When I daydream about the holidays, many images besides the typical visions of sugarplums dance in my head. Like the touching moment in the Band Aid "Do They Know It's Christmas?" video when future has-beens Boy George, Paul Young, and Bananarama link arms and warble about starving Africans. Or the A Very Brady Christmas TV movie rerun that I insist on watching every year. Or the scene in the South Park Christmas special in which Jesus and Santa sing Duran Duran's "Rio" for no good reason. Or that other South Park scene when the kids stage an art-rocky school play minimally soundtracked by Philip Glass. Yep, these are fairly unusual, non-traditional Christmas memories...but hey, we all celebrate the season in our own way.
Which brings me to the Killers. One of the most festive-minded bands around, every year (even years when they've otherwise been on hiatus, like 2011), Brandon Flowers and his little helpers release a holiday single. And each year--much like Brandon himself, with his ever-changing facial hair and Bono complex--the output evolves. Their latest festive video is "The Cowboy's Christmas Ball," and it's certainly a reason to kick up your heels this holiday season.
As for Killers videos of Christmases past, 2006's "A Great Big Sled, as seen below, was a relatively traditional affair, but 2007's kooky-krazy "Don't Shoot Me Santa" was about as non-traditional as it gets, featuring Brandon as a cheap cardboard hand puppet and rocking a truly gawd-awful Christmas sweater that even Bill Cobsy orBridget Jones's Mark Darcy wouldn't dare wear. Plus, Santa Claus was recast as a great unwashed, red-bearded, trailer-park-dwelling, axe-wielding psychopath:
Then in 2008 came a true Christmas miracle, when the Killers teamed with Elton John and the Pet Shop Boys' Neil Tennant for "Joseph, Better You Than Me," eschewing the cuteness of "Sled" and freaktastic festiveness of "Don't Shoot" for a simple, solemn nativity theme:
And then in 2009, the Killers had a very Feliz Navidad with "¡Happy Birthday Guadalupe!" featuring Wild Light and Mariachi El Bronx:
Last year, the Killers got classy, with some timeless and traditional It's A Wonderful Life imagery, some panoramic shots of Brandon in a festive tuxedo, and a heartstring-tugging storyline in "Boots," directed by Jared Hess of Napoleon Dynamite fame:
As with all of the Killers' Christmas songs, proceeds from "Cowboy's Christmas Ball" will go to the (RED) organization, which is dedicated to fighting HIV/AIDS in Africa. And all six modern-day Killers Christmas classics are now available on the new (RED) Christmas EP, which benefits Product Red.
Oh, if only more rock bands were bursting with as much holiday cheer and goodwill as the Killers. Have yourself a Killer little Christmas, everyone!