1. The Pogues - The best Christmas song of all time, or at least the best Christmas song not sung by Nat King Cole.

2. Circle Jerks - From the Sid And Nancy soundtrack. Was looking for "Haunted" by The Pogues, but finding this was a pleasant memory.

3. Anti-Flag - There's a lot of "mainstream" alternative on the list this week... I'm trying to make a better effort to get a little bit in touch with what's going on with commercial radio. Anti-Flag are basically just the pop-punk version of The Alarm, with much stupider politics.

4. Iggy Pop w/ Sum 41 - Iggy turns in a pretty good performance, and... Sum 41 manage to not be annoying (ie. you can't really tell it's Sum 41. thank god.)

5. The Lawrence Arms - Fat Wreck Chords band from Chicago. Not sure if I like it, but it's such a short song it goes by before you really notice.

6. Zebrahead - Jesus Christ this song is going to be a hit. It's pretty horrible, but... you can't deny that 15 year old boys aren't going to go ape shit for this. I think Zebrahead heard about this whole screamo thing and decided to give it a shot... what they ended up with is like pop-punk vocals and then a tough-guy Limp Biskit part (instead of wussy sensitive pretty vocals and a tough-guy guttural part). i can only think the bastardization is gonna go over very well.

7. Vendetta Red - Speaking of wussy sensitive vocals... holy shit this is the pussiest song i've heard in a long time. wow.

8. Scandal - I love the people on this mailing list. Last week when i added a Coheed And Cambria song, one person wrote back saying that they are "heroically unlistenable" and another wrote back saying that they remind them of Scandal. So... here ya go.

9. The Von Bondies - This is the best song I think I've heard all year. Wow. Totally blown away. I didn't see it coming. I've seen 'em live a bunch, and outside of thinking that the bassist is super cute (no... not the guitarist... that chick tries WAY too hard), i found them to be pretty bad. But damn... this song is great. I can't help but feel that the production is what really puts it over the edge, though. I'd be curious to see them play it live.

10. Washington Social Club - I'm a bit on the fence about this one. I'll have to hear some more music by them... I think they're onto something, but only time will tell.

11. The Vexers - Second of two bands in a row that owe a big debt to X. Good song. Nice intro.

12. Retisonic - Jason Farrell's new band. Another nice intro.

13. Longwave - Pretty song. I've actually never heard any of their RCA album, I must admit. This is the lead single, I believe.

14. Howard Hello - I know nothing at all about this, but I think it's pretty as hell. Not that I'm going to start, but... i imagine if i ever played music it would probably end up sounding (hopefully) something like this. I've listened to a lot of Young Marble Giants and New Order and The Sundays, and this song is a perfectly forgettable slice of those kinds of things. Certainly nowhere near as good as any of that, but... pleasant, if a bit repetitive.

15. Grails - Pretty instrumental. Not usually my thing, but... pretty nice. For fans of GYBE!.

16. The Twilight Singers - Not the best song on the record, but that damn ring tone just gets in my head.

17. Stars - This song is kinda really bad. Just a really bad concept and idea. Really... just horrifically lame. But dammit... somehow they pull it off, and manage to make this a kinda catchy pop song. I really don't know how they did that.

18. Ladytron - I have to admit... I think I've only heard the original of this once. But... this is a pretty good cover. People probably wouldn't care as much if the chicks in the band didn't have great hair & make-up people in their palm pilots, but... still.

19. The Jessica Fletchers - Some European band that I have never heard of... They've obviously listened to a lot of "Forever Changes" in their day, and this is just a fucking great song. Great build-up intro, and then they release the tension in a way that's surprising every time I hear it. The second half of the song doesn't totally live up to the potential of the first half, but... it IS a great intro.

20. The Few - Sounds kinda like a poppier Bright Eyes or Western Keys.

21. Sinead O'Connor - Still one of the best riffs of 90's alternative. I was looking for some other songs off the album, but couldn't find them. Hey-- does anybody have any free / shareware software out there for PC that allows you to adjust the levels on mp3's? I'm tired of all the old cds and mp3's being mastered so much lower than newer cds, and I'd like to fix that on occasion. (if the free software happens to do conversions from .wma files to .mp3 and vice versa, that would be sweet, too. thanks!)

22. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs - The video for the album version of this song is maybe the most beautiful and disquieting video i have ever seen in my life. You can watch it here. I put it in writing when i first saw the video in September, and it still holds true now: i can honestly say i've never been attracted to karen o, but after watching this video i want to fuck all three of them. The mp3 attached is from a Peel Session they did this summer. The album version is certainly better... the vocals are just really perfectly reverbed and piercing, but I actually don't own "Fever To Tell". Anybody out there want to send me a copy, please?

23. Pledge Drive - I had to close this off with another original Christmas song. This is one of the dumbest, most magnificent achievements I've ever heard. Trust me... if they can actually pull this off in a way that doesn't make me turn it off after 90 seconds, i'm seriously impressed. Give it a listen.