Old 97s — “I Don’t Know What Christmas Is”: Dan’s DJ Pick of the Week

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Dan’s DJ Pick of the Week is “I Don’t Know What Christmas Is” by Old 97s! Written for the new Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, this song sticks to the comical image of the Guardians series. A fun analysis of Christmas traditions through the lens of an alien, the song reveals all of the absurdity of some of our most firmly rooted holiday customs. Amusingly, the alien describes Santa as a “master burglar” who chooses to punish misbehaving children by leaving coal in their socks, revealing the easily overlooked strangeness within the Santa story.

Musically, this track departs significantly from the established tradition of Guardians of the Galaxy soundtracks. Abandoning 80s pop revival for the classic roots rock n’ roll sound of Old 97s, Marvel makes a bold change here that still seems to blend well with the image of one of their most beloved franchises. Rhett Miller’s lyricism draws inspiration from the rapid-fire alternative delivery popularized in the 80s by REM, which helps connect this song back to the vintage theme of the series. Get into the holiday spirit in all its weirdness by listening to “I Don’t Know What Christmas Is” below!

Tune in to 100.1 FM or lightning100.com all week to hear “I Don’t Know What Christmas Is” by Old 97s, Dan’s DJ Pick of the Week. Share your thoughts on the track by tagging #L100DJPicks on Twitter.