I have a secret shame: I love Christmas music. Well, I reckon that’s not really a secret. Not only will I be DJing on KEXP Christmas Day (for the second year in a row) next week, but I even maintain a whole blog about the holidays. And prior to that, I published a Christmas fanzine for twelve years.
But I’m not alone in my fanaticism. In fact, it turns out one of my favorite bands is just as nutty for the Yuletide and all the trimmings as I am. When I reached out to New York garage rock titans The Fleshtones to discuss Stocking Stuffer, the first holiday record of their 32 year career, frontman Peter Zaremba and I wound up chewing the fat for ages. You can read the entire chat -- which runs the gamut of subjects from Advent to Pia Zadora -- at Festive! online.
Take it from an expert, there is a lot of weak Christmas music out there. And even the worthy classics get played to death. Stocking Stuffer is right up there with this year’s other notable Christmas discs, The Singing Saws At Christmastime by Julian Koster, and Rosie Thomas’ A Very Rosie Christmas. If the 6th Annual Yule benefit, with its stellar pair of Santa Clauses, left you in the mood for more seasonal cheer, you can’t go wrong with the Fleshtones’ inventive, and very spirited, Stocking Stuffer.
DJ El Toro is the host of the overnight show In Between Sleep & Reason, Wednesday mornings from 1 AM to 6 AM on KEXP 90.3 FM Seattle and kexp.org. His column, Weird At My School, appears every Monday on the KEXP Blog.