By Huntress Thompson
Montreal’s Arcade Fire bewildered most Grammy-watchers in 2011 by, you know, existing, and for being perhaps the most obscure act in recent years to nab the awards for Best Group and Best Album right from under the noses of mainstream favourites.
Their fantastically odd Christmas EP, A Very Arcade Xmas, is one example of exactly what makes the indie art rockers so infuriatingly unpalatable to most middle-of-the-road listeners.
Recorded sloppily at a Christmas party in 2001, the EP sees the band performing gin-soaked, Tom Waits-esque piano covers of holiday classics such as The Christmas Song (below), and a beatnik-y Jingle Bell Rock. There’s also a version of O Holy Night on which moonfaced lead singer Win Butler sounds like Frank Zappa being interfered with.
Suffice to say, it’s fucking wonderful, and The Christmas Song makes our list at No. 3.
More of A Very Vandal Christmas here.
In the vacuum between dark and light, Siouxsie Sioux and Emmylou Harris, Amelie and Travis Bickle, Huntress Thompson is an idiot lost, and reporting from the field. If you’re after irrational rants about cupcakes and Johnny Cash (and you probably aren’t), she’s grumpy, but she’s your girl.