Back when MTV played music videos (remember those?), this time of year was reserved for playing the best… and worst Christmas classics that pop culture had to offer. Even though the days of Christmas tunes playing on TV until 3 am are over, the art of the Christmas music video has never gone away. To celebrate, Starpulse has put together a small collection of yuletide joy to celebrate the season. Eat that MTV.
Bob Dylan - "Must Be Santa"
Who would have guessed that Bob Dylan threw such bitching Christmas parties? The lead single off of Bob Dylan's strange new Christmas album "Christmas from the Heart," his rendition of "Must Be Santa" is a madhouse polka romp with a video showing him parading around a house in a blonde wig as old men mingle with women half their age. And of course, no party at the Dylan house is complete without someone jumping out of a window.
Buster Poindexter - "Zat You Santa Claus"
In the late 1980s, New York Dolls
frontman David Johansson swapped out his wardrobe of undersized women's clothing and generous supply of heroin for a tuxedo and a dry martini. This goofball Christmas classic merges a Reagan-era desire for a ritzy New York lifestyle despite a constant fear of being burgled by a man dressed like Santa Claus.
Tom Waits - Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis
Before Tom Waits was the gruff voiced troubadour of the apocalypse, much of his work was vignettes of the hard lives of the country's crooks, thieves and lowlifes. So it shouldn't be surprising that his one Christmas song outlines a rough Minneapolis prostitute and her hopes to better herself after a life marred with drug abuse, poverty and misfortune. His rendition of "Silent Night" is oddly beautiful as well--like a drunken house pianist falling asleep at his piano on Christmas Eve in an empty bar.
Hall & Oates - Jingle Bell Rock
This video is worth watching for John Oates' constant look of wide-eyed wonderment alone.
Run DMC - Christmas in Hollis
When it comes to hip hop Christmas songs, the choice is fairly slim. Something about Christmas cheer doesn't bode well with the genre's relatively tough, glamorous image. Leave it to Run DMC to throw all that out the window with "Christmas in Hollis," which is not only an amusingly novel marriage of hip hop sentiment with Christmas cheer, it has a pretty sick Clarence Carter sample to boot.
Julian Casablancas - I Wish It Was Christmas Today
Even though The Strokes
are basically caput (there should be a new album next year… maybe), Julian Casablancas gave fans a little Christmas gift this year with his blistering rendition of the SNL favorite "I Wish it Was Christmas Today." The only thing it's missing is Tracy Morgan
doing that weird dance that accompanied the original.
Dolly Parton - I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas
You can see why Dolly Parton was perfect for her role as a southern belle beautician in "Steel Magnolias
" when watching this low budget video of her version of "White Christmas." Parton looks like someone's aunt in this video as she transitions from country everygirl into a sequined glamour shots queen in a scant two minutes. Parton may have turned herself into a cartoon over the past 30 years, but there's something oddly cute about that woman.
Chris Brown - This Christmas
I punched my girlfriend. Merry Christmas.
The Wombles - Wombling Merry Christmas
Sometimes it seems like the English have the weird children's show market cornered, but even they've outdone themselves with The Wombles. A group of giant anthropomorphic mice rocking out to a bad Christmas song might be breaking into some sort of horrible new dimension of children's entertainment.
Sufjan Stevens - Put the Lights on the Tree
For the better part of the last decade, indie crossover sensation Sufjan Stevens produced exclusive holiday themed EPs as gifts for friends and family. As his popularity grew, Stevens shared these gifts with fans in his box set collection "Songs for Christmas." Pulled from his 2002 Christmas EP, "Put The Lights on the Tree" is likely the best example of Stevens ability to blend saccharine Christmas cheer with his unique brand of swirling whimsy.
Story by Kris King
Starpulse contributing writer