Orbital and Low.
Gruff Rhys, Ethiopians, Breeders and Sho-
nen Knife, Frank Sidebottom, Sultans of Ping,
Röyksopp, Sufjan Stevens and Lips most Flaming...
Enough of this tomfoolery. Get on with it. Also, John brought props...
Frank Sidebottom - Christmas Is Really Fantastic
Originally released in 1986, there was a re-release in 2010 after the sad death of the man inside the enormous papier-maché head, Chris Sievey, and an associated campaign to get it into the charts. Frank's philosophy was that all songs should have proper endings, so they all ended like this one.
The Goons - I'm Walking Backwards For Christmas
From June 1956, with Spike Milligan on vocals and Peter Sellers at the piano and with the usual backing from the Ray Ellington Quartet. That's on the B-side of 'Bluebottle Blues', hence the reference to 'I thought that my side was better'. My dad had that on a 7" which now resides on my shelves.
Shonen Knife - All I Want For Christmas
Osaka's finest and their 1999 festive effort. That was written by Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore, but I guess it doesn't really fit their idiom.
Gruff Rhys - Post-Apocalypse Christmas
From the Super Furry Animals frontman's 2011 EP 'Atheist Christmas'. It's all well worth a listen.
Mighty Mighty Bosstones - This Time Of Year
Another band you wouldn't normally associate with the festive spirit, this is from 2007 and the album 'Medium Rare'.
Low - Just Like Christmas
One of my favourites from this time of year. This is off an EP called 'Christmas' which came out in 1999.
Sufjan Stevens - Get Behind Me, Santa!
Mr Stevens has done loads of festive collections. This is from 'Songs For Christmas volume 5' from 2006. He's up to volume 10 now.
Sultans Of Ping - Xmas Bubblegum Machine
It's not all about losing jumpers and giving people a yard of grass, y'know. This is the B-side to the 1993 single 'Michiko'.
Saint Etienne - Unwrap Me
One of my favourite bands, this is off a compilation of their many christmas-themed songs called 'A Glimpse of Stocking' which came out a couple of years ago.
The Ethiopians - Ding Dong (Christmas Bell)
One of the best things ever are Trojan Records' christmas compilations. Nothing says christmas to me like a bit of ska. This is from the one released in 2003, though the song first appeared in 1968.
Jacques Dutronc - Le Fille De Père Noël
Dutronc's first two albums were called 'Jacques Dutronc', rather unhelpfully. This is off the first of those, from 1966. The son of Father Christmas, in case you couldn't work it out.
Dr Dog - Christmas Party
Bit of a Beach Boys theme to it, which is never a bad thing. That's from the new EP 'Oh My Christmas Tree' which is out now.
The Breeders - Christmas Song
Recorded for a Pee Wee Herman TV show, that's basically Cannonball, their big hit, with bells on. And none the worse for it.
The Flaming Lips - Christmas At The Zoo
From back in 1995 off the 'Clouds Taste Metallic' album. Because we've all wondered what happens when the zoo is closed.
The Knife - Christmas Reindeer
Something a bit avant-garde, from these Stockholm avant-guardians. The song Reindeer came out in 2001 in the album 'The Knife', but like The Breeders previously, added some bells to christmas it up.
Röyksopp - Le Cantique Du Noël
Keeping it Scandinavian, this is their version of a French carol which dates back to 1847. Relaxing...
They Might Be Giants - Santa's Beard
Remember these? Well they're still around and putting new stuff out. This is from 2001 and the EP 'They Might Be Giants In Holidayland'.
The Gresham Flyers - Perfect Christmas Snow (Perfect Christmas Kiss)
I've been after this for ages. It came out in 2010 and I've not been able to put my hands on it until just now. It's on an EP called 'Merry Christmas From The Gresham Flyers' which is available as a pay-what-you-like download from their bandcamp page. I flippin' well love this record. Bloody ace.
Orbital - Christmas Chime
This year's must-have christmas single. Another one that's a reworking of an older track, in this case 1990's Chime, with additional bells. Go get it. Download it from iTunes now. Do it and do it often. Get it into the charts. Resistance is futile.
Half Man Half Biscuit - All I Want For Christmas Is A Dukla Prague Away Kit
It is not ever christmas until you've heard this, but now that you have, you are officially allowed to get festive. Best christmas record ever? Possibly.
Here's your YouTube extravaganza, apart from the Gresham Flyers track which is above:
And that's it for 2013. We're off for two weeks, but will be back in the New Year with more of what's good for your ears.
Before we depart though, here's last year's festive playlist for those that may have missed it.