Sonic Stocking Stuffers

Spice up your holiday party with these adventurous audible treats.

  • Category
    Homes
  • Written by
    Rich Thomas

Everyday Is Christmas

Sia | (Atlantic)

Probably the best contemporary Christmas album released in the last few years, and it doesn’t contain any covers. “Santa’s Coming For Us” sounds like a holiday re-rub of the Bewitched theme song. “Ho Ho Ho” is a raucous stein-swinger that name-checks all your favorite spirits. And “Puppies Are Forever” has really nothing to do with Christmas but is pretty much a universal truth and is guaranteed to put you in a good mood. Sia is a gifted songwriter with a magical voice, and this is definitely a new classic you’ll play every season.


Christmas is 4 Ever

Bootsy Collins | Shout Factory

What’s Christmas without a little funk? Bootsy serves up 13 tracks on this offering, most of which are tongue-in-cheek reworkings of old standards. Instead of “The Christmas Song” we get “Chestnutz,” “Winter Wonderland” becomes “Winterfunkyland,” and Santa Claus isn’t necessarily coming to town—he’s just coming. Christmas is 4 Ever isn’t for everyone, but Bootsy has never been a conventional cat. Who else is going to include a voicemail from Bishop Don “Magic” Juan and a guest vocal from Snoop Dogg? Not Michael Bublé, that’s for sure.




Christmas With Weezer

Weezer | DGC/Interscope

The songs on this six-track EP were originally created for an iOS game, and the total running time is just over 12 minutes—but it’s a solid assortment of tunes to sprinkle into a playlist. The best part is the songs featured—“O Come All Ye Faithful,” “O Holy Night,” “The First Noel,” “Silent Night,” “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” and “We Wish You A Merry Christmas”—are usually the types of songs you’d skip over in a traditional Christmas mix. But Weezer’s big guitars and Rivers’ emo swagger make ‘em irresistible.


Kaskade Christmas

Kaskade | Columbia

On the dance floor, Kaskade is known for bringing the euphoric EDM feels, but this collection is free of big-room bangers. Instead Kaskade parlays his crisp, immaculate production into soulful collaborations with female vocalists like Erika Sirola, Skylar Grey and Jane XØ. If everything I’ve just said sounds like a completely different language, just imagine the safe, poppy feeling you get when you hear any Maroon 5 song. Kaskade delivers the same type of vibe.




Verve Remixed/Unmixed Christmas

Various Artists | Verve Records

When the party requires the classics but you still need some flavor, cue up this compilation. Mel Tormé, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong and other greats get a few subtle retouches—and some complete overhauls—from beatsmiths like Wax Tailor, The Orb, Fink, The Heavy and Brazilian Girls. If things get too weird, back off the remixes and let the originals warm up the room … but you really can’t go wrong with Verve. Their Very Best of Christmas Jazz compilation is a holiday essential.

 

 

More Stories
Eat & Drink

5 Things You Should Order From Loteria Grill in Studio City

We’ll admit it, the two-story strip mall at Laurel Canyon and Ventura, as known as Laurel Promenade, doesn’t first come to mind when thinking about dining.  First, it’s a dominating structure at one of the busiest intersections in the valley.  Second, the seemingly sparse parking is, well, daunting.  This week, however, we decided to venture […]

Eat & Drink

What Happened to John O’Groats?

Many readers have written asking why John O’Groats suddenly closed on August 24. I finally got in touch with owner Paul Tyler about what led to the closure. “I can sum up the reasons for our closure with two words—too big,” says Paul, who explained that Encino was open for breakfast, lunch and dinner with a full-service […]

People, Social Scene

Fall Breakouts

From books to TV, here are some local endeavors worth falling for.