Thursday, December 13, 2018

Christmas is bullsh*t

In our Ten of the Best list, we rank 'Allergic to Christmas' as the only anti-Christmas song this year worth to mention. That's...not entirely true. Because Christmas is Bullshit by JC Cassis is a good one too. Let's just copy and paste what her Soundcloud says: "Sounding like a cheery, holiday-themed collaboration between Christina Aguilera and Weird Al Yankovic, Christmas Is Bullshit is a hilarious and super-catchy anti-Christmas comedy song from singer/songwriter/producer and Christmas hater, JC Cassis. If you're sick and tired of people acting like Christmas is great when you know it's all bullshit, and you want to sneak an anti-Christmas song into the holiday party playlist that will sound right at home with all the classics, this is the song for you. It's full of gorgeous, layered background vocals, brassy horns, saccharine strings, jolly jingle bells, and witty lyrics dripping with bad attitude about how annoying Christmas and winter really are. A surefire ear worm that will keep you laughing through the snow, Christmas Is Bullshit is destined to become a new holiday classic for everyone who's done with pretending to enjoy the holidays."
It's on Spotify, iTunes and below.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Ten of the Best

Said it before, will say it again: this is an awesome year for new Christmas music. Here's a top ten of what I think are the best xmas trax of 2018. PS: If you want most of these, and more, in one handy Spotify playlist, go HERE

1. JD McPherson - SOCKS!
No competition, this is the bestest new Christmas album of the year. It's retro and nostalgic, but with high energy, all songs sound like they're on par with 'Blue Christmas'. Yes, that's a bold statement, but it's the truth.

2. The Grapes and Friends - Ms. Claus
The bestest Christmas song Hall & Oates never wrote.

3. X-Misses - There's no Christmas in Hell
Original song from an incredible lp, featuring covers, reworks and very strong original songs. Very versatile, from punkrawk to folk, and it all works. Really, really strong.

4. Tangarine - Don't Turn Off the Lights
Lovely track from two Dutch bros with a solid reputation when it comes to writing Christmas tunes.

5. GURR & Eddie Argos - Christmas Holiday
High octane xmas rawk! How can you NOT like this?!

6. Aidan Moffatt & RM Hubbert - Ghost Story for Christmas
Christmas ain't Christmas without that brilliant Aidan accent.

7. Matt Owens - One Fuck of a Year
Brilliant title, brilliantly executed. One to sing along to for years to come. It drives away any bad thought you ever had.

8. Nicholas Burgess - Santa Planet
We like oddball xmas songs. This was the best of 2018:

9. Mud on my Bra - Allergic to Christmas
A good anti-Christmas song, we had a few, but then again, only this one's really worth to mention.

10. Whyte Horses - Next Year Will Be Mine
When it comes to production, this one takes the biscuit. How GOOD this one sounds. But also: what a great song. What a voice. What joy!


Also very good: Santa's Got A Sweet Tooth by The Dip (link); Hey Merry Christmas by The Mavericks (link); that Pizzagirl single (link); Sasha Don't Take My Toys Away by Swimfan (link); Champagne & Engelenhaar by Stippenlift (link), Merry Christmas The President is Terrible by Quiet Company (link), the full Bicyclettes de Belsize album (link), the Oh! Gunquit single (link)...such a good year!

Seasonal affective disorder


Trump did not get impeached, there's nobody that will take care of that traffic ticket and the ex-boyfiend did not forgive you. All you came out with was seasonal affective disorder (it's real). At least, that's what the lead vocalist of Tucson, Arizona's Foxx Bodies wails about. In a rattling short song, that reminds me of early Liz Phair. If your indie Christmas mix is not done yet, you should add this one!

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Andy Allo


Andy Allo is best known for her collaborations with Prince (RIP), she was part of New Power Generation and wrote songs with the Purple One. Andy's a major talent, last year a Christmas EP was released with very funky reworks of soulful Xmas classics. I luuuuv her husky voice. BTW, the EP is a free download on her Soundcloud.

In the Air Tonight

Yes, you want to hear this. Frosty in the Air Tonight, and it's exactly what you think it is.

international friends


Friends Friends Friends (formerly A Raw Rock Christmas) is an international Christmas / Holiday compilation, open to anybody and everybody. It's based in Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada. They have just released their digital compilation 'The Chvrch of Santa' with a variety of music and of mostly new seasonal songs. This is one of the few covers, a great acoustic version of 'Father Christmas' (The Kinks).

Monday, December 10, 2018

black christmas

Norwegian label Nordpolen musikklubb does release a Christmas vinyl single each year in 300 copies.  Their 5th single is 'Black Christmas" by Poly Styrene, singer of the former punkband X-Ray Spex. The song is from 2010 and was available at Poly Styrene's homepage that Christmas. She wrote and performed the song with her daughter Celeste Bell.  Previous singles were all from Norwegian artists like Sonja with a song called 'Jeg gleder meg ikke til jul i år' or the Norwegian band Hvitmalt Gjerde with 'Dine lepper smaker jul'. Intriguing titles and nice sleeves!

Charlotte Qvale

Beautiful non-Christmas, yet seasonal song by Charlotte Qvale. [VIA]

Drunk this Christmas

Because, why the hell not?!

Sunday, December 09, 2018

Bamboo

FANTASTIC odd, s-l-o-w cover of Greg Lake's magnificent 'I Believe in Father Christmas' by duo Bamboo. From the Upset the Rhyhtm-site: 'BAMBOO is a sublime new project from Nick Carlisle (of Peepholes, Don't Argue) and Rachel Horwood (of Trash Kit, Halo Halo). Their music is vivid and deeply poignant, locking into a magnetic attraction between Rachel's flawlessly resonant folk cadence and Nick's pristine synth pop production.'


Saturday, December 08, 2018

The Nice List

Great new x-mas songs keep popping up. We'll just keep posting 'm, are you exhausted yet?

Fantastic yacht rock-ish single by The Grapes & Friends. Hall & Oates wish they wrote this:


Sweet Meiko from Germany wrote this cuddly little tune:


Sad, but gorgeous:

Seasonal song, about WW I:


Slow burning jazz:


We love LBdB, and this track:


Also from Germany, a cool indie track:


Want some glam in your xmas? Try this all girl quartet:


Friday, December 07, 2018

Ill Considered

This is something special. London based improv jazzband Ill Considered released a Christmas album. Percussion, bass, clarinet and 'paint and brushes', those are the elements used for this take on Christmas classics like Petit Papa Noel and Jingle Bells. It's a pretty safe bet that you haven't heard these songs performed this way. Solid groove, great playing, sometimes unrecognisable, sometimes just gorgeous.

Fairytale of New York covers

Again, there's a little controversy about The Pogues' Fairytale of New York. Read this, and this.
I've scanned Bandcamp for cool versions of the song. This one's great, it leaves out the fighting (it's not a duet), it's very gentle and it still works:


Reindeer Tribe. If you follow this blog, you know how high the esteem is we keep for this lot. It also leaves out the 'problematic' part:


A sped up punk version (with fighting!):


An even faster version:


A star studded version:

Billy Bragg + Florence Welch:



What's KT Tunstall singing instead of the f-word? 'Bludder'?


A version with Carol of the Bells added:


Nice sweet'n slow electronic version:

song with story

Is it a spoken word song or a song story? Anyway Dutch artists Clean Pete and Moon Moon Moon come up with a nice Christmas story about a boy and a girl who want to write a song together. Sorry, but it's in Dutch, but the long intsrumental music parts are very christmassy and the video is great, specially the second (animation)part.

Josh Homme & CW Stoneking, Brody Dalle



Steve Hammond

Steve Hammond is one busy bee. He records under various monikers (the best being Steve Hammond & his Rabid Children), releases singles in a very limited edition (of 25, in this case) and has a lot of fun doing so. His new single features two honky tonkin' Christmas songs, in the vein of his heroes Johnny Paycheck, Hank Williams and George Jones.

ramones christmas

CJ Ramone played bass in the famous punkband The Ramones, between 1989-1996. Last year  his 'Christmas Lullaby appeared  on the wonderful compilation Santa's Got A GTO Vol. 2. Now it's out as a 7 inch on Fat Wreck Records. On the B-side is this  loud version of the punky Kinks classic 'Father Christmas'.

GURR

German duo GURR teamed up with Eddie Argos (of Art Brut) to make two snotty, Parklife-ish Christmas rawk songs that shake your tree in all the right places.

Aidan John Moffatt & RM Hubbert

So, this track (below) was out already. And now the full album's available. Including what's probably the greatest cover of 'Lonely this Christmas' of the last ten years. Make that twenty years. Aidan is a brilliant mind, has a great voice, his dedication to write odd Christmas songs is to be cherished. Another addition to a GREAT alt.christmas year:


Here's another one:

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Garage Christmas

He is 73 and just made his first Christmas album. Mitch Ryder started making music in the sixties. In 1964 he started his famous band Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels. Now there is 'Christmas (Take A Ride)' an album with only covers. Some of them surprising like 'Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer' or 'Someday at Christmas'. Best track is his rocking version from 'Santa Claus' the Yuletide anthem from garage rockers The Sonics, composed in 1965. And look at this crazy black&white video!