A Day Without A Gay? No problem. I was willing to give up my show on KEXP this week in support of the cause. But a Day Without Christmas? No way. In the spirit of today's protest, here are two recent tracks by queer colleagues, just to remind everyone that it isn't just the Jews who write all the best Christmas songs.
The first is "Untitled (For Christmas)," a track by electronic producer Circlesquare that has been popping up quietly at holiday time since 2005. His new album, Songs About Dancing and Drugs is finally coming out in January, and it sounds smashing.
Circlesquare — "Untitled (For Christmas)"
Our second selection is "Dear Santa, Don't Come to My House" by the moth wranglers, as featured in the recent motion picture How About You. We asked one-half of the duo, Mr. LD Beghtol, to tell us a little about the genesis of this tune, which features the delightful Kendall Jane Meade (of Mascott). Here's what he had to say...
several years ago i was invited by scott lunt (aka dj starfire) to come to duluth minnessota and play at a christmas show he was organzing at this cool old 1930s movie theater. scott is immortalized as the ambulance driver in low's song "starfire" and he's an extremely sweet, intelligent gent and an all-round music lover. i was thrilled to be asked, as low were headlining and i was also going to be able to record with the band rivulets (nathan amundson's project) while i was there. so i started preparing various winter songs to play, including "how winter kills" by yaz, and this terrific old victorian parlour ballad "the fatal wedding" - a dead-baby classic - in addition to various flare songs. i wanted to write a seasonal song of my own to sing, but i never could quite work out the athiest anthem to end all athiest anthem so i was stuck. then i saw a painting in an illustration annual of this sort of daddybear father christmas that was obviously geared at adult males of a certain and peculiar bent -- it was very chaste compared to a tom of finland or rob clarke drawing, and beautifully rendered in this grand classical style. But still it was this totally sexy pipe-smoking santa with a perfect silvery beard, really great boots (which looked suspiciously like wesco's to me), and a huge BLACK (obviously leather) sack of 'toys'... the contents of which was left to the viewers imagination. santa's own package was also prominently displayed. my first thought was: oh my goodness, if i'd seen this as a disturbed young child i would have died a quick and early death. i mean, it really was so sexual and yet so blandly serene and traditional if you couldn't read the clues.
so after brooding a bit about all this, i sat down and came up with the lyric to DEAR SANTA pretty quickly - it's a kid's letter to the old man himself, protesting rather too much -- it's all about attraction and repulsion, isn't it? the nicely banal brill building melody pretty much came simultanously with the words. next day i worked out the chords and all, and a few days later i sang it to the assmbled duluthians at this wonderful old venue. it was extremely well received, actually, and so it went into my reperatory.
next i played it for my moth wranglers partner chris xefos and we decided to make it an MW song. recording eventually commenced, and when matt jacobson at le grand magistery asked if i had a song for his A VERY MAGISTERY CHRISTMAS comilation (2005), i thought it would be great fun to ask kendall meade (of the band mascott) to sing lead on what had bascially become a uke & casio verison of phil specter's christmas album... she's such a great singer, and having a girl sing what was meant to be a little boy's santa-fetish song was just that much sicker, i thought.
anyhow, there are about 20 tracks of chris and me doing the beach boys in the background - and it was all we could do to not burst into hysterics while singing the fa-la-las. now it's ended up on this irish feature film HOW ABOUT YOU because the music director heard the track on itunes and wanted it. and who am i to say no to joss ackland and vanessa redgrave?
moth wranglers — "Dear Santa"