Flea’s Navidad!

12 Dec

Cee Lo's Magic MomentEach year I add a few songs to my Christmas playlist to keep it from getting stale. This year, Cee Lo’s Magic Moment was added to the stack. Mr. Green can truly sing, which puts him bald head and shoulders above a lot of other folks doing retreads of old favorites. Skip the dreadful duet with Xtina on “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” listen to his tune with The Muppets just once for the kids, then put all the rest into heavy rotation. I hope next year he does a cover of “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”. I bet Darlene Love would feel comfortable passing the torch to him.

Last year, when I was shopping at a vintage clothing store in Ferndale during the holidays, I heard a tune that made me put down the polyester and listen. It was a surf guitar version of “The Little Drummer Boy” that sapped the saccharine out of the Christmas chestnut, making the song not only tolerable but really fun. When I got home I searched for “Christmas album” and “Dick Dale” and came up with nothing. But Google finally delivered the goods: it was track #12 off of  Tis the Season for Los Straightjackets! (Buy it now for $5 on Amazon … or, if buying music is repugnant to you, it’s also on Spotify.)

los straitjacketsLos Straightjackets are an instrumental outfit from Nashville that came up around the time that Quentin Tarantino put surf guitar back on the map by kicking off the title sequence of Pulp Fiction with Dick Dale’s “Miserlou.” At some point they came across a box of Mexican wrestling masks and adopted them as their uniform. Truthfully I haven’t heard any of their original material; for all I know they only play covers (including a version of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” that has to be heard to be believed).

(When we lived in San Francisco, we’d occasionally see Mexican wrestling masks in the stores in the Mission but I never saw an actual luche libre match on television. What I did watch religiously with my daughter was Mucha Lucha, a fairly demented cartoon on the WB featuring the exploits of child wrestlers Buena Girl, Rikochet and the Flea as they attend the Foremost World-Renowned International School of Lucha. While other moms were playing Barbie princess with their little girls, I’d be on the couch making my kid giggle by announcing, “I am de Flea!”)

So, as we move into the last laps around the calendar before Christmas, give Los Straightjackets a spin and let me know what songs put you in the Yuletide spirit these days.

See you in the New Year if not before … Happy Holidays!

Bonus! Who knew that Mucha Lucha had a Christmas special? Someone who downloaded the entire episode to YouTube, that’s who. Here’s Part Uno:

And here’s Part Dos:

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4 Responses to “Flea’s Navidad!”

  1. Every Record Tells A Story December 12, 2012 at 3:29 am #

    Thank you! Was looking for songs to top up my Christmas playlist. I like Los Straitjackets.

  2. Defending Axl Rose December 12, 2012 at 10:30 am #

    I love Los Straitjackets! They have two albums of covers that are pretty amazing (including that Nirvana song)But they also have a bunch of original songs. Do I need to tell you they’re all on Spotify?

    • lpon45 December 12, 2012 at 10:35 pm #

      (Sigh …) Yes, yes, yes, Spotify … I know, I need to use it more often. I just get antsy because I don’t want to spam my Facebook friends with what I’m listening to every five minutes. Clearly I need to adjust the settings.

      Glad you liked the post and the muchachos from Los Straitjackets! Another friend has seen them live; hopefully they’ll tour their new album out this way.

      • Defending Axl Rose December 13, 2012 at 9:29 am #

        Oooh! I’d like to see them. I really like surf guitar music, it’s just not something that seems to be done much anymore. Shame.

        Anyway, I dig these guys with their lucha-style and humor. Big props for spreading the word on these guys (and doing so in a holiday post!)

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