On the Goe: Shock rock? Former bad boy Weiland goes all-out Christmas

PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER TOMLINSON—Sent as 110111 David Goe mug.

In this CD cover image released by Atlantic, the latest holiday release by Scott Weiland, “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” is shown. (AP Photo/Atlantic)

When you’re not addicted to heroin, you can accomplish all kinds of things. Dress yourself, ride a bike, finish a crossword puzzle ... record a Christmas album?

Unbelievably, that’s just what Stone Temple Pilots frontman, former Velvet Revolver frontman, former drug aficionado and former Los Angeles County Jail resident Scott Weiland has done.

Yes. He’s recorded a jazz standards Christmas album.

In what may be the most awesome bit of music news all year, Weiland’s “The Most Wonderful Time of The Year” is an assortment of Christmas standards nobody saw coming.

The man who once boarded up with Courtney Love for a two-month-long drug binge now covers “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” and “Silent Night,” presumably without his trademark bull horn.

Before completely dismissing this album for a giant lump of coal, you must watch Weiland’s video for “Winter Wonderland.” In a very un-rock ‘n’ roll move, Weiland successfully creates what can only be described as the creepiest Old Navy commercial ever. Period.

Weiland is trying to be something he is not here.

Instead of assaulting your senses a la Stone Temple Pilots, he ends up insulting your taste and tolerance for mediocre music.

There is something utterly irresistible about the holiday season for musicians. Pop stars and rockers just can’t seem to help themselves from reworking our favorite Christmas songs into gingerbread outhouses. Case in point: Lady Gaga.

If you caught “A Very Gaga Thanksgiving” on ABC on Thanksgiving night you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Unlike Weiland, Gaga did a pretty good job covering “White Christmas,” well, up until the point when she added a verse to the song.

Who gave the green light to that lyrical nonsense about Gaga comforting a crying snowman? Spare me.

One band that gets it right this year is She & Him. Their new Christmas album “A Very She & Him Christmas” hits the mark.

Headed by actress/singer Zooey Deschanel and guitar for hire M. Ward, the album feels like a Christmas memory captured on 8mm film.

The combination of Ward’s subtle guitar and Deschanel’s vulnerability and sweetness as a singer brings new life to old classics.

They make songs such as “Silver Bells,” “Blue Christmas” and “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” their own without ruining the fun for us.

Deschanel is no slouch when it comes to Christmas songs. She won Buddy’s heart with her pipes in the movie “Elf” and she will win yours, too, if you let her.

Christmas songs are rich in tradition. They are your past, present and Christmas yet to come.

For me, it’s not officially Christmas until I hear Nat King Cole sing “The Christmas Song.” It transports me straight to Christmas morning with my family.

Releasing a Christmas single is a clear attempt to capitalize on the seasonal purchasing power of every Bob and Barb Cratchit out there.

I don’t mind updated cover versions, but if you’re going to cover a Christmas song, do it right. Play to your fan base, and don’t take creative liberties with the songs.

They are already perfect.

David Goe is a programmer for KAFM 88.1 Community Radio. His show airs at 9 p.m. the first Friday and first Saturday of each month. You can email Goe at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or follow him on Twitter at @David_Goe.


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