For those of you in the "scene" who need a break from the Sufjan Stevens Christmas discography, I present to you ten songs that will send you running straight back into his folk-rock arms. For some of these tracks, the horror is exacerbated by the music videos themselves, which I encourage you to watch at your leisure. They may not all be indie, but they certainly make for some "alternative" listening.
1. Bob Dylan - "Must Be Santa"
May I remind you that he won the Nobel Prize in Literature this year. Granted, he didn't write the song, but no one forced him to wear that creepy wig, either. Are you not entertained?
2. Justin Bieber & Busta Rhymes - "Drummer Boy"
Maybe this one is an easy target, but Busta Rhymes' incongruous rap intermissions are what really tie the whole thing together: Playing for the king, playing for the title/I'm surprised you didn't hear this in the Bible. Yeah, me too.
3. Band Aid 20 - "Do They Know It's Christmas?"
Step back to that innocent time when Chris Martin, high off the release of A Rush of Blood to the Head but on the verge of naming his daughter Apple, was still cool, and watch your favorite stars of 2004 try to breathe life into this saccharine-sweet 80's classic. Disclaimer: it's only okay to laugh at the parts that don't feature starving children.
4. The Killers - "Don't Shoot Me Santa"
Remember when we wondered whatever happened to the Killers? Apparently Brandon Flowers has been wrapped in tinsel, growing a really bad mustache, riding in a convertible hijacked by Santa on a lonely desert road in what is the ultimate sad culmination of his faux-British accent Americana dream. Who knew?
5. New Kids on the Block - "Funky Funky Christmas"
Because nothing says "funky Christmas" like five white guys tooling around on a sled.
6. Fall Out Boy - "Yule Shoot Your Eye Out"
Right before Fall Out Boy announced their hiatus that should have remained indefinite, their bloated self-image exploded into a Greatest Hits compilation, which featured (among other questionable things) the whiniest emo boy Christmas song ever written. As it was 2009, I played it on a loop.
7. Cee Lo Green feat. The Muppets - "All I Need is Love"
What is Cee Lo even doing here? He wasn't invited to their Christmas party but the Muppets are totally cool with it? Why are they throwing dead fish around? This video left me with more questions than answers.
8. The xx - "Last Christmas"
At the risk of offending everyone who likes the xx, I think this whispery indiecore rendition is what drunk and lonely you sounds like singing this song.
9. Smashing Pumpkins - "Christmastime"
Listen to megalomaniac Billy Corgan despondently insist that he is in full Christmas spirit while singing like a Tickle Me Elmo that got stepped on. Why this wasn't canonized as a classic has yet to be determined.
10. David Hasselhoff - "The Christmas Song"
Alternate title: let's all pretend like we didn't see David Hasselhoff wig out and drunkenly eat a cheeseburger back in 2007. No one looks quite as ecstatic as he does.