Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy '17!



We wish you a happy new year, thanks for visiting this blog, commenting, all your tips, and to all artists featured here, thank you for the music. We see back in November. Have a great year.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Sunny xmas

In the Netherlands we have a second Christmas day, though not really a boxing day. At the moment it's quite sunny here. That reminds me to post this sunny Xmas tune. Major Lazer is the project of the well known American producer Diplo (Thomas Wesley Pentz). On this reggae like song, his MC is Protoje, an artist from Jamaica. Happy sunny Christmas!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

All I Want For Christmas Is Therapy

The lyrics might a bit depressing, but damn this Holiday Song by Norwegian singer Okay Kaya is beautiful. Someone please give that girl some therapy!


Xmas Hospital

I hope you're all feeling better than I am, stuck with the flu over the Holidays. Maybe I should consider checking into the Xmas Hospital. This song by Dutch band Lovebombers II could be just the right medicine to get me going again.

Friday, December 23, 2016

The Blues Are Still Blue Christmas Compilation 2016

For the 12th year in a row The Blues Are Still Blue Presents:
The 2016 Christmas Compilation (download here)

01 My Bubba - Champagne Drops
02 Lisa Hannigan - Snow
03 Coeur de Pirate - Last Christmas
04 The Hidden Cameras - Log Driver's Waltz
05 Best Coast - Christmas And Everyday
06 The Pooches - New Years
07 Reindeer Tribe - Mistletoe Christmas
08 Clean Pete & Marien Dorleijn - Gaan We Kerstmis Samen Vieren
09 Howe Gelb - Severe Season
10 Billie Marten - White Christmas
11 The Avonden - IJsbloemen
12 Candy Cigarettes - A Whale's Christmas In Childress, TX
13 Charlotte Carpenter - Cheer
14 Lydia Liza & Josiah Lemanski - Baby It's Cold Outside
15 Marika Hackman- Winter Wonderland
16 Robert Rex Waller Jr - Walking Through Your Town In The Snow
17 Joe Purdy - New Year's Eve
18 Trampled by Turtles - Christmas In Prison
19 The Dyer Spawn - Wild Christmas
20 She And Him - All I Want For Christmas Is You
21 The Grapes & Friends - Christmas Crush
22 Nim Chimpsky - Avocado For Christmas
23 TaxiWars - Death Ride Through Wet Snow

O Come, All Ye Faithful

If this doesn't get your holiday juices flowing, we don't know what will.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

city of breda chooses best christmas song

The recordshops of the Dutch town Breda compiled a top eleven list with their favorite Xmas tracks. You can find it on the site of the local newspaper BN De Stem. Not surprisingly 'Happy X-mas (War Is Over)' takes the top position with Slade and Band Aid completing the top three. We here at Christmas A Go Go are more charmed by the list from Grey Store one of the most unique recordstores from Holland. In their Xmas Top 10 you'll find songs from The Fall, The Yobs and our favorite Sleigh Shakeris. The Grey Store number one Xmas tune is this punky, almost 40 years old, Kinks classic:



Electronic xmas

Aaron Funk aka Venetian Snares is a well known name in the experimental electronic music scene. The Canadian is signed to the label Planet Mu. But he released the first Venetian Snares holiday track, the analogue sounding 'Xmas Song', on his own Bandcamp.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Scarlett & Disher


Laura Scarlett is blessed with a great, nostalgic sounding voice, great for Christmas songs. If you let that voice float on psychedelic fx, you'll get one of the bestest new Christmas songs of the year. Think St Etienne, think A Sunny Day in Glasgow, think Free Design. It's in that range of quality. The cover version on S&D's Christmas EP are cool too, like Jolly Old St Nicholas.
Scarlett & Disher's earlier Xmas song was on this blog before, in Check the Cool Wax's Christmas mix for 2014. If you want to hear it, go HERE.

Chris Tavener

If you look like a young 50s crooner, write upbeat, funny songs, you belong on this blog. Thanks Chris, for reaching out.

Song is also on Bandcamp

christmas comes down

A year without a Sufjan Stevens holiday song! But in comes indie-folk singer-songwriter Josh Garrels from Portland, USA. His beautiful album 'The Light Came Down' counts fifteen folky and soulful songs, almost all unknown. But also 'Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel' and 'Silent Night'. Beautiful!


Shitty Christmas

I was on Dutch Radio 1 to talk about alt.christmas songs, and after I got an email from Rob saying he wrote an anti-Christmas song (well, sort of) too. It's a free download on Soundcloud, and he made a nice video for it. Charming.

Old Sea Brigade

Atlanta, GA's Old Sea Brigade = Ben Cramer. When you're Dutch, you think of this Ben Cramer when you hear that name. But this is an Americana-loving, Bruce Springsteen-influenced singer-songwriter who wrote this gorgeous song about longing:

Ho! Ho! Ho! Canada VII

Our German festive friends of Lie in the Sound called it already, and we're standing with them; The Line of Best Fit is raising the bar every year with their fantastic Ho! Ho! Ho! Canada compilations, it's touching the stratosphere by now. The highlights on this year's compilation (VII) are by Sportsfan, Dark for Dark, Quiet Parade, Hidden Cameras (who have Rufus Wainwright, Feist and Mary Margaret O'Hara in the choir!), Hannah Epperson (yes, her song for Snowflakes), PreNup (it's your signature song from now on, CU!), and that's just naming the extraordinary standout tracks. No stinkers on this one, folks.
Download from HERE. For some odd reason, Sportsfan re-named their track on their Bandcamp page.

Hamiltones

The Hamiltones are the back-up singers for soul-stylist Anthony Hamilton. The threesome recorded a great retro-sounding (O'Jays, Spinners, etc) Christmsas song. Second time we feature a cool back-up singer xmas tune - see Faithettes in this list.



(VIA)

Merry Christmas from Denmark

Did we already talk about Xmas tunes from Denmark? Here's a very nice one from Tommy And The Rockets. The poppy 'Merry Christmas' is basically recorded by veteran multi-instrumentalist/vocalist/rocker Thomas Stubgaard (The Lingertones, The Hitchcocks) with some help from Kris "Fingers" Rodgers and his keyboards, sleigh bells, Christmas effects.

Jazzy bells

Pim Muda is one of the four Ashton Brothers a well known funny Dutch theatre company. He recorded the jazzy Itunes single 'Christmas Bells' together with the Amsterdam based gypsy jazz band Reinier Voet & Pigalle44.


Monday, December 19, 2016

Mike Blaha

Mike Blaha of THE BLIND SHAKE is smearing some tongue-in-cheek holiday indifference and despair with his new solo freak-roots xmas single. I'll have that blues christmas, thank you very much!

ms Maura & the Misters

'There ain't no snowmen in L.A.", true, but it don't mean you can't write a cool upbeat rock'n roll xmas song 'bout that. As ms Maura & the Misters prove right here:

Howe Gelb's seasonal song

Americana singer-songwriter Howe Gelb (also in Giant Sand) turns up unexpectedly with a Xmas song. "It's a Christmas song for those that know what it's like to deal with the holidays alone. 'This time of year/can be so severe/to those left behind. A kind of plea to Santa to come and clean up this mess you call your love life." according Howe Gelb.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

DJ oscar plays xmas records



Amsterdam based DJ Oscar is a regular contributor to Christmas A Go Go. You can see him live, spinning Xmas records at various occasions:
dec 21 Paradiso, Amsterdam (with Mischief)
dec 23 Concerto Recordstore Amsterdam (with The Sleigh Shakers)
dec 24 Paradiso, Amsterdam (with Mecano Unltd)
One of the singles he'll certainly play is the one from the High Five Four, a nice rockabilly tune  from Amsterdam.





A Die Hard Christmas

'Die Hard' is the greatest Christmas story ever told. That's not me, thats the guys from Scottish indie label 'Song, By Toad' saying that, 'though I don't disagree. They've released two Xmas songs with Die Hard as a theme, by eagleowl and Jonnie Common. And they'r both FAN TAS TIC. From the pressrelease:
Yippee Kay Yule is two songs inspired by the Greatest Christmas Story Ever Told (TM), which is of course Die Hard. It will be released on the 1st December on Song, by Toad Records as a tiny snow globe Christmas tree bauble containing Lego John McClane, with all revenue going to charities which support the work our governments should be doing, had we not had a collective idiot spasm in 2016 and elected all the wrong ones.
(...)
What is it that makes these two songs so glorious? Well they're played absolutely straight. There's no ironic indie Christmas nonsense here, just two absolutely fantastic, joyously silly servings of pure Christmas magic which are bound to become worldwide instant classics if there's any justice in the world whatsoever. Which, if 2016 has taught us anything... oh, wait.



Both songs are part of the massive, 37 song Home for the Holidays compilation. Read more about this on CU, or go HERE

Saturday, December 17, 2016

a very metal christmas

Dutch site zware metalen.com (heavymetal.com) did publish a very heavy metal Xmas Top 11. Most of the songs are a bit over the top, like the ones from Twisted Sister or Spinal Tap. Number one is the Trans-Siberian Orchestra from New York. Ever since 1996 this orchestra is specialised in making Christmas music.


The Regrettes go Spector

LA's (almost) female punk quartet The Regrettes do a fine version of 'Marshmallow World' with guitars and horns. Written in 1949 this song got known by Darlene Love on 1963 on the famous Phil Spector compilation: 'A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector'.



Friday, December 16, 2016

Bourbon Gautier will warm you right up

For some folks, the idea of hearing country music in French may be odd, but it has been part of the French Canadian tradition as far back as when music started being recorded in La Belle Province. It makes perfect sense: like average Americans, the Québecois were mostly farmers or lived in the countryside and had the same feelings towards their environment and the world at that time, but then en français and with a lot more talk of winter.

Multi-award winning Québec country artist and composer Bourbon Gautier started as a jazz drummer and eventually became a country music singer. In 1994 he became the first Québécois to participate in the Canadian Country Music Awards and has opened for big names like Kenny Rogers and Billy Ray Cyrus.

‘Sonne ta cloche’ means ‘Ring your bell’, but it does sound like he’s signing ‘Santa Claus’ and I have a feeling that’s on purpose. I chose this Christmas song because it’s jazzy and it will go great with your pre-dinner Christmas cocktail.

Born to Roast

The Irish magazine Hot Press released two Christmas singles in 1978 and 1979, and is re-releasing them digitally (iTunes, Spotify) this year. It features Christmas rock songs that are inspired by The Ramones and Bruce Springsteen. Best track is the title track. From the press release:
The title track, ‘Born To Roast’, is a poignant tale of love lost that opens with the emotional lines: "Down in the frozen streets of Dublin/ Moves a lonely runaway/ Looking for her one and only/ On a chill St Stephen’s Day..." Former editor Niall Stokes says: "It is a short story song that deals with the great existential questions that every creature under the sun has to confront at some stage of their existence, even the perennial losers who dress up as Santa Claus around Christmas. I remember when Carl Geraghty played the heartbreaking sax solo that brings the track to an end, everyone in the studio was wiping the tears from their eyes. It was one of those bitter sweet moments that you remember for the rest of your life. Or at least until you have a good, stiff drink."

50 Best Christmas Songs Post Mariah


So, here it is. The list of best Christmas songs, released AFTER 'All I Want for Christmas'. Mariah' superhit is considered to be the last original Christmas classic. Which, of course, is reindeerpoop. At least 50 great Christmas songs were written and released after 1994. This list, made in collaboration with you guys, is the alternative to Pitchfork's rather unspired Top 50.
This is a Spotify playlist (and Deezer, and Apple Music), which means that a bunch of tracks weren't available. No St Etienne Christmas song, no Long Blondes, to name but a few. Still, these are 50 great tracks, no covers, just originals. If you can read Dutch, I wrote liner notes to every track, go HERE.

Sleigh Shakers giveaway



Thanks to Santajan, this blog can give away THREE vinyl singles of The Sleigh Shakers Christmas single. All you have to do is email wat your idea of 'Christmas Hell' is. Maybe something out of your own experience? Don't forget to send your address too! Dringendgeval(a)hotmail.com is wide open right now.




AND THE WINNERS ARE: Harm Jan from Deventer (NL), Aaron from Kansas City (USA) and Rob from Ulverston (UK). Rob wrote the best definition of Jingle Hell:
On Christmas eve, we had take away food, and sure enough - my wife woke up on Christmas morning with vomiting and diarrhoea, and spent the rest of the day somewhere between the bedroom and the bathroom. Not so bad, except it left me with a 6 month old (nappies, feeding, crying, rocking to sleep etc) and a 2 year old kid that we'd just decided to toilet train 2 days earlier, which meant that we were restricted to staying in/near the house. Every time he wet himself, he'd get cross and grumpy, and this made for a truly magical atmosphere. By the time it came to tea, I was too tired to cook all the nice food that we had, so we ate chicken nuggets and frozen chips instead.
There it is - maybe not the worst that you can imagine, but after 14 hours of cleaning up wee and poo, and entertaining 2 small kids, it certainly felt like the worst Christmas ever!

Coeur de Pirate

Coeur de Pirate, one of the finest French-Canadian singers, released a charity Christmas EP featuring three covers. Last Christmas, and two French tracks. I really dig CdP's version of Tino Rossi's Noel Sous Les Tropiques.



CdP also recorded a cover version of this track, which I'd never heard before, thanks for the introduction Beatrice!



Certainly not the first time Coeur de Pirate sang a Christmas tune, remember this one?

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Norah Jones, Stephen Colbert

Just watch, it's self-explanatory:


By the way, if you're looking for that Esquire article, it's here.

Blogroll (2)

A quick scan of songs posted on festive friends' blogs you really should hear:

'No we don't need to talk about anything/Just be together/Don't leave me hanging'. One of the most desperate (and gorgeous) Christmas songs ever, by Charlie's Hand Movements. It's short, but it stings (via CU):


Match Party's cover version of Christmas Time Is Here starts traditional, then pops an lsd tablet and things get out of hand beautifully (via Stubby):


'It's Christmas on the other side of the world/And I'm saving a plate should you ever come home again.' That's not good, right? But No Monster Club wrote a clangin' good song about 'the shittiest year' (via LitS)


A very cool Christmas song from 'Merry Christmas, Mr. Fields' the upcoming Christmas “video album” from Passion Pit frontman Michael Angelakos, former Harlem Shakes member Brent Katz, and director Hana Haley. The collection spans 15 tracks and is due to arrive this Friday, December 16th, through Frenchkiss Records. (via CoS)



No audio here, but head over to the download page of Juliana Hatfield to hear her very VERY nice original Christmas song 'Christmas Cactus' (via Stubby)

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Les Bicyclettes de Belsize

I was listening to this podcast, that kicks off with 'A Very Indie Christmas' by Les Bicyclettes de Belsize. I wasn't aware that Charlie/LBDB re-recorded one of his greatest Christmas hits (though I could've read that over @ Christmas Underground). What a great version! The original's from 2012, I like the new version even better. One of the finest new Christmas songs, back with a vengeance.

Rat Fancy

Confession: I'm a sucker for the combination of unstable girlie voice + unstable piercing organ + rattling Bo Diddley beat. And that's what Rat Fancy from Austin, TX give us in their xmas original You Stole My XMas Sweater, which is nice. But it's a question of balance, of using the ingredients in just the right amount. That's why their version of The Ramones 'Merry Christmas I Don't Wanna Fight' doesn't work. At all.

Natalie Prass

Natalie Prass released a Christmas song today. NATALIE PRASS! WHOA! One of the best alt.blue-eyedsoul singers out there!
She writes:
This holiday season is, for many of us, a confusing and frustrating one. This Christmas video is a statement on all of that. To try your hardest to be a self contained vessel of joy. To fight against what seems like a decaying wasteland of the world around you. That may seem dramatic, but I know that I've had to personally "force" myself into the holiday spirit this year. I'm sure many others can relate. With that being said, I'm hoping this video makes you want to dance and feel free to be who you are - no matter how alone you feel or how different you are than your family or community. There's a place in this country for everyone. Lets keep physically moving forward together with our stylish glasses on or off. Happiest Holidays and peace to you and yours.



Ronny Hammond's Funky Xmas Mix

Here we go again! Go here, to play and/or to download!

Barbara van der Kaay

Dutch singer-songwriter Barbara van der Kaay released a Christmas song last year that I did not know about. Shame, for it's kinda good. A tad too mainstream for this blog maybe, but sung with a clear voice and the right spirit.

Violet Catastrophe

Violet Catastrophe is one of the bands on Bartlett Christmas vol. 3: "This is the third year of the Bartlett Christmas Compilation featuring local musicians. The Bartlett is a small music and arts venue in Spokane, Washington that opened in the beginning of 2014. To celebrate the holiday season and the amazing local talent we have here in Spokane, we have put this holiday collection of tunes together for you. "
Violet Catastrophe is a female 4 piece, 'loud, proud, Disney & garage inspired'. Which means that this song is infectious, loud and clatters like an ungreased bike chain.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

FVC


FVC is the solo musical project of London, England’s Florence Van Camerijk, 'I Don’t Care About Christmas (All I Care About Is You)' sounds like an old Kim Wilde demo from the 80s. It's a very good song, somebody should contact Florence to re-record it with proper production. This a diamond in the rough, people, let's cut it to brilliance.

Public Squares

Yes! Loud snotty Christmas rawwwk! Public Squares' All I Want for Xmas (NOT a Mariah cover) is THE highlight on 'Gotta Groove Xmas', the yearly 7-imch vinyl series from Gotta Groove.


Also listen to Ohio City Singers on the Bandcamp page.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Crisco Dreams

Funny Christmas songs, it's not as easy as you think. If you mix the humour with some melancholy (or tragedy), the odds are on your side. Crisco Dreams also added some pedal steel, which is nice:


Full album HERE

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Wilson

Last year I linked to Wilson's It's Almost Christmastime on Spotify, now the Dutch band recorded a video and they had production wizard Frans Hagenaars (Bettie Serveert, Johan, Caesar, etc) work his magic on the song. Their goal is to be played to death on the Christmas station, but let's start here:

Kamikazi

All I Want For Christmas is Poon, Last Christmas You Sucked On Some Cock, Rudolph the Coked-Out Reindeer...here's a band with a special sense of humour. If frat house punk rock is your thing, share a keg with Montreal's finest Kamikazi. 'Even Naughtier than the Naughtiest Christmas' is their fourth Christmas EP, the first one with an original Christmas song. In French. About daddy being Santa Claus and messing with mommy. You get the picture:

Lost Fingers

Lost Fingers is a Canadian band that's heavily inspired by Django Reinhardt (the band's name is a nod to the missing fingers of the gypsy guitard wizard), if you were a follower of my French music blog you'll remember 'm for their great cover versions of French pop classics (like this one). Together with chanteuse Valérie Amyot they recorded a Christmas album (in English) with classics like White Christmas, 'Zat You Santa Claus and Joni's River. I really like their Auld Lang Syne version. Spotify link HERE, full album on Youtube HERE.
One of the tracks is an original song, alas that's not the single. But the video for White Christmas is very flashy:


Hat tip to Christmas Underground

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Lacuna Coil

Italian goth-metal band Lacuna Coil released a Christmas song, 'Naughty Christmas', and it's kinda good:

Friday, December 09, 2016

Loop line

Surf's up, Christmas fans! Lyric quote:
It’s a Christmas in July and nothing could be better than the girl’s bikini tops made from ugly Christmas sweater patterns



Loop line was featured on this blog earlier, HERE.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Charlie Watts Riots

Japanese label Powerpop Academy threw three volumes of their This Christmas Time compilations on Bandcamp. Over 60 songs, by (yes) powerpop bands. Didn't see Volume 4 yet, but that might be online soon too. I haven't heard all tracks, but this one stuck:

RIP Greg Lake



Read THIS

Santa Sabbath


Ah, here's something to feast your ears on. A Los Angeles-based Black Sabbath tribute band who re-write the classics to 'celebrate' the season. Somehow, we missed last year's 'Children of the Sleigh' EP (HERE), Christmas Bloody Christmas is as good as that one featuring a hard-rockin' redressing of 'Wicked World' into 'Wicked Christmas.'

Katie Malco

Deeply touching, melancholic Christmas music; Bring. It. On. Thanks Katie for writing this song.



This track is also available on Bandcamp. Katie's bio:
Scottish-born Londoner Katie Malco writes music that sits quietly somewhere between an aching, serene sadness and a hopeful determination. Somewhere between morbid and elevating. She mourns her past and lays it out on the table for all to see, exposed with twitching nerves. Armed with only an old telecaster that's seen better days, a piano - any piano - and her voice, she has toured the UK and mainland Europe extensively.

Martin Creed

'We present you the weird and the wonderful', our header says, and that certainly goes for this video. Martin Creed is a Turner Prize winning conceptual artist, who's made remarkable art. Like this. This. And this. His Christmas song is kitschy, funny and honest. See for yourself:

It's You from Martin Creed on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

SHEL video



From one of the best Christmas EP's of this year.

GFOTY


From this site:
There's something about this track that really gives me the feels. Maybe it's because GFOTY whisper-chants "angel, mistletoe, Christmas day" over and over again until you can't help chanting along to it, under your breath, at work. Maybe it's because it utilises that pleasing jingle bell sound that immediately makes the festive transmitters in your brain light up. Or maybe it's because it contains the line "let me ride your christmas sleigh", which we all know means something hella dirty. Either way, this is an underrated holiday banger that definitely deserves a place on the next That's What I Call Christmas CD. Sort your shit out, NowMusic. Now, you bellends!


Blogroll

You might not be into (new) Christmas music as much as we do, or just don't have the time to scan all the blogs, sites 'n tweets. So here's a short round up of what's going on over @ our xmas blog friends.
Because Stubby just posted a really cool track by Ben Smith, you should hear:


Our German friends of Lie in the Sound are opening their advent calender doors, and this ennui-filled, Last Christmas-inspired gem of a track fell out:


And look what Christmas Underground posted, this is Ben Folds-good:


Wolf Blitzer

Boston, Mass. based band Wolf Blitzer released a VERY fun seasonal EP. Featuring 'a Fountains of Wayne-esque sort-of-pop sort-of-love song, an imagining of what a Radiohead Christmas song would sound like' and 'a glitchy interpretation of a traditional song'. That last one is called 'Little Drum Machine Boy' and will bring a smile to your face. That Fountains of Wayne pop/love song is a-okay:

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

john oates christmas

After a seasonal album in 2006 with his buddy Daryl Hall, 'Home For Christmas', John Oates comes back solo with a nice green coloured seven inch with the country-jazz song 'Santa Be Good To Me'.

New Killers x-mas track and album

For the last ten years the Killers did surprise us with their annual Xmas song. This year they have compiled them all on the album 'Don't Waste Your Wishes'. It also includes this years song 'I'll Be Home For Christmas', recorded first in 1943 by Bing Crosby. It's their first Christmas cover. The album will be out on CD on december 9th


Toni And Ash

Electrofunk duo Toni and Ash stepped out of their robotmode and recorded a sultry, jazzy Christmas tune. Then they made fun of themselves in this video:

Pentacon Six/Crystal Furs

Pentacon Six' 'Christmas is better with you' was one of the highlights on TBASB's yearly Christmas mix on this blog (HERE!). Pentacon Six renamed themselves as Crystal Furs and updated/remixed 'Christmas is better with you.' The St Etienne'ish vibe, the desafinado vocals and the piercing organ are still there, thank goodness, only more fresh.


Listen to the old version HERE.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Grapes and Friends

Austin, TX bands Dangeresque, The Gorgeous Hands and Genuine Leather combined forces to write a yacht-y, blue eyed soul Christmas track, think Hall & Oates meets Ween. It's really really good:



(VIA)

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Five of the Best New Christmas Songs of 2016 (so far)










Or listen to Christmas Hell on SOUNDCLOUD

Pender

Pender is a 'husband and wife chiptune indie folk band' from Missoula, Montana who released 'Christmas Dirt' back in November. If you don't tag a Christmas song as such in Bandcamp, it's hard to find for Christmas enthusiasts - just saying. Pender's track, that sounds like a twisted version of The Civil Wars, is part of the 25 song compilation 'Camp Daze presents ABC Families the 25 Daze of X-Mas: A Cassette Compilation', which is, yes, a cassette. But you can hear the tracks, including Pender, on Bandcamp. Do try the Nickolas Hawksley track as well!

Saturday, December 03, 2016

MxPx



American punk rock band MxPx have a long history of releasing Christmas songs, see this list. 'Punk Rawk Christmas' is a compilation of those singles. 'Another Christmas' is a new track, just released. Uptempo, harmonies, melancholic lyrics. Cool tune.

Moonlight Breakfast/SHEL

Oohlala, our spiritual xmas friends @ Elves Bells posted a VERY nice, jazzy Christmas song by Romanian band Moonlight Breakfast. It's from 2012, but still great:



Also, go over to Stubby the hear the WONDERFUL Christmas EP by Shel.

Stippenlift

Stippenlift is Dutch producer/keytarplayer Hugo van der Poel, also part of Earth Mk II. Stippenlift (which translates as Stiplick) is his one-man project, just his slacker voice and synths. 'Zielig Kerstfeest' (Sad Christmas) is an EP featuring weepy Christmas songs about Christmas desire, but mostly about being alone, being afraid of Santa and the general annoyances one can experience at a Christmas dinner table. All songs are in Dutch, the EP's on Spotify and iTunes. I found a link to YouTube, but alas you cannot play the videos. I think his songs are kinda catchy, I really dig the Giallo-influenced, creepy 'De Kerstman', but I wonder if you get it when you don't understand Dutch.



Huilen (kerst) is an xmas version of the earlier released song Huilen. More Stippenlift here.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Tellison

Two songs I wish were on Spotify, so I could include 'm in my Best 50 Christmas Songs list, are by London-based indie rock band Tellison. Somehow, they're not in the alt Christmas canon, but they belong there. Melancholic, good drive, great lyrics. Both songs are available on Bandcamp.



Fightmilk

'It's only Christmas (Cheer up you moody prick)', LOVE that title. Love the powerpop song that goes with it, by UK band Fightmilk, and they way they weave well-known carols through the song.

Spotify playlist

All the new(ish) Christmas songs of this year are in one Spotify playlist, that you can find HERE.
Including this track:

G Matthews



Equal parts Katy Perry and Blondie thrown in a power pop blender, produced by a guy who worked with MOTORHEAD and Social Distortion. Sung by a girl (G Matthews) with great pipes. What could possibly go wrong?

Ed Struijlaart

Ed Struijlaart's one of the nicest Dutch singer/songwriters I know, I have a very soft spot for the guy. He's an excellent guitarplayer, has the right amount gravel in his voice and writes solid tunes, in a John Mayer-ish style. 'Like December' isn't a Christmas tune as such, but has a Christmas feel. Good enough for me. And this version has bells. Which is nice.

Sleigh Shakers' Christmas Hell

It's HERE!
"Jingle Hell offers the excitement of electrified blues with a contemporary Yuletide feel. Christmas trees fall apart, accidents will happen and the devil is on their track while The Sleigh Shakers let it rip. From their toy shop in the capital of The Netherlands they bring howling guitars and bloodthirsty blues harp."




Thursday, December 01, 2016

Jona Lewie


Does Jona Lewie's 'Stop the Cavalry' belong in a Best 50 Christmas Song List? I, for one, could live on without hearing that song ever again. Same goes for 'Fairytale of New York'. The songs are not bad, it's just that they're overplayed. The odd thing is, same goes for Wham's Last Christmas of Mariah's Christmas hit, but those I can hear for days on end, even in cover version form.
Read this cool piece on how Jona Lewie made his Christmas hit that wasn't intented as a Christmas hit. Then leave your comment; does this song need to be in THIS list?

Learners

If Christmas Underground passes you a track, you sit up, take note and then ROCK YOUR SOCKS OFF! Wheeew! Japanese rockabilly band (I know, sounds good already) Learners released a Christmas single featuring a version of I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, and a kick-ass medley called Hot Club of Christ. That was done earlier by Aztec Camera. That last one is an instrumental, so it doesn't feature the lovely chipmunk voice of the female singer (or singers?). Try their album as well, it has a Japanese version of Undertones' Teenage Kicks (I KNOW!)!

Expendable friend

EVERYTHING is spot on about this EP. The artist's name, the theme (highly critical about Christmas, tongue in cheek), the sparse instrumentation, the Kirsty MacColl-ish voice. I had to laugh really hard when the chorus of this song came:



Do try the other songs too. Expendable Friend is 'Jacqui + instruments', she's from Cambridge UK and has Gravenhurst, Neil Finn, Iron and Wine, Andrew Bird, and Mew among her fave artists. Which is nice.