News & Views » Columns

12" pop shots

by

comment

Pas/Cal & Asobi Seksu
“Last Christmas” b/w “Merry Christmas Baby (Let’s Not Fight)”
Romantic Air Recordings

When you have musically inclined friends over to make holiday sugar cookies and decorate them in progressively obscene-macabre permutations of frosting, you could do a lot worse than having this 12-inch single on repeat for your soundtrack. It was originally released last Christmas (ha!), and in an ideal world the Pas/Cal gang would “re-release” this record every year like some sort of sonic Rankin-Bass production. Why? Simply, Pas/Cal has taken a camp-and-pathos-drenched 1986 Christmas hit from Wham!, stretched it to a six-and-a-half-minute jam, and in the process lost none of the original’s bounce and irresistible schmaltz. Better still, they’ve taken those extra three minutes and filled them with over-the-top “ya ya ya” chants, a funky beating-on-trinkets-and-trash breakdown and the sort of airtight bittersweet joy that makes the band irresistible.

Where Pas/Cal tilled fertile cover ground, Asobi Seksu took as its challenge a more obscure Christmas nugget from the immutable Ramones. So there’s less to hang the song on and more to expect at the same time. Still, they spin a big, rich yet strange sonic tapestry that transcends the original by taking full advantage of the Ramones’ repetition while being nowhere near the same musical neighborhood. Can’t say it’s a world-beater, but it holds up its end of the holiday bargain for savvy shoppers.

 

Pas/Cal appears Friday, Dec. 23, at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700.

Chris Handyside writes about music for Metro Times. E-mail letters@metrotimes.com

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.