Why listen to Roderick? Well, besides his career crafting excellent and smart pop-rock tunes, he's also the co-writer of his very own Christmas album, along with his buddy Jonathan Coulter. One Christmas At A Time came out three years ago, but the songs are timeless — as all holiday songs should be — and Roderick and Coulton continue to play them this time of year, most recently at shows with Aimee Mann and Ted Leo.
Among Roderick's criteria for a good Christmas song:
1. No unreflective overuse of holiday trope words. Most of them are seductively easy rhyming words, like “merry” or “holly” or “cheer,” but easy rhymes with cheesy.
5. Is your song a little bit metal? All the good Xmas song are stealth metal songs because Xmas is the most metal of all holidays.
6. Why are there so many Christmas songs but not a single Halloween or Thanksgiving song? Because Christmas is just an excuse for us to worship our Old Gods, Trees and Fire, and to try to appease them by singing metal songs while rattling bells.
Dan Nailen is the managing editor of the Inlander, where he oversees coverage of arts and culture. He's previously written and edited for The Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City Weekly, Missoula Independent, Salt Lake Magazine, The Oregonian and KUER-FM. He grew up seeing the country in an Air Force family and studied...