Thursday, November 21, 2019

J-Pop Christmas

Japanese singer Soleil, aged 16, made a Xmas 7 inch: 'Twinkle Heart', written by Ijichi Hiromasa (who writes songs for J-pop band Speed). On the B-side is a (non-Xmas) track by Yellow Magic Orchestra. Big news in Japan is that Soleil will stop performing because she want to focus on het study. Her last live-show will be a Christmas event on december 22 in Veats Sibuya.

El Gato Roboto

Practice your Turtles-like 'pa-pa-pa-pa'-singalong qualities, you're gonna need 'm when listening to this track by Chicago-based El Gato Roboto. This track also reminds me of good ole' Kirsty MacColl, singer Jennifer kind of has the same timbre. Do try the other track too!

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

It's The Most Wonderful HAIM of the Year

Ok, you're right, this one's not meant to be a Christmas track at all really. After all the three HAIM sisters are Jewish and celebrate Hanukkah in stead of Christmas. But hey, it's a song about angels in a metaphorical way and, Hallelujah it's such an awful beautiful track! And don't forget to check the video too. Imagine those sleigh bells yourself.

Speaking of Hanukkah and HAIM, next friday November 22nd Hanukkah+ will be released. This album contains Hanukkah classics and originals performed by artists such as HAIM, Jack Black, Loudon Wainwright III, The Flaming Lips and more.
HAIM's contribution is a cover of Leonard Cohen's "If It Be Your Will".

A Dualtone Christmas

Dualtone is a label in Nashville, probably best known for housing The Lumineers (hey-ho!), Amos Lee, June Carter Cash and Guy Clark. Artists on Dualtone play Americana, that amalgam of country, folk and rock. Since it seems that Americana is the style to go this year, A Dualtone Christmas brings together labelmates Lumineers, Amos Lee, and Mt Joy, to name a few, to play covers and originals. This track by Mt Joy, a band from Los Angeles, is one of the best tunes on that album. A downer, but a good downer:

Angry Snowmans

When it comes to punkified Christmas-tunes, there ain't no better than Angry Snowmans. They yulify obscure and well known punk songs, this time by Dead Kennedys and Adolescents. Love this Holidays in Cambodia-rearrangement:

More Angry Snowmans HERE
Oh, and by the way, if you, like me, ask yourself where you saw that cows head on the album cover's THIS ONE

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Lucy Dacus

Probably one of the most covered Christmas tracks ever, 'Last Christmas' from Wham, is popping up at least one time this year too. But hold your Oh Noes! because the good thing is, it's quite a cool one. Indie rock darling Lucy Dacus from Richmond, Virginia is responsible for this somewhat disturbing and annoying speedy version.
Love it 'till Christmas, especially the spoken word parts and the hysterical ending.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Jagger Holly

With bandmembers named 'Ringo Moon' and 'Lennon Lee Roth', you know we're up in Marilyn Manson county when it comes to 'guess where they got their name from'. Music wise, Jagger Holly and his band differ from MM, they're fishing in the emopunk-pond where we also find Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance. And they do hold up to those names, I must say. There's a few covers, but mostly originals here - don't be fooled by the titles. This 'Santa Baby' isn't the Eartha Kitt version:

Christmas with Nordpolen musikklubb

Great to read this: "Nordpolen musikklubb er et plateselskap som konsentrerer seg om julemusikk og skal gi ut en vinylsingel i 300 eksemplarer hvert år". You can find this text on the facebook of the Norwegian label Norpolen Musikklubb. Almost every year they release a Xmas vinyl single in an edition of 300. The 2019 single is from their Norwegian friends Remington Super 60 from Fredrikstad. Already in 2000 they released their first Christmas song: 'Christmas Song For Melanie'. This song is also included on their 'Christmas EP'. With three other songs, two from 2017 and one from 2006, an old favorite of mine 'Here Comes Christmas', a fine vocal popsong with bells and a catchy refrain!

Joli-Bois; Kristine St Pierre & Justin Lacroix

French Christmas tunes, we love those here @ CAGG HQ. Two examples from Canada. Joli-Bois is a female duo, who make folk- and country-tinged music with additional rock 'n roll influeces. They made a seasonal EP last year, and now returning that favour with a full album this year. All originals, as far as I can see.

Joli-Bois are from Quebec, Kristine St Pierre & Justin Lacroix are from nearby Ontario. Their Christmas album also has folk and country influecens, but is sweeter, more polished. Maybe a tad too mainstream for most CAGG-listeners, but nice nonetheless.


Oh yes. First, there was The Hengles (HERE!), now there's Dutch folk lovely Stephanie Struijk, premiering her Dutch piano-version of Pretenders classic 2000 Miles on this blog. Steph's a friend of this blog, she loves Christmas music as much as we do, so we posted her earlier seasonal tunes before. Here, and here (when she was recording in English under her Stevie Ann moniker). This version of '2000 miles' will be on the platforms this Friday.
Translation was made by Daniel Lohues, who produced Stephanie's wonderful Dutch albums. Whaddavoice.

Sunday, November 17, 2019


I Don't Know How But They Found Me (great name) is a duo, consisting of Dillon Weekes (of Panic At The Disco) and Ryan Seaman (of Falling In Reverse). They made a Christmas EP, with originals and this Brobecks cover:

Saturday, November 16, 2019

There Goes Another Year

Is Christmas more alive up north? And does it therefore bring us better or more authentic Christmas music? At least we can say that Magne Furuholmen from Norway (and keyboard player from popgroup a-ha) must have been extremely looking forward to this years Christmas, as he released his White Xmas Lies already the 25th of october.
Judge by yourself whether these 16 tracks were a good idea or not.

Limited christmas vinyl

Last year CAGG rang the bell about 'Christmas Reminiscences', the wonderfull seasonal album of The X-Misses, recorded in Nashville. Read here. This year they are back with the same album but on shiny black vinyl, in a limited edtion of 300. Listen and order here:

Friday, November 15, 2019

xmas punk

'Father Christmas' from The Kinks is an alltime favorite of CAGG. So any compilation with a cover of that songs must be great. Hence 'Punk Rock Christmas 2' (Cleopatra Records) and the follow up of the first 'Punk Rock Christmas' (2015). If you like nowadays punk than listen to bands like MDC, Naked Aggresion, Down By Law or Reagan Youth doing punky seasonal songs. It includes a great dedication to the best USA punkband: The Queers do 'Ramones Chrsitmas'. Also there's the great Johnny Thunders (1952-1991) doing 'Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer'. But first 'Father Christmas' by Parasites.

Charlie & the Tropicales

Hat tip to the great Stubby for spotting this first. We love latinfied Christmas tunes, and this album by Charlie Halloran is just lovely. It sounds vintage, like it's played from a 78 RPM record, but it's very 2019, and very cool. Mostly covers, this one's an original:

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Spotify playlist

Yes, if the 2019 Christmas songs are on Spotify, they're in this playlist. Any songs missing? Holler!

It includes this fantastic new spiritual:

Jeremy & the Harlequins

Spending time in a Chinese restaurant on Christmas is the zenith of being lonely 'n blue - according to a few musicians. There's of course this classic ditty, there is this one, and this one, and now Jeremy & the Harlequins add their example: A Chinese restaurant on Christmas. Jeremy is a rocker in the Elvis/Jerry Lee-sense, his track sounds like it could be written by Gaspard Royant. Nice one, Jer!

Tuesday, November 12, 2019


It's here people, officially out on Friday, but the premiere is here: Amsterdam jingle-jangle rockers The Hengles bring you Wish It Was Christmas Time, and we're bringing it to you, here, live. Think Posies, think Fountains of Wayne, think good ol' xmas time:

Loving the hell out of this!


Readers mail!
'Think Blossom Dearie mixed with Beth Hart and a French accent singing original Christmas music in English built across a wide range of styles, from blues to pop to jazz. Really nice production and I just love the vocal delivery. A couple of songs on the album don't quite feel like they belong on a holiday record, like Fear is a Killer or Overnight, but still worth a listen.' Thus says Stuart, CAGG-reader and Christmas music enthusiast. He's talking about this track:

Monday, November 11, 2019

An ideal christmas present?

Robbie Williams on Christmas A Go Go? Isn't that a bit too commercial and mainstream for this blog? I don't know. He has always been a sort of controversial figure. But he comes with a Xmas double-CD called 'The Christmas Present'. As I still haven't heard the album I will give him a little benefit of the doubt, whether he made the ideal Xmas present :-)