Local Wire

Various Artists

Grandma may finally be out of traction after that unfortunate reindeer hit-and-run last December, but she's liable to have a stroke if she hears the lyrics to Blink-182's prison carol "I Won't Be Home for Christmas" this holiday season: "Even though the jail didn't have a tree/Christmas came early/Because a guy named Bubba unwrapped my package." It's one of 20 crunchy tunes featured on A Santa Cause: It's a Punk Rock Christmas, released for a second straight year to benefit the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. The album's stuffed with lots more snotty pop-punk irreverence: MxPx's "Christmas Night of Zombies," Stand Still's "I Saw Daddy Kissing Santa Clause," and the hidden track, Nerf Herder's "Santa Has a Mullet," fit that bill. But emo-style pensiveness abounds in Something Corporate's "Forget December" and The Beautiful Mistake's "A Cradle in Bethlehem," proving you can still be melancholy no matter how many ringer-tees and gift certificates to Big Jed's tattoo parlor await you under the tree. Still, the A.K.A.'s lively cover of Run-D.M.C.'s "Christmas in Hollis" oughta wipe that frown off your face, Mr. Grinch; so should the worthy cause behind this worthy Cause.
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Michael Alan Goldberg