It’s an Indie Rock Christmas, Charlie Brown! Parasol Records collects 16 exclusive tracks for their first full-length holiday album, named for Erik Voeks’ classic seven-inch, the title track of which leads off this comp. It’s a fine effort as Christmas music goes — nothing that’s too intrusive to play as background music at your Yuletide gathering (except perhaps White Town’s intentionally corrosive “Merry Fucking Christmas,” but even that is pretty atmospheric) which is what most folks would buy something like this for, I’d assume. Highlights include Elizabeth Elmore’s snowy, simple version of “White Christmas,” Angie Heaton’s lo-fi take on Dolly Parton’s “Hard Candy Christmas,” Vitesse’s Joy Division/early-New Order-like “The Last Days of December,” Toothpaste 2000’s nutty, angular “I Wish That Everyday Was Christmas,” and Shalini’s garage-y instrumental “Nutrocker.” In all though, nothing’s bad here, just good holiday music that’s a lot hipper than grandpa’s Bing Crosby records… or “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer,” for that matter.
Parasol Records, 905 S Lynn St, Urbana, IL 61801; http://www.parasol.com