Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Merry X-mas Dammit From The Double Down Saloon (Wood Shampoo Records)

This was another CD that was sent to my P.O. Box last Christmas that I never found the time to review and as a result, I probably will never get into "the Happiest Place On Earth" in my lifetime. With Christmas, 2008 five weeks off, this is good a time as any to review it for people on the lookout for overlooked Christmas CDs.

The Double Down Saloon in Las Vegas has been voted one of America's top "dive bars" by Playboy Magazine and has been featured on televisions shows like Dave Attell's "Insomniac" and Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations". Last year, they teamed up with Wood Shampoo Records (also of Las Vegas) to release this comp at Christmas time.

According to the accompanying notes that came with this CD:

"On any given hour at the Double Down, you are as likely to find business types unwinding as you are jaded hipsters downing shots. 'Merry X-Mas Dammit' is much like the saloon itself, a genre blending a mix of punk, lounge, honky-tonk, noise, and more."

As Casey Kasem would say... "On with the countdown!"


1.) Murphy's Law - Sock It To Me Santa
Shades of Fishbone! A funky throwback song that grabs your attention right out of the gate!

2.) The Objex - Pastramikah
The band keeps it foot on the throttle and never lets up - all about a new end of the year holiday.

3.) Lonesome Spurs - Jingle Bells
A simple yet hardly plain rockabilly version - great singing and amazing guitar work throughout!

4.) Richard Cheese - Christmas In Las Vegas
"Rudolph sold the sled, now he's betting on red..." Loungey, Christmasey original from RC. Check out my review of his "Silent Nightclub" album!

5.) The Dirty Panties - Santa Baby
A punk version of Eartha Kitt's famous Christmas song? With an all-girl punk/garage band, it not only works but it plain kicks ass. Early vote for favorite song on the album.

6.) The Las Vegas All-Stars - X-Mess Medley
Hard-rocking garage medley of "Deck The Halls", "Jingle Bells", "Joy To The World", "O Christmas Tree", "O Come All Ye Faithful", "Silent Night", a snippet of "The Twelve Days of Christmas", and "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" - this is epic!

7.) Peccadilloes - Nuttin' For Christmas
Forget Smash Mouth - this is the meanest, gnarliest, and most savage version of this song out there! Wow!

8.) Evil Beaver - Blue Christmas
Originally from Chicago, IL (now based in L.A.), this hip version soon turns edgy and rockin'... Be sure to check out their excellent 2001 Christmas album.

9.) Bomboras - The Little Drummer Boy
GREAT JUMPIN' ICEBERGS! This instrumental ranks up there with Dick Dale and The Ventures! Man, o man!

10.) The Vermin - Santa Was A Cross Dressing Nazi
That's the beautiful thing about punk - you can't match its attitude! This is angry at 100 MPH and I loved every second of it!

11.) 1/2 Ast - Gay Christmas
The spirit of The Descendents is alive and well with this band. Exactly 1 minute and 1 second long, it's a musical rant from start to finish.

12.) The Clydesdale - Imo Shoot Me A Reindeer
"Hey look, up there in the sky! It's Santa Claus!" "WHERE?" =gunshot= This semi-rockabilly song had me chortling from that opening line until the ending... what a tune!

13.) Sparkler Dims - Xmas Time At The Double Down
Celebrating the holidays at "The Happiest Place On Earth"... good rocking song with lots of DD references!

14.) 2 Cents Worth - I'll Be Home For Christmas
A good garage version of this one. This was the only band I couldn't find a MySpace page for... are they still together?

15.) Suite 666 - Santa Blow Me
Another great Christmas punk original showcasing their displeasure with Santa. Fabulous punk sound.

16.) The Real Shames - Santa Claus
A great garage cover of The Sonics' great garage Christmas song.

17.) Thee Swank Bastards - Carol Of The Bells / God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Another great instrumental - heavy on the mood with the right touch of guitars!

After hearing this again, I must make an appointment with my family doctor to have my head examined. I must have a brain tumor or something that forced me not to listen to this last year. This is one damn good comp!

Fear not, this comp is still available to download at Amazon.com. Or you can get an actual CD copy from CDBaby. This collection of Christmas tunes will make any Christmas music lover sit up and take notice.

There's not one song that I didn't like in the entire bunch and I can listen to this repeatedly without getting bored - the true mark of a great Christmas CD. Thanks for sending it to us and I hope I won't get shanked if I ever visit the Double Down.



stubbysfears said...

Still available direct from the Double Down, too.


Anonymous said...

Thought this was neat
The Wave Benders: We Wish You a Merry Christmas


CaptainOT said...

Stubby - I was afraid if I visted the DD's website, they'd find me and track me down for the late review! Thanks for that info!

Anon - I have their original 1997 release on CD - a very good Christmas surf guitar record!

Anonymous said...

Have you heard of Kasio Kristmas? It's insane and I guess that they only used cheap Casio Instruments on the entire record.

Check it out.........hold on, I have to google them again

okay, they have their own website www.kasiokristmas.com

and they're also on myspace

Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm at the DD on a pretty regular basis and I didn't even know about this. Lots of great local Vegas bands repped here. Guess I know where I'll be this weekend with an extra $10 to burn. Not for nothing, but Thee Swank Bastards do surf rock covers of Black Sabbath that are aaaaamazing.

CaptainOT said...

Anon 7:06 PM - Thanks for the info on "KasioKristmas".

Anon 2:12 AM - Don't mention my name at the DD - they might shank ya!