Recent Posts in holiday music
October 23, 2014
Sun Kil Moon at Pitchfork 2014 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
War on Drugs fan Mark Kozelek (Sun Kil Moon, Red House Painters) is releasing another album this year, a Christmas album called Sings Christmas Carols, due out November 4 on his own Caldo Verde label. The album features his take on "Christmas Time Is Here," the Vince Guaraldi-penned song from A Charlie Brown Christmas. You can stream it over at Pitchfork, where they also point out it includes a reworking of the classic special's wry dialogue: "Mark, you're the only person I know who can take a wonderful season like Christmas and turn it into a problem....of all the Mark Kozeleks in the world, you're the Mark Kozelek-iest."
Meanwhile, A Charlie Brown Christmas turns 50 this year and its anniversary will be celebrated in NYC with live music from Rob Schwimmer and Mark Stewart, joined by the Church of the Heavenly Rest Children's Choir. The performances happen at The Met on December 20 & 21 with two each day, 11 AM and 1:30 PM on 12/20 and 2 PM and 4 PM on 12/21. "Following the screening of the film, a festive holiday sing-a-long will be led by Mark Stewart." Tickets for all four are on sale now.
October 14, 2014
You know Basher, and Dancer...
You may remember that Nick Lowe released holiday album, Quality Street, last year. He'll be in the spirit again this year on a North American tour, that includes two NYC shows: Bowery Ballroom on December 14 and Music Hall of Williamsburg on December 20. Tickets for those NYC shows go on sale Friday (10/17) at noon with an AmEx presale starting Wednesday (10/15) at noon.
All tour dates are listed, along with the video for "Christmas at the Airport," below...
December 20, 2013
by Bill Pearis
Love holiday music but sick of hearing "Christmas Wrapping," "All I Want for Christmas (is You)" and "Feliz Navidad"? Were you just thinking, "I wish there were more low-fi sleezoid punk and pop Christmas songs that occasionally feature references to weed?" Well the folks at Burger Records are here to help. They recently upped a mammoth, 75-track holiday mix. It features The Muffs, The Explorers Club, The Three O'Clock, Shannon & the Clams, Cleaners from Venus, Devon Williams, Pop Zeus, Idiot Glee, White Fang and (obviously) lots, lots more. The compilation kicks off with "Every Year So Different," a funky number from Cornershop featuring TRWBADOR that is pretty good and there are some other real gems in here too.
Stream the whole thing below...
December 19, 2013
by Bill Pearis
Pernice and Blake
The New Mendicants, the new-ish project from non-Canadians living in Toronto Joe Pernice and Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub), have just announced that their debut album, Lime, will be out on January 28 via Blake and Pernice's new label, XPT Records. If you like the lush, harmon-laden guitar pop that both The Pernice Brothers and Teenage Fanclub are known for, you're gonna like this too, and know pretty much what you're getting already. You can stream "Sarasota" from the album below.
While you wait for the album, The New Mendicants have a holiday 7" out now and you can stream the A-side, "A Very Sorry Christmas," below. The New Mendicants will be touring the UK and Ireland in the new year. No North American dates yet, but Joe will be out with Wesley Stace in January, and will be playing NYC solo at Rockwood Music Hall on 1/10 (tickets).
In other news, Joe tells us that a new Pernice Brothers album is on the way as well, which will be titled either Spread the Feeling or It's a Long Way Up. Look for that later in 2014.
Streams and New Mendicants album art, below...
Darlene Love at "Right 2 Rock" benefit in October (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
The holiday season is upon us, and its spirit and celebrations are just about everywhere you look. If you're looking for some musical ways to celebrate in NYC, here's a few options.
Like she usually does, Darlene Love is celebrating the holidays at BB King's. She already played one of her shows there earlier this month (12/6), and since we last spoke, she's added two more happening on Friday (12/20) and January 4. Friday's show is sold out (but the venue says tickets may be available the day of the show), and tickets for the 1/4 show are available.
Other previously discussed holiday shows at BB King's include Darlene's fellow A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector singer Ronnie Spector (of the Ronettes) on Sunday (12/22) (tickets), and Jewish a cappella group The Maccabeats on Christmas (12/25) (tickets).
Street Dogs, the Boston punk band fronted by former Dropkick Murphy Mike McColgan, will play "Wreck the Halls" at Highline Ballroom on Friday (12/20) with Chosen Ones and Done With You. Tickets are available.
Doveman collaborator Justin Vivian Bond and friends are playing holiday shows at Joe's Pub on Sunday (12/22) and Monday (12/23). The shows are billed as "Let It Show!" and the description reads, "Celebrate the return of the light with Justin Vivian Bond and friends with an evening of Holiday inspired songs and stories. Expect surprises! (bring your own lumps of coal and watch them turn into diamonds) Keywords: starstruck, babies, booze, ox and ass. Oh Come All Ye Faithful!" Tickets for both shows are available.
While Union Hall won't be having any music, they will be open on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and the following day (12/26) to celebrate the holidays. The kitchen will be closed, but the bar will be serving holiday-themed drinks, and they'll have Christmas bocce ball and a fireplace going. The venue opens at 4 PM on 12/24 and 12/26 and 5 PM on 12/25.
Like last year, The Bell House will host the Harry Potter Yule Ball on Saturday (12/21) featuring sets from Harry and the Potters, The Potter Puppet Pals, Lauren Fairweather, and half-Mad can o' Destroy. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
And another Christmas Eve option is 'Christmas Eve for the Jews' with comedians Joel Chasnoff, Judy Gold and Todd Barry at City Winery on Christmas Eve. This one's sold out, but you can sign up for the waiting list in case tickets become available.
Brooklyn Bowl has holiday celebrations all weekend with Jimmy Hill and the Allstarz Band featuring Black Velvet (aka James Brown Jr) at the early show on Saturday (12/21) (tickets) and Jonathan Toubin's Soul Clap and Dance-Off with guest selector James Chance at the late show (tickets). Then on Sunday (12/22), the Preservation Hall Jazz Band does their Creole Christmas show at the venue (tickets).
Those are just a few holiday-themed music options in NYC. What else?
By Doug Moore
Meek is Murder at Cake Shop, 2010 (more by Fred Pessaro)
The inevitable yearly parade of holiday-themed silliness marches on today with some help from Converge-esque BK riffers Meek is Murder. Though the band just released a short LP in October, they hit the studio on Monday (12/16) to record an even shorter 3-song "holiday EP" and managed to turn it around in time for free download availability today. The band recorded it at the Converse Rubber Tracks studio with noted Flight of the Conchords producer Matt Shane. Weird.
Aside from its song titles and some schlocky jingle bells at the beginning of its first cut, Infant Worship is mercifully light on the overtly Xmas-related content -- it's just a trio of brief scorchers. Strangely, this stuff is just as strong as the band's other material to date, no matter how tossed-off the songs and tracking session may have been.
You can stream Infant Worship below; it's available for free (or pay-what-you-want) download on their Bandcamp. Their 2013 LP, Everything is Awesome Nothing Matters, is streaming below as well.
by Andrew Sacher
Mae pretty much called it quits a couple years ago (besides a few reunion shows earlier this year), and singer Dave Elkins has since begun focusing on his solo project Schematic. To get in the holiday spirit, Dave's taken on a cover of Paul McCartney's love-it-or-hate-it Christmas song, "Wonderful Christmastime." He gives the song an airy spin, veering away from the bouncy original. The cover is available to purchase, and a stream of the song makes its premiere in this post, which you can hear below...
December 18, 2013
Arcade Fire just appeared on Zach Galifianakis' mock talk show Between Two Ferns, and to get in the holiday spirit they put their spin on an interesting version of "Little Drummer Boy. The episode also featured Samuel L. Jackson and Tobey Maguire.
Watch the episode below...
December 17, 2013
Cat Power at Station to Station (more by Lukas Hodge)
In a new Apple holiday commercial, Cat Power takes on "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" (via Matador), and if it's snowing where you are today too, it's a nice time to check out this little holiday gift, which you can do below...
It's "Christmas Carols Week" on The Colbert Report where different musical guests will be invited on the show to do an old holiday chestnut. Things kicked off last night with Grammy nominees The National and Gregg Allman doing "Silver Bells." Stephen Colbert joined in too. Is it as good as "The Gravy Boat Song"? Decide for yourself -- check it out below.