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Organic Intelligence XXVII: A Psych Rock Christmas

In this month's antidote to the algorithm cosmic Santa JR Moores rides his riffin' reindeer around the globe to bring you a selection of seasonal psychedelic rock treats

Have yourself a psychedelic Christmas time! There’s no denying that Christmas is one of the most psychedelic moments in the calendar. Santa Claus himself is the spitting image of Jerry Garcia. The hippie values of peace and love float through the cinnamon-fogged air. And I don’t know about you but I like to consume so much mulled wine the resulting hallucinations make Dumbo’s pink elephant parade look like afternoon tea with Fiona Bruce.

As well as the rank consumerism, overeating of poultry meat, sleazy mistletoe-based flirtation follies, pigs cooked in further pieces of pig, and Channel 5’s collection of completely batshit low-budget American films featuring chiselled ghosts with immaculate teeth teaching someone from a soap opera the true meaning of family, there is also the Christmas music to enjoy.

It’s easy to fall into old habits, however. Repeating the well-worn debate about the hashtagproblematic language heard in ‘Fairytale Of New York’. Mansplaining to a casual listener the tragic true origin of East 17’s ‘Stay’. Playing the YouTube video of ‘Wonderful Christmastime’ where all the lyrics have been changed to "the moon is right" so many times that your loved ones offer to ritually disembowel you with a cookie cutter.

So let’s freshen up the turntable, yeah? Here are five Christmassy numbers from the psych-rock vaults that ought to help you cease fighting over who gets the final soggy sprout and make you feel all fuzzily festive and trippily cheery.

Flaming Lips – ‘Christmas At The Zoo’

Their concerts are full of confetti and balloons while Wayne Coyne aspires to write something as universally embraced as ‘Happy Birthday’. Do The Flaming Lips have a Christmas song? Is the Pope Catholic? Do bears pass solid in the forest? Does Wayne Coyne talk too much between the songs at any given ‘Lips concert? His band have several of them, in fact. 2003’s ‘A Change At Christmas (Say It Isn’t So)’ is a more sober and sincere affair but it’s hard to beat this earlier entry into the canon on which Coyne decides to liberate some animals only to find himself humbled. They don’t want Wayne’s help! Some prefer to remain within th…

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