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Mulled wine and radio crime


Christmas music has a long and surprisingly contentious history. At first, only Latin dirges and chants were thought the proper way to celebrate the chosen day when the powers that be decided Christ was really born. Of course everyone hip knows that it was another example of the marketing genius behind all successful faiths, cults and consumer brands. The Winter Solstice had long been a festive time for not just the Romans, but also most of the less well bathed cultures across the known world. In the 13th Century St. Francis of Assisi decided that people singing about the brand in their local tongue and style was sort of OK. Thus the Carol emerged. But it too was built on older, funkier foundations. The idea of going house to house singing in hopes of cash, booze or food is actually called "Wassailing" and was a sort of medieval welfare thing where rather than begging, a sonic ritual was performed before the Lord of the Manor (ie a man with shoes) who then gives stuff. Lovely. Might just try that myself round Chelsea. But one thing no self-respecting music lover should give to anyone is any kind of Christmas album or single. This genre is wassailing in reverse, with rich musos collecting cash and imposing themselves on the working class of today. In my case, the first overplayed syrupy note of The Fairytale of New York emerging from a taxi radio is a warning to Leave Town Immediately. As a chintz and tinsel powered orgy of crass consumerism, seleb infested tear jerker adverts and false harmony descends like an angry plastic God to remind me of the passing of another damn disappointing year. Be sure to check your stocking for coal, reindeer muck and the likes of Rod Stewart's Merry Christmas Baby. With a track listing that reads like an office party nightmare, Rod scrapes the barrel again to part the tasteless from their lucre. But at least that saucy, cynical "we both know I'm not wearing underwear" look offers some kind of counterpoint. Less can be said of Michelle Bubbly, a drippy modern day crooner genetically designed to moisten the desire of late middle aged provincial housewives and freaky sad clown closet cases. We promise if any Xmas Tracks infect the Rat Racks they will be fun, freaky and unexpected. But also few and far between as we have plenty more to lay on you this Saturday...!More from the Soul and Jazz collection from last week; New York City, Shirley Brown, Letta Mbulu, Richard Tee, Harold Melvin....Classic Rock LPs on repress but nice; VU, Lou Reed, Stones, Dylan, Byrds Kinks....Also, check the back wall for a great selection of ORIGINAL Stones, Beatles, Small Faces LPs, from £10Pete is still pricing a lot from the old school Hip Hop buy. Don't sleep on it..!

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