Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Object of geek desire: geeky Christmas music to make your season bright

Christmas is a little over a week away, loyal readers, and that means it's time to turn your thoughts to everything that makes the season warm and bright.

For many, this means 'Christmas music' ...but as anyone unfortunate enough to wander past a radio in the last decade can tell you, holiday music really hasn't really gone out of its way to update itself for a more modern audience.

Thankfully, exceptions to this rule exist and your pal at Kawaiian Punch is here to recommend a choice albums of geeky Christmas songs.  It might not be as exciting as last week's guide Geek lingerie shopping guide, but it's probably safer for your search history.

1. Anything by Sir Christopher Lee

Is there anything better than heavy metal Christmas songs sung by a 91-year-old former Dracula?  My sources say no, and Saruman the White continues his tradition of grandiloquent metal vocals with another installment of Christmas cheer.

He brought joy to the world last year with metal renditions of Little Drummer Boy and Silent Night, and this year he's released another EP dubbed Heavy Metal Christmas Too.  Unfortunately, it's only got one Christmas song on it (the awesomely named "Jingle Hell") while the other song is a bizarre cover of Sinatra's "My Way"... but who cares?  Jingle Hell!

2. 8-bit Jesus

Chiptune Christmas music sounds great in theory, and it sounds even better when it's delivered by the intrepid Philly chiptune artist Dr. Octoroc. Admittedly, 8-Bit Jesus is hardly a new album (it was released way back in 2009) but if you're looking for short, chirpy renditions of your favorite Christmas songs heard through the style of some of the best NES games ever released, you'll have a tough time topping this one.

Notable tracks include "Icarus! The Angels Sing", "Kraid Rest Ye Merry Mother Brain", and - of course - "Have Yourself A Final Little Fantasy".

3. Noel-loid & Noel-loid 2

The polar opposite of 8-Bit Jesus, there's not a single traditional Christmas song to be heard on Noel-loid.   Instead, a handful of talented Vocaloid producers use Hatsune Miku and a handful of other Vocaloids to bring the world an album full of Christmas-inspired music.

Unfortunately, Noel-loid never saw an international (or digital...) release and so the best way to order it is to order import it from Japan for $30 or drop someone like your pal here at Kawaiian Punch an email.

Last year, a proper sequel album - Noel-loid 2 - hit the usual distribution channels in Japan, but that one's proved even harder to track down if you live over seas.

4. Square Enix's X'mas Collection

"Chocobo's Happy Christmas" and a holiday remix of FFVIII's "Golden Saucer" theme?  What's *not* to like here?

The fact that, unfortunately, like Noel-loid, this one never saw a release outside of Japan.  If you're desperate to add this bit of Square Enixia to your holiday music collection, you can either order it from Amazon.co.jp or take the faster - and less ethical - route.

5. Oxhorn's Christmas for Geeks

I keep telling myself that I'll skip Oxhorn's Christmas for Geeks every year as World of Warcraft's popularity is waning and its influence on popular culture is dwindling as a result... but it's impossible to overlook this geeky gem of a holiday album with its WoW-centric carols like "I saw Three Rogues come Stealthing in", "We Three Dwarves of Ironforge", and "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like This Raid Isn't Going to Happen"

Available for purchase on iTunes or Amazon, this album will deck the halls of anyone who's ever set foot in Azeroth.