Recent Posts in holiday music - Page 2
December 13, 2013
by Bill Pearis
Christmas albums are tricky business. I think most people want new holiday music, but problem is most of it is unmemorable at best. Have we had a new holiday classic since Mariah Carey's "All I Want is Christmas Is You"? Erasure have circumvented the issue on their album album, Snow Globe, by making an Erasure album that also just happens to be holiday themed. Vince Clark and Andy Bell don't mess with their nearly 30-year synthpop formula with a lot of sleigh bells or children singing. Is it a new classic? The Quietus argues, at the least, it's a great Erasure album:
The yin to Depeche Mode's gloom-wallowing yang, even when blighted by tragedy, flirting with despair, or singing in a dramatic baritone (see 'Blood On The Snow'), Erasure cannot help but remain inspirationally, extraordinarily, enviably optimistic and ultimately uplifting. I seriously felt a far greater range and intensity of emotions listening to the 3:35 minutes of neo-synthpop anthem 'Make It Wonderful' than I did throughout in the entire hour and a half of that much-trumpeted 3D movie in which Sandra Bullock gets stranded on a bus on a boat in space for a bit. 'Make It Wonderful' and its poignant-yet-pumping sister track 'Loving Man' aren't directly related to Christmas. They're just a couple of stirring, tear-inducing, sadness-tinged, fucking irresistible love songs. In that respect, they're thematically reminiscent of Frankie Goes To Hollywood's heartstring-tugging Christmas ditty 'The Power of Love', which didn't have much to do with that Jesus fella beyond its nativity-themed video. Oh, and they're two of the best Erasure songs to date.You can stream the whole album and check out the videos for "Make it Wonderful" and "Gaudete" (both done in Rankin-Bass style stop-motion animation) below...
December 12, 2013
by Andrew Sacher
No Sleep Records was responsible for many of the year's great punk, emo, and hardcore (and other genres in that realm) releases this year, and the label's presence increased in the indie rock community thanks to a new love affair between emo and indie. To celebrate the holidays, the label has given us a free compilation of holiday music from a few standout artists on the label, including Allison Weiss, Maps For Travelers, State Faults, and others, plus a couple artists not on the label, including Harvey Danger's Sean Nelson (who put out a pretty underrated solo album this year). You can download the album for free at bandcamp and stream it in full below...
December 11, 2013
by Andrew Sacher
Murder City Devils are heading out on the road again in 2014, but before that, they've gifted us with a stream of their 1998 Christmas single via their website. If you don't already have the 7" buried in your collection, you can stream the a-side in all of its raw-throated, holiday-spirited balladry, below.
Updated dates are listed, along with the Christmas song stream, below...
December 3, 2013
The Roots will be performing again at the annual Okayplayer Holiday Jam, now in its 7th year, at Brooklyn Bowl on Monday, December 9 with host Hannibal Buress and a few "surprise special guests." No one's been announced for this year (hence "surprise") but Q-Tip, Yasiin Bey (fka Mos Def), Talib Kweli, Patti Labelle, A$AP Rocky, Big Daddy Kane, John Legend, Estelle, TV on the Radio, and more have appeared in years past. The event is private but Okayplayer is giving away 25 pairs of tickets and you can enter to win by filling out this form. BrooklynVegan is also giving away a pair and details on how to enter are below.
Speaking of holidays and The Roots, Okayplayer -- a music site which was started by Questlove in 1999 -- is selling a Cosby-style Roots holiday sweatshirt, which is part of the site's gift guide. That's it above.
Contest details and the flyer for the Holiday Jam, below...
September 18, 2013
With Thanksgivukkah (first night of Hanukkah is the same day as Thanksgiving this year) and Christmas on the way, it'll soon be time to get in the holiday spirit. If you're looking ways to celebrate in NYC, you're in luck, because plenty of holiday shows are getting announced.
Matisyahu, who just played Central Park and is working on a new album with an expected summer 2014 release, has announced his annual "Festival of Light" shows. The run begins in Chicago on November 30 and comes to NYC on December 8 at Webster Hall. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (9/20) at noon with an AmEx presale starting today (9/18) at noon. All dates are listed below.
Meanwhile, on the eve of Thanksgivukkah, Walshy Fire of Major Lazer will do a Thanksgiving Eve celebration at Highline Ballroom (11/27). Tickets for that show are on sale now.
Though Yo La Tengo haven't announced any shows happening during Hanukkah this year, they did just announce three holiday shows happening at The Bell House in December.
Individual shows haven't been announced yet, but the Sephardic Music Festival will return to various NYC venues from November 27 to December 5.
Speaking of BB King's and Christmas, the venue will also again host their annual shows from A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector singers Darlene Love on December 6 and Ronette Ronnie Spector on December 22. Tickets for the Darlene Love show and the Ronnie Spector show are on sale now.
But before we get too ahead ourselves, Halloween is on the way too!
All Matisyahu dates are listed below...
December 14, 2012
It's possible that we met Barbara Manning on the same day in 1990 that we met James and Joe Puleo. We were booked at Providence's Rocket with World of Pooh, featuring Barbara on bass, and Christmas, in new bassist James McNew's first show. So it was especially meaningful to us that, after a few years of playing hard to get, Barbara was available to open night six...Former San Francisco Seals singer Barbara Manning and Eugene Mirman were openers on the sixth night of Yo La Tengo's annual Hanukkah Week shows which last night benefited the Ali Forney Center. The mix CD was made by Cory Rayborn of Three Lobed Recordings.
...With the Hoboken PATH station closed, people are having to be extra creative about how they get to Maxwell's. On night five, John Oliver revealed a heretofore untried method that involved a train to Secaucus (not recommended) and last night, Eugene Mirman described a route that no GPS would concoct unless the current model, in addition to helping you avoid tolls or find the shortest distance, offers to take you where you're most likely to be murdered. Fortunately for us, and certainly Eugene, he lived to tell us about his local Guitar Center, where he's the two most famous shoppers, and the difference between stairs in England and the U.S. - [YLT]
We're in the home stretch now with two night's left. Who will open tonight? Jeff Tweedy is in town, having appeared on The Colbert Report last night. Then again, Titus Andronicus just tweeted this: "Tonight, every New Jersey indie rocker's dream comes true for @titus_ndronicus. #STAYTUNED."
Any oddsmakers out there?
Setlist from last night, plus the mix CD cover are below.
November 21, 2012
It's that time of year again, judging by the posts on this site today, with lots of Holiday-themed shows coming up. Unsurprisingly, The Bell House lives for this kind of yuletide cheer and has about a dozen or so holiday shows lined up in the next month. Here's a rundown.
First is the Everything's Terrible! Holiday Special 2012 which happens December 12 (tickets). If you think the Star Wars Holiday Special is the worst Christmas-related thing television has ever birthed, the Everything's Terrible folks will likely prove you wrong. For an early taste, there's a trailer for the crap extravanga below, along with a list of all dates for this ironic roadshow which is touring both coasts at the same time.
On the next night (12/13) it's The Party Machine's 2nd Annual Holiday Benefit Blowout with hosts Arden Myrin and Lisa Delarios with guests Jon Glaser, Chris Gethard, Sheng Wang, Janeane Garofalo and Adira Amram & the Experience with proceeds going to Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue and Red Cross Disaster Relief for victims of Hurricane Sandy. Tickets are $12 and still available but probably not for long -- don't delay.
More funny stuff (with music): On December 16, Fred Armisen hosts The Snow Ball Ball: A Winter Formal To Benefit 826NYC, with guest DJs Tunde Adebimpe and Peter Hale of Here We Go Magic. Tickets are still available.
And for ska fans there's The Slackers Christmas Celebration on 12/22 which also celebrates the band's 20th anniversary. The show also features The Frightnrs, Sammy K, and Caz & the Day Laborers. Tickets are still available.
Wait there's still more holiday fun at The Bell House: for burlesque fans there's Doc Wasabassco's Birthday Celebration And All-Holiday Party on 12/14 (tickets); for the wizards and muggles out there, you can celebrate at The Harry Potter Yule Ball 2012 on 12/15 with Harry And The Potters, Potter Puppet Pals, The Whomping Willows, and The Home Alones (tickets); later that night (12/15) it's The Rub's Holiday party with Eleven & Ayres and special guests Kon & 7L' and for those who need some twang in their stocking, on December 16 it's The Suzi Shelton Band's Fourth Annual Rockin' Holiday Party with Amelia Robinson From Mil's Trills (tickets).
Everything Is Terrible trailer and flyer for the Snowball Ball are below.
November 20, 2012
The National at Beacon Theater in 2011 (more by David Andrako)
The National are no longer settling for merely having their songs from old albums placed in every episode of Friday Night Lights and Parenthood. The Brooklyn band are now active parcipants in the TV game. Earlier this year, the band recorded a version of "Rains of Castamere" (which appears, lyrically, throughout George R.R. Martin's 'Song of Ice and Fire' series) for HBO's Game of Thrones. Now in one week, the band has contributed songs to two more Sunday night shows.
First, while their version doesn't actually appear in the episode, The National cover "Thanksgiving Song" which features in the holiday episode of Bob's Burgers (as sung by Bob's wife, Linda, it's a good episode). It's a typically somber take gives gravitas to the line "kill the turkey" that certainly wasn't there in original. Compare and contrast the two versions in a video (via Vulture) below.
Then they contributed a closing credits cover of a 1924 song, "I'll See You in My Dreams," to this week's episode of Boardwalk Empire. The series has done this before -- Regina Spektor, Nelly McKay and Saint Vincent have contributed covers too in the past. Listen to it below (via Fuck Yeah! The National).
Speaking of TV shows starring Eugene Mirman (Bob's Burgers), Eugene will be hosting a free premiere viewing party for his new one-hour Comedy Central special "Eugene Mirman: An Evening of Comedy In a Fake Underground Laboratory" at The Bell House in Brooklyn on 12/14. Party starts at 11pm. Meanwhile, catch Mirman at the same venue this Sunday (11/25), and then at Symphony Space on 12/7 (both benefits).
Streams are below.
October 30, 2012
UPDATE: The parade still may happen!
2011 NYC Halloween Parade (more by Chris La Putt)
The really wanted to keep it happening, but...
For the first time in our 39 year history, the Mayor's Office of Emergency Management and the NYPD have CANCELLED the Parade.We had a feeling this would happen. Still a bummer.
We hope that everyone who would have come to the Parade is safe and that those who can volunteer to help out at one of the Emergency Outreach Centers near you.
We will surely miss all of you!
The Park Slope Halloween parade is also cancelled.
October 22, 2012
Meanwhile, the band are putting the finishing touches on their 13th, still-untitled new album which was recorded in Chicago with producer John McEntire. Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley talked about making it recently with Pitchfork:
IK: We've known John a long time. We were crammed in a van with him in 1992-- he was with Seam before the Sea & Cake and Tortoise. I think the Sea & Cake's first show might have been with us. We've made music with him a lot because, when we have done shows together, he would play with us.Yo La Tengo released a limited-edition single, "Stupid Things," last month which serves as a first listen for the new album which will be out sometime in 2013 and you can stream that below.
Every time we made a record with Roger we always considered not making a record with him. We always thought about it, then decided to work with him. But when the idea of John came up, it felt right. A lot of our ideas don't get examined that deeply past the field test.
Pitchfork: Is there a particular way he approaches sound that drew you to him?
GH: We knew that we would have a lot of amazing gear in the studio. He's a musician-- that helps. I felt that there would be a real gravity and like-mindedness, like it wouldn't be so difficult to get at the things we wanted to do musically.