Methadone Cocktail

Nominee – 1996 6th Annual LA Music Awards

I Don’t Believe In Santa: song 1996

Boyfriend: song 1995

Rodney On The ROQ (nee RODNEY BINGENHEIMER ) is not a performer but, rather, an elfin, legendary Los Angeles disc jockey – the self-proclaimed “Prince of Pop” and “Mayor Of The Sunset Strip.” Through his longstanding shift on Los Angeles’ powerful KROQ-FM, Rodney figured prominently in the development of American west coast punk and new wave. His taste in modern music jives strongly with my own – aggressive but pop-friendly rock ‘n’ roll (cf. The Best Of Rodney On the ROQ, 1992). My interest was piqued, then, when I stumbled uponSanta’s Got A GTO: Rodney On The ROQ’s Fav Christmas Songs (1997) while surfing the ‘net. Frantically searching, I finally scored a copy – though I half expected it to be the usual mixed bag of indie rock throwaways.

I was in for a very pleasant surprise, however, because Santa’s Got A GTO is a true delight – a consistently pleasing mix of pop-oriented tunes sure to delight fans of the genre. If you, too, relish punky power pop and pithy alternative rock, you’ll love Santa’s Got A GTO (a tribute, by the way, to Rodney’s late mother). Though the disc was given a limited release at best, copies aren’t terribly scare – try Amazon.

Most of the songs on Santa’s Got A GTO were recorded specifically for the CD, while a few (including the storied title track) were culled from Rodney’s vast collection. These include Redd Kross’ “Super Sunny Christmas” – as bright and irresistible as the title suggests – and the Jigsaw Seen’s trippy take on “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” which sounds like the Beatles channeling Aftermath-era Rolling Stones. The newer songs are as varied as Rodney’s catholic tastes, from the horny ravings of Home Grown’s “Christmas Crush” to the Cranes’ hypnotic “Christmas Angel,” highlighted by the prettiest use of the work “fuck” since Nilsson’s “Moonbeam Song.”