Friday, November 28, 2014

How to write a Christmas Song

Having trouble writing a Christmas song? Don't know what elements to pick, what to use? Listen to this advise by Canada's Village Sound:



OK, got that? Now, here's an example by Village Sound:

That Band from Holland

On December 1, That Band from Holland releases their 6th annual Christmas album. This one's called 'For Whom the Sleighbell Tolls', and with songtitles like 'Elvis Shaped Snowman' and 'Don't Swallow the Glitters, Gary', you know it's gonna be kooky, just the way we like(d) it.
Go HERE for TBFH's Christmas albums. Go HERE for their regular music.

UPDATE: IT'S HERE!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Holly Beth Vincent

Not 100 percent sure about this, but my guess is that the Holly Beth Vincent who recorded 'Punk Xmas' is the same Holly Beth Vincent that sang with 70s new wave rock band Holly & The Italians. If so, she kept that remarkable voice really well over the years.
UPDATE: Yes, it IS Holly from H&tI's! She just confirmed by email! Wooo!

The Benefit

The Benefit is a alt rock/funk/reggae-band from Indiana, USA who just released a Christmas album with ultra short songs. The longest clocks at 2m55s, the rest barely reaches the one-minute mark. It's a fun album, as you can tell from songs titles like 'Jesus Please Keep Us Safe From The Black Friday Shoppers' and 'Christmas for the Taliban'.
See if you can keep a straight face during this track:

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Let's Ditch Christmas by Jeremy Messersmith


"Let's Ditch Christmas" is a new release from Minneapolis based singer/songwriter Jeremy Messersmith. Believe it or not, there are some people out there who just aren't fans of Christmas and all the hoopla that goes along with it. Jeremy is one of them. That being said, he delivers a very upbeat, crooner-esk ditty about, well, ditching Christmas, and sounds like he sings it with a smile on his face. Being from Minnesota myself, it sounds more like he's just sick of the cold and snow and I guess I can relate. The other song here is his version of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." As always, he's left his fingerprints on it. Jeremy can make me happy to be sad. I encourage you to check out his other albums if you have some time after the holidays. It's really good stuff!



Also on Soundcloud


And Jimmy's slightly altered version of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas:

Vintage Trouble

From 2013, but this is the first time I heard (about) it: Soul Noel by Vintage Trouble. A band that's described as 'live-wired, straight-shootin, dirty-mouth'd, pelvis-pushing juke music. We're all for that!

Matt Pond PA covers George Harrison

Our friends over @ Christmas Underground featured a very cool seasonal cover by Matt Pond PA, a George Harrison track (original below). See over HERE. Download the track for free!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Warm Christmas

Last year, I made a Christmas Mix with songs about surfing, beaches, sand and/or with a warm feeling. This new track by American rock band Copperpot would've easily fitted in to that mix. What a cool song!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Pulled Apart By Horses, Showponies

Hold your horses!
Below is the A (or B) side to the Too Pure Singles Club Christmas Single, paired with DZ Deathrays' Mud-cover (posted earlier). Pulled Apart by Horses screamo-fy the ole Slade song, perfect for smashing Christmas decorations to smithereens.




Brit punkrock band Showponies also released a Christmas song, one they wrote themselves:

SCOOP: Stevie Ann's Favourite Christmas

A real scoop! CaGG is the first blog to post this track!

What makes a good Christmas song? In my book, it has to have bells. It has to mention Christmas. It must refer to a nostalgic feeling, you know, the time when... And the lyrics must be about wanting to be together, to go back to something, or someone.
Dutch singer Stevie Ann , who's heavily influenced by Laurel Canyon-music and singers like Carole King, wrote a perfect Christmas song, including all the rules from my just mentioned book.
It will be available on Spotify and iTunes later this week. If you go HERE, you can check out more christmas songs (covers) by Stevie Ann.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Harris & his Christmas Avengers

Funky Funky Christmas! This was just released:



(Thanks Kris!)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

FREE SLEEPING AT LAST ALBUM

Ryan from Los Angeles is a singer songwriter under the banner of Sleeping At Last. Each year around the Holidays he records a cover of a Christmas song. This tradition has accumulated over the years into a full-length Christmas album called 'Christmas Collection', which he gives away as a free download. On the album you'll find intimate and quiet songs like 'Silent Night', 'Silver Bells' or 'I Heard The Bells'. His 2014 contribution is 'O Come, O Come Emmanuel'. All this for free on his website.

Christmas on Uranus

From somebody who cites Beck, Ween, beer and Burt Reynolds as his main influences, you'd expect a song like this:

Carly Jamison



This song started out as an acoustic blues jam (see HERE) and then took a left turn, into urban funk territory. And we're glad it did! Carly is no stranger to the Christmas music blog crew, two years ago 'It Feels Like Christmas Everyday' came out (see HERE).
The new track "addresses the issues that arise when modern lifestyles deviate from traditional Christmas stories and Santa Claus myths".
It's also on Spotify and Bandcamp:

Friday, November 21, 2014

Mad Decent Christmas

Nothing says 'Christmas' like loud blaring air horns, right? DJ Diplo and his Mad Decent crew think so too. On November 25, they release their second Christmas album. This is a mini-mix to get down to and in the mad mad mood:

Dee Snider's RNR Christmas Tale

Dunno bout you, but this just made me drool:
DEE SNIDER'S ROCK & ROLL CHRISTMAS TALE tells the story of Däisy Cütter, a heavy metal bar band looking to make it big even though the 80s are LONG over. This year, these four guys are ready to take the ultimate step and, in mythic rock tradition, sell their souls to the devil in exchange for success beyond their wildest metal dreams! But every time they try to seal the infernal pact, their head-banging anthems turn into warm-hearted carols. Soon these rockers are forced to realize their dreams of stardom are no match for the Christmas spirit. Dee Snider, infamous lead singer of Twisted Sister, has created a new holiday musical, guaranteed to rock your holiday and twist your Christmas.

Now watch the trailer video:

GAWD how I'd love to see this. On Sunday, I'm going to watch the We're Twisted Fucking Sister documentary, with Jay Jay French (guitar player for TS) present. That's something.
(Via Elves Bells)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Wild Winter

Smoke Fairies (Katherine Blamire and Jessica Davies) soon will return with ten brand new, seasonally-themed songs!

Smoke Fairies had this to say about their album: "We have a love / hate relationship with winter and the Christmas holiday. When it was suggested Smoke Fairies make a Christmas album the last thing we wanted to do was make a classic, jolly, celebratory album that can only be played once a year. Sometimes winter provides us with a sense of togetherness and love and sometimes it leaves us feeling alienated, cold and playing a glockenspiel alone in a darkened room. It's part of the year that will always be bittersweet and wild. This was the inspiration behind the record. We got together with our band, played around with the songs a few times then headed off to the studio to record them all live. It's buzzy and raw and not one tinkling of sleigh bells can be heard."

Wild Winter is available in a limited edition of 1500 CDs and 1000 LPs...here!




Roxy Roca

Former Texas punk rock singer turns blue eyed soul boy, that's the story of Taye Cannon, leadsinger for Roxy Roca. He grew up with the classic rhythm and blues records of this dad (Jackie Wilson, Marvin Gaye, Jaaaaames Brown), his original Christmas song sounds like a more relaxed Mitch Ryder. Cool stuff:



EDIT:
Turns out this is a re-release, Roxy Roca was already on the Converse Noise to the World sampler last from last year. And there's a video:

The Love Dimension

Psychedelic surf punk garage from San Fran - you know this is gonna be good. The Love Dimension's Got Gratitude isn't a Christmas song per se (it was released in June), but the gospel-feeling, the piercing organ and the message (Got Gratitude!) do make it, shall we say, seasonal.
This song's also on the new XO for the Holidays compilation, which you can grab for free HERE. Read what Stubby has to say about that HERE.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Over the Rhine


The American duo Over The Rhine really go for the month of December. But most of it they like the snow in that period. Years back they made the album 'Snow Angels'. This year their album is called 'Blood Oranges In The Snow' . Karin Bergquist has a beautiful voice to sing country ballads. This December album is filled with country songs about snow and Christmas. Highlight is their beautiful cover of the Merle Haggard song 'If We Make It Through December'.
Here's an old tune from their 'Snow Angels' album!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Text Me Merry Christmas


It's new. It's fresh. It's a Christmas song with lyrics that nail modern communication. Actress Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars, Forgetting Sarah Marshall) and the a cappella group Straight No Chaser teamed up for a little Christmas parody song called 'Text Me Merry Christmas'. Its lyrics are definitely worth listening to. 

Text me Merry Christmas
Let me know you care
Just a word or two
Of text from you
Will remind me you’re still there
You don’t have to add much to it
One smiley face will do
Baby text me Merry Christmas
Cause I’m missing kissing you


You can download the single at all major digital retailers:
Tunes: http://smarturl.it/TMMCiTunes
Amazon: http://smarturl.it/TMMCAmazon
Spotify: http://smarturl.it/TMMCSpotify
Google Play: http://smarturl.it/TMMCGooglePlay

Also check out Straight No Chaser's album Under The Influence: Holiday Edition.

The Sudden Passion

German blog Lie In The Sound is one of the names you can trust (together with Stubby, Christmas Underground and SWOT) when it comes to unearthing great offbeat Christmas songs. Feast your ears on this:

Satin Chaps/Apollo Four

Happy swingin' Christmas! Portland, Oregon based 'European style go go/soul octet' Satin Chaps make you sway on their 'Hey mrs Santa Claus' single. It's, as far as I can tell, an original song, not Nat King Cole cover. Sounds a bit like Brian Setzer's rocking big band. Apollo Four are also from Portland, and play a mean seasonal surf instrumental on the 'flip'.
Check out:

Monday, November 17, 2014

Band Aid Holland

You probably heard about the third Band Aid project slash single. Today, a few Dutch artists got together in a popular TV show for a Dutch version of 'Do they know it's Christmas time?'. It will be available for download via dwdd.vara.nl later on. For now, this is the video:

KT's Sleigh Ride

The good ol' traditional 'Sleigh Ride' got a little raunchier in the version of KT Tunstall. Here's a nice live (loop pedal) version from 2010.

HTTACP

Yep, it's here again, the (almost) annual Christmas album by Dutch indie-folk combo How To Throw A Christmas Party. The fourth episode, and it's as brilliant as ever.
All info (how to buy a cd, where to see them on tour in Holland) on Bandcamp.

Angry Snowmans

If you missed the limited vinyl release of Angry Snowmans punk Christmas single last year, you can download the four tracks (seasonalized versions of punk rock songs by Avengers, Descendents, Stiff Little Fingers and The Dickies) on Bandcamp.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Spotify Playlist 2014

Go HERE to follow our playlist of new Christmas songs, released this year.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

DZ Deathrays

A brandspanking new Mud-cover, yes indeed. By Australian trashblues twosome DZ Deathrays:

Jazz Christmas

Just read this great piece about groovy Christmas music on FaLaLaLaLa. I'd never heard of the jazz albums mentioned in the post. Whoa, great stuff! I found a reasonably priced copy of that Duke Pearson vinyl album, and bought it. Now I want those other ones too. I mean, jus' listen to Don Patterson groovin' away on Jingle Bells:



Or Bobby Timmons!:

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Alex Chilton, Hiss Golden Messenger and The Lord Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ was born today
Jesus Christ was born

Legendary Big Star frontman Alex Chilton was beating around the bush a bit on 'Jesus Christ' (from his 1975 solo effort Bach's Bottom), but this is a full-on Christmas classic for everyone who love their alternative rock ballads gritty.

Hiss Golden Messenger recorded a cover version of this in 2011. Listen to it now, while you're still excited about their fantastic Lateness of Dancers album that came out just a couple of months ago.

Petit Papa Noël

Missed this one from a few years back, a take on Tino Rossi's classic Petit Papa Noël by Chelsea Coleman and Madeline Tasquin:
A French Christmas tune written by by Raymond Vincy & Henri Martine and made popular by Tino Rossi. We made changes to the structure and some of the chords of the original, and added a section: "Je suis prêt a recevoir" which means "I am ready to receive."


Christmas at Downton Abbey


Fans of hit series Downton Abbey already know a thing or two about the upcoming 'Christmas at Downton Abbey' holiday album – due November 17th. If you're not one of them, but like dem classics sung to you by good looking men like Julian Ovenden (who stars as Charles Blake), you should check out 'O Holy Night'.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings

Not a track from the upcoming vinyl single, but a funky funky version of White Christmas:

Misfits: Horror Xmas EP Reissue

Misfits recording their own version of 'Island Of Misfit Toys': seems legit. We missed their 'Horror Xmas EP' last year (for obscure reasons), so we can only be thankful that they just released a limited reissue. Or should I say, horrified?

Monday, November 10, 2014

Watoo Watoo/Never Mind the Baubles

Remember the FillesSourires-christmas project? One of the tracks from that project is on the new Small Bear-compilation, Never Mind the Baubles:

Smoke Fairies

Joy to the world! Smoke Fairies will release a full seasonal album later this month. This is the first single:



(Via STUBBY)

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Fire Eyes

Brighton-based duo Fire Eyes are on a Christmas EP released by Random Acts of Vinyl. Their 'O Falling Snow' is a Phil Spector-ian, fuzz-drenched seasonal song, just the way we like it. Also try Palm Springs's track on the EP.

Putumayo's French Christmas

This (teaser) track by Joy Setton, a French version of 'Santa Baby', is the nicest song on a fairly dull compilation of French Christmas songs released by world music label Putumayo. Nothing against old chanson heroes like Line Renaud or Charles Trenet, also present, but it doesn't exactly rock our socks off.

Friday, November 07, 2014

Cut Teeth, Deep Man

A Christmas song? Doubt it? Heavy? YEAH!



Also pretty heavy, but weird too and probably not a genuine Christmas song, is this post-punkish offering:

Pretty Good Christmas

We know the song, but now there's a proper video:

Christmas singles

AAAAAAAAAaaaaand we're back! Excited to share, and singalong to the newest, weirdest, funniest, bestest Christmas tunes out there. Especially looking forward to the upcoming X-mas EP by Dutch singer Stevie Ann. More on that later.

Some of our Christmas-blogging friends already kicked off, as they should. Stubby's on a roll, of course.

Christmas Underground brings this good news:
Its official. I just received word from Robert over at the Snowflakes Christmas Singles Club (SCSC), and we’ve got 2 new singles for 2014! Hannah Peel and Nancy Wallace (both from the UK) are this year’s lineup, with the same format as last year – one original and one cover. They will be limited to 500 copies, and are pressed on snow-white vinyl.

And somehow we missed out on this GREAT news: BILL MURRAY will sing CHRISTMAS CAROLS!