Entries tagged with: holiday music
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...
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...
Happy Hanukkah! The first night was last night, and this morning Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings have a new video for the Hanukkah song on their recently-released holiday album, It's A Holiday Soul Party. The song, "8 Days (of Hanukkah)," gets an animated lyric video, directed and illustrated by Rich Terrana, which depicts the song's references to latkes, menorahs, Maccabees, the brisket the butcher sold to Uncle Saul, and more. The song itself is in Sharon's usual brand of classic soul, and works in a bit of "Dreidel Dreidel Dreidel" at the end. Watch the video below, and pick up the album here.
Sharon just played the WFUV holiday show at Beacon Theatre on Friday (12/4) with Brandi Carlile, Dawes and more. Anyone catch that? A short clip of Sharon and Brandi singing together is below.
She has a DC show this week and then plays Chicago on New Year's Eve, and she's also making three television appearances this week: Conan tonight (12/7), Michael Buble's Christmas in Hollywood on Thursday (12/10), and The Late Show with Steven Colbert on Friday (12/11).
Hanukkah happens this year from December 6 to 14, and as always there are some musical ways to celebrate in NYC (plus things for Jews to do at Christmastime). Here's a roundup of some cool options:
It wouldn't be the holidays without a Matisyahu show, and this year he plays on Christmas at City Winery. Tickets, for what it is a pretty intimate show for him, are on presale now.
City Winery also hosts the third annual Christmas Eve for the Jews comedy show with Lenny Marcus, Gary Vider, Moody McCarthy and more. Tickets are on sale.
This year, the Schlep Sisters & Thirsty Girl throw their ninth annual Menorah Horah burlesque show on December 12 at The Hall at MP (480 Driggs Ave in Brooklyn). Tickets are available.
The Jewbadours' second annual Last Schmaltz, which offers "Pop classics of late 70's and early 80's through the prism of the New York Jewish Experience," happens December 22 at Highline Ballroom with special guests Julian Velard, Ari Hest, Colin Smith, Amanda Brown, Chrissi Poland, Kimberly Nichole, Toby Lightman and more TBA. Tickets are available.
Le Poisson Rouge hosts 'The Friday Night Jam' on December 11 with Rabbi Dan Ain, Relix's Mike Greenhaus, and special guest Ryan Miller of Guster. It's a conversation/audience Q&A, and Ryan will be playing a short set. They'll also do the Friday Night blessings and each person gets a drink and a "festive snack." Tickets are available.
The Poppy Seed Players will put on a re-imagining of the Hanukkah story, Judy & the Maccabees, on December 13 at the Kaufman Center at 11 AM. "At first, Judas Maccabeus, the leader of the Maccabees, dismisses Judy and assigns her menial tasks, but she ends up coming up with the plan that helps them win the war and return to Jerusalem." Tickets are on sale.
Also at the Kaufman Center (12/13) later that night: The Zamir Chorale and Zamir Noded will provide an evening with "four centuries of music in celebration of Hanukkah as well as additional works by American and Israeli composers." Tickets are on sale.
Jewish a cappella group The Maccabeats usually play a Christmas day show, and while they haven't announced one as of now, they're playing the Jewish day school Magen David Yeshivah on December 7 in Brooklyn. They also just put out a new song, "Latke Recipe," which reworks Walk The Moon's "Shut Up And Dance" to be about a Hanukkah dinner ("up and dance with me" becomes "latke recipe"). You can watch the video below.
That Sharon Jones holiday album we just posted about isn't only Christmas songs. She's got a song on there called "8 Days of Hanukkah," which she also released as a 45. You can pick it up here. She plays the WFUV holiday show at the Beacon with Brandi Carlile and Dawes.
Rapper Kosha Dillz presents 'Hoodies For Hanukkah' at Mercury Lounge on December 13. He's headlining, with opening sets from EPISODE, Stan Ipcus, Deff Ray and Woolly Mammals. Tickets are on sale.
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.
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...
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.
photo: Andrew WK At Santos in 2013 (more by Dan Bracaglia)
Andrew WK will be going on the "Party Hard Holiday! Super Special Solo Tour" that will have him jingling his bells on the East Coast in December:
In keeping with his annual holiday tradition, Andrew W.K. will celebrate the merriest time of the season this year with a series of intimate solo shows. Up-close, intense, and partier than ever, these cozy bars and clubs will be packed to the rafters with good cheer! Join Andrew as he embarks on what has become a legendary ritual for the 8th year in a row.Dates include a stop at Brooklyn's Knitting Factory on December 11 and tickets are on sale now. Other dates include Danbury, CT on December 9 at Dingbatz and Clifton, NJ on December 6 at Heirloom Arts Center, and he'll be playing a New Years Eve show in Boston at the Paradise Rock Club.
Before that holiday tour, Andrew is also playing Fun Fun Fun Fest, where he'll perform a solo set as part of the NITES program and will do some motivational speaking at the festival proper. All tour dates are listed, along with video of Andrew WK playing solo, below.
photo: Sharon Jones at The Apollo in 2014 (more by PSquared)
We are sad to report that Sharon Jones' cancer has returned, news she broke at the 2015 Toronto Film Festival on Friday (9/11) where she was to help promote Miss Sharon Jones!, a new documentary of which she's the subject. "I start chemo on Wednesday," she told the crowd. "But I'm gonna keep fighting. We got a long way to go." Jones was diagnosed with cancer in 2013, but with surgery and treatment was declared cancer-free in February of 2014. Our thoughts are with you Sharon, and we're wishing you a speedy and full recovery.
Staying positive: Miss Sharon Jones! was made by acclaimed filmmaker Barbara Koppel (Harlan County, USA) and follows the soul singer for a year as Jones and The Dap Kings try to work around Jones' treatment to complete their 2014 album Give the People What They Want and prep for its ensuing world tour. The documentary will make its New York debut at the 2015 DOC NYC fest as the opening night film, screening November 12 at the SVA Theatre. Ticket info is TBA.
Meanwhile, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings will have a new holiday album, It's A Holiday Soul Party, that's out October 30 via Daptone. They've also got songs on the forthcoming Daptone Gold Vol. 2 which is out this Friday (9/18). And, for now at least, Jones & the Dap Kings are continuing to tour, including this weekend's Telluride Blues & Brews Fest. Other dates on the later horizon include one at the New Jersery Performing Arts Center on November 14 with Diane Reeves (tickets). All scheduled dates are listed 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.
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...