Prog Digest – a Special Xperience Column

Written by on November 27, 2023

Prog Digest – a Special Xperience Column – by Klyde Kadiddlehumper.

Welcome to an extra special holiday Prog Digest.

In its usual timeslot, these musings discuss music – well, nominally. The reins are noted for being very loose and the topics the same.

For today’s lesson, boys and girls, we are going to explore a singular blip on the holiday radar.
A John Waters Christmas.

John Waters is, in the truest meaning of the phrase, an American treasure. An icon. A visionary. And, by account of our own beloved Jimmy Barrett, (check him out Monday nights on with Kaleidoscope – at over 50 years running, likely the longest running single host radio program EVER) a lovely man. Conversive, nice, engaging and, best of all, John Waters.
A short history.

Still an active man, John Waters is from Baltimore and has written, directed, produced and created some of the most interesting films of our time. Perhaps most well know is Hairspray – a movie first, then Broadway musical.

Heck – he has a star on the Walk of Fame. Look him up, maybe check out some of the movies. Mind blowing.

John Waters is, of course, not the first icon of oddity to hail from Baltimore. While Charm City is home to Charm City Bakery (Duff is an engaging guy) and The Wire television program…..those are only the latest. Before all of this was – Edgar Allen Poe. Writer of, well, nightmares and stories of the incredible and horrific. To give you an idea where this author comes from, I’ve a distant cousin (well, 3rd or 4th removed as I recall), who wrote well received monographs on Edgar.

Now, on to the Christmas album.

This being a family publication and all, I’ll try to limit this to titles that are, well, a little more wholesome (ummmmmmm…..sorta)

Even John admits in the liners that most of us don’t really want another Christmas album. I mean, come on – as I write this at the start of November there are 3, count ‘em 3, local terrestrial radio stations playing nothing but Christmas music. Haven’t these people heard that continual Christmas/holiday music is psychologically damaging? One can have Mariah Carey nightmares (met a guy with a really interesting Mariah story that is not for publication here, but ask me if we run into each other).

John takes a very different approach. This is a fun loving, irreverent record. There are traditional songs, like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer – as done by Tiny Tim. Or Sleigh Ride – Alvin and the Chipmunks.

Love it or hate it, Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer is a holiday family favourite. Not on this record, but popular. John Waters alternative is Here Comes Fatty Claus – sort of an urban combination of that and Christmas with the Family. We all know that the pressure of the holidays has a habit of making the disfunction we usually see grow with bloated, unrealizable expectations. Don’t get it twisted – if you let it kinda flow over you, Christmas and the other holidays have great stuff going for them. John has it just right – a little more diversity in holiday listening might just be a balm in Gilead.

What a fun ride. If you are easily offended, perhaps not for you as about a third is a bit off, in what I find to be the most endearing way possible. There is even a John Waters Christmas 2023 TOUR – check it out at City Winery in NYC Dec 17 and 19. Should there be another John Waters Christmas Album, maybe he could incorporate something Pastafarian. Don’t know that one – well, look it up. All I will point out is that it is, maybe, the most John Waters thing John Waters never did.

This is the point at which I recommend you check out for the best in radio and all things Xperience Monthly. No agendas, no preaching. Music, arts and culture are all we do. And if this little missive is in your wheelhouse, join me every month.

Now – as John Waters implores you – Have a merry, rotten, scary, sexy, biracial, ludicrous, happy little Christmas.

Until next time –



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