In the admittedly narrow genre of holiday discs adapted from TV shows, Have a Very Merry Chrismukkah!,
a jumble of songs pulled from a special episode of the Fox series The O.C.
, takes the fruitcake (or latke, or what have you). In only nine tracks, it establishes itself as a thoroughly modern, cynical, but likeably wide-eyed antidote to the heap of jingle-bell-heavy offerings currently crowding holiday music racks. Best thought of as a compilation cobbled together by a clear-headed, alt-minded friend, Chrismukkah,
so named for the fictional Cohen family's seasonal culture-blending holiday, highlights a far-reaching lineup of indie favorites. Jimmy Eat World covers the Wham! classic "Last Christmas" with characteristic punch and panache, Eels chew into "Christmas Is Going to the Dogs" like they mean it, Leona Naess channels vintage Joni Mitchell on "Christmas", and the ever-understated Ron Sexmith dares to dream on "Maybe This Christmas." "Christmas with You Is the Best," cut exclusively for the soundtrack by the Long Winters, climbs through the Cohens' chimney to offer a firsthand glimpse of Chrismukkah in practice: you can practically smell the eggnog-flavored matzoh balls. --Tammy La Gorce
Christmas compilation for the popular FOX series.