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Friday, December 19, 2014

The 10 Best Punk Christmas Songs

Posted By on Fri, Dec 19, 2014 at 5:09 AM

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5. "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing," Bad Religion Bad Religion is a band of highly educated, articulate men in their fifties who for the last 30 years have insisted they are true punks and that their style of middle-class respectability can coexist with their animosity toward middle-class respectability. Bad Religion is so pure in its aesthetic that the band has played the same chord progression for that entire 30 years, albeit with subtle shifts to its rhythm, achieved by hiring an entirely new drummer on every other record. Let us be clear: You do not mess with Bad Religion. If you taunt Bad Religion, all six of them will pile into singer Greg Graffin's SUV and park outside your bedroom window. The entirety of its members will step out of Greg's SUV and cross their arms in the same intimidating manner they do on their album covers. Bad Religion will then shout, in unison so as to emasculate you, "Come on outside, tough guy! We're Bad Religion, and we're standing on your lawn!"

4. "White Christmas," Stiff Little Fingers SLF is almost too good of a band to play Christmas music, but it did, and the proof is in the video above.

3. "Oi to the World," the Vandals Like the guys in Bad Religion, these Huntington Beach punk veterans embodied the spirit of Christmas and suburban overcompensation by recording not just one Christmas song but an entire album's worth. We recommend "Christmastime for My Penis," another example of deft lyrical elegance. We also recommend seeing the Vandals live, because Josh Freese is an astounding drummer.

2. "Fuck Christmas," FEAR FEAR vocalist Lee Ving is a man who can crash house parties and drink for free because he looks like someone who tucks weapons into the lining of his leather jacket. As a paragon of pre-sensitivity training America, Ving always made his attitude toward the rest of the world explicit via lyrics and song titles such as "I Don't Care About You." When Guns N' Roses recorded that tune on its Spaghetti Incident record, FEAR became a band everyone cited as an influence but whom few people bothered to see once Ving reassembled the group. Maybe that's why Ving is cranky enough to sing a song called "Fuck Christmas." Or maybe it's because he grew up in Philadelphia. We like Christmas because gifts are fantastic, but we like Lee Ving better. Yet this is only our second favorite punk Christmas song. How come? Read on...

1. "Santa Claus Has Got the AIDS This Year," Tiny Tim Wait, Tiny Tim is "punk"? Sure he is, if you guys want to get academic. He self-recorded the bulk of his material, he spent decades playing in small clubs and, much like punk royalty the Misfits, he wore frightening make-up inspired by classic horror films. Wait, what's that? He wasn't wearing makeup at all? Sorry, Tiny Tim!

We call Tiny Tim "punk" because he was unapologetic in his derangement and cared little for what anyone thought of his collection of ukuleles, his preschooler falsetto, his garishly super-sized chin or his piercing, prison-sexy eyes. He gave so much to his music that he died after collapsing onstage. He's punk, dammit, and we don't care if you've been to 1,400 shows and first "got into" the music when you were eight years old (liar). We ran Tiny Tim's criteria through the U.S. Department of Music Credibility database, and he came back with a 92 percent Punk score.

As for the song: It's simple, it's offensive, it's clearly not the work of a Thinking Man, but it's as pure an effort at self-expression as anything those insecure bozos in Bad Religion have ever created.

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