Christmas Underground (2001)


bumbleBEAR/Planting Seeds Records
Buy: Discogs Good luck!

It was only a matter of time until I reviewed the inspiration for my blog’s title. Christmas Underground was a 2001 release by Planting Seeds Records & bumbleBEAR Records, with the 30+ tracks (some are just greetings) shared by both their indiepop/lo-fi rosters. I wish I could say that it was the gem that I was hoping it would be. The main reason I hunted this comp down was the slight overlap with Kindercore Records Christmas 2, one of my absolute favorite Christmas records of all time. When I say slight, I truly mean slight – I think one band overlaps, The Wee Turtles. Their track, “By Golly, They’ve Dehydrated Christmas,” is one of two tracks that I can come back to. The other is The National Splits “Let’s Wrap Each Other,” which is a frolicking song that begins with “My nose just started to bleed / and there’s grass stains on my jeans / aw, there’s your red and your green.” I just like the attitude that comes off that song. Bugs Eat Books also contribute “Waiting on the Sun,” which has a nice atmosphere and contains the title amongst its lyrics. The rest of the album has some somewhat passable originals and traditional songs (which I normally find quite boring), but it also has some stuff that I just can’t listen to for more than 15 seconds.

Bottom Line: Could be the victim of high expectations – I can admit that. That doesn’t change the fact that I just don’t enjoy most of this record.  2.3/5


The National Splits – Let’s Wrap Each Other

Stuck in the Chimney (More Christmas Singles) (2001)

Stuck in the Chimney

Buy: Discogs (CD) | 7Digital MP3 | iTunes

This is one of those pretty ubiquitous releases that everyone knows about already, at least, for those searching out indie rock/pop Christmas tunes. That said, its not one of the better ones. I want to single out a great track that you NEED TO HEAR, but I’m at a loss to find one. The entire release is ok, but just that. Nothing on there makes me cringe, but nothing makes me excited. It hurts me to say so too, in that I really like the Parasol label, and greatly miss their distro.

However, don’t take my word as sacrosanct. I may be looking for something that you are not, and again, nothing on this release really sucks to the point where I would discourage you from listening on your own.

Bottom Line: When I think of average, I think of a record like this. 3/5