Frankly, listening to the music on the radio and in shopping malls this time of year can feel a little like waterboarding for the ears.

We’re nearly four weeks into the holiday season, and the musical fatigue has officially set in. Seriously, if we hear just one more note of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” (or even the timeless “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby) we’re liable to snap.

But take heart. Sure, there’s still another week or so before the Christmas music finally starts to mercifully disappear from our environment, but in the meantime your friends here at GO! have a little surprise for you — a sort of virtual mix tape of oft-overlooked holiday music for those of us who are sick and tired of holiday music.

Our virtual mix tape looks something like this:

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1. “The Christmas Song,” The Raveonettes.

No, it’s not THAT “The Christmas Song.” Not the one made famous by Nat King Cole and played ad nauseam at this time of year. This one is by Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo of the Danish indie rock duo The Raveonettes.

The two-minute song features Everly Brothers-esque harmonies, with an easy beat that gives it a 1960s surf-rock vibe.

And nary a mention of chestnuts roasting on open fires.

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2. “Christmas in Prison,” John Prine

There’s nothing quite like the juxtaposition of incarceration at the holidays, and singer-songwriter extraordinaire John Prine knows how to paint a picture with his lyrics: “It was Christmas in prison and the food was real good/ We had turkey and pistols carved out of wood.”

And if you enjoy this song, also check out Prine’s “Silent Night All Day Long” tune.

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3. “At Christmas Time,” The Common Linnets

An achingly beautiful song about lost love at the holidays.

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4. “Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis,” Tom Waits

You may not care for Tom Waits’ broken-glass-and-gravel vocals, but man, does he ever weave a compelling story. This one’s about a prostitute’s epistle from jail:

“I wish I had all the money we used to spend on dope/ I’d buy me a used car lot and I wouldn’t sell any of ’em/ I’d just drive a different car every day, depending on how I feel.”

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5. “Little Drummer Boy,” by El Vez

He calls himself the Mexican Elvis, and Robert Lopez knows how to rock a Christmas song. Infectious drum beats, electric guitars and replacing the “Pah-rum-pum-pum” refrain with the inviting “Come on, Come on!” Brilliant.

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6. “Everybody Deserves a Merry Christmas,” Ronnie Fauss

We’re back with another song about doing time at the holidays; this one’s from Dallas singer-songwriter Ronnie Fauss.

Favorite verse: “Tell your mama I didn’t mean a single word I’ve said/ About the funny way she walks or the watermelon size of her head/ This time things will be different, of that there is no doubt/ If she would just come on down here and bail me out.”

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7. “Soulful Christmas,” James Brown

The hardest-working man in show business isn’t about to take time off for the holidays. The Godfather of Soul offers up one of the coolest Christmas tunes ever.

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8. “Merry Christmas from the Family,” Robert Earl Keen

Those of you who think “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer” is the official redneck Christmas carol have never heard Keen’s dysfunctional tale of a drunken family’s yuletide gathering.

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9. “Father Christmas,” The Kinks

Basically, this well-known English rock band offers us a song about Santa getting rolled by a bunch of punk kids.

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10. “Fairytale of New York,” The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl

Last time for a holiday song from lockup, we promise. Rumor has it this song hits the U.K. Top 20 every December. WARNING: Lyrics may not be appropriate for all ages.

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11. “2000 Miles,” The Pretenders

Although considered a Christmas song, Chrissie Hynde’s melancholy take on loss at the holidays can be listened to year-round.

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12. “Getting Ready for Christmas Day,” Paul Simon

This catchy Paul Simon tune from 2011 contains samples from a 1941 sermon by the Rev. J.M. Gates.

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13. “That Was the Worst Christmas Ever,” Sufjan Stevens

Singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens has released a buttload of holiday songs — and not just a regular buttload, but a SANTA-SIZED buttload. Most of those songs, according to critics, are almost unlistenable.

This is one of the good ones.

Contact Mark Saal at 801-625-4272, or msaal@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @Saalman. Friend him on Facebook at facebook.com/MarkSaal.

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