Entries tagged with: christmas
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.
Christmas traditions vary around the world. For example, in Sweden the whole country basically shuts down to watch a 1958 Donald Duck holiday special? Would you like to know more about Swedish Christmas? Jocke from the still-going Teddybears hosts a four-part documentary series that tells us, in his dry, acerbic style, about other traditions like The Tomte (their not-so-nice version of Santa), St. Lucia's Day (December 13), the Gävlebocken (a giant goat in Gävle that ends up getting set on fire every year), and more.
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 Bill Pearis
You may remember Dent May's holiday ditty from last year "I'll Be Stoned for Christmas" which is better than your average tossed-off indie yuletide jingle. He's now made a video for the single, directed Robbie Hillyer Barnett, that tells the familiar tale of going home to your parents, being bored, and seeking ways to be less bored. Watch it below.
Related: Nellie McKay says all she wants for Christmas is "Weed."
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...
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
Don we now our crazy Christmas suit: John Waters @ City Winery
"It started with my book 'Crackpot,' which included a chapter called 'Why I Love Christmas,' " he says. "The first performance was at The Castro in San Francisco, and it just took off from there. That was more than 10 years ago, and it's gotten bigger each year -- this year I'm hitting 18 cities."As he's done in years past, filmmaker, author and (bad) tastemaker John Waters has taken his love-hate relationship with the holiday season on the road for his annual "A John Waters Christmas" live show tour. This year dubbed "Holier & Dirtier," it hit NYC on Sunday (12/6) at City Winery. That is some suit John has on! Check out more pics from the show below...
The show covers a wide range of issues, from the unavoidable stress of the season to the horrors of living Nativity scenes.
"Oh, aren't they bizarre? So frightening! It's sort of like a haunted house for Christmas. Who would take their kids to that, with the straw and the animals and the horny shepherds? I've always wanted to do a movie do about them called 'Scary Mary.' "
Waters also takes on what he sees as some of the worst trends in gift-giving.
"You don't have to spend a lot of money, but you should be creative. You have to be willing to spend the time to find something unusual, something that will surprise the person. I really hate gift cards. I mean, really? And fruit baskets are just appalling. I can go buy myself a pear. If you want to do a gift basket, at least put something good in there -- like cigarettes, or porn." - [The Tennessean]
Kitson + Christmas makes perfect sense. This standup-cum-solo theatre-maker is our preeminent storyteller - an art form with Christmas overtones. His work is also unapologetically sentimental, and who, bar the severest bah-humbugger, isn't up for dewy eyes at Christmas time?The brilliant British comedian and storyteller Daniel Kitson debuted his holiday-themed "A Show for Christmas" in 2014 across a sold-out UK run. He's now bringing it to NYC at the Connelly Theatre from December 8 - 13 and then December 15 - 18. Says Daniel:
That's exactly what his Show for Christmas delivers - brilliantly, sans schmaltz, with big laughs and a thoughtful, heartful engagement with what Christmas is about. You have to doff your Santa hat to the skill, sensitivity and judgment with which this story is put together. And to Kitson's gimlet eye for the minutiae of how people speak and behave, which he fashions here into one glittering bauble after another of dialogue, character sketch, or turn of phrase. - [The Guardian]
The show itself is a simple storytelling affair that is, if you'll forgive me for saying so, pretty enchanting and deals, amongst other things, with the traditional seasonal concerns of loneliness, a brief scuffle in a newsagents, mobile phones, magic, the past and a long journey in a mid sized motorhome. I mean. It's long been my vibe to charmingly undersell things, as you doubtless know, but I reread it last week to see if I needed to change anything and I actually REALLY enjoyed it. I think it's really good. So. There you go.Tickets for most shows are still available. Get 'em while you can.
Kirk Windstein personalizing holiday cards
As you may have noticed, it's the holiday season, and that might mean you feel the need to make holiday cards for your friends and family. If this seems daunting, fear not, sludge great Kirk Windstein of Down and Crowbar can make you a personalized holiday card this season. For only $10 he'll personalize the card to you or a friend and include a signed photo. What are you waiting for?
Looking for other holiday metal gifts? How about heavy metal nutcrackers? This is a line of nutcrackers in the likeness of famous heavy musicians like King Diamond, Ronnie James Dio, Lemmy, Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Halford, Cliff Burton, Danzig, Abbath, and also Morrissey and Jerry Garcia (???). MetalSucks also has a metal holiday gift guide that's very useful. It includes items like Slayer's "Reign in Blood Cabernet Sauvignon" which comes in a small coffin, a Metallica bib for your friends with kids, and just some nice skull slippers.
You could also go the classic sweater route. There's just something about metal Christmas sweaters (hey, the thought of someone like Kirk in a Christmas sweater is always good for a laugh); they're just always a thing. Loudwire put together a list of some of the best this season has to offer, which include an Anthrax Hannukah sweater, a Babymetal sweater, and the always classic Slayer sweater.
Check out more details on the the Windstein cards and Carrie Brownstein's nutcracker instagram 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...
Dee Snider (second from left) and his other Celebrity Apprentice contestants
Donald Trump hasn't had much luck getting permission to use pop songs on his presidential campaign, having been denied by Neil Young, R.E.M., Steven Tyler and more. But he finally found one: Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It." The Donald and the hair-metal vets are old pals, as singer Dee Snider was on Trump's All-Star Celebrity Apprentice back in 2013 -- he was fired. Snyder spoke to Canadian Business.com about Trump using the song:
He called and he asked, which I appreciated. I said, 'Look, we don't see eye to eye on everything--there are definitely issues that we're far apart on.' But thinking back to when I wrote the song and what the song is about, it's about rebellion, speaking your mind and fighting the system. If anybody's doing that, he sure is. Trump and Bernie Sanders are the two extremes. They're raising holy hell and shaking everything up. That's what 'We're Not Gonna Take It' is about. And we're friends. I have spent time with Donald and his family. I don't think either of us expected that we would like each other, but you know, Donald Trump is a pretty chill guy. He's a frontman. When that camera goes on, he furls his brow, he does his thing. Off-camera he's very self-deprecating. He makes jokes about being too orange and about his hair.Dee Snider is currently celebrating the holiday season every night in Toronto with his "Dee Snider's Rock & Roll Christmas Tale." The musical, which Snider wrote and which made its debut in Chicago last year, is a Faustian tale about a past-their-prime metal band willing to sell their soul to the Devil but are thwarted by the Christmas spirit.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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...