Recent Posts in holiday music

November 25, 2015

Christmas Roundup

It's that time of year again. Like "All I Want is Christmas is You," holiday shows in NYC are omnipresent. We've already posted about NYC Hanukkah shows, now here's a roundup of just about everything else.

Darlene Love is playing four "Love For the Holidays" shows like last year at BB King Blues Club on December 20, 26, January 2 and 16 (tickets). Another Phil Spector associate, Ronnie Spector, is doing her annual Christmas shows this year at City Winery on December 22-23 (tickets).

India Arie is doing a Christmas show at Irving Plaza on December 15 with Johnathan Reynolds, and tickets for that show are on sale now.

There are also plenty of options for your holiday burlesque needs. Le Poisson Rouge is doing a few Christmas burlesque shows: Burlesque-A-Pades: Sleigh Ride on December 12 (tickets) and It's A Hot Pink Christmas on December 20 (tickets). Elsewhere: The burlesque troupe Wasabassco is putting on a late "Holiday Season Spectacular" at City Winery (tickets). Wassabasco will also be at Bell House on December 4 for a 70's themed Christmas show (tickets).

Mariah Carey is doing a run of holiday shows again this year at the Beacon Theatre on December 8-18 , and tickets for that are on sale now. For slightly less moolah and slighty less actual Mariah, there's a FREE Mariah Carey-themed party called "Party Like It's 1999: All I Want for Christmas is Mariah Edition." at The Bell House on December 5. Meanwhile, Union Hall is also doing a Holiday Pop Singalong on December 18 that promises to feature Mariah prominently, along with Bowie, Bieber, Wham! and more (tickets).

Speaking of The Bell House, they might be the kings of holiday shows. (Makes sense: the place is the ski lodge of NYC music venues.) Look at all these:  Buzzfeed's Kwanzaa Show on December 5, which is a sold-out taping of Buzzfeed's "Another Round" podcast with musical accompaniment by Jean Grae. The next night (12/6)  is "Landlady Holiday Spectacular," with people like Nels Cline, Eli Paperboy Reed, Cassandra Jenkins, Nick Hakim and more, which features live music and production of Landlady's holiday play Red Velvet: An Ill-Conceived Santa Story (tickets).

Lots and lots more holiday shows are listed below...

Continue reading "A guide to NYC holiday concerts and events"

November 24, 2015

Julie Klausner's Depressing Christmas Party

As mentioned, Julie Klausner will be celebrating the holidays with her "Depressing Christmas Party" at NYC piano bar Sid Gold's Request Room on December 19. That show has sold out but she's added second show, happening December 21 at The Bell House with the same guests: Ted Leo, John Early, Cole Escola, and Anthony Atamanuik. Tickets for the Bell House are on sale now.

November 23, 2015

Dap Kings Holiday LP

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings just released It's a Holiday Soul Party, which features a mix of covers and originals, including their previously-released "Ain't No Chimneys in the Projects," and a song called "8 Days (Of Hannukkah)."  They've just shared a video for "White Christmas," which you can watch, along with a stream of the LP via Spotify, below.

In other news, documentary Miss Sharon Jones just had its U.S. premiere at DOC NYC Fest last week, and she and the Dap-Kings have some shows and appearances coming up, both holiday-related and not. They're playing that WFUV Holiday Show with Brandi Carlisle and Dawes at the Beacon Theatre on December 4 (tickets). They'll also be playing the Tibet House Benefit on February 22 at Carnegie Hall with Iggy Pop, Basia Bulat, FKA Twigs and others. And they will be opening for Hall & Oates at MSG on February 19. Tickets for that are still on sale.

All Sharon Jones tour dates are listed, along with the "White Christmas" video and holiday album stream, below.

Continue reading "Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings released new holiday LP, share "White Christmas" video ++ updated tour dates"

John Waters Christmas 2015 Tour

John Waters may not have made a film since 2004's A Dirty Shame but he has not retired. He's got two books in the works: a collection of essays, titled Mr. Know it All, which includes "Why do gay people have to be nice now? Is it ever appropriate to take LSD when you are 70 years old? How does it feel to claw your way to the top of Hollywood and then slide right back down again?"; and his first novel, which is titled LIARMOUTH. While release dates on those are still TBA, you can check out his book Carsick which details his hitchhiking sojourn across America, and is fresh out on paperback.

Waters also has his annual "A John Waters Christmas" tour, this year dubbed "Holier & Dirtier," featuring his love of Christmas kitsch (and disdain for other parts of the holiday). That tour kicks off this weekend in San Francisco and has two shows in the NYC area: City Winery on December 6 (tickets) and Asbury Park's brand new House of Independents on December 7 (tickets). All tour dates are listed below.

Continue reading "John Waters working on two new books, starts his annual Christmas show tour this weekend (dates)"

November 18, 2015

photo: Julie Klausner @ Bell House, 2012 (more by Erik Erikson)

Local comedian, podcaster, Difficult Person, and generally entertaining individual Julie Klausner is putting on a Christmas show on December 19 at Sid Gold's Request Room. "Julie Klausner's Depressing Christmas Party" will feature frequent collaborator Ted Leo, John Early (who was on Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp this summer), Cole Escola (Difficult People), Anthony Atamanuik and more TBA. Expect laughs, songs, and tongue-in-cheek yuletide revelry. Tickets are on sale now.

Ted and Julie also wrote a holiday song together called "Bitter on Christmas" for Julie and Billy Eichner's Hulu series Difficult People. You can listen to it via Apple Music.

Meanwhile, Ted Leo is also playing some Christmas shows of his own with Aimee Mann (they did this last year as well) on December 10 at Town Hall and December 12 at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Tickets are still available.

And in somewhat related news, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists drummer Chris Wilson's band HOUND has a new record coming out. SRA Records will release Out of Space on November 27, the same day they play a release show with The Kominas and Dangerbird at Everybody Hits Philadelphia. They released a new song today called "Over the Edge," which follows the previously-released "Emotional Collapse," both of which are fun, fuzzed-out '70s hard-rock rippers. You can stream them below.

Continue reading "Julie Klausner & Ted Leo have a bitter holiday song, appearing at "Depressing Christmas Party""

November 17, 2015

Murray Christmas

They don't really make star-studded holiday specials like they used to, but a little of that yuletide magic, mixed with a little modern irony, is on its way via Bill Murray's upcoming A Very Murray Christmas which will premiere on Netflix on December 4. The special was directed by Sofia Coppola and features appearances by George Clooney, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Michael Cera, Rashida Jones, Jenny Lewis, Miley Cyrus, Chris Rock, Jason Schwartzman, former SNL and Letterman musical director Paul Schaffer (with whom he brings back a little of his lounge singer character), and more. You can watch the trailer below.

Pheonix, whose frontman Thomas Mars is married to Copolla, also makes a cameo in the special and will release a tie-in holiday single, "Alone on Christmas Day," that features Murray, Schaffer, Schwartzman and David Johansen in Buster Poindexter mode. That's the cover art, obviously, above. That 7" will also be out December 4.

Amy Poehler is also joining Tiny Fey for an upcoming episode of SNL.

Continue reading "Bill Murray starring in Netflix holiday special w/ Amy Poehler, Jenny Lewis & more, releasing holiday single w/ Phoenix"

November 13, 2015

by Tatiana Tenreyro

Cassie Ramone Christmas Album

Former Vivian Girls guitarist Cassie Ramone has taken on some new projects since the end of Vivian Girls last year, including her new band OCDPP with Dee Dee of Dum Dum Girls and OJ of XRay Eyeballs. She's also been performing solo and recently announced a new solo album of holiday favorites called Christmas in Reno.

In the press release, Cassie said that the record is "at once an ode to the nostalgic merriment of Christmas and a nod to the pain and desolation of the American holiday season." The album will be out on December 11 via Burger Records, just in time for the holidays.

She released her cover of "Run Run Rudolph," which is a lo-fi acoustic take on the Chuck Berry classic. If this track is any indication of what the rest of the album is like, it sounds pretty much like what you'd imagine a Vivian Girls Christmas album might have been.

Cassie doesn't have any solo tour dates coming up, but OCDPP are opening for The King Khan & BBQ Show at Knitting Factory tomorrow (tickets).

Listen to her cover of "Run Run Rudolph" and check out the album tracklist below...

Continue reading "Cassie Ramone is releasing a Christmas album (listen to her cover of "Run Run Rudolph")"

December 23, 2014


Brooklyn's Backwords, who released Nest back in September, have offered up a version of Christmas hymn "We Three Kings" that makes its premiere in this post. Here's what they have to say about their take:

Inspired by the mystical & dark themes present in both the music and lyrics, we harkened back to the woody-warm and open recording styles of the 60s in this version of the holiday classic. "We Three Kings" was recorded by candlelight in a really cold warehouse space in Bushwick.

We did our best to capture the psychedelic/dark nature of We Three Kings in this version. Happy Holidays and may there one day be peace on Earth.

You can stream Backwords' rendition of "We Three Kings" and new album Nest (via Spotify), below.

You can also catch Backwords live tonight (12/23) at Glasslands where they'll play alongside Shilpa Ray, Economy Punk (OJ from Xray Eyeballs' new band) and headliners The Ugly Club. Tickets are still available. Backwords offered up a tribute to Glasslands, which closes after its New Year's Eve show, and you can read that below.

Continue reading "Backwords share rendition of "We Three Kings," playing Glasslands tonight with Shilpa Ray and more"

December 22, 2014

Darlene Love

Darlene Love gave her annual performance of "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" on the Late Show on Thursday (12/18). She's been doing it since 1986, but says with David Letterman retiring from the Late Show it would be her last for television. She told him, "I would never sing it again on another show. This is where it began. But I will sing the song again." Watch Darlene's performance and her interview with Letterman below.

Darlene also played one of her annual Christmas shows at BB King's the following night (12/19), and as discussed, she has three more coming up. She'll return to the NYC venue on December 26, 27 and January 2. Tickets for all three shows are still available.

She has a few dates in other cities in early 2015 too, including West Point, NY and Englewood, NJ. All of those are listed, with the Letterman videos, below...

Continue reading "Darlene Love played "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" on 'Late Show' for the last time; 3 BB King's shows coming up"

December 18, 2014

by Bill Pearis


LA trio DTCV are in the holiday spirit, having just released Noel Interdit, an EP songs of the season, including a Sabbath-y mashup of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" with Wham's "Last Christmas" that's pretty good (even if you're tired of bands covering that Wham song) and covers of The Who's "Can't Explain" and Johnny Hallyday's song that gives this EP its name. The whole thing is worth a listen and you can do that below. They've got more presents for you, too. DTCV's entire back catalog, including this year's very good Hilarious Heaven, are currently available as pay-what-you-want downloads at their website. The free downloads will end after the holidays.

DTCV are currently finishing up work on their next album, titled Uptime!, which will be out via Unsatisfied/Burger next year. They'll be touring this spring as well. No NYC shows have been announced yet but all dates are listed below.

Continue reading "DTCV released 'Noel Interdit' EP (stream it), giving away their back catalog digitally during the holidays"