Living as a Mod in the 21st Century

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Mod Christmas

With the holidays upon us, I thought it would be fitting to present to you a couple of Mod friendly Christmas albums that will surely put you in a groovy festive mood. First up is a rare Christmas Garage compilation I recently discovered. Three obscure 60s garage bands from Quebec are featured on the album Noël Dans Le Vent. Les Loups, Les Intimes and Les Chantels sing the joys of Christmas in French. But the best part about this album is that all the songs are original. They might not be the best musicians you ever heard but at least you don't have to listen to another bad version of Rudolf The Rednosed Reindeer for the millionth time.

Most of the tracks are pretty slow so it might not be the first record you drop to get that holiday family gathering rockin'. It's more of a soundtrack for a quiet evening spent with your lucky lady lounging in front of the rolling log of a fake 70s kitsch fireplace.

Do NOT try this at home! Leaving you rare vinyls in front of the fireplace will result in a few choice expletives.

My favorite tune has to be Noël Étrange (Strange Christmas) by The Chantels. Clearly the most talented group of the bunch, the song recounts the struggles and perils of shopping at the last minute on the eve of Christmas. It's one of the more upbeat tracks on the album and a little garage gem through and through.

An honorable mention should be given to Les Intimes and the track Nous Allons Nous Amuser. There attempt at having horns in the song is almost laughable but it will go perfectly with those jelly cranberries in the form of a tin can.

Second is the 1968 release of Soul Christmas on Atco records. With familiar Soul greats like Booker T. & The MG's, Otis Redding, King Curtis, Clarence Carter, Carla Thomas, Solomon Burke and William Bell, it's hard to go wrong. This one is sure to please the whole family and have Aunt Gigi dance along in the living room.

A few Holiday classics have been given the soul treatment like The Christmas Song by King Curtis, White Christmas by Otis Redding and Jingle Bells by Booker T. & The MG's. Even if Otis Redding is one of my favorite performers, nobody will ever surpass Bing Crosby's version of White Christmas.

So it should be no surprise if I say that my favorite tracks are original songs. At the top of the list is Back Door Santa by Clarence Carter. With a very familiar intro, it's the perfect mix between a true soul floor filler and a holiday classic.

I will take this opportunity to wish all the faithful readers of this blog a heartfelt Happy Holidays. I hope the jolly fat guy in the red tonic suit left you some nice scooter goodies, a few rare vinyls and a couple pieces of cool clothing.

May your days be Mod and bright, and may all your Christmases be white...


  1. Les Chantels avaient le plus d'expérience sur scène, ils avaient cette avance sur leurs collègues chez Fantastique. Toutefois, mention PLUS QU'HONORABLE au groupe Les Loups. Ces jeunes gens n'ont endisqués que du matériel original, par moments fort PERCUTANT, avec quelques salves au micro qui brillent dans le firmament des étoiles du garage québécois!

    More Christmasy-yéyé-garage-psych-folk tunes from Quebec to be heard on our last show over at Mondo PQ. Dig?