Monday, November 26, 2007

Great Moments in Mathlete History: The Official Slump Christmas Album

So: my friend Keith Reynolds (under the auspices of his band/performance art project/production company/self, Slump) puts on a Christmas pageant almost every holiday season, "The Slump XXX-Mas Show." The shows became something of a local hit here in town, combining familiar holiday icons like Santa & Mrs. Claus, Rudolph, Frosty and Jesus with enormous, unwieldy casts largely comprised of amateurs, stoners and ex-strippers reveling in what one reviewer referred to as "infantile scatology".

I participated in the show several years ago (my first "legitimate acting" role; I played I think a hobo or something). Inspired by both the show's "kindergartener learning to cuss" aesthetic and Keith's penchant for shameless hucksterism (among sundry other things, he once made a good deal of money selling "lucky pennies" for a dollar at a street fair), I decided to put together what was marketed as "The Official Slump Christmas Album" and sell it at shows. In a span of four days I came up with eleven songs, including two recordings of songs from the show: a rewrite of "Silent Night" and "Sucka Fucka (WARNING: NOT AN ACTUAL CHRISTMAS SONG)".

Other than the Slump songs, nothing on the album had anything to do with the Slump Christmas show other than a loose association with Christmas. The final product was half-assed and moronic at best, but I had a lot of fun and made sixty bucks, thus cementing my love of seat-of-the-pants art capitalism. As an afterthought, I sent a mislabeled copy of the disc to a music website that had reviewed a few Mathletes albums. The result turned out to be the single best thing any human has written about a piece of art I've produced.

This is one of the most offensive records I have ever listened to -- a collection of 11 tracks with titles like "Santa Is an Obese Racist" and "Fuck Shit Up with Jesus". Even the ones that sound like they might be okay are revolting. "Silent Night" combines the melody we all remember from Sunday School with lyrics about a rape, including the memorable chorus (this is the "sleep in heavenly peace" part) of "I'm going to fuck your ass." "Greensleeves" does a similar trick with another familiar melody, but this time the lyrics are not really objectionable, just retarded. The entire second verse consists of either Joe or Keith singing the words "green sleeves" over and over, kind of like the song at the end of Elmo's World.

I'm not against satire. I don't mind songs that make fun of religion. It's just that these tracks are not funny enough to justify their obscenity, and they are, musically speaking, not very interesting. They are mostly drum-machine driven, low-rent-synth-filled, disco-beated wastes of time. I had to listen to this. You don't.

-- Jennifer Kelly, Splendid E-Zine

I probably should have just retired then and there. Hell if I know how I'll ever top "I had to listen to this. You don't."


Adam said...

Absolutely brilliant.

Where might one obtain their own copy of "The Joe Mathlete 'Not Really Objectionable, Just Retarded' Christmas Album"?

jilly said...

Now I know what to give as stocking stuffers!

The Mayor said...

Please, please, please send me a copy of this album, JM.
In exchange, I will mail you "Chanukah with The Mayor! 10 fun-filled Chaunukah songs for Children" featuring such classics as 'Chaunkah comes but once a year: money-grubbing is a year-long thing' and 'Schlomo the Sneaky Shylock'

Matt said...


LTNA said...

This makes me feel better. I thought I was the only one who kept getting guff "because [telling] rape jokes in Christmas carols is in poor taste." It's nice to know that my family really is just a bunch of squares, like I keep telling them.

mcc said...

It's worth noting that this album was also the origin of "Christmas Song", which is not only by far the worst thing Joe has ever created, but also, for reasons I do not understand, his largest hit in certain circles. Under great popular demand "Christmas Song" has since received multiple rerecordings and is performed in an elaborate extended version at Mathletes concerts

Mene Tekel said...

Amazing. I think you need to try to sell this album again. I think it would go well.

mitch said...

hey joe. i ordered a shirt today, nov. 29th (the a-hole shirt with black ink on the white shirt) and i wanted to switch to the black shirt white white printing.

can i do that??? im sure it hasnt been shipped yet. and i dont know how else to contact you.


mitch oberstein

David said...

I wanted to find other things that are "disco-beated." For example, if John Travolta fucked up some punks face wielding a roller skate in the 70's, could said punk then be described as having been "disco-beated"? Unleash the etymological hounds.

Kevin said...

For what it's worth, I gave you a good review. I wrote for that site (which is how I heard of you) back in the day although I no longer remember the name of the album. It was the one that had liner notes which mentioned, among other things, something to the effect of: "I heard that the guy from Dashboard Confessional is a date rapist. I have chosen to believe this whether or not it's true because I hate him." I listened to it quite a bit and was pretty entertained. Unfortunately, most of my reviews are gone from the site, there are a handful of "Kevin White" sponsored ones up there, last time I checked.

No idea where that CD is though. But don't take it personally, I lose everything.

Joe Mathlete said...

Crazy-- I remember that review, one of the first good ones I got. I believe that album was "Eat My Beats: A Rock Opera." I'm not sure I have a copy of that anymore, either.

Lydia said...

I haven't read this, but i'd just like to say, I tried to record 1000 people dancing to Christmas Song on saturday, but my stupid boyfriend didn't record it right, so instead, I recorded it last night. Utter joy and confusion. I'll message you with it Joe!

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