho)
I ain’t like old Saint Nick
He don’t come but once a year
(But lookie here) I come running with my presents
Every time you call me dear

(Lookie here) I keep some change in my pocket
In case the children at home
I give them a few pennies
So that we can be alone
I leave the back door open
So if anybody smells a mouse
And wouldn’t old Santa be in trouble
If there ain’t no chimney in the house

They call me Back Door Santa
I make my runs about the break of day
(Lookie here) I make all the little girls happy
While the boys are out to play

That’s what they call me, Back Door Santa
That’s what they call me
They call me Back Door Santa
That’s what all the girls call me
I give ’em all little presents
And that’s what the call me
They call me Back Door Santa
And I like for them to call me that
The call me Back Door Santa
And I like it, I like it, I like it, I like it

A Kinky Xmas (AXP) 4

Day 4 and we come to the 1977 Kinks song about the joys of consumerism, Father Christmas. Whilst Greg Lake claim to believe in Father Christmas, Ray Davies knows the gritty, dirty truth! A fun punk-is romp full of the piss, vinegar and humour we’ve come to except from Ray Davies.

When I was small, I believed in Santa Claus
Though I knew it was my dad
And I would hang up my stockings at Christmas
Open my presents, and I’d be glad
But the last time I played Father Christmas
I stood outside a department store
A gang of kids came over and mugged me
And knocked my reindeer to the floor
They said

Father Christmas, give us some money
Don’t mess around with those silly toys
We’ll beat you up if you don’t hand it over
We want your bread so don’t make us annoyed
Give all the toys to the little rich boys

Don’t give my brother a Steve Austin outfit
Don’t give my sister a cuddly toy
We don’t want no jigsaw or Monopoly money
We only want the real McCoy

Father Christmas, give us some money
We’ll beat you up if you make us annoyed
Father Christmas, give us some money
Don’t mess around with those silly toys

Give my daddy a job ’cause he needs one
He’s got lots of mouths to feed
But if you’ve got one, I’ll take a machine gun
So I can scare all the kids on the street

Father Christmas, give us some money
We got no time for your silly toys
We’ll beat you up if you don’t hand it over
We want your bread so don’t make us annoyed
Give all the toys to the little rich boys

Have yourself a merry merry Christmas
Have yourself a good time
But remember the kids who got nothing
While you’re drinking down your wine

Father Christmas, give us some money
We got no time for your silly toys
Father Christmas please hand it over we’ll beat up don’t make us annoyed
Father Christmas, give us some money
Don’t mess around with those silly toys
Beat you up if you don’t hand it over
We want your bread so don’t make us annoyed
Give all the toys to the little rich boys lyrics & music by Ray Davies

Happy And Roryous (GDLIYWI) 16

Sadly, the man who created autocorrect died yesterday.
His funfair will be hello on monkey.

Today’s delightful trawl through double live albums from the 70’s features famed Irish blues guitarist, the late great Rory Gallagher; a man who was no stranger to live albums. Before the release of the double live Irish Tour ’74, he had already released 3 live albums: two with his previous band Taste, and a single album called Live In Europe.

Gallagher’s 1974 tour of Northern Ireland coincided with one of the most tumultuous times in the region. Violence from Irish Republician Army terrorists was erupting throughout the region at public events such as rock concerts. In this environment most groups didn’t tour the region but Gallagher continued his tour as planned to Belfast Ulster Hall, Dublin Carlton Cinema, and Cork City Hall. The day before Gallagher’s scheduled concert in Belfast ten bombs went off at various locations around the city. Everyone expected Gallagher to cancel as all the other big names had but he went on with the concert. A local Belfast journalist writing to describe the concert said:

“I’ve never seen anything quite so wonderful, so stirring, so uplifting, so joyous as when Gallagher and the band walked on stage. The whole place erupted, they all stood and they cheered and they yelled, and screamed, and they put their arms up, and they embraced. Then as one unit they put their arms into the air and gave peace signs. Without being silly, or overemotional, it was one of the most memorable moments of my life. It all meant something, it meant more than just rock n’ roll, it was something bigger, something more valid than just that.”- taken from Wikipedia.

Rory always preferred playing live than in studio, he liked to feed off the energy of the audience and on this album he’s really firing on all cylinders. From the opening bars of Cradle Rock to the final track of Just A Little Bit, Gallagher and his band (Gerry McAvoy on bass, Rod de’Ath on drums and Lou Martin on Electra piano) put on a show that give you goosebumps. Drop the needle on any track and hear a blues master at work: whether it’s the blistering guitar on Walk On Hot Coals, the acoustic slide chops on As The Crow Flies or even the slide on Who’s That Coming, Rory puts on an amazing masterclass and when it’s over, all you want to do is start all over again.

Is it excessive? No way. Only 2 of the 10 tracks are over 10 minutes. This is a lean, mean double live album. Would I listen to it again? Damn straight! If it wasn’t for my Xmas playlist and other double live albums to review, I’d have this on a loop! Would I recommend it? I would. It’s a great live album and it’s captured the intimacy of the show. It does make you feel like you are there. There’s also a concert film of the same name which is well worth your time. Is there a drum solo? No. And that will always be a good thing.

Marks out of 10? I’m gonna give 9.5 Quite frankly, it’s a great album, it’s a great performance and you should listen to it tout suite. Next up on this live re-evaluation thread: proof that a kind, loving God does not exist! TTFN!

All Coiled Up And Hissing (AXP) 3

Up next on our Alternative Xmas Playlist, we are featuring a song by Italian Gothic metal/rock band Lacuna Coil. This charming little 2016 number is a heart warming tale of the dynamic duo of Santa and Krampus, a horned, anthropomorphic figure described as “half-goat, half-demon”, who, during the Christmas season, punishes children who have misbehaved, and how they bring joy and terror to all the good and bad little boys and girls around the world, well some parts of Europe actually.

Everybody wants to be good at Christmas

I’m on my way
Naughty children be afraid
One at a time
I’ll take you all away
(Na-na-na-na-na-na)

Ringing bells all around
Welcome Christmas time
Every kid in this town
Cannot sleep at night
But I have been so bad
Santa will not bring me gifts and…
Krampus might come
What is this noise on the backyard?

Watch out
The animal
Coming to get all the children
Faster
You’ve got to hide
Can’t run away from the darkness
Everybody wants to be good at Christmas
‘Cause nobody wants to be dragged by the Krampus
Everybody better be good at Christmas
Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-naughty Christmas

Satyr with chains
Rowdy children be afraid
One at a time
I’ll take you all away
(Na-na-na-na-na-na)

He’s inside in the house
Looking for my room
Someone drank the glass of milk
That I’ve put on the floor
Have I been so bad
Santa will not bring me girts and…
Krampus will come
What is this noise on my door?

Watch out
The animal
Coming to get all the children
Faster
You’ve got to hide
Can’t run away from the darkness
Everybody wants to be good at Christmas
‘Cause nobody wants to be dragged by the Krampus
Everybody better be good at Christmas
Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-naughty Christmas

Everybody wants to be good at Christmas
Everybody better be good at Christmas

Krampus comes

Watch out
The animal
Coming to get all the children
Faster
You’ve got to hide
Can’t run away from the darkness
Watch out
The animal
Coming to get all the children
Faster
You’ve got to hide
Can’t run away from the darkness

Everybody wants to be good at Christmas
‘Cause nobody wants to be dragged by the Krampus
Everybody better be good at Christmas
Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-naughty Christmas
Everybody wants to be good at Christmas
‘Cause nobody wants to be dragged by the Krampus
Everybody better be good at Christmas
Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-naughty Christmas
(Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-naughty Christmas)

Written by Cristina Scabbia & Andrea Ferro

Krampus information click this Wiki link: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krampus

I’ve Started, So I’ll Finnish. (AXP) 2

Day 2 of our exciting* Alternative Xmas Playlist, and today’s feature choice comes from Finland’s excellent Hanoi Rocks; a great hair-metal band before hair-metal was really a thing. A glorious mixture of glam, punk, rock, pop, and sleaze, the band that Poison et al wished they could have been. Unfortunately the band broke up in 1985 after their drummer Razzle was killed in a car crash in December 1984, with Vince Neil from Motley Crüe behind the wheel.

The single was released before the band’s second album, 1981’s Oriental Beat, but neither the A or B-side were featured on album until the band’s third record, Self Destruction Blues, released in 1982. Dead By Xmas is a cheery, upbeat little sing-a-long for the whole family to enjoy.

Friday is the 13th, so to 24th is not so long to go
Though my face don’t show
My temperature is gettin’ too-o low
I’ve seen it all in a dream
I know just how it’s gonna feel
Like not to be alive anymore

I’ll be dead by X-mas now anyway
Tell me will you remember me that day
When you’ve found a new one who’s better than I ever was
I’ll be dead by X-mas now anyway
Please give all my things away
They’ll make great X-mas presents for you and for all my friends

It hurts so inside to see you with another from the edge of a cloud
Whatever happened to the promises that you gave
Before the angels took me away
Here I’m all dressed in white
While you’re drinking up my best red wine
And you don’t even realize I’m with you here all the time

It’s getting so lonely without you
And I’m sure I am jealous too to see another man in my bed
Be sure I can’t get no rest before you’re up there with me
Come up, come up, come up, come up

I’ve been dead since X-mas now anyway
So leave the flowers on my grave
There’s sure a way you could join me any day around now, honey
You’ll be dead by X-mas now anyway
You’ll Lay beside me in our family grave
We’ll be making love eternally, In a spiritual way

Dead by X-mas, dead and gone
X’mas is forever
We got a life to live, a life after death….

We’ll be dead by X-mas now anyway
We’ll sell everything away Dead by X-mas, dead and gone
X’mas is forever
We got a life to live, a life after death… lyrics & music Andy McCoy

*see AXP 1 for disclaimer.

Is Van the Man? (GDLIYWI) 15

Stuckonthemoonandicantgetabeer.
Thereisnospacebar.

Today’s album re-evaluation features that well known mardy arse Van Morrison and his 1974 live album, It’s Too Late To Stop Now. It features performances that were recorded in concerts at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, California; the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, and the Rainbow in London during Morrisons three month tour with his eleven piece band, the Caledonia Soul Orchestra, from May to July 1973. Frequently named as one of the best live albums ever, It’s Too Late to Stop Now was recorded during what has often been said to be the singer’s greatest phase as a live performer. Well let’s put that to the test, shall we.

Other than being a known moody git, all I know about Van the Man is the song Gloria, from his 60’s band Them, the Moondance and Astral Weeks albums and hearing Brown-Eyed Girl at every wedding, Xmas and birthday party I attended in the 80’s and 90’s. I still get PTSD every time I hear the opening bar of that song. Oh, and an ex-manager of mine, who loved Van, told me when he saw him live it was once of the worst shows he’d ever been to. So despite seeing all the plaudits for this album, I was a little apprehensive to listen to this album. I shouldn’t have been concerned, this is an absolute belter of a live album. Soulful, joyful and featuring some of the best interpretations of soul, blues and rock songs ever committed to vinyl. The slow, sultry rendition of Willie Dixon’s I Just Wanna Make Love To You is probably the best version I’ve ever heard and following that up with Sam Cooke’s Bring It On Home To Me is why CDs were made to exist. It’s just an exquisite 1-2 soul/blues punch that you are more than happy to take. Van’s own songs are probably some of the best versions I’ve heard: Domino, Caravan, Gloria, Saint Dominic’s Preview all stand head and shoulders over their respective studio cuts. I honestly can’t say enough great things about this record, it’s an upbeat, good time album full of great rock, blues and soul numbers performed by Van and his fantastic Caledonia Soul Orchestra.

So is it excessive? Only 1 of the 18 tracks is over 10 minutes, so it’s not excessive at all. Would I listen to it again? Most definitely! Would I recommend it? YES! If you’re after an album to lift your spirits and make you feel good all over then It’s Too Late To Stop Now is the album to do just that. Is there a drum solo? Don’t be silly! This is Van’s world, ain’t got no room for drum solos!

So for my first foray into live Van Morrison, I’m giving this a 9/10. An absolutely essential 70’s live double album and one you should listen to as soon as is humanly possible. TTFN!

Brace Yourselves, Xmas Songs Are Coming. (Alternative Xmas Playlist) 1

And so it begins…… are you sick and tired of the same old, same old Christmas ‘classics’ polluting your ears everytime you walk into a store, turn on the radio or the T.V.? Brassed off with Bing? Sick of Slade? Pissed off with the Pogues? Well rejoice my fair feathered friends, for I shall bring you a daily post of alternative Xmas (and Xmas-adjacent) songs; some you may have heard of, some may be new but none of them will be boring*. So sit back, relax, press play and enjoy the festivities. (*disclaimer: your enjoyment of the songs may differ from others’ enjoyment. The author of this blog takes no responsibility for any non-enjoyment you may encounter. If your non-enjoyment lasts for more than 4 hours, please consult a doctor to have your ears syringed).

It’s the 1st of December and what better way to kick off our Alternative Xmas Playlist than with this Xmas song courtesy of Italian band Nanowar of Steel, a parody-metal act with killer songs and crazy lyrics. Released in 2019 it tells the heart-warming tale of one man’s prayer to Odin for Xmas joy and Swedish furniture, and features a guest appearance by Angus McFife- lead singer of GloryHammer (imagine Warhammer/D&D fans making a power metal album). I like a band that makes you bang your head and laugh your ass off at the same time!

https://nanowarofsteel.bandcamp.com/music

[Nanowar of Steel]
I am drowning in a sea of desperation
And I sing a prayer to my Lord
Away from hope and systembolaget
And I sing a prayer to my Lord

I pray, I pray, yes I pray to my Lord!
I was down on my knees
Permafrost on my feet
I was begging in tears my holy Lord – Odin

Hear our prayer, philantropic Odin
Guitar tech of Amon Amarth
Viking-friendly, Slayer of the Giants
Guitar tech of Hammerfall as well

For the plunder and the rape we sing to you Valhalleluja
For the chopping of the heads we praise you Odin, our Lord
For Normandy, Britannia, Greenland, Scandinavia sing Valhalleluja
But for Nicaragua, Azerbaijan we don’t sing at all…
We don’t know where they are!

Valhalleluja!

(Shema Yiggrdasil) שְׁמַע יגְדרַשְׂאִל
(Odinai Eloheinu) אוֹדינַי אֵלוהֵינוּ⁠
(Odinai Ehad) אוֹדינַי אֶחַד

[Angus McFife]
Hear my voice this is Odin calling you
Times have changed, I’m a gentlegod
No more war just design of furniture
Master of IKEA

Just like Jesus I’m a carpenter
Forging shelves with the hammer of Thor
Gloria patri furnituribus
In nomine IKEA!

For the BEDDINGE and the KIVIK sing with me Valhalleluja
For the wooden TV bench with storage space and paper foil
For the pencils and the horse-meatballs we sing Valhalleluja
The ergonomics and the quality of your chairs
Are second to none

[Chorus]
Valhalleluja!

[Nanowar of Steel]
Our Father Odin
Who art in IKEA
We understood your message
We are here to worship your creation
Please listen our prayer

VITTSJÖ – Ora pro nobis
Laptop stand, black-brown, tempered glass
KNOPPARP
Small sofa with a big heart and a perfect fit
BESTÅ TV
Bench with doors, black-brown, grey-green
SLATTUM
Upholstered bed frame, Knisa light grey

[Chorus]
Valhalleluja
Gloria, gloria
Let us pray to Odin our Lord

Valhalleluja
Falegn-amen
Let us pray to Odin our Lord lyrics and music by Nanowar of Steel

Song facts: systembolaget is a government-owned chain of liquor stores in Sweden. It is the only retail store that is allowed to sell alcoholic beverages that contain more than 3.5% alcohol by volume. Falegn-amen is a play on the Italian word for carpenter/joiner falegname.

Making A Wish (GDLIYWI) 14

I threw a ball for my dog yesterday. I admit it was a little extravagant, but it was his 16th birthday.

Today’s double live album is from Britain’s Wishbone Ash, who are noted for their extensive use of harmony twin lead guitars. Their contributions helped Andy Powell and Ted Turner to be voted “Two of the Ten Most Important Guitarists in Rock History” (Traffic magazine 1989), and to appear in the “Top 20 Guitarists of All Time” (Rolling Stone). Several notable bands have cited Wishbone Ash as an influence, including Iron Maiden, Van Halen, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Thin Lizzy, Metallica, Dream Theater, Overkill and Opeth. Following the release of this album, founding member Ted  Turner left the band, resulting in a shift of the band’s musical approach. Live Dates is their first live album, released in 1973.

One of the earliest rock bands I got into was Wishbone Ash, especially the album Argus, one of the greatest rock records out there. The twin guitar sound, the solos, the songwriting hooked me as an 11 year old and I wanted to hear more. The first four albums, for me, are excellent hard rock/prog rock classics; they kind of lost me after today’s live album and each subsequent album has resulted in dimishing returns to me. Some really good songs are on those albums but overall they are not that essential. But enough negativity for now, let’s dive in and enjoy Live Dates.

As you may have already guessed, I really enjoyed this, I used to own the album so this wasn’t a big surprise for me. It felt really good to listen to this again and brought back a lot of real fine memories. The opening 3 tracks are featured on side 2 of Argus and set the tone for the record: the soaring solos, the rythym section from Martin Turner and Steve Upton keeping the whole thing anchored whilst the two guitarists (Ted Turner and Andy Powell) show why they are highly regarded with their tantalizing and melodic interplay. Throughout the four sides, the band show their chops, the pace never falters as the band plow through their classics: The King Will Come, Warrior, Throw Down The Sword, Blowing Free (from Argus alone), Jailbait and more.

So is it excessive? No, only 1 of the 11 tracks is over 10 minutes and it’s a great song to close the show with (Phoenix). Would I listen to it again? Most definitely. Would I recommend it? Totally. If you want to hear a band at its songwriting heights and some great dual guitar playing then this is for you. Is there a drum solo? No, and that’s always a plus.

The score for this one is a very respectable 8.5/10, I’m not too hot on Ballad of the Beacon nor Lady Whiskey but they don’t spoil my enjoyment of the record. I do highly recommend this album, it’s a great record from a great band. Thanks for coming along and TTFN.

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