Entries tagged with: holiday music

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One Christmas At A Time

Jonathan Coulton and past collaborator/tourmate John Roderick (of The Long Winters) released a Christmas album, One Christmas At A Time, together with ten original Christmas songs by the two musicians ("actually one of them is a Chanukah song, so OK, nine"). Listen to two tracks from the holiday release below.

They'll support the release with another tour together this fall which brings them to NYC on December 14 at City Winery. Tickets for that show are on sale now. All tour dates are listed below.

Jonathan Coulton is also the house musician on NPR/WNYC puzzle show Ask Me Another which tapes live at The Bell House in Brooklyn . The shows are hosted by Ophira Eisenberg and tickets are on sale for five upcoming dates, all also listed below...

Continue reading "Jonathan Coulton & John Roderick released a Christmas LP, touring together (dates & streams)"

The Polyphonic Spree at Webster Hall in May (more by Toby Tenenbaum)
The Polyphonic Spree

The Polyphonic Spree released their new Christmas album, Holidaydream: Sounds of the Holidays Volume One on October 23. Of the ten standards it features, the collective just made a video for "Winter Wonderland," and you can watch that for the first time at the bottom of this post.

The video's director Josh David Jordan writes:

"When I first heard Winter Wonderland I was really moved by the way it had a beautiful haunting beginning. I remember thinking, " What happens when Santa has had too much of the elves, the up keep of the North Pole's day to day, and turns in the cookies and milk for a glass of scotch." Lucky for me my friend Jack enjoys scotch, has Santa's snowy locks and can be easily found on the patio of the City Tavern in downtown Dallas. Jack was also the original voice of Popeye's Chicken commercials, so when I asked him to recite 'Twas the night before Christmas' intro, he didn't hesitate. Spontaneity took over for the rest of the video. I dressed my youngest as the elves, my beautiful and talented wife Jessica Jordan (who is a member of the Spree) assumed the part of the queen elf and partner in crime ( we broke into an old abandoned church for her scenes), and Tim allowed me to get up close and personal for the mouth shots. In the end, Santa just may have had one too many scotch's and will be back to the milk and cookies just in time for Christmas this year."
As mentioned, the band are celebrating the album with their Holiday Extravaganza! Tour which brings them to NYC on December 15 at Webster Hall. Tickets for that show are still available.

The "Winter Wonderland" video and the album's trailer video, below...

Continue reading "watch The Polyphonic Spree's video for 'Winter Wonderland'"

Map from 'Portlandia: A Visitor's Guide'

Fred Armisen and Eleanor Friedberger are appearing this Thursday (11/15) at Barnes & Noble Union Square in NYC for the bookstore's "Upstairs at the Square" series which is hosted by NPR's Katherine Lanpher. Fred will be talking about his and Carrie Brownstein's new book, PORTLANDIA: A Guide for Visitors and other subjects, with Eleanor Friedberger performing live. Fred's a drummer (among other things), so maybe he'll play along too.

Eleanor just wrapped up recording her new solo album for Merge which she recorded at DFA studios. Maybe you heard her preview new material at the Merge CMJ showcase last month? While you wait for that to come out, Eleanor appears on the new Christmas album Holidays Rule where she contributes a cover of Elvis' "Santa Please Bring My Baby (Back to Me)." Other artists on the compilation include Tame Impala, The Shins, Andrew Bird, Rufus Wainwright with Sharon Van Etten, Paul McCartney and more. You can stream the whole thing via Rdio below.

Meanwhile, Eleanor's brother (and Fiery Furnaces bandmate) Matthew Friedberger is currently on tour with The Sea & Cake which stops in spookily-lit Marfa, TX tonight. All tour dates are listed below.

When not promo-ing his new book (you preview it here and watch the video trailer for it below), Fred Armisen is staying busy on SNL where he recently played Mayor Bloomberg giving one of his post-Sandy NYC addresses, shoutout to "Homeland" included, below...

Continue reading "Portlandia Book out now; new Eleanor Friedberger LP soon; Fred Armisen & Eleanor Friedberger appearing at B&N this week"


REMINDER: (Despite what was initially reported) tickets go on sale on 12/19 for Sufjan's two upcoming Christmas shows at Bowery Ballroom. Meanwhile head below to watch his new Christmas-themed video for "I'll Be Home For Christmas" (from his new Christmas box set which is out now), below...

Continue reading "VIDEO: Sufjan Stevens - "I'll Be Home For Christmas" (from new box set which is out now)"

By Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: The Immaculates - New York is Mine for the Holiday (MP3)

Immaculate Santas

Holiday themed singles flow like so much piping hot wassail this time of year. Here's a good one: Brooklyn upstarts The Immaculates' original tune "New York is Mine for the Holiday" lays down a soulful groove without going too heavily on the usual aural signifiers (but even they can not resist a sleigh bell). You can download the MP3 at the top of this post or stream it below. The video, which you can watch below, takes the theme literally by re-editing a familiar NYC-set film from the '90s.

The Immaculates (which feature members of French Miami, Boogie Boarder and Sisters) play the Death By Audio Holiday Party this Saturday (12/10) which, confusingly, is happening at the new Secret Project Robot (389 Melrose) which features headliners A Place to Bury Strangers as well as Evi Antonio.

Look for a second Immaculates EP early next year. Meanwhile, click through for the "New York is Mine for the Holidays" video, plus the DBA Holiday Party Flyer and a couple more streaming Immaculates tracks.

Continue reading "The Immaculates made a Holiday song, playing Death by Audio Holiday Party w/ APTBS (video & MP3 premiere)"

Dan Hicks gets in the Christmas spirit (photo from 1967)
Dan Hicks

Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks kick off their annual "Holidaze In Hicksville Tour" in support of their smash debut Christmas album, Crazy For Christmas [released in 2010]. The Billboard-charting album features original Dan Hicks Christmas tunes, some classic favorites, and a few tunes re-worked for the holidays.
Dan Hicks' 2011 "Holidaze in Hicksville" tour is split into two legs, the first of which is on the East Coast and includes 11/26 at City Winery. After a week, Dan Hicks & co will head to California for a single date and then down to Florida for a string of dates. Full tour schedule and some videos to get you in the holiday spirit, below...

Continue reading "Dan Hicks touring for the holidays (2012 tour dates)"

Dan Deacon & fans @ Fun Fun Fun Fest

Dan Deacon, now signed to Domino (!) for a record due in 2012 (more details TBA), has still got it. Earlier this month, as you can see in the pictures here, I witnessed him play to a giant crowd of rabid fans at Fun Fun Fun Fest. As usual he played from the ground instead of the stage, and luckily with the help of a security guard to shield his equipment from the wild, swaying mass. More pictures are below.

Later that same day, Dan performed again, but on a stage (the Yellow Stage to be exact) as part of the Wham City Comedy Tour that has now arrived in NYC for a show at 285 Kent tonight...

====| FRIDAY 11/18 @ RIC/RAMBO @ 285 KENT AVE |====
|| JM RAMBO presents
|| Adam Endres
|| A Funny Clown
|| Alan Resnick
|| April Camlin
|| Ben O'Brien
|| Connor Kizer
|| Dan Deacon
|| Ellie Beziat
|| Erin Gleeson
|| Mason Ross
|| Peter O'Connell
|| Robby Rackleff
285 Kent Ave @ South 1st | Williamsburg, Brooklyn
L-Bedford, G-Metropolitan, JM-Marcy | 8pm | $8 | all ages
Dan will be back in NYC again in March to play a fancy show with the NOW Ensemble & the Calder Quartet as part of the recently-announced Ecstatic Music Festival. He also has lots of other dates scheduled which are listed below.

Last but not least, Dan is one of a few artists who have contributed tracks to a free holiday album that Carpark is releasing on 12/6. The full tracklist and more details on that are also below...

Continue reading "Dan Deacon on Domino, on a new Christmas album, on tour (dates & more pics from Fun Fun Fun Fest)"

Shonen Knife at Knitting Factory (more by Andrew St. Clair)
Shonen Knife

Hopefully Shonen Knife can kick back for a bit of r n' r amidst their current US tour. The band has tonight off before resuming their US tour tomorrow in Minneapolis, eventually making their way to The Bell House on 11/18. Tickets are still on sale for the show that also includes fellow women rockers Heavy Cream and Hard Nips.

In the meantime, get ready to celebrate the holidays the Shonen Knife way:

A lovely gift this Christmas Shonen Knife!

In 1991 Shonen Knife released the indie classic holiday themed "Space Christmas" single, in 1999 "All I Want for Christmas" (with the help of Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore) and now in 2011 the trio continues this tradition celebrating the season and the band's 30th An­niversary with a new maxi single called "Sweet Christmas" available November 29th both as a digital release and on CD by Good Charamel Records (www.goodcharamel.com) in North America!

The Maxi Single includes the track "Sweet Christmas"a pop punk homage to their fondness for eating Christmas sweet cake and celebrating with friends. The "Sweet Christ­mas" Maxi Single also includes a more traditional offering with a version of the classic "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" as well as an acoustic version of the title track "Sweet Christmas" to help you celebrate the Holiday!

Look for those new Christmas songs digitally and on CD (via Good Charamel) on 11/29.

All remaining tour dates on their 30th anniversary tour, some recent video of the band covering Ramones, and the Christmas single art and tracklist, below...

Continue reading "Shonen Knife on tour, announce Christmas maxi single"

DOWNLOAD: Crystal Stilts - Practically Immaculate (MP3)


"The Black Angels and Reverberation Appreciation Society are happy to announce the dates, location and initial lineup for Austin Psych Fest 4. The 4th annual festival will be held at The East Side Drive In, an outside venue in the heart of downtown from April 29 - May 1, 2011. Spanning the full range of the psych sounds, the festival honors the past while also magnifying the modern vanguard of mind-expanding music. The festival grounds will feature a multi-stage setup and wide-open spaces for you to stretch out and enjoy live performances from these bands and many more to be announced."
Grab the free new Crystal Stilts holiday track above. Check out the Psych Fest lineup below...

Continue reading "Crystal Stilts release a holiday song, playing Austin Psych Fest w/ Black Angels, Spectrum & more (MP3 & lineup)"

DOWNLOAD: Summer Camp - Christmas Wrapping (The Waitresses Cover) (MP3)

Summer Camp

Summer Camp's version of "Christmas Wrapping" can also be found on the Moshi Moshi Christmas compilation, A Christmas Gift For You. Non holiday tracks by the UK indie pop duo can be heard in the videos below...

Continue reading "Summer Camp are doing 'Christmas Wrapping' (MP3 & videos)"


Watch the video for The Futureheads' new Christmas single, "Christmas was Better in the 80's," below...

Continue reading "the Futureheads say Christmas was Better in the 80's"

DOWNLOAD: Boy Least Likely To - Christmas Isn't Christmas (MP3)

Boy Least Likely to

christmas makes me so happy. but it makes me so sad sometimes too. i think that's why i find it so magical. making a christmas album might seem like an odd thing to do, but for us it seems like the most perfect thing. some of my favourite songs are christmas songs. we've always been drawn to them and we've always written them, with the thought that someday we would have enough christmas songs to fill a whole album. and at last we have, so here it is. the boy least likely to christmas special. the christmas album we've always dreamed of making.
merry christmas and a happy new year
with love from
the boy least likely to
Christmas Special is the third album from the boy least likely to. Free track above. Christmas video and full track list below...

Continue reading "The Boy Least Likely To released a Christmas album (MP3)"

DOWNLOAD: Scott Miller - Joyful, Joyful (MP3)


"Joyful, Joyful" (downloadable above) is "Dueling banjos" meets "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee" (Ludwig van Beethoven, from Choral " Ode To Joy " Symphony No. 9 Opus 125), and it's one of seven tracks that appear on Scott Miller's new "Christmas Gift" EP. John Prine and Neil Young covers are on there too. Full tracklist and a stream of another song, below...

Continue reading "dueling banjos, John Prine on Scott Miller Christmas EP (MP3) "

Dan Hicks

Dan Hicks digs Christmas tunes. But it took him over 30 years in the music business to get around to doing his own album of holiday music. The singer/songwriter/guitarist and leader of the Hot Licks, a swinging band with a cult following in the rock world going back to the '70s, has just released Crazy for Christmas on Surfdog Records and is on his way around the country on a tour he calls "Holidaze in Hicksville". The group will perform at a mix of theaters, clubs and coffeehouses, including the Barns at Wolf Trap in Vienna, Va., the City Winery in New York City and McCabe's Guitar Shop in Santa Monica, Calif.

Talking via phone from his home in Marin County, California, Hicks says that he's always done Christmas tunes during that time of year with his band, the Hot Licks. "I've been doing Christmas songs with the Hot Licks for a couple of decades. We did about eight or ten tunes, but we didn't do them all at once. We've been doing shows we call Holidaze in Hicksville. We have a canvas backdrop with a cartoon scene of Christmas."
[Jazz Times]

Dan Hicks and The Hot Licks kick off their "Holidaze in Hicksville" tour in NJ tonight (11/27). From there they continue on to Piermont, NY before hitting City Winery in NYC with special guest John Hammond on Tuesday (11/30). All dates and a preview of the Christmas album, below...

Continue reading "Dan Hicks released a Christmas album, touring (dates)"

DOWNLOAD: The Puppini Sisters - Last Christmas (MP3)


Full tracklist & album @ Amazon.

Darlene Love Christmas

Darlene Love will perform her Christmas classic, "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)," at the lighting of the South Street Seaport Christmas tree at 6:00pm today (11/26). Santa will be there too, as well the "Elves of Heaven" featuring Corinne Caouette, and the Pace University Department of Performing Arts who will read/perform excerpts from A Christmas Carol.

UPDATE: Pictures of the Christmas tree lighting HERE.

And two nights after Ronnie Spector plays her Christmas show at BB King's in Times Square, Darlene Love will play a Christmas show at the same venue. Tickets are on sale for the December 19th show which is one day before Darlene appears again on Letterman. On December 22nd, she does a holiday show in Englewood, NJ.

All dates, a flyer showing all Christmas events at South Street Seaport, and a video of Darlene's 2009 Letterman performance, below...

Continue reading "Darlene Love playing Christmas shows (dates), singing at South Street Seaport tree lighting (today)"

photos by Chris La Putt

DOWNLOAD: The Mynabirds - "All I Want is Truth (For Christmas)" (MP3)

The Mynabirds @ Fontana's during CMJ

"All I Want is Truth (For Christmas)" is a reminder this Black Friday that it's not all about the gifts. Download The Mynabirds' reworked take on "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" above. Buy it on white vinyl with a b-side cover of The Zombies' "This Will Be Our Year", in the Saddle Creek store.

Speaking of Saddle Creek, The Mynabirds played the label's CMJ showcase at the Delancey back on October 21st, but they also played the Pirate Pirate day party at Fontana's while they/she were/was in town. You saw pictures of Devotchka from that show. Shots of the Mynabirds along with Field Days (not to be confused with Field Day) and Generationals who also played, continue, along with Mynabirds' latest non-Holiday video, below...

Continue reading "The Mynabirds played CMJ w/ Generationals & Field Days (pics), released a Christmas single (MP3) "

DOWNLOAD Paul Simon - Getting Ready For Christmas (MP3)

Paul Simon

Getting ready for Christmas Day. And let me tell you, namely, the undertaker, he's getting ready for your body. Not only that, the jailer he's getting ready for you. Christmas day. Hmm? And not only the jailer, but the lawyer, the police force. Now getting ready for Christmas day, and I want you to bear it in mind - Reverend Gates
Paul Simon is getting ready to release a new album entitled So Beautiful Or So What. It'll be out Spring 2011 via Hear Music / Concord Music Group. Its songs have titles like "The Afterlife," "Love is Eternal Sacred Light," "Questions for the Angels," "Love and Blessings," and "Getting Ready For Christmas Day." I sense a theme there, but for now I can only speak for one track, the track debuting in this post with Christmas in its name.

Download the MP3 for free above. Buy it at iTunes.

I'm a sucker for holiday music, but "Getting Ready For Christmas Day" is not technically a Christmas song. Named after and sampling the last recorded sermon by pre-war American Christian preacher and gospel singer Reverend J.M. Gates, its lyrics and title reference the holiday, but not in the happy way traditional holiday music does. The song covers topics like a relative spending the holiday in Iraq, and not having very much money (probably not an actual issue for Simon, but that's besides the point).

That's part of the sampled part of the lyrics quoted above (right below the old Rev. Gates ad which references another one of Gates' Christmas sermons, "Will the Coffin Be Your Santa Claus"). You can read all the Paul Simon lyrics, complete Reverend J.M. Gates samples included, below. The single's cover art is down there too...

Continue reading "a new not-Christmas song by Paul Simon (from his forthcoming album "So Beautiful Or So What") (MP3)"

by Andrew Frisicano

The Music Tapes @ The Bell House in 2009 (more by Tim Griffin)
Music Tapes

This November and December, The Music Tapes will be bringing a comforting, enchanting, and very special evening of Music Tapes' dreamlike songs, stories and games for sleepover parties to ordinary homes across the land (US and Canada). The Music Tapes are now accepting invitations, and plan to visit over 200 homes! As with the Music Tapes' caroling and lullaby travels of years past, they will stop at several houses a night in each city visiting also far off out of the way places most tours never get to go.

The Lullaby evenings with include songs from the Music Tapes forthcoming 2011 record, as well as from Music Tapes for Clouds and Tornadoes, The 1st Imaginary Symphony for Nomad, and The Singing Saw at Christmastime, along with new Music Tapes games and stories. The entertainment, though sometimes more exciting than lulling, are all in honor of the comforting moments directly preceding and following sleep when we find ourselves happily unsure of whether we are awake or are dreaming. [Merge]

The Music Tapes annual holiday tour is in its third year, and the small scale events that populate the route tend to be a really good time. This trip is by far the most expansive, with tour dates running from the South to the West Coast to New England and even Canada. It kicks off November 4th, and hits NYC December 19th and 20th. Koster and friends usually plan for a few stops each night, so between the two dates there's a decent chance one performance will be near you. Remember, the dates are tentative, so email the tour address before you show up for more info.

The announcement is also confirmation that the Music Tapes will have a new release in 2011 (possibly titled The 2nd Imaginary Symphony for Cloudmaking)

Complete dates and how to get in touch with the tour (and invite them to your house!) are below...

Continue reading "The Music Tapes announce 2010 holiday tour, plan for new LP"

Andy Warhol Christmas

Before achieving fame and glory as a leading Pop artist, Andy Warhol was a successful commercial artist who contributed illustrations to women's magazines and designed windows and promotional materials for department stores. Among his clients was Tiffany & Co., for whom he created a series of designs for holiday greeting cards. The whimsical drawings and paintings he produced for Tiffany's Christmas cards are the subject of this charming gift book.
A Christmas card by Andy Warhol above. Some holiday messages from Lou Reed below...

Continue reading "Happy Holidays from Lou Reed & Andy Warhol "