Entries tagged with: holiday music

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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.

And as there often are, there are two Klezmer Brunches at City Winery Christmas week: 12/20 and 12/27. Tickets for the first and second are on sale now.

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.

Sadly, the annual Yo La Tengo shows are no more (ever since Maxwell's changed owners), so you'll have to wait for their Spring 2016 tour to see them in the NYC-area.

What else?

Continue reading "Hanukkah 2015 events in NYC: Matisyahu, The Maccabeats, The Last Schmaltz, Menorah Horah, Sharon Jones & more"

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.

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"

Indie Holidays

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...

Continue reading "YACHT, Robert Pollard, Sondre Lerche & Jherek Bischoff and more on Amazon's 'Indie for the Holidays' compilation (listen)"

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"

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.

Continue reading "Andrew WK going on holiday tour ++ other dates"

photo: Sharon Jones at The Apollo in 2014 (more by PSquared)
Sharon Jones at the Apollo

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.

Continue reading "Sharon Jones' cancer has returned, starts treatment this week: "I'm gonna keep fighting. We got a long way to go""

Aimee Mann

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.

Continue reading "Aimee Mann & Ted Leo release Christmas song, add Bangles' Susanna Hoffs, Jonathan Coulton, more guests to Xmas shows"

by Bill Pearis

Burger Holiday Mix

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...

Continue reading "Cornershop, The Muffs, Shannon & the Clams, White Fang & more on 75-track Burger Records Holiday Mix (stream it)"

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...

Continue reading "The New Mendicants (Pernice Bros/Teenage Fanclub) releasing Christmas 7" & new LP (streams) ++ new Pernice Bros LP too"

By Doug Moore

Meek is Murder at Cake Shop, 2010 (more by Fred Pessaro)
Meek is Murder

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.

Continue reading "Meek Is Murder release free holiday EP (stream it)"

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...

Continue reading "Mae singer Dave Elkins (aka Schematic) covered Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime" (listen)"

Arcade Fire

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...

Continue reading "Arcade Fire covered "Little Drummer Boy" on 'Between Two Ferns' with Zach Galifianakis (watch)"

Cat Power at Station to Station (more by Lukas Hodge)
Cat Power

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...

Continue reading "Cat Power covers "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" in new Apple Ad (listen)"

by Andrew Sacher

No Sleep

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...

Continue reading "No Sleep Records releases free holiday compilation w/ Allison Weiss, Sean Nelson of Harvey Danger, State Faults & more"

by Andrew Sacher

The Murder City Devils Christmas Bonus Single

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.

Since we last spoke, Cincinnati garage pop band Tweens were added to Murder City Devils' tour, including the NYC date happening on February 8 at Webster Hall. Tickets for that show are on sale now.

Updated dates are listed, along with the Christmas song stream, below...

Continue reading "Murder City Devils streaming Christmas single; Tweens opening their tour (updated dates & stream)"

photo by Chris La Putt

Nicole Atkins @ MOSCOT, 11/21/2013

Singer/songwriter Nicole Atkins has some stuff going on in the NYC-area (as usual) before the year ends, including the 30th annual tree-lighting at the South Street Seaport on November 29, which Ronnie Spector and Darlene Love sang at in past years. (You may remember that unfortunately it couldn't happen last year.) Joining Nicole will be '60s pop singer Lesley Gore ("It's My Party"), comedian Dave Heenan, Swingadelic and more. 6 PM start and totally free. That's the flyer above.

Nicole, who just played MOSCOT's store on the Lower East Side last week (that's a picture from it above), has a few other upcoming events, including a Last Waltz tribute at The Capitol Theatre on Wednesday (11/27) with Nels Cline, Cass McCombs and more (tickets) and a Scott Walker tribute at Le Poisson Rouge on Sunday (12/1) with Adam Green, Satomi Matsuzaki of Deerhoof, Ex Cops, and more (tickets). She also plays her own show in NJ in December (tix).

Nicole also plays Rhett Miller's Holiday Extraganza: An Evening of Comedy and Music at City Winery (12/16) with Jim Turner (tix).

Flyer for the Seaport show and a stream of Nicole Atkins singing "Blue Christmas," below...

Continue reading "Nicole Atkins playing tree-lighting at the Seaport, 'Last Waltz' tribute, Scott Walker tribute & more"

photos by Amanda Hatfield

Sufjan Stevens
Sufjan Stevens

Sufjan Stevens brought his The Surfjohn Stevens Christmas Sing-A-Long Seasonal Affective Disorder Yuletide Disaster Pageant On Ice tour with comedian "Sheila Saputo" (aka singer-songwriter Rosie Thomas) to NYC last week for shows at Bowery Ballroom on Friday (12/21) and Saturday (12/22), the final two nights of the tour. Like the other shows on the tour, he played a long set of mostly Christmas songs and then returned for an encore of Sufjan classics. It was a wild, confetti-filled holiday celebration and pictures from the second night of his NYC run are in this post. More, along with the setlist from night one, below...

Continue reading "Sufjan Stevens played 2 nights of Christmas music at Bowery Ballroom (night 2 pics, night 1 setlist)"

Twin Sister at Bowery Ballroom in 2011 (more by Jessica Amaya)
Twin Sister

today in NYC
* Whiplash @ UCB
* Wyatt Cenac @ Littlefield
* John Hodgman @ The Creek & Cave
* Blood Orange @ Sony Style
* Tony Scherr @ Living Room
* Jim Campilongo @ Living Room
* Ask Me Another @ The Bell House
* Ali Shaheed Muhammad @ Le Bain
* Linfinity, Free Blood, Waking Lights @ Mercury Lounge (cancelled)
* Rita Ora, Iggy Azalea, Havana Brown @ Highland Ballroom
* Lydia Lunch, Thurston Moore, John Moloney @ The Bowery Electric
* Belle Mare, Elephant Wrecking Ball, Four Visions, Wilsen @ Cameo
* Juggernut, Ken South Rock, Filthy Savage, Jah Jah of Ninasonik (DJ set) @ Pyramid Club
* Chairlift, Twin Sister, Empress Of, Slowdance, Jason McMahon, Ice Choir DJ set @ Glasslands
* Ben Taylor, Menahan Street Band, Ki:Theory, Sinkane DJ set, In Transit DJ set @ The Bowery Hotel
* Caribbean Music Festival w/ Machel Montano, Alison Hinds, Mr. Vegas, Slick Rick, Doug E. Fresh @ Barclays Center

ZZZs were supposed to play Pyramid Club tonight but had to drop off the show. However, you can catch them tomorrow at Death by Audio (12/18) with Dead Til Tuesday, Negfi, and Human Crush.

The Caribbean Fever Music Festival, which was supposed to take place on November 2 but was postponed due to Hurricane Sandy, goes down at the Barclays Center tonight with Machel Montano, Alison Hinds, Mr. Vegas, Slick Rick, and Doug E. Fresh. Tickets are still available.

For more old school hip hop in NYC tonight, you can also head to The Standard at Le Bain to catch Ali Shaheed Muhammad (of A Tribe Called Quest) DJing.

T.I., who plays a sold out show at Best Buy Theater with A$AP Rocky on Tuesday, has landed in NYC ahead of that show. He'll be taping a performance in midtown this afternoon and will head to Fuse Studios after that for a performance at 9 PM, which will stream live at the Fuse YouTube channel. His new album, Trouble Man: Heavy Is The Head, drops tomorrow and since we last spoke, he revealed two more songs: "Hello" feat. Cee Lo Green and "Wildside" feat. A$AP Rocky. You can stream them both below.

And for even more hip hop, don't forget that the Duck Down Music and Javotti Media holiday party, which BrooklynVegan is co-sponsoring, is tomorrow (12/18) at Music Hall of Williamsburg with Talib Kweli, Pharoahe Monch, Buckshot, Sean Price, Smif-N-Wessun, Flatbush Zombies, Skyzoo, and Dyme-A-Duzin. Tickets for that show are still available.

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It's about that time of the year when the Christmas songs start piling. We just heard Ex Cops take on Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime", and now The xx have revealed a cover of Wham's "Last Christmas" on BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge this morning. Check it out below.

What else?

Continue reading "What's going on Monday?"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Ex Cops - Wonderful Christmas Time (MP3)

photo by Nanci Sarrouf
Ex Cops

Admission. Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmas Time" is easily my most-hated holiday pop song. Repetive, grating, plodding, and seemingly recorded by accident, the song makes me want to suck a candycane into a point and gouge out my eardrums. (Unlike, say, The Waitresses' "Christmas Wrapping" which I can listen to ad infinitum.) So it's a Christmas miracle that Ex Cops have taken this unfortunate Macca yuletide perennial and sped it up, turned it up and transformed it into a rough-hewn little indiepop charmer. We've got the premiere of the song right here in the post to download above or stream below. Merry Ex-mas.

Another present you're going to have to wait a bit for is Ex Cops terrific debut album, True Hallucinations, which hits January 22 via Other Music Recording Company. The band are playing a record release show at Glasslands that same day with Hunters also on the bill (tickets). After that, Ex Cops play Mercury Lounge on February 15 and tickets to that show are on sale at noon. You can see them sooner than that, though, as they were just added to tonight's Paul Banks show at Webster Hall (12/14) and tickets are still available.

Meanwhile Ex Cops' Brian Harding and Amalie Bruun have each submitted lists of their favorite songs from 2012. In a bit of daring, they both include their own single "You Are a Lion, I Am a Lamb" on their respective lists. Check them out below.

Continue reading "Ex Cops cover Paul McCartney, list Top 10 Songs of 2012, opening for Paul Banks + more NYC shows (dates, streams)"

Descendents Sweater

Back by popular demand is the uber-kitschy Descendents sweater, which features the band's mascot with crossbones amidst a grid of musical notes Available in two colors, this bastion of ridiculousity is on sale now for the Milo in your family.

Similarly, Slayer, the obvious go-to for holiday merch, has a Christmas sweater of their own on sale now. Because nothing says holiday cheer like a chest full of skulls and pentagrams.

This of course isn't the first time that Slayer has been juxtaposed against the holiest of days. Check out some of our favorite videos of Christmas lights below.

Don't like Slayer or Descendents? How about a David Bowie sweater? Or a Morrissey one? Or New Kids on The Block? Check out a few different ideas at Buzzfeed.

Lets keep on, keepin' on with spreading the holiday cheer by letting everyone know that King Diamond's holiday classic "No Presents for Christmas" will see a picture disc release for the first time in 25 years. Get yours today, Black Friday at your nearest participating record store.

Deck the halls, and reign in blood.

Continue reading "Festive holiday sweaters & a Slayer & King Diamond Christmas"

Christmas Eve Can Kill You

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy (aka Will Oldham) released his first ever holiday release this week (11/20) with past collaborator Dawn McCarthy (of Faun Fables), the "Christmas Eve Can Kill You"/"Walking the Dog" single. The songs were recorded in Nashville with Emmett Kelly, Dave Roe, Kenny Malone, Billy Contreras, David Ferguson (who also recorded the tracks) and Matt Sweeney. Will's brother Paul mastered the tracks. You can check out the video for the a-side below and order the single in 7" viny and digital formats at the Drag City webstore.

WIll and Dawn also have a full length record of Everly Brothers covers, What the Brothers Sang, on February 9 via Drag City.

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy also has some dates coming up in 2013, including the previously discussed NYC show at Lincoln Center on February 7, which is part of the American Songbook 2013 Season. Tickets for that show are still available.

A list of all dates and that video, below.

Continue reading "Bonnie 'Prince' Billy & Dawn McCarthy released a Christmas single (video, dates)"

The holiday season is upon us and addition to Yo La Tengo's eight-night run of annual Hanukkah shows at Hoboken, NJ venue Maxwell's (12/8 - 12/15), there are a number of other Hanukkah celebrations, parties, and shows happening in the NYC area this December.

The eighth annual Sephardic Music Festival is going down in NYC from December 8 - 15 across multiple venues. Shows announced so far include Copal, Pharaoh's Daughter, Animal Machine, and Sway Machinery at Knitting Factory (12/8) (tickets); Sephardic Story Slam at Lolita Bar (12/9); the Sephardic Scholar Series at CUNY Grad Center (12/10) (365 5th Ave); Vanessa Paloma and Lev-Yulzari Duo and friends at The Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue (2 W 70 St); Zion 80, Mika Karny, and Hasidic New Wave with Yakar Rhythms at Le Poisson Rouge (12/12) (tickets); and more TBA.

Klezmer punk band Golem play a Hannukah show at Cameo Gallery on December 8 with Smoota and The Schlep Sisters. Tickets for that show are on sale now.

The Schlep Sisters are also teaming up with Thirsty Girl Productions to present the sixth annual Menorah Horah! at Highline Ballroom on December 9. The Hannukah burlesque show will be hosted by Sherry Vine and tickets are on sale now.

92YTribeca is hosting a 'Beer + Latkes Hanukkah Celebration' on December 13. Tickets for that are on sale now.

On December 23 at BB King's, Ray Ellin is presenting "A Jewish Christmas Extraganza" with "standup comedy from four and a half Jews," Lenny Marcus (Letterman Show), Brian Scott McFadden (Letterman show, Craig Ferguson Show), Dan Naturman (Letterman Show, Conan O'Brien, Tonight Show), and Gregg Rogell (Louie, Comedy Central special, Tonight Show). Tickets for that one are on sale now.

BB King's will also host a Hanukkah celebration on December 25 (aka Christmas) with The Maccabeats, like they did last year. Tickets for that are on sale now.

City Winery will also have a Hanukkah-celebration-on-Christmas night with JEWMONGOUS's (aka Sean Altman of Rockapella) 'Xmas Night Comedy Songfest. Tickets for that show are on sale now.

In more Hanukkah news, The Idelsohn Society for Musical Preservation recently released 'Twas The Night Before Hanukkah: The Musical Battle Between Christmas and the Festival of Lights, a double disc compilation album with Hanukkah music on disc 1 and Christmas music recorded (or in some cases, written) by Jews. The album features tracks by Woody Guthrie, The Klezmatics, and more on the Hanukkah disc and Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Ramones, Sammy Davis Jr. and more on the Christmas side. That's the cover art above and the tracklist is below. You can order the album HERE.

In more related news, Matisyahu released a new song called "Happy Hanukkah," which you can stream below. As mentioned, he brings his "Festival of Light" tour to NYC on December 15 at Terminal 5. Tickets for that show are still available.

Continue reading "Hanukkah shows in NYC: Golem, Sephardic Music Festival, Menorah Horah! & more"

Darlene Love @ South Street Seaport 2010 (more by Chris La Putt)
Darlene Love

November 2012 update from The Howard Hughes Corporation:

The safety and security of our employees, tenants and customers is always our top priority, and we are grateful that no one was seriously injured at The Seaport during the storm.

Hurricane Sandy caused incredible devastation to our City, and The Seaport was seriously impacted.

While we currently do not have a definitive timeline for reopening, The Howard Hughes Corporation is very committed to rebuilding the Uplands and Pier 17 as soon as possible. To that end, we are working diligently to coordinate all necessary assessment, remediation and inspection of the many buildings that make up South Street Seaport. In fact, remediation in some areas is already underway, including certain common areas. However, because of the various issues related to the Uplands and Pier 17, it will be several weeks before everything is fully evaluated by experts and a more firm timetable can be established. Some buildings at The Seaport may open sooner than others and we will share updates through our website and other channels as available.

At this time, tenants are being permitted to access their spaces to assess damage and address their own business issues. Otherwise, Pier 17 is currently closed to the public, except for essential personnel.

The Seaport is a popular and treasured destination in Lower Manhattan, and we have an exciting redevelopment plan for Pier 17 that will continue despite the storm. We are very proud of the hard work of our team and hope to be able to share more updates soon. We look forward to rebuilding and welcoming visitors and neighbors back to The Seaport as soon as possible.

May the Seaport rise again, but meanwhile that means no Christmas Tree this year, or at least no tree lighting ceremony, which in 2010 included a performance by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Darlene Love.

Darlene Love, as always, will still be celebrating the holidays though. Her Annual Christmas Celebration at B.B. King's in NYC has gone from one to two nights of cheer. Tickets are sale for shows on December 9 and December 10. You can also catch Darlene on Letterman on 12/20 (watch the video of her appearance last year below and at NJPAC in Newark two days later. All of her dates are listed below along with the video of her performance on Letterman last year.

Ronette Ronnie Spector, also in the Hall of Fame and who has also played the Seaport tree lighting, is also keeping up tradition and will bring her "Best Christmas Party Ever!" back to NYC, DC and CT this year. Tickets are on sale for the 12th annual show at B.B. King's on 12/14. All dates are listed below...

Continue reading "No Christmas at the Seaport this year, but Darlene Love & Ronnie Spector still celebrating (dates)"

The Head and the Heart at Lollapalooza 2012 (more by James Richards IV)
The Head and the Heart

Starbucks released the Holidays Rule compilation on October 30 with holiday covers by Paul McCartney, The Shins, Rufus Wainwright with Sharon Van Etten, Calexico, Fruit Bats, Andrew Bird, Eleanor Friedberger, The Head and the Heart, and more. You've already heard Rufus Wainwright and Sharon Van Etten's take on "Baby It's Cold Outside." Now, if you haven't picked the album up yet, you can check out The Head and the Heart's take on "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?" in this post.

Stream the track below...

Continue reading "LISTEN to The Head and the Heart cover "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?" (from new 'Holidays Rule' comp)"