Top 10 Best Christmas Songs of 2011:
10. Princess Superstar "Xmas Swagger"
Granted, Princess Superstar's holiday offering is reasonably corny -- just check that ridiculously cheerful acoustic guitar and those wide-eyed West Coast synth bends -- but what Christmas classic isn't? The rapper half spits about her favourite parts of the December boom, from parades and sledders to Santa hat-sporting Chippendales dancers, before launching into a joyful and triumphant chorus of "I love Christmas, I love Santa / I love you, baby, and your Christmas swagger." Will it remain a holiday staple? Probably not, but it's pretty fun for now.
9. Apollo Ghosts "Honky Tonk's Blue Christmas"
It's not so much the arrangement that's odd with this one -- it plays just the same as takes by Elvis or Porky Pig -- but the fact that Vancouver Apollo Ghosts act as the backing band for ECCW wrestler the Honky Tonk Kid, which weirds this one up tenfold. Add to that a mid-section where the Kid dishes that despite his daddy leaving him in the trailer park all those years ago, he's turned into a pretty kick-ass brawler, and you've got yourself an unconventional Christmas hit.
8. The Evaporators "Who Are You?"
Nardwuar the Human Serviette starts this one off in full-on journo mode, grilling some jolly old soul about their red and white get-up before coming to the conclusion that it's Saint Nick himself. Though full of garage punk bounce, between the Nard's nearly indecipherable helium squeak and a mid-track freakout of scorching solos and fast-forward drum fills, the Evaporators' Xmas entry ends up being one of their wildest numbers ever.
You can get "Who Are You?" here as part of Ho Ho Ho Canada III.
7. The Killers "The Cowboys' Christmas Ball"
The Killers may not have released a full-length these last few years, but the Las Vegas band sure get a kick out of offering Christmas-themed cuts. Their latest, the C&W-style "The Cowboys' Christmas Ball," however, is out-of-leftfield as they come. A barn-burning shuffler that finds Brandon Flowers adopting a western accent to deliver lines about heifer rustlin' near the holidays, the song skips out on sleigh bells in favour of some fine fiddling and chuck wagon drum rolls. And the video, which distills the concept of Cowboys & Aliens into a much more manageable three and a half minutes, is pretty damn festive.