Entries tagged with: Christmas music
photo: Lauryn Hill at Rough Trade in February (more by PSquared)
Radiohead and LCD Soundsystem were not the only artists to offer up Christmas presents this year. Lauryn Hill dropped an unfinished version of a new song titled "A Cradle in Bethlehem" which she wanted to share in time for the holidays. You can have a listen below.
Lauryn also has a few shows around New Year's, including NYC's Brooklyn Bowl on Monday, January 4. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Wednesday (12/30) at 10 AM with a fan presale starting Tuesday (12/29) at 10 AM (use code MLH2016BB).
All dates are listed below...
LCD Soundsystem just posted a new holiday song (their first since breaking up) called "Christmas Will Break Your Heart." They write
so, there's been this depressing christmas song i'd been singing to myself for the past 8 years, and every year i wouldn't remember that i wanted to make it until december, which is just too late to actually record and release a christmas song... but this year, al doyle had a short break between hot chip tours where he could be in nyc, and pat and nancy were home, and tyler agreed to fly out from berlin for a few days, so we all recorded this together, reserved a pressing plant slot, and our friend bob weston was available to master it quickly--so that means, less than 2 weeks after we recorded it, there is actually a christmas 7", which feels like something that could only have happened a very, very long time ago.That might be a good sign for that rumored LCD Soundsystem reunion? Listen below...
anyway, for the holidays we give you the previous, very long run-on sentence, and this song: "christmas will break your heart", which is another one of those songs which had about 75 lines of lyrics, though we've knocked down to 8 to keep the suicide rate in check.
Wham!'s "Last Christmas" has been covered a zillion times, and today that becomes a zillion and one. Future Islands offer up their take on the song, and it suits them well. Listen below.
by Andrew Sacher
photo: Rogue Wave at SXSW 2010 (more by Ryan Barkan)
Oakland indie popsters Rogue Wave already released the song "Christmastime" this year for the Indie for the Holidays comp, and now they put out "Christmas for the Jews." It begins, "I'm just a Jew boy on Christmas Eve, nothing to do boy except watch the TV. I'll catch a movie or get some Chinese food." Sounds about right.
Listen to "Christmas for the Jews" below...
The Hold Steady recorded a cover of Billy Squier's "Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love You" a few years ago at the RAGS EP sessions, but in honor of the holiday season, they've put it up for streaming and free download on bandcamp. They write:
Hey Everyone!Listen below. Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn is touring with Titus Andronicus next year, and plays the American Songbook series in NYC ahead of that.
Happy Holidays! We've been thinking about you!
We wanted to make available the Hold Steady cover of Billy Squier's "Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love You" that we recorded at the RAGS EP sessions a few years back. A lot of you already have this, but 'tis the season, so we wanted to share again.
We hope you have a great holiday season.
We Love You All.
Craig Finn also covered Low's "Just Like Christmas" earlier this month with Esme Patterson for A.V. Club's Undercover series. Watch here.
photo: Speedy Ortiz at Webster Hall earlier this month (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Speedy Ortiz singer Sadie Dupuis has released a solo demo of a new Christmas song called "Krampus (In Love)." She promises, "all of ur family will luv my xmas song it is adequately depressing." Here's a sample of the lyrics:
Here we go a-wassailing, assaulting what was right. Co-sign on the love of the earth to feel its light. Sign me up for choir if I'm the only lady singing. 'Cuz all I want is solitude. Gift me reprise from you and you.Listen below...
Bite down 'cuz I love her, not because I need a muzzle. Even supervillains plead insanity in love. In the hero years we kissed under the mistletoe we're missing. Sick of firing first shots on and off? Let's make a break so we can say next winter we're in love.
by Andrew Sacher
photo: Will Butler at Baby's All Right in March (more by Erik Erikson)
Arcade Fire's Will Butler, who played a holiday show in Brooklyn last week, shared a "hot new Christmas jam" today called "City on a Hill." It "has some cussin'," he warns. (It also has some depressing lyrical topics and isn't exactly what you'd call "holiday cheer." Good song though!) Listen below.
by Andrew Sacher
With this weather it may not be beginning to look a lot like Christmas, but Xmas week is in fact here and that of course means holiday songs. We just got a new holiday video today from Dent May and here's a new song from Saintseneca, who write one of these each year. It's called "New Coats" and there's certainly a holiday spirit to the uplifting major key song, but raga rock sitar pops up when you might usually expect bells. Listen below.
Saintseneca are touring next year, including a run with Thao and the Get Down Stay Down that hits NYC on April 13 at Webster Hall. Tickets for that show are still available. All dates are listed below.
by Rob Sperry-Fromm
One of the many things that the holiday season means is that television hosts will engage in holiday-themed interviews or jokes or gags or stunts on their show. Sometimes these gags involve Will Ferrell singing Smash Mouth's "All Star," other times they involve former Black Flag frontman Henry Rollins.
Hank showed up on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where he and Colbert sang a heavy version of "Carol of the Bells." The result is somehow more hilarious than you could expect for a man who has a worm named after him. Check out the video below.
Rollins also stars in a movie coming out very soon called He Never Died, which involves cannibalism. He also recently appeared on FX's You're the Worst, which is one of the very best shows on television, and he joined Dinosaur Jr. during their massive 7-night Bowery Ballroom run. Generally speaking he seems to be as busy as always (he also has some fun holiday plans).
Check out those Colbert videos and the red-band trailer for He Never Died below...
The Christmas songs keep coming. We're now getting one from Nellie McKay (who released a '60s covers album this year) called "WEED (All I Want for Christmas)." It's a collaboration with Minneapolis' The New Standards and Nellie shares lead vocals with Maurice Jacox. A sample of the lyrics goes like this:
weed (that's all i want for christmas)The video, meanwhile, has Nellie dressed up a giant marijuana leaf, bringing cheer to folks all over NYC. Watch tit below.
weed (a cradle of good cheer)
weed (let's all smoke pot for christmas)
every christmas day of the year
Nellie was also just on The Best Show this week with comedian Jo Firestone (who plays Will Butler's holiday show in NYC tonight, 12/17), taking calls as #HOLIDAYPROBLEMSOLVERS. You can listen to the full episode HERE.
In other recent Best Show news, host Tom Scharpling accused Google of ripping off the song he wrote for The Best Show, "Come on Y'All It's Time To Have Fun" for a new commercial. He tweeted, "STEAL FROM SOMEONE WHO GETS PAID, YOU RATS," and gave the following statement to Pitchfork:
When I hear elements of The Best Show in other comedy I'm usually flattered, because there are certainly elements of other comedy and comedians in The Best Show. But this is not a matter of influence or parallel thinking. This is a case of straight up thievery.You can watch the Google commercial below. Scharpling isn't the only person Google has recently been accused of ripping off for a commercial. Comedian and Valley Lodge frontman Dave Hill (who took over The Best Show's slot on WFMU in 2013) accused them of ripping off his band Valley Lodge's song "Go" (aka the Last Week Tonight theme):
Google is a terrible company whose crimes against humanity are legion. And shamelessly ripping off content from a radio show that I have written and performed for free over the last fifteen years is merely their latest shameful act.
I will be pursuing this matter to the fullest extent of the law. Future updates and new episodes of The Best Show will be posted at www.TheBestShow.net.
The good guys will win in the end!
Compare Dave's song and the Google ad below...
by Andrew Sacher
Just yesterday we were talking about the great year Fetty Wap's had, and today to get in the holiday spirit he released the new song "Merry Xmas" with frequent collaborator Monty. It's basically the song you needed in your life right now, because you just knew the 2015 holiday season wouldn't be complete without Fetty's "yeeeaaaaeeeeahh baby!" on a song that also says "All I want for Christmas is you." Listen below (via Pitchfork).
Fetty and Monty are touring next year with Post Malone, including two NYC shows. All dates below.
Aimee, Liz and Ted in LA (photo via Trent Vanegas)
We already mentioned Aimee Mann and Ted Leo would be doing their annual holiday shows with past collaborator Jonathan Coulton and more special guests, and since we last spoke Liz Phair and John Roderick were added to all dates too. It's Liz's first tour since 2011.
The tour began in California earlier this month. Here's a review from SF Weekly of one of the San Francisco shows:
Mann also knows how to sing a Christmas song. Her holiday show has become a tradition in both her hometown of Los Angeles and elsewhere when she embarks on a small tour in the early days of December to spread her uniquely somber, but entirely beautiful, brand of winter cheer. Classics like "Winter Wonderland" and "I'll Be Home for Christmas" got a much needed makeover in the hands of Mann and Leo, scrubbed of their Bing Crosby sheen and rendered raw and potent. But, it was the original compositions that stole the show.Their two NYC shows happen this week: Thursday (12/10) at Town Hall and Saturday (12/12) at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Tickets for both are still available.
Guest Liz Phair introduced her song "Ho Ho Ho" by explaining, "This is my one true Christmas song, but it's also depressing, which is why they let me on the tour." Phair also enlisted Mann and Leo in a performance of her track "Supernova," but it was "Why Can't I Wreath" - a Christmas revision of her own "Why Can't I" - that turned into one of the night's most memorable moments.
UPDATE: A good quality video of the full "Why Can't I Wreath" from Philly has surfaced. Watch below.
Aimee and Ted also just put out a stream of their new holiday single "You're A Gift," which will officially be out on December 18. Listen to that, watch a few clips of Aimee, Liz and Ted playing at the California shows, and check out the list of their remaining tour dates, below...
by Bill Pearis
Art pop icons Sparks have released a holiday single, "Christmas Without a Prayer." As you might expect it's on the darkly comic side, offering up a look at Christmas alone, that is not necessarily a bad thing. "No one to buy me things I don't want / bright colored ties / monogramed things / an album by Wings." You can check out the song's lyric video below.
In addition to the terrific FFS album they made this year with Franz Ferdinand, Sparks also put out a box set, The Island Years, which collects the band's four albums for the label from 1974 - 1976 (Kimono My House, Propaganda, Indiscreet, Big Beat) plus a newly-created adaptation of the 1979 compilation, The Best Of Sparks, which they've retitled The Rest Of Sparks featuring all their b-sides from the Island era, and some songs that have never been available on vinyl. The remaster and cut was supervised by Sparks associate Inglot, for those that worry about stuff like that. You can check out a video promo for the box set, plus artwork and tracklist, below.
Bill Murray's "A Very Murray Christmas" Netflix special was released today for your holiday streaming pleasure. The special features appearances by George Clooney, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Michael Cera, Rashida Jones, Jenny Lewis, Miley Cyrus, Chris Rock, Jason Schwartzman, and former Saturday Night Live and Letterman musical director Paul Schaffer, with whom Murray revives a little of his SNL lounge singer character. Directed by Sofia Coppola, it also has her husband Thomas Mars' band Phoenix who perform "Alone on Christmas Day," a cover of a Beach Boys holiday song from 1979 that was never formally released. Murray joins in on the chorus. That, you may remember, was released as a Record Store Day Black Friday 7" and you can now stream it below.
by Andrew Sacher
cool shirt, Rocky
Rocky Votolato returned this year with the solid new album Hospital Handshakes and a split with Chuck Ragan. Now he's staying prolific and getting in the holiday spirit, with a nice acoustic-indie cover of "Silent Night." It appears on No Sleep Records' seventh annual Christmas compilation, which also includes Anakin, Foreign Tongues, Lee Corey Oswald, and Looming this year. You can pick up the comp (name your price) at bandcamp and stream it below.
Future Islands singer Samuel T. Herring and guitarist/bassist William Cashion have another band called The Snails. Back in 2013 they put out an EP called Worth The Wait, and this week they released the Christmas song "Snails Christmas (I Want A New Shell)." It definitely scratches a similar itch to their main band (just with more snail themes). Stream both below. As their bio points out, they're planning to release their debut album Songs From The Shoebox in March...
The Snails formed in Baltimore in the summer of 2008 to play a birthday party for Spank Rock. Originally just an Art Lord & the Self-Portriats cover band in snail costumes, the Snails slowly began writing their own material. In 2013, they released their debut EP, Worth The Wait, a 5-song gatefold double 7" on Friends Records. In March 2016, they will release their first full length album, Songs From The Shoebox.The Snails have 2016 shows coming up, including two in NYC: March 9 at Baby's All Right and March 10 at Mercury Lounge. Tickets for Baby's and Merc are on sale now. All known dates are listed below.
Over the years, the band has featured members of Nuclear Power Pants, Wing Dam, Small Sur, Teeth Mountain, Lonnie Walker, Lower Dens, Wume, Trouble Knows Me, Peals, Showbiz, and Future Islands.
by Bill Pearis
Seattle's Deep Sea Diver will return with new album, Secrets, on February 19 via the band's own High Beam Records. Frontperson Jessica Dobson, who has played in The Shins and Beck's band, is an adept guitarist with a powerful voice and strong sense of dynamics, as can be heard on Secrets' title track. Stream that below.
Deep Sea Diver also just released a holiday EP, It's Christmas Time, with covers of four Christmas classics. "The First Noel" is pretty gorgeous, putting the English carol (that's over 200 years old) through their ethereal, anthemic style. Stream the whole EP below...
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...
It's about that time when musicians of all styles start putting out their versions of Christmas/holiday classics (or are writing their own). On the indie tip, we've already got a Cassie Ramone Christmas album coming, and today Amazon Prime released Indie for the Holidays which features Robert Pollard, YACHT, Sondre Lerche & Jherek Bischoff, Fruit Bats, Rogue Wave, Reverend Horton Heat, Amason, Langhorne Slim, Anna Von Hausswolf and more.
The only way to hear the full thing as of now is on Amazon, but you can stream the YACHT, Langhorne Slim, Robert Pollard and Sondre Lerche & Jherek Bischoff songs below...
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.
by Tatiana Tenreyro
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.
Listen to her cover of "Run Run Rudolph" and check out the album tracklist below...
John Waters is a pretty big Christmas fan, at least the kitschier side of the holiday. He's been sharing his love/hate relationship with the season via his annual Christmas show tour for a while now and 2014 is no different. It comes to NYC at City Winery on December 14 and tickets are on sale now. He also doing a couple other shows in the NY area: December 13 at The Space at Westbury (tickets) on Long Island and and also Red Bank, NJ's Count Basie Theatre on December 16 (tickets).
All dates are listed, along with a few related Waters holiday videos, below...
As discussed, Aimee Mann and Ted Leo (aka The Both) are playing Christmas shows this December, including three in the NYC area -- 12/10 at Tarrytown Music Hall (tickets), 12/12 at The Space at Westbury (tickets) and 12/13 at NYC's Town Hall (tickets).
Since we last spoke, guests have been added to those shows. Susanna Hoffs of The Bangles, who Aimee recently performed with at a Big Star tribute (videos below) and who starred in The Both's "Volunteers of America" video, is on almost all dates. The NYC-area shows will also include geek rocker Jonathan Coulton. Other dates on the tour include comedians Paul F. Tompkins (Mr. Show, Real Time with Bill Maher, Best Week Ever), Tim & Eric's Tim Heidecker and Daily Show correspondent John Hodgman. Updated dates are listed below.
Aimee and Ted also released a new Christmas song called "Nothing Left to Do (Let's Make This Christmas Blue)." You can download that on iTunes and stream it via Spotify below.
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.
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...