Essential New Music: Nick Lowe & Los Straitjackets’ “The Quality Holiday Revue Live”

“Cooler than a polar bear’s toenails” is the latest offering of legendary Rockpile-er, Nick Lowe, and his merry bunch of lucha libre-masked musicians lovingly known as Los Straitjackets. Captured live in Boston last year, it’s plainly one of the strangest things you’ll see, but take away the visual and digest the audible treats—you’re full on the couch stuffed on a savory meal of breezy indie-pop, classic Lowe pop-a-billy, and a garage-rock dessert. Delectable!

Lowe solidifies his eternal hipster on this record; he can lay it down with mute, masked men, and make Christmas carols about being stranded at the airport a genuine good time, yet still pull it off in his classic candor. A dozen live tracks that will restore your faith in the horror that is holiday music. Grab the adult eggnog!

—Scott Zuppardo