There is, however, one new holiday CD that saves us from stale chestnuts and oldie retread songs, capturing the many moods of the season with a distinctive voice.
“Destination Christmas” by The B-52’s Fred Schneider and his band The Superions is a fun and funny party-friendly holiday CD. With tracks like “Christmas Conga,” “Jingle Those Bells” and “Crummy Christmas Tree”, accompanied by low budget, high-smile complementary videos, the CD is destined to be a cult classic.
I spoke with Fred last week about his holiday plans and his music.
TBP: What was your Thanksgiving and Christmas like growing up in Long Branch?
Fred: I remember blue Christmas lights that were just so bleak. I loved my Lionel Train set, the bubble light decorations and shopping with my mom in Asbury Park.
TBP: Now that you are a fancy-pants rock star, what are the holidays like?
Fred: The B’s always has a New Years Eve show so I stopped doing the big whole Christmas thing – taking out the antique toys and trains and stuff – years ago. I still bring out my grandmother’s vintage tinsel Christmas tree with the color wheel, which I love.
I also love crazy Christmas music. Just junk like “Barbie’s Christmas” and I play it to the point where my friends ask me to put on something holiday-normal.
TBP: Mariah and Justin Bieber have new “normal” albums out for your friends. What is the major difference between Mariah and Justin Bieber’s new holiday albums and The Superions’ collection?
Fred: Well, ours is actually really good. I am no Taylor Swift, but… it’s just not hard for me to write holiday dance songs. I am finally able to let loose with different ideas with The Superions.
I hear Mariah has one or two bleak Christmas songs, so I want to hear them for Thanksgiving and after.
TBP: Do you cook for Thanksgiving?
Fred: I am a vegetarian so I will make a Tofurky. When I was a kid I looked forward to Thanksgiving stuffing but now it’s the raw chopped up cranberry sauce with oranges and the peels.
I like to cook but I don’t go all out. Because I travel so much the last thing I want to do when I get home is cook a giant meal for people. I will be going to a friend’s place for Thanksgiving this year and singing a-cappella like I usually do.
TBP: Speaking of food, one of the songs on “Destination Christmas” is about fruitcakes. Why do you say fruitcakes have been “maligned through history”?
Fred: Most of them are just awful. Everyone buys the $1.98 crap fruitcakes at the grocery store when if you really spend the time to make a good one it’s really good.
For “Fruitcake” (the song) I went online and just got a list of everything in a fruitcake, so if you make the fruitcake from the recipe I sing it’s going to be horrible.
TBP: Duly noted. Another track on your CD is “Crummy Crummy Christmas Tree” . If you could have any celebrity under your Christmas tree to share your fruitcake and Tofurky with, who would it be?
Fred: Charo. Who else would get things going like Charo on Christmas morning? Wouldn’t that be great? I’ll let you know if it happens.
For the Coaster and TheBPlot’s March interview with Fred about The Superions, click here.