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 8, Funky Butt Brass Band — "Crazy Sleigh" (2011)
See also: The 100 Greatest St. Louis Songs
One doesn't normally associate Ozzy Osbourne, the self-annointed Prince of Darkness, with the holiday season (though his kindred metalheads Rob Halford and Twisted Sister have recorded holiday albums for some reason). Likewise, heavy metal and New Orleans brass music seem like odd bedfellows, but somehow the Funky Butt Brass Band combined all these divergent threads with "Crazy Sleigh," its seasonal rewrite of Ozzy's deathless "Crazy Train." Coming at the end of 2011's Shiny Christmas Balls EP, Funky Butt's trumpet player and vocalist Adam Hucke channels his inner bad boy as guest guitarist Tony Esterly drops some meedly-mee riffage over the horn players' low end.
Not unlike Spinal Tap's "Christmas with the Devil," FBBB's song takes the holidays someplace sinister as Santa Claus works through his own Festivus-like list of grievances. Mrs. Claus is driving the jolly old elf crazy, Rudolph's honker is red from a nosebleed (perhaps a snoot too much snow for the old boy?) and it looks like everyone can expect a lump of coal this year. At the very least, it's comforting to know that even Santa himself gets overwhelmed by the stress of Christmas.
Cocktail pairing: Skip the egg nog and go straight for the Jack Daniels; maybe call Skeeter and see if he can score an eight-ball.
Loud and Live: You can hear this song and a host of other holiday goodies at Funky Butt's sixth annual Holiday Brasstravaganza shows this weekend, Friday and Saturday nights at Off Broadway. Tickets are $15 in advance, $25 for reserved balcony seating.
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