Christmas is upon us, and that means inoculating yourself against the relentless onslaught of much of the Christmas carol canon. To save your ears — and to celebrate the seasonal offerings of some local artists — senior music writers Roy Kasten and Christian Schaeffer will count down twelve of the finest holiday jams from St. Louis artists each weekday from now through December 24.
Day 5, Bunnygrunt — "Season's Freaklings" (1996)
See also: The 100 Greatest St. Louis Songs
When it comes to Christmas music, Matt Harnish may very well be the angel atop the tree of the local indie set. The Bunnygrunt guitarist and singer had, until recently, curated the A Very Bert Dax Christmas compilations, collecting dozens of original, often irreverent tracks of holiday cheer from St. Louis bands. (Pancake Productions' Rob Severson has been uploading these to Bandcamp in 2014, a noble act of stewardship.) Those annual comps have their roots in the Better Than Fruitcake collection, which was a joint effort of Vintage Vinyl and Operation Food Search. VV employee Harnish curated that collection and included his own band's "Season's Freaklings" — originally released on seven-inch in 1996 — alongside offerings by Prune, Larissa Dalle and Bob Reuter's Kamikaze Cowboy. True to form, Bunnygrunt motors through the track with its trademark mix of sweetness and fuzz, and its simple refrain says everything a holiday love song needs to say: "And it wouldn't be Christmas without you / Can't fool me, I know its true."
Billygrunt: The song found new life when it was included in the end credits to the Billy Bob Thornton film Bad Santa in 2003. (Rest in power, Bernie Mac and John Ritter.)
Mustardgrunt: Rob Severson's devotion to the Bunnygrunt oeuvre precedes his curation of the band's tribute album this year; his old band Mustard Fish covered the track in 5/4 time for the fifth iteration of the Bert Dax collection.
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