10 Badass Anti-Holiday Songs For Your Grinchy Side

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Know what's infinitely better than songs about jingle bells and Santa and holly? Songs about hating jingle bells and Santa and holly.

Face it: Christmas music sucks. And no matter how hard you try, it's impossible to keep from being inundated by it. It's impossible to avoid department stores, drugstores, grocery stores, or the friggin' gas station for the entire month of December, and all of those places seem hell-bent on assaulting our eardrums with Mariah Carey's Christmas vibrato.

So should you be suffering from the dreaded Christmas music overload, perhaps you should delve into some of these anti-holiday songs instead. Their utter disdain for holly could be the perfect remedy for what ails ya.


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Retro Musicians Still Make Houston Swing

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Photos by Lynn Lane
Photo courtesy of Bart Maloney
Bart Maloney has a steely gaze to go with his steel guitar.
Louis Armstrong once said, "The memory of things gone is important to a jazz musician. Things like old folks singing in the moonlight in the back yard on a hot night or something said long ago."

Bittersweet in its achy nostalgia, the saying is quite fitting for some of Houston's retro musicians. On vintage instruments, these players resurrect the memory of music long gone, bringing new life to the words of Etta James or Bob Wills, paying homage to the old swing and jazz greats.


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The 10 Best Butt-Rock Bands in Recorded History

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Note: this article originally appeared on April 17, 2014. Happy Thanksgiving!

What is butt-rock, you ask? As usual, we've got all your answers, courtesy of Urban Dictionary:

A derogatory term for any hard-rock music.

The term comes from a nationwide advertising campaign on hard-rock radio stations in the 1990s that used the tagline "Rock. Nothing but Rock." Listeners quickly changed that to "Nothing Butt Rock." Though it refers to anything played on hard-rock stations, it commonly is used to refer to 'hair-bands' or used by people to distinguish the 'bad' butt rock from the hard rock that they like.

Example: "He sat around stoned all day listening to butt rock on the 'Wild Hare.'"

Butt-rock is that musical stank on your shoe that you can't get off. It's one part aggro noise, one part self-indulgent and whiny singer, and somehow a whole lot of douche.


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The 10 Most Quintessential Old Jazz Songs

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Library of Congress/Wikipedia
Louis Armstrong was once so popular he had a brand of cigar named after him.
The best thing about old jazz is how just one good song will serve as a reminder of how brilliantly romantic that time period was. The soulful cry of artists like Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong was just made to intertwine with the rat-tat-tat-tat of crisp drums and and the wail of blaring horns. The collaboration between the big band and those big voices was -- and still is -- absolute magic.

And because it was such a magical time, we feel that everyone should spend part of their day dancing around to old jazz songs. While we may not be able to transport you back to the time when Dizzy Gillespie reigned supreme (our flux capacitor has gone missing) we can throw this here list your way to help you out instead.

So just throw on these old jazz standards and dance around like you're on some airy New Orleans veranda instead. We'll never tell.


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Iggy Pop's 10 Best Guest Vocal Appearances

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Marc Brubaker
Iggy & The Stooges at 2013 Free Press Summer Fest
I'm one of those people who grew up thinking David Bowie was a genius from beyond the realm of human evolution, but the older I get the more I tend to believe that Iggy Pop is the true wizard within the Big Three of Glam. Though he's never going to be accused of having the greatest range in the world, that voice is simply one of a kind and can cut through the air like thunder. There's just something in the way Iggy sings that has such incredible depths and balls to it.

And that's why today we celebrate the times he's lent that incredible set of pipes to other artists.


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The 10 Best '70s Monster Rock Riffs

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What? No Stairway? Denied!

Nah, we're totally lying. There's plenty of "Stairway" below, because bitchin' rock riffs are precisely what we're looking for.

Ladies and gentlemen, whip out the Ben-Gay and prepare yourselves for some injuries to your air-guitar arm, because with Deep Purple and Nazareth on this Throwback Thursday list, the burn? It's a'comin'.


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The 11 Best Draped-Up Dirty South Songs Ever

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Dave Parker via Flickr
Draped up and dripped out, know what I'm talkin' 'bout?

Much like Bun B, who wrote those lyrics, you do know what I'm talkin' 'bout. And you also know that all things draped up and dripped out are badass, especially when they are songs from the dirty south.

Whether it's swangin' and bangin' or sippin' on some sizzurp, those legendary rappers from the south knows just how to get down. Happy trunk-poppin' Throwback Thursday, y'all. Just make sure to swang to the left, aight?


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The 10 Best Girl-Power Songs Ever

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Photo by Marc Brubaker
What you want?
Wanna know who's badass? Women.

Know what's equally badass? Girl-power anthems. And no, we're not talking about cheesy power ballads a la Christina Aguilera or Mariah Carey. We mean the songs that encourage women to feel proud of their badassery, while embracing what it is to be a chick. Songs that are unabashedly pro-woman and celebrate everything from roaring to being a rebel, and everything in between.

The thing is, women kick ass, and sometimes it's important to remember that little fact. Luckily, these ten songs will help you do so. After all, who runs the world? You know the answer.


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Jethro Tull Was a Great Band Before Aqualung

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The cover of Jethro Tull's 1969 album Stand Up
The classic-rock world lost another of its members last month with the passing of Jethro Tull's original bass player, Glen Cornick. They, alongside Deep Purple and Judas Priest, are one of what I consider the last three bands unjustly omitted from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

For those familiar with early Tull images, Cornick was the animated member. He could be found on album covers and press photos with his glasses, long black hair and usually sporting a headband or a stylish derby. Known as a partier, he was asked to leave shortly before the recording of 1971's Aqualung album -- not necessarily as a result of his behavior, but because those ways didn't fit the with the other members' more subdued personalities.


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Before They Were Stars, They Were...Awful

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YouTube
Let's talk about genre-jumpers, shall we? A number of successful artists have made the leap from one genre to another at some point in their careers. but it doesn't always pay off.

Take Darius Rucker, for example. The onetime Hootie and the Blowfish front man made the right choice by taking a leap of faith into country music, which pushed his previously stalled career into musical overdrive. Others didn't quite as well, like Snoop Dogg's attempted transition into the rasta version of himself, Snoop Lion. Fans just weren't ready to let go of "Lodi Dodi," even if it meant some sweet Rastafari influences.

However, the musicians below were smart enough to jump genres before breaking into the big leagues. Punk rockers morphed into hip-hop callers, and headbangers musicians into ballad crooners. These folks earned their big names by changing their tunes -- literally. And no, Katy Perry is not on this list, because it's about musicians.


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