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Now in our eleventh calendar year!
PCR #561 (Vol. 11, No. 52). This edition is for the week of December 20--26, 2010.

"True Grit"  by Michael Smith
Deck The Halls With The Off The Wall!  by Terence Nuzum
A Very Fanboy Christmas 2010  by ED Tucker
Five Deadly Venoms  by Jason Fetters
You're Gonna Need A Bigger Sleigh .... Challenging! .... In The Beginning .... Famous Firsts .... January 1967 .... My Own Top 10 .... I'd Like To Thank The Academy .... Breaking Up Is Hard To Do .... Mike's Record Shelf  by Mike Smith

The Audio Philes by Terence Nuzum

Deck The Halls With The Off The Wall!

Album of the Month Various Artists: Where Will You Be Christmas Day?: .  

Hands down the best Christmas album compilation of all time is this gem from Dust To Digital Records. Showcasing Christmas-themed songs from 1920's, 30's, and 40's this is great stuff. There is the typical, Bessie Smith's "At The Christmas Ball", "Jingle Bells" by Maddox Brothers and Rose, "Christmas is A Coming" by Leadbelly, and the just damn off the wall cool stuff like "Papa Ain't No Santa Claus (And Mama Ain't No Christmas Tree) by Butterbeans and Susie, the calypso number "Christmas is a Joyful Day" by Lord Executor, and my favorite Leroy Carr's "Christmas In Jail". My personal favorite Christmas album.

Reverend Horton Heat: We Three Kings.  

One of the best unconventional Christmas albums you can find. It starts out with a swarmy sound lounge jam before Jim Heath and company burst out some red hot rockabilly on the classic tune "Frosty the Snowman" and you know you are in for a holiday treat. "Jungle Bells" is probably the best rock version of said song I have heard and The Ventures version is pretty damn cool so that's no easy feat. The usual novelty numbers are present with Heath's wacky psychobilly sense of humour like on "Santa Looked Alot Like Daddy" and "Santa On The Roof". If you are a rockabilly fan and you are spending Xmas with your hot rod angel this is the perfect soundtrack.

The Ventures: The Ventures' Christmas Album.  

The kings of instrumental guitar deliver the coolest Christmas album ever. From the driving sleek take on "Santa Claus is Coming To Town" to one of the most definitive rock versions of "Jingle Bells" The Ventures' Christmas Album is the yuletide LP for those who can't stand Bing Crosby. Walk don't run to the rum balls!

Bob Dylan: Christmas In The Heart -- What's weirder than craggy-voiced, 60-something-year-old Bob Dylan singing nice holiday classics? Not much. But for my money it's the ultimate Christmas party eye brow raiser. "Hark The Herald Angels Sing" sounds like a boozed out hobo wailing more than it does a religious hymn and "Here Comes Santa Claus" is just downright disturbing. The best song (and music video) is "Must Be Santa", a Cajun zydeco flavored rave up that is just the awesomest. My pick for the ultimate Christmas Album for lovers of the offbeat.

and of course.....

The Top 10 Albums of 2010 (least to greatest)

10.Hole: Nobody's Daughter
9.Vampire Weekend: Contra
8.Black Mountain: Wilderness Heart
7.School of Seven Bells: Disconnect From Desire
6.MGMT: Congratulations
5.Arcade Fire: The Suburbs
4.Wolf Parade: Expo 86
3.Swans: My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky
2.The Walkmen: Lisbon
Album of the Year- The National: High Violet

just bubbling under...

11. The Gaslight Anthem: American Slang
12. The Corin Tucker Band: 1,000 Years
13. Bruce Springsteen: The Promise
14. Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse: present Dark Night of the Soul
15. Band of Horses: Infinite Arms
16. The Black Keys: Brothers
17. Jimi Hendrix: Valleys of Neptune
18. Sufjan Stevens: The Age of Adz
19. Danzig: Deth Red Sabaoth
20. The Roots: How I Got Over

That's it for this year have a Merry Christmas and play it fucking loud.......!!!

To comment on this or any other PCR article, please visit The Message Board. "The Audio Philes" is ©2010 by Terence Nuzum.   All graphics (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2010 by Nolan B. Canova.