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Album Details
Gridlock Christmas

By: The Hollytones

 

Download Album (MP3) - $9.99
GRIDLOCK CHRISTMAS RE-RELEASED!!!Hollytones 
By MIKE BOEHM
Times Staff Writer

“Gridlock Christmas”
Eaglestone Music

    It takes real musical talent to spoof real musical talent. The Hollytones-a trio of veteran Orange County musicians, plus a large guest cast-pull it off on this charming, well-wrought and impressively varied collection. The albums 14 original Christmas songs work on two levels. There’s pop-parody as the Hollytones send up or pay homage to a wide array of styles: Elvis Presley and Ray Charles, vaudevillian crooning and Merle Haggard-style working-man’s honky-tonk blues, Beach Boys lofty harmonizing, psychedelic rock and even New Age music. And there are playful, occasionally pointed observations in Yule-related lyrics and skits that range from the gently barbed to the sweetly sentimental.
    The Hollytones are Brian Curtin, Floyd Elliot and John Wheeler. They’re at their best – and most wicked – on “Christmas Is Coming Twice This Year”, a portrait of kids playing off the guilt of divorced parents to extort ever-greater offerings of Christmas loot.  It’s the one track that will make some people cringe a bit, as effective satire should, and it works primarily because of zestful performances from Christina Daly and Drew Harrah as the song’s knee-high Machiavellians.
    “Strange Season” neatly ties together a lyrical conceit and a musical style: bedazzled by Christmas lighting displays, the songs protagonist assumes he must be having a hallucinogenic experience and breaks into a parody of 60’s style mystical psychedelia.
    “Christmas in California” re-accounts the anomalies and comical excesses of celebrating a winter wonderland holiday under the warm California sun. But by attaching familiar observations to a spot-on Ray Charles/Bobby Bland soul-blues tribute, the Hollytone’s music continues to engage long after you’ve gotten the joke.
    “Do the Snowman” is a neat little dance-craze spoof that sends up the Merseybeat sound, complete with chirpy Liverpudlian accents. “Merry Christmas Sandi”, one of the two Beach Boy tributes on the album, is a poignant tale of bittersweet teen-romance that Brian Wilson would surely endorse.
    As holiday novelties go, “Gridlock Christmas” is far classier than many of its ilk. It’s well performed, carefully produced and tasteful (PG-ish overall, with occasional themes of holiday stress and paranoia, and, in the case of “Mistletoe”, a mildly racy portrait of a would-be office Lothario who gets his comeuppance). Perhaps best of all, odds are that nobody on your list already has it.

- Los Angeles Times Calendar Review 12-19-1992
Hollytones 

Releases:

YearTypeLabelCatalog # 
1992CDEaglestone Music(Captain Wayne)


 

Reviews:

“I thought Gridlock Christmas was one of the best Christmas items we received this past holiday season!”
 - Dr. Demento (American Radio Personality)

“For trenchant comment, few Christmas novelties can top “Christmas Is Coming Twice This Year” by the Hollytones.”
- Steven Otfinoski, author, The Golden Age of Novelty Songs

“It takes real musical talent to spoof real musical talent. The Hollytones-a trio of veteran Orange County musicians, plus a large guest cast-pull it off on this charming, well-wrought and impressively varied collection. The album's 14 original Christmas songs work on two levels. There's pop-parody as the Hollytones send up or pay homage to a wide array of styles: Elvis Presley and Ray Charles, vaudevillian crooning and Merle Haggard-style working-man's honky-tonk blues, Beach Boys lofty harmonizing, psychedelic rock and even New Age music. And there are playful, occasionally pointed observations in Yule-related lyrics and skits that range from the gently barbed to the sweetly sentimental.”
-Mike Boehm (The Los Angeles Times)

“Orange County's own Hollytones have hit No. 1 on Dr. Demento's Funny Five with their skewed look at divorce during the holidays, Christmas Is Coming Twice This Year.”
 -Mark Brown (Orange County Register)

Hollytones
Facts:

  • “Gridlock Christmas” and “Christmas is coming Twice This Year” were included on Dr. Demento's “Christmas in Dementia” CD on the Rhino Label in 1995. Since then, these two songs have received steady rotation on numerous broadcast, internet and satellite radio stations. (Hollytones)
  • The Gridlock Christmas CD had a limited release in 1992. After many requests, the Hollytones decided to re-release the complete CD in 2007. 
    (Hollytones)
  • The Hollytones are Brian Curtin, Floyd Elliot and John Wheeler. They are currently working on their next collection of inspired lunacy,  “Holiday Fever”. (Hollytones)
  • 01. “Gridlock Christmas” (3:32) (Curtin, Elliot, Wheeler)

    A heartwarming tale of Christmas in southern California, a object lesson for all of us who overstress in December.

    02. “Christmas Bonus” (2:50) (B. Curtin, K Curtin, Wheeler)

    A workingman’s honky-tonk blues song about getting the Boss-man to cough up the much sought after Christmas Bonus.
    “Don’t be a Scrooge, it doesn’t have to be huge. Give us our Christmas bonus now!”

    03. “California Christmas Is Here” (3:01) (Curtin, Zeilinger)

    The Holidays in the golden state. Early Beach Boys/Jan & Dean sound complete with lead vocals, harmony and some surf guitar.

    04. “Stop At The Nearest Mall” (3:19) (Curtin, Zeilinger)

    This “totally” eighties anthem to materialism, with 1980’s style pop production, is sung by a frantic shopper who is definitely a candidate for Shopper’s Anonymous.

    05. “Christmas Is Coming Twice This Year” (3:13) (Curtin, Elliot, Wheeler)

    The kids are excited. Will they get more stuff at Mom’s or Dad’s?
    This portrait of knee- high Machiavellians playing off the guilt of divorced parents to extort ever-greater offerings of Christmas loot is a skewed look at joint custody during the holidays.

    06. “Holiday Hotel” (3:09) (Curtin, Elliot, Wheeler)

    Memphis 1956, Elvis lives and invites us to rockabilly party at the Holiday Hotel.
    Complete with guitars, Piano, and Jordanaire type background vocals.
    “When there’s no room at the inn, they’re bound to let you in, at the Holiday Hotel”.

    07. “How’s Santa Gonna Find Us (In a Fallout Shelter)” (4:00) (Curtin, Elliot, Wheeler)
           
    1950’s Hollywood singing cowboy style lead vocal with female background vocals,
     sing this quirky tale of cold war paranoia.

    08. “Christmas In California”  (3:38) (Curtin, Elliot, Wheeler, Zeilinger)

    Chronicles the comical excesses of celebrating a winter wonderland holiday under the warm California sun.
    “If everybody loves a white Christmas, why did they all move here?”

    09. “Do The Snowman” (3:09) (Cobb, Curtin, Elliot, Wheeler)

    Revival of the 1964 British invasion, a dance-craze spoof that sends up the Merseybeat sound, complete with chirpy Liverpudlian accents.
    “Remember, it’s now how you move, it’s how you stand.”

    10. “Mistletoe” (3:13) (Curtin, Elliot, Wheeler)
       
    Is your office Christmas party like this? Mistletoe is a mildly racy portrait of a would-be office Lothario who gets his comeuppance.

    11. “Strange Season” (3:55) (Curtin, Elliot, Wheeler)

    A psychedelic Christmas song circa 1968, complete with retro guitars and tripped-out production. Bedazzled by Christmas lighting displays, the songs protagonist assumes he must be having a hallucinogenic experience and breaks into a parody of 60’s style mystical psychedelia.

    12. “Merry Christmas Sandi” (3:48) (Curtin, Elliot, Wheeler)

    In this1962 teenage drama, boy loses girl at Christmas time. A soaring high falsetto lead vocal combined with group vocal harmonies in the a style reminiscent of the Beach boys and the Four Seasons sing the poignant tale of bittersweet teen-romance.

    13. “Relaxation With Dr. Weiler” (2:57) (Curtin, Elliot, Wheeler)

    Dr. Weiler’s holiday relaxation tape turns out to be a New Age RAGE.

    14. “We’re Afraid To Have Christmas” (2:44) (Curtin, Elliot, Wheeler)

    Suburbanites voice their paranoia at Christmas time over a heavy metal backdrop.

    (Hollytones)
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