The Christmas Elves drops I receive this time of year usually come with some form of communication, although some years there is just the song file and silence. This year's song, "Run Run Run (From The Machines)," was sent to me in MP3 format, via an email encryption program called Signal, and also contained an STL file attachment for the 3D printing of a Chinese fortune cookie.
I quickly downloaded the file and ran it off on my Makerbot Replicator 3D printer. There was a 236-character note inside the cookie (which had a fresh-baked smell, with a hint of chocolate-nutmeg), and which read:
Now, over the years, some have foolishly accused me of being in cahoots with The Christmas Elves, or of actually being The Christmas Elves themselves. There's all kinds of wild, conspiracy theory disinformation false news campaigns out there, the wildest one being that these tracks are the result of all-night recording sessions in my studio after I've taken heroic doses of ayahuasca. (Imagine!) Radio show host Alex Jones has been particularly vocal in recent years about me being directly associated with The Christmas Elves, until I bought a bottle of his Super Male Vitality formula (which I don't even need, hello) and the attacks stopped shortly thereafter.
"A strangulated Residential intro gives way to mutant disco-like holidaze, finally ebbing into a peaceful tonic gauze. Drink up, Shriners!"
— Rhoades' Record Review, The Christmas Elves 2008
What The Elf
All hubbabaloey brouhahas aside, the fact remains that I was inexplicably picked by The Christmas Elves to be the conduit through which these songs would be distributed to the outside world. Over the years, I have come to form the opinion that these songs are not designed for contemporary listeners but are actually being composed as Christmas songs for artificial intelligence (AI) Machines of the future, and that they will be hit songs in the year 2060.
The Christmas Elves songs can be categorized as either difficult ("Lost In The Dark, Dark Forest On The Way To Grandma's House," "McCann He Was A Diver on Xmas Eve Like Hell Itself") or kind of fun ("Miss Fanny Apple Bright," "Spiked Punch"). This year's song leans toward the difficult, what with the melody (definitely not the right word) as bit-crunching solid as Great-Grandma's hard ribbon Christmas candy, brought over in her tattered mohair valise from the Old World. It kind of sounds like someone plugged a plastic Guitar Hero guitar into a toaster and then threw it in a bathtub filled with drunken bees. But it's also kind of silly and playful if you actually stop to take the time to listen, and it's got a nice muted backbeat yo.
Enough ado. Here it is. Merry Christmas!