Christmas Can Be Cool – “It’s Christmas Time”

3 Dec

Here’s one of my all-time favorites. Yo La Tengo seems primarily Judaism-affiliated, performing Hanukkah shows every year in New Jersey, but in 2002, they released an EP composed solely of obscure Christmas covers. The best track is the folky, wonderful “It’s Christmas Time,” originally performed by The Qualities (aka Sun Ra). Bassist James McNew takes lead vocal duties, while in the background Ira “bum-bum-bum”s and Georgia does her usual lovely ethereal thing. The lyrics are simple but effective, urging its listeners to celebrate/reconcile with friends and neighbors, “both far away and near.” Why? Because it’s Christmas time! It’s a home-recorded gift from Yo La Tengo to its fans, brimming with warmth and holiday cheer.

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