Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year!


Happy new year, bonne année, glückliches Neues Jahr, gelukkig nieuwjaar, from all of us @ CAGG. Thank you for your visits and comments. See you in November 2012 !

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What Are You Doing New Year's Eve

Various versions from Bandcamp

By the Asylum Street Spankers, from a Holiday album I seem to have missed completely:


From merry carolers Caleb & the Caroling Caravan:


Free version fom trio Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh (of course), a version that starts with a telephone conversation (of course)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Dynamite Christmas

Five years ago, we lost the hardest working man in showbusiness. Certainly not forgotten:

Santa's got an uzi!

Sucks when Saint Nick steals your shit instead of dropping off gifts. Hence the fact that me and my boys went to the North Pole to buss a cap in datazz. Unfortunately, when we arrived at Santa's headquarters, he was strapped with major heat and had plenty of backup. Merry Christmas muthafuckaz! Don't play with guns!


Christmas in Ecuador

Want to know what that's like? Listen to Buffalo Moon:

Stubby's Christmas Mix


When Stubby makes a Christmas mix, you better go and grab it (for free) HERE

Inbetween days

No, not a cover of The Cure, but between Christmas and New Year's Eve, CAGG continues to post winter-, Christmas- and end-of-the-year-songs and -mixes on this blog. NOTE: some of the tracks aren't available anymore!

Thanks to CAGG-fan André, here's a gorgeous version of In the Bleak Midwinter by dreampop band Lanterns on the Lake. Download from HERE



Unavailable for download, alas, is this version of Rocking Around the Christmas Tree by Swedish duo My Bubba & Me. HERE

Funky funky Christmas Mix by Ronny Hammond. Stream and/ord download via Mixcloud via HERE

Dr Rubberfunk also mixed his fave funky seasonal songs together. Go HERE

Friday, December 23, 2011

Oh My!


UK Girl duo Oh My! (Jade and Alex) recorded a great version of The Waitresses' disco wave-classic Christmas Wrapping. LIsten on Soundcloud. Go HERE. Or go HERE to download.

There've been several Christmas Wrapping covers this year. Like this one from Summer Camp. And this one from Dog is Dead. This one from Exohxo.

The Blues Are Still Blue Christmas Compilation 2011



For the seventh year in a row The Blues Are Still Blue Presents:

Christmas Compilation 2011(download here)

001 Camera Obscura - The Blizzard
002 My Bubba & Mi - Pumpkin Pie
003 Summer Fiction - Christmas Eve for Two
004 The Kik - A Christmas Song For You
005 The Very Most - Wombling Merry Christmas
006 The Winston Jazz Routine - Through the snow
007 Caitlin Rose - You Never Come Home For Christmas
008 The Head And The Heart - Winter Song
009 Beta Radio - The Song the Season Brings
010 Birdy - White Winter Hymnal
011 Breathe Owl Breathe - Snow Blow
012 Chris Bathgate - Auld lang syne
013 David Bazan- Just Like Christmas (Low)
014 Marike Jager - Frosty The Snowman
015 Emmy The Great & Tim Wheeler - Christmas Day (I Wish I Was Surfing)
016 Megafaun - I Saw Three Ships
017 Renee & Jeremy - Sunny Christmas
018 Rick Fines - Country Christmas Blues
019 Rue Royale - What Next Dear One
020 She and Him - The Christmas Waltz
021 Smith & Burrows (& Agnes Obel) - The Christmas Song

If you like it, you gan still download my mix of 2010 and 2009 .

Merry Christmas!

José Is Bugging Me

I've been working at the distribution center of the Dutch postal service for the last couple of weeks, so I've been up to my neck in Christmas cards. For days on end, I've been listening to Sky Radio aka the Christmas channel, so yes I'm sick and tired of generic Christmas standards such as Feliz Navidad by José Feliciano.



As an antidote, I listen to this great Feliciano song. Works every time... I don't care if José thinks I don't know him now.

Christmas Is About Getting together

A message Harvey Averne clearly understands.



This song was posted on Funky16Corners as part 5 of a series on Christmas songs. Read more here

The Honey Trees


Californian dream pop duo The Honey Trees made two seasonal tracks, that are downloadable for free via their Facebook and Reverbnation site. The, indeed honey-voiced Becky Filip is a real treat for these dark days.

Try:
The Honey Trees - It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

Coconuts on Christmas

Fellow Christmas song enthusiasts Festive! had a short talk with Kid Creole & The Coconuts singer August Darnell about the song 'Christmas on Riverside Drive' , they consider to be the best Christmas song of all time. Read the interview here.

A Laid Back Christmas

Laid Back, the best cloudcaster on mixcloud, offers us this jazzy Christmas mix by Croatian DJ TomE.

Parenthetical Girls

'A little late', yes, but the yearly Christmas EP by Parenthetical Girls is still worthy to light up your day. Name your price!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

So This Is Crisis

Dutch band Pondertone wishes you a Happy Christmas and a healthy and prosperous 2012... honestly.

A Kiwanuka Carol



Like The Kills, below, this version of Silent Night was recorded for BBC Radio 6. See the full session on the video above.
Download the wav. file of Michael Kiwanuka's carol HERE

The Kills


Silent Night by The Kills, live recorded by the BBC

Download directly from HERE

Italian Christmas


As you've noticed, a lot of Holiday compilations are traditions already, like mistletoe and holly. Italian blog Polaroid posted their annual Christmas comp last week, featuring regulars like the the Ian Fays (another very good entry), Le Man Avec Les Lunettes and a really sparkling, spacey track by Welcome Back Sailors, a highlight if you ask me. Go HERE to download'm all.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Souldiers' Balls

Dutch popsoul band The Souldiers made a special Christmas song, and a video. This is how we do in Holland, baby.

Arbor Christmas 12

First time I bumped into the Arbor Christmas series, going on since 1999 (!). The 12th installment was just made freely downloadable on bandcamp. If titles like The Battle of Snowmeng Mountain or Toys Don't Cry make you think of other songs, well, keep on listening...


The Holidays Don't Have To Be So Rotten (2)

'Another Catholic Christmas at the Federal Women's Reformatory in Alderson, West-Virginia for Iva Toguri' is probably the most intriguing title ever for a Christmas song. It's one of the tracks on the second installment of The Holidays Don't Have to Be So Rotten, a 'name your price' compilation on Flannelgraph Records. Only instrumental, moody, brooding tracks, by artists like Dolorean and Dirty Beaches (a personal fave). Try and find out more HERE


In a Foxtails mood



More? HERE

Monday, December 19, 2011

It's beginning to sound a lot like KDHXmas




Local radio station KDHX in St Louis put together a varied mix of Christmas songs by local and national acts, all recorded live in the KDHX studio. Brave Combo probably is the best known band, the Funky Butt Brass Band was already featured on this blog. Really dig the Hammond-a-gogo-version of Jingle Bells by The Civil Tones, and the funny song by Lucky Old Sons. Most of the tracks are downloadable for free. Go HERE

Sweet Songs

Two sweet seasonal songs from Bandcamp



Free Johnny Marr Christmas Song!



OMG! The illustrious guitarist from The Smiths made a Christmas single with his band The Healers. No lyrics, just spirit!

Download on his site (via Soundcloud)

The Burt Carols

Gwen Thomas, she of this great Winter Song, wrote a beautiful piece on her favourite Christmas carols for this blog:

I first heard the Christmas carols of Alfred Burt when I was a teenager. I’d stumbled across the sheet music and plunked my way through at the piano. The graceful melodies full of surprising twists and the lovely jazz voicings instantly struck a chord with me. The carols seem to surface every year around Christmastime for me and yet, oddly enough, it wasn't until this last week that, after years of calling them my faves, I actually became curious about where they came from. Who’s Alfred Burt, anyway? What I discovered was a story that provided me with some good, old-fashioned Christmas inspiration.

The Alfred Burt Carols were the result of a charming family legacy. Between 1942 and 1954, Burt wrote these fifteen carols (roughly one per year), as a Christmas card to send his loved ones. It was a tradition his father had started, and Alfred carried it on through the rest of his short life. He sadly passed at the early age of 33, but not before leaving us this well-rounded collection of utter Christmassiness! The lyrics read sacred, but for me these are outshone by the hallowing harmonies and divinely crafted melodies, which remind me that music really can be simply magical. That, in itself, is sacred, to me. And this is exactly how I want to feel this time of year: that there is such a thing as “sacred” or “magic,” available to us in the form of something as simple as music!

Well, if I’m waxing too mystical for you, let me come back to earth. In 2011, the carols speak louder than ever to me, because prior to digging up this stash of carols this year, I had actually written my own, first-ever seasonal song– a completely unrelated project… or so I thought. When I view my song in the light of these carols that have quietly influenced me each year at Christmas, I see that in my “carol” I’ve actually gone ahead and used Burt’s style of tight, parallel-moving melodies (in places in "We'll Dress The House," “Nigh Bethlehem"), a few unexpected, jazzy chord changes (found in all his carols, but I’ll point you toward my favourite, "Sleep, Baby Mine”), and lyrics that– from within clichéd imagery– reveal a broader concept that aims to bring us all together ("Some Children See Him"). Burt crept into my own wintry music!

There are other ways I feel connected to Alfred Burt’s life. For one thing, he went by “Al” and his wife's name was Anne. My mom and dad are an “Ann and Al,” so that's a nice, li’l coincidence. But moreover, his vocal arranging reminds me of my dear, late mentor Chris Dedrick. Chris’ band, The Free Design, was another “family legacy” type group, consisting primarily of Chris and his siblings. Both Alfred and Chris were jazz trumpeters who served time in big bands of military branches. Both men also clearly treasured the beauty of the human voice and stories brought to life through thoughtful vocal arranging. I like that these two great jazz composers have a bit in common, it feels cozy to me– like a good legacy to settle down into and call “home.” And that’s exactly what I intend to do, by continuing to let the arrangements of both these composers seep into my musical mind.

I’ll start by listening through the Alfred Burt Carols for the 20th time this week!

MP3's

Sleep, Baby Mine
Some Children See Him

Are You Lonely Tonight, Mrs. Claus? :: Dan Wilson

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Distinctly Jamaican Christmas


Pick up this year's mix of Jamaican Christmas goodies, AND all the other mixes John from Distinctly Jamaican Sounds blog made.

Lovers & Poets

Originally by Margo Guryan, later redone by Claudine Longet and St Etienne, this cover of I Don't Intend to Spend Christmas Without You by Lovers & Poets is just as pretty.

Dirty9s



Download for free at Bandcamp

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Cowbell for Christmas

I got a fever and the ONLY cure is...




Can't see the video? Go HERE

Friday, December 16, 2011

Great finds


Of course you check the greatest Christmas blog out there, Stubby's, as religiously as we do every day. But in case you don't, here's a round up of a few fantastic (FREE) songs you just can't afford to miss.

Norwegian producer Torkelson sprinkled his electronic magic all over Judy Garland's Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, and then it sounded like this

UK Rapper Wiley never got the same attention as fellow grime-star Dizzee Rascal, but the latter never recorded a grand xmas song. Go here to check and download Cheer Up, It's Christmas

And finally, former Slits-guitarist Viv Albertine (pictured above) released a Christmas single that's just that. LOUD! Go HERE.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas soul some more

Checked on Bandcamp for some nice (free!) soulful Christmas tunes, and this is what I came up with:









Country Christmas



31 country heroes sing christmas classics: Johnny, Merle, Loretta, Emmylou, they're all HERE

Tin Christmas


Dutch jazz-pranksters Tin Men & the Telephone renamed themselves Tin Men & the Telephohohone for the season, 'cause they made a Christmas-album. But not as we know it. If you make tracks like these, you know that their version of classics like Jingle Bells and All I Want for Christmas sound, well, different.

But make no mistake, these guys are really, really good musicians. They invited singer Paul van Kessel (plus a very agitated route planning device) for their take on Chris Rea's immortal 'Driving home for Christmas'.

Tin Men & the Telephone - Driving Home for Christmas

The X in X-Mas


Really want to know who put the X in Xmas? See Wikipedia.

Let's put the X back in Xmas, Candye Kane and Country Dick once sang (see here).
Now the Dutch Tiny Little Big Band sings: You put the X in Xmas. Let's make Xmas mean something this year, I say!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Funky Yuletide Mix


In addition to this great compilation (sound quality debate aside, it IS a great compilation), Jan Kohlmeyer made a VERY funky Christmas mix for the Paris DJS blog. Go HERE to see the tracklist and download the mix for FREE.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas: DIY style

What's more fun than receiving Christmas wishes (or maybe even better: presents!) that are handmade by the sender? Our Twitter friends @karinjeurink (kazoo/vocals) and @martijnen (guitar/vocals) did just that: in 2010 they recorded their own cute little xmas video for all their friends. One year later it's here for everyone to enjoy:

Lauren Laverne giveaway


Every day, until December 20th, BBC Radio6 presenter Lauren Leverne gives away a free Christmas song mp3. So far, My Morning Jacket and Lucy Rose songs were made downloadable. Check her site.

Lex Land


Husky singer (think Julie London) Lex Land recorded two heartwarming versions of Christmas classics, for all to enjoy for free. Go here to download her This Year's Santa Baby (orig Eartha Kitt) and the loungey Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

Ho Ho Hoes!



Can't see the video? Go HERE

Curt Smith


Curt Smith, one half of Tears for Fears, recorded a Christmas song (like he did last year) and put it on Bandcamp for all to enjoy. Name your price (can be 0 too):

The soothing saccharin sounds of Winter Wonderland



Hiding under boxes of faded Christmas balls your mom keeps with the Christmas crafts you made back in grade school, Schnauzer Radio Orchestra pulled out an orange and brown Bakelite version of Winter Wonderland, complete with a SuperNES, a Stylophone, a Wurlitzer and an all girls 60s choir. What more could any mortal want for Christmas, besides a dry Martini and a big fireplace, I ask you.

In the words of keyboard player and all around Dutch cheese master Rob Geboers, "Do with this track as you please. Blog about it, remix it, give it away to your worst enemies, or just do a little nerdy dance to it."

Schnauzer Radio Orchestra - Winter Wonderland

Monday, December 12, 2011

Kids Christmas Album Links Still Active







I just looked back at some Christmas postings from 2006 and 2007 on Check The Cool Wax. I was surprised to find a lot of links to downloads still working. Click on the album cover above if you want to recapture a little of that childhood Christmas feeling. Get them while the links still work!

Merry Christmas!

Last Christmas

The header of this blog reads: 'You won't find any Wham! here'. True that, but it doesn't mean we can't post nice Last Christmas-covers, right? There's a great blog dedicated to covers of this seasonal smash. On Bandcamp, you can pick up some really cool covers for (almost) free. Here's a list:

















Not on Bandcamp, but still free:
Last Christmas

(Thx Stubby)

Shonen Christmas




Everyone's favourite Japanese girlie punkateers released a special Christmas single. Featuring their rendition of We Wish You A Merry Christmas, and their own Sweet Christmas. Gotta love these gals.

Shonen Knife - Sweet Christmas

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Paul Logister releases seasonal single

Paul Logister (born April 6 , 1964 in Heerlen) is a Dutch singer-songwriter. Paul was just another kid whose imagination was stimulated by the pop culture explosion of the 1960s.



Logister is - in his own words - a master of the pop song, from soulful ballads to country-style bouncersto out-and-out rockers. His song writing is clearly influenced by people like John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, Joe Jackson and Chuck Berry. Now he comes up with a brand new single ‘Into white’. A nice seasonal track, but without the obligatory jingle bells and without mentioning the word 'christmas'.

'Into White' is available from iTunes and Bandcamp and will appear on Spotify shortly.




Soul of Christmas

As you may have noticed, the CAGG-crew loves black music, and Bandcamp. So when we bump into soulful xmas tunes on that great platform, we post 'm asap. John Black is a former Fishbone- and Miles Davis-sideman, who recorded this seasonal EP with covers and self-penned, bluesey songs. Check:



The GED-label is a purveyor of fine soulful tunes, their seasonal comp features heroes like DeRobert & the Half-Truths. Check:



Grillade. Never heard of before, but their Just a Sad Christmas song is D E E P.



And finally, 'name your price' for this in fact nostalgic soulful Christmas song by, yes, The Nostalgics (no, not a cover of the Long Blondes track with the same title)



You rather hear something snotty and loud? Go here.

The worst Christmas songs of all time



No, not chosen by the CAGG-crew, but Florian Duijsens of Askmen.com. See here (and agree!). Via Twitter, Florian reminded me of a 'non shitty Christmas tune' that wasn't featured here yet. But should. See here. Or even better, go to Stubby's to find the FREE downloadlink.

By the way, when it comes to dubstep and Christmas, we think GLC said it best.

Merry Effing Christmas


A few weeks back, I uploaded a mix of the most foulmouthed Christmas songs ever. I've re-uploaded the zip, due to popular demand. Go grab it HERE. And yes, I did change two songs.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Tre Williams & the Revelations

Amazing FREE Christmas soul EP by Tre Williams & the Revelations (thanks Stubby for the heads up).

Love this stuff!


The Kik!



From Rotterdam! One of the bestest Christmas songs of the year!

Maybe this Sexsmith


Here's how this works: Gijs posts a track from a Feist Inspired Playlist I made with Arja (see below). That reminded me of Ron Sexsmith, who wrote a song that Feist covered. Then I see this free Christmas album by Exohxo on Stubby's. That features a cover of Ron's Christmas track. So I wondered - are there more covers of Maybe This Christmas? Is Ron's song a Christmas classic yet? Well, he's getting there, I think. Covers from artists from all over the world, even a Swedish translation. It was used in tv-series, there are various covers on Youtube. Are there more? Let me know! (I know there's a duet Ron did with Canadian tv-personality John McDermott, that's just bad)

Ron Sexsmith - Maybe This Christmas
Exhoxo - Maybe This Christmas
Nils Landgren - Maybe This Christmas
Sarah Dawn Finer - Maybe This Christmas
Leigh Nash - Maybe This Christmas
Randi T Egeland - Maybe This Christmas
Michelle Schmitt - Maybe This Chirstmas
Terry McDade & the McDades - Maybe This Christmas
Katie Noonan - Maybe This Christmas
Mats Rondin, Charlotte Perrelli, Malmo Symphony Orchestra & Lunds Studentsangare - Kanner din varme
Kerry Getz - Maybe This Christmas

Thursday, December 08, 2011

An alto collab Christmas

Nothing but great talents on this one. Stumbled upon it through Guuz and Arja's Perfect Feist Inspired Playlist. Beck + Wilco + Jamie Lidell + Feist = Awesome.



By the way, this is a cover of Skip Spence, better known as Jefferson Airplane's drummer. The original is worth your time, too:

I'm not really in the Christmas Mood this year

Very pretty Christmas songs (despite the title) from duo Foxtails Brigade.

Funky Funky Christmas


If soulful or downright funky Christmas tunes are your thing (and they sure are mine), go to the wonderful Any Major Dude blog, to download a fresh, and various old compilations of the greatest x-mas songs ever recorded.

Go HERE if you like the boom-bap a little more. Including a rapping KITT car.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Dreaming of a Dutch Christmas


Every month, Dutch music platform 3voor12 puts online a compilation of new Dutch artists, in various genres. This month, they asked bands and singers to send in Christmas track. Thirty-one did so. You can stream the comps via the Luisterpaal (CD1, CD2). Dutch hiphop, Dutch Americana, Dutch rock, Dutch electronica... it's all there (even Chris Rea is!) and most of it is pretty effing great. A few tracks are downloadable, like G.T. Thomas' Winter Birds, iET's Christmas Day, Jörgen Ben Jamin's Days of Christmas and That Band From Holland of course. THIS JUST IN: the gorgeous, Fleet Fox-y song It's Santa! by No Ninja Am I is also downloadable. Here.


Go see the video for Bertolfs English Roses (not a Christmas track, more a seasonal song) HERE

Basement 5



New wave Christmas classics. Can you name a seasonal track from, say 1977-1985? I just got acquinted with Basement 5's Last White Christmas from 1980, the last single from this British band that's best know for this track. Any more wavey suggestions?

Basement 5 - Last White Christmas

Mayer, Clare



Last year, blue-eyed soul singer Mayer Hawthorne recorded a beautiful version of Christmas Time is Here (yep, the Vince Guaraldi song). It's up for download again via Stones Throw. Also still available is Clare & The Reasons cover of Last Christmas, here.

My Morning Jacket


One of the best alt.Americana-bands out there just released an iTunes Christmas session EP. With beautiful, irony-free countryfied (lots and lots of steelguitar) Christmas songs to warm your soul by. Stunning stuff.

My Morning Jacket - When the Bells Start Ringing (feat. The Head and the Heart)

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Diamond Rugs


FANTASTIC Christmas song by Diamond Rugs (= John McCauley, Ian Saint Pe (Black Lips), Hardy Morris (Dead Confederate), Steve Berlin (Los Lobos), Rob Crowell (Deer Tick), and Brian Dufresne (Six Finger Satellite)). [via Rollo & Grady]

Go HERE to download

Merry Progmas

Who said fans of progressive rock don't have a sense of humour? Merry Progmas!

Warm and fluffy

Maya Solovey's take on Christmas is the kind of Christmas I long for all year. Warm and fluffy. Just listen to that sultry, soft voice of hers.

Maya Solovey-White Christmas

Full 2010 Xmas set (10 songs) to be found HERE 

Meb

Filles who sing in French, I can blog about that for years. In fact, that's what I did! Meb, from Canada, released another seasonal chanson (for free, or 'name your price') with the resonance-button up to eleven. Church-y!


That Band From Holland

Like clockwork, the new (third) Christmas EP by That Band From Holland was released on December 1. Indiepop from Holland (Rotterdam, in fact), with help from the Left-Handed Orchestra. It's a 'name your price' download!

Monday, December 05, 2011

Aidan Moffatt

Arab Strap-member Aidan Moffatt released an offbeat Christmas EP on Bandcamp today. Including synthesized covers of Last Christmas and Santa Claus is Coming to Town, and a creepy track called A Not So Silent Night Before Christmas.

France vs Santa

French fragile hardrocker France de Griessen covers Les Sales Majestés brilliant anti-Santa song PP Haine


Clip PP Haine door natydred

Words fall short...

when trying to explain how bad this is. Hardcore punk band Enrage should rather toast on better songs.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

All I Want For Christmas Is An Afghan Whigs Reunion

I've never related more to any song's lyrics. Ever. Wish the music of this Bicentennial Bear song was just as good, but I'll settle for kick-ass lyrics. Listen closely and you'll be rewarded with more funny lines than you can take. "I don't care who plays drums. All I want for Christmas is an Afghan Whigs reunion." Righteous.


Jamie Cullum & Eliza Doolittle

Jamie Cullum & Eliza Doolittle sing a lovely version of Baby It's Cold Outside on Jamie's BBC Radio2 show. Up for download via Soundcloud (click below)

Jamie Cullum & Eliza Doolittle - Baby It's Cold Outside

G.T. Thomas


If Karen Carpenter had fronted Stereolab, it could've sounded like the songs of G.T. Thomas. This U.S.-born, Amsterdam-dwelling songwriter/arranger/producer released a very delicate, nifty album (go HERE), and wrote and recorded in a few weeks this lovely seasonal track. Enjoy.

Go HERE to download (free, or name your price)

Bella Ruse

From last year, but still very, very beautiful


Link fest

As a fellow Christmas music addict, you DO follow kindred blogs like Stubby's, SWOT and M&B, right? Another bunch you want to check out are Big Rock Candy Mountain, for your daily dose of oddball, hard-rocking, psycho-bluesy Christmas songs. Also nice (yet kitschy) is Hi-Fi Holiday

Mando Christmas


Swedish rockers Mando Diao, best known for party songs like this one, made a sweet Christmas track with strings, flute and high-pitched organ. It's about a family hating each other during the holidays, so this sure will get you in the right mood ;)

Mando Diao - Christmas could have been good

Friday, December 02, 2011

Afro Funky Christmas

Mr President, from France (no, not Mr Sarkozy, the band), will release a special Christmas track next week. It's an excellent dance track with lots of percussion, afrobeat-woodblock and screaming horns. LOVE this!

Mr President - It's Christmas Time (Soundcloud link)

Christmas in Haworth

Photos Like Postcards from Darren Hayman on Vimeo.



Darren Hayman is an indie singer-songwriter who made a Christmas record (10 inch vinyl, the coolest of formats) with original songs. To promote that, he made a website on which free (!) Christmas songs are posted, by Hayman and his friends. Go HERE.

Scott Weiland :: Winter Wonderland

She & Him :: Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Funny Looking Angels


You start throwing around some ideas for songs, and before you know it you end up with a Christmas album. It happened to Tom Smith (from Editors) and Andy Burrows (ex-Razorlight), Funny Looking Angels is one of the bestest seasonal releases of this year. A few covers, several smart originals. Dramatic, moody (single When the Thames Froze starts off with the word 'Goddamn'), but balanced. Short but sweet is the duet with angelic Agnes Obel.

Smith & Burrows & Obel - The Christmas Song

Santa's Soul & Funk Christmas Party


The one compilation I was dying to hear, fell on my doormat today. And as it goes with things you want real bad, it's a bit of a letdown. The guys behind the Tramp-reissuelabel compiled a bunch of funky, soulful and hard to find Christmas songs from the 60s (bar two) by no-names like Detroit Junior and Rose Graham. Now, I love vinyl, I really dig the cracks and pops of an old black plate. But when you put vinyl to cd, you can do a better job then the Tramp-guys did for this comp. The sound is distorted, wobbles and is unbalanced. Could be that the source-records sound exactly like that, but I have a version of Gary Walker's Santa's Got a Brand New Bag (from a blog) that sounds waaay better then the one on the Tramp compilation. Be advised!
That said, there isn't a bad track on SS&FCP. The season never sounded so soulful


Lee Rogers - You won't have to wait till Xmas

We Three Keanes


We Three Keanes = record producer John Keane and his 17-year old twin daughters. They recorded a bunch of Christmas classics (ranging from O Come Emmanuel to Jingle Bell Rock). From the press-release: 'For years, the Keanes have made annual Christmas recordings for the entertainment of family and friends. This family tradition has evolved into O Christmas, Where Art Thou? a fully produced collection of nine traditional holiday songs rendered in a sparse, folksy style, with mostly acoustic instruments and tight three-part harmonies.' The cd is for sale via John's website.

Though a tad traditional for most Christmas-a-gogo ears, this version of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings, with some nice steelguitar, is a good one.

We Three Keanes - God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman/We Three Kings

Lay Jains

'Melodic Pop of Montreal' is how the Lay Jains describe themselves. Stereolab'd nerdcore, I'd say. Love those synths, that phat bass. The right atmosphere. And totally FREE

Mashup Madness


It's HEEEERE! Santastic Six, the very entertaining series of Christmas mashups under tutelage of dj BC.

Go HERE to download

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cutting up Christmas like a Thanksgiving turkey

You might know British DJ duo Coldcut from their classic 'Paid In Full remix' or their hit song 'Doctorin' The House'. You probably didn't know them from 'Coldcut's Christmas Break'. Now you do. For which I am truly sorry, because this is bad. Not good bad, bad bad.




Coldcut - Coldcuts Christmas Break

Killers Christmas


Their albums may be a little uneven ('Are we human, or are we dancer?', WTF?!), the annual Killers-Christmas singles NEVER disappoints. Alle seasonal tracks are put on one EP, including this new track:

The Killers - The Cowboys' Christmas Ball (sorry, link works now)

F

All songs by The Hague-based Dutch band F start with an F. So here's First Noel:

A Fucked Up Christmas

Yes, I know the intro text of this blog assured you we'd stay clear of Band Aid, but although the chords and the words are the same, this is not so much a cover as it is a protest. In the words of Fucked Up's singer Damian:

There's a kind of cavalier colonialism to the original, like the West has to go in and help this poor Third World country. But the charities that we're trying to help are exactly a product of this colonial history. People who have been subjugated and oppressed for so many years are going missing. So there's an irony to using the song. The lyrics are tasteless enough as it is.

One way or the other, this is an interesting rendition. Not only do we hear the gritty but brilliantly layered post-punk we already knew Fucked Up could deliver so well, as a bonus we also get to enjoy crowd pleasers Andrew W.K., Bob Mould, David Cross, Ezra Koenig, GZA, Kevin Drew, Kyp Malone, Tegan and Sara and Yo La Tengo.




Want the mp3? Download via Mediafire HERE

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Teddy


Crawl up with me on this bear rug baby. I'll poke up the fire. Ohhh, you look soooo good in your new red see-through teddy, red stockings and garters. Sip some of that wine, while I put on some music. Silky smooth, of course, just like your legs, hehehe. Teddy Pendergrass, of course. Teddy never lets me down. This is from his 1998 Christmas album. It always makes me a little sad when I hear him sing. I need to be comforted baby. Real hard. Hehehe.

Teddy Pendergrass - I won't have Christmas

Celebs butcher Christmas songs



Oh, you think this was bad? Read on HERE

Keep Calm

Mr Keep Calm wrote a whole album of original, new Christmassongs. We like the Horse with no name-shuffle of 'Christmas shop' a lot. Preview it on his bandcamp page below.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas in the city

Here's a great Christmas-themed spotify playlist compiled by House of Soul.

Rue Royale

Rue Royale (husband and wife Brookln and Ruth) recorded three Christmas classics for a free EP a while ago, that's still up for FREE download!



In other news, go HERE to download and enormous bunch of folked-up and countrified Christmas songs, courtesy of the blog Songs:Illinois.

Away in a manger

"Jesus was born, hallelujah hallo. Jesus was born in a little box full of hay." Flemish comedian Urbanus caused quite a stir when he released this song in 1979. It was considered blasphemy because of lines like "The holy spirit hung shining on the ceiling, in blue jumpsuit and his purple tie. Joseph said 'Look, that's my boy'. Just look at his nose, it's just like mine!"

Urbanus - Bakske vol met stro
EXTRA:
Very pretty coverversion:
Nathalie Delcroix - Bakske vol met stro

Magnificent Tapeworms

With a bandname like that, you can't really go wrong. Their Gnarley XXXMas is a hot twangin' surfguitar freakout, that will turn every Christmas dinner into a raging orgy. Thanks Alexander for the tip!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

James Follette


The excellent Stubby already wrote about this BRILLIANT take on one of the sexiest Christmas songs ever written. With great hair. But I had to post about it too. First off, the video is great. So's the hair. The lyrics are wonderful: 'Santa Brother, slip a Gucci suit 'neath the tree, for me, so I can get all the girls". And did I mention the hairdo?
More Follette on Soundcloud


James Follette - Santa Brother

Vanessa Carlton


Remember Vanessa? From A Thousand Miles, and that Counting Crows-duet? Well, she recorded a Christmas-EP. More like a Holiday or Seasonal EP, 'cause it features an acoustic version of A Thousand Miles, a rerun of Hear the Bells (a song that came out earlier this year) and a rendition of two Christmas-y tracks: John Lennon's Happy X-Mas and Do You Hear What I Hear. That latter version is the best, I think.

Vanessa Carlton - Do You Hear What I Hear

Black Swans

'Lindsey Lohan meets Bad Santa? Nah, more like Scrooge with a cute wink!'

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Christmas in California

Very sweet track by honey-voiced Ash Reiter, free download on Bandcamp:

Black Santa


Of course, the greatest black Santa of all time is James Brown, who made several terrific funky Christmas songs (compiled on this great album). This morning, I was randomly searching on 'Black Santa' and a few great songs turned up. The slow, deep and hard track by Melvins, for instance. An even louder track by The Red Chord. An instrumental by Kid Congo Powers, some hiphop tracks, some comedy. And this 2009 released, high-octane rock'n roll song by King Salami & the Cumberland 3. Who called their single (featuring a cover of Bob Seger's Sock it to me Santa) X-Mas a Go Go. So there.

King Salami & The Cumberland 3 - Black Santa