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This Warm December – A Brushfire Holiday Vol. 1

2008-12-19 08:35
A Brushfire Holiday Vol. 1
I'll come right out and say it: I'm a Grinch. A Scrooge of the "Bah, humbug!" variety. A Christmas killjoy. Come November, when the tinsel starts adorning every shop window, I’m already having mild panic attacks anticipating the glut of consumerism to follow. And by the time you can't turn around in a public space without tripping over a Christmas tree, I'm ready to move to Israel. As far as I'm concerned, the only way to survive a shopping mall in December is with an iPod cranked up to 11 to drown out the barrage of Christmas carols. It is with a healthy dose of chagrin, therefore, that I find myself listening to a disk of Christmas carols that I would actually willingly put onto that iPod.

This Warm December is a helping of Christmas-themed songs collected from Jack Johnson and his cohorts at Brushfire Records. Some, like Johnson’s “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” are classics that have been covered in that signature surfer-chill style. Others, like Money Mark’s “Stuck at the Airport” are original songs. The common theme (apart from Christmas, of course) is a laid-back vibe that works perfectly for those of us blessed to be enjoying the festive season in balmy climes.

It's not an album that'll make any Essential Listening lists, but if it's pleasant background tunes that you're looking for, you could certainly do worse. Some of the standout tracks include Zee Avi's beautifully treacly "No Christmas For Me" and the stoner-funk of G. Love's "Christmas Baby". And as for Jack Johnson, his two contributions deliver more of his predictable style – no surprises there. I must admit that I prefer the album’s original songs over the traditional carols, even if they have been reworked to make them palatable. But heck, these tunes can induce a mood good enough to make even me wish a shop assistant a Merry Christmas without a trace of sarcasm.

All of which makes it a great disc to play at a holiday braai, giving the festive season a stylish nod without succumbing to a rabid display of Christmas-themed hysteria.


goda 2008-12-19 10:58 AM
  • Rating:
Yes. I was in Click the other day, together with, by the way, a mostly moslem clientelle, and the fact that I couldn't find tampons in the usual places was made even more annoying by having to listen to a 10 minute gospel version of Jingle Bells the whole time. Crazy. If they have to play this crap, at least make it good crap.

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