Monday, December 31, 2018

Hey Nineteen!


It's the year of the pig, y'all. Happy 2019. See you back in November. Thanks for all your visits, views, downloads, tips, comments and Christmas joy.

Monday, December 24, 2018

He's Alive!

Nothing more to say here. Jezus Leeft!
Merry Xmas.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

The Not Fur Longs


The latest Arbor Christmas album is released, Volume 19. And of course, there's a song by The Not Fur Longs on it. These guys are present almost every year. What I like about this band is that they come up with great song titles, are very versatile (from jangly indie to reggae), it-is-what-it-is-lyrics and that honey-drenched voice of Brooke McAleer. Here's a collection of their bestest Christmas songs from Arbor Christmas compilations:

Last year was a so-so song, this is revanche:

NFL get a bit Police-y, like this one a lot:

Heartwarming:

Cool sci-fi-intro:

Fa-la-la, pa-rum-pum:

Happ-i-i-ne-e-e-ss!

Arguably, their bestest xmas song. Yes, it lends from The Cure's 'Boys don't cry', it's very upbeat, very Christmas-y.

Sad13


Sad13 = Sadie Dupuis. You might know her as part of Speedy Ortiz, or because she made 'Slugger', an album under the Sad13 moniker. And if you don't, get to know her because of this desafinado alt Christmas hit. It's a holiday song, but 'instead of a song filled with generic Christmas imagery, Dupuis gives us an illustration of her ideal holiday vacation, which involves blankets, TV and plenty of staying indoors':

Sadie made more xmas tunes, like this one. And this one.

Almost time for Christmas

Originally a musician from the Netherlands, Truus de Groot moved to Amercia somewhere in 1980. Here she makes electronic music and calls herself: "Early pioneer of Experimental Electronica, soulful vocalist and not your run-of-the-mill Composer". Her X-mas track is only available on Youtube: It's Christmas Time! And it's created with the Analog Reco-Synth, on one track only.

Friday, December 21, 2018

experimental x-mas


The Antwerp based Belgian label Jj funhouse likes experimental music. They just released 'Icicle', their third annual Christmas compilation. It's cassette only and mostly electronic music. Think kraut, ambient, Warp records. Tracks are mostly  quiet instrumental soundscapes with lots of Christmas bells. You can listen to and check it out here.
or below

Blogroll

Scanned some other blogs for new Christmas music, and this is what I found, stuff you really should hear:

Funny, rambling country song by Sun Sap on Santa being daddy [VIA]:

The Greyhound Factory sound like an 80s alt rock band, think music from Sixteen Candles or Pretty in Pink-soundtracks. Which I happen to like [VIA]
Auckland's Lucky Boy^ shares a song that's apperantly an old NZ xmas classic. It's dreamy, offkey and tropical [VIA]:

Eoin Dolan makes 'sci-fi-tinged surf pop that finds a space where sadness and beauty can coexist simultaneously'. So there. [VIA]

To quote Christmas Underground, whom we trust blindly when it comes to xmas music, 'this band has CHRISTMAS MUSIC PERFECTED':

Bertolf

Dutch bard Bertolf wrote a gorgeous seasonal song years ago (this one), and adds to his legacy this beauty:

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Happy XMas (wonky version)

Happy Xmas (War is over) by John & Yoko is one of the few Christmas classics that bore me. Heard it enough times, does not rock my world any more. Could live without it easily. Unless, unless it's re-done by wonky synths and fx vocals.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Christmas DJ-sets

Christmas a Go Go contributer DJ Oscar is playing two instore DJ sets and a club set in Amsterdam. Please feel free to pass by and enjoy the christmas music!
- December 20, between 15.00-18.00: Yearly Concerto Christmas Special with two live acts: The Avonden and Cordon Rouge. DJ Oscar will Christmas vinyl only.
- December 22, 16.00-18.00: Black Cold (Records & Coffee) DJ Oscar plays a christmas vinyl set with hip hop, R&B, jazz and (northern)soul.
- December 27, 21.00-01.00: Nieuwe Anita (club)

Free Trio

Scanned the great Stubby's Free List, and found three songs (among a lot of other cheer) that struck a nerve.
'A tattoo of her baby's feet, was pressed against my eyes' is one of the many poignant lines in the sad, slow song by Missouri singer-songwriter Dearnley, about Christmas eve in a strip club. Just a guitar, a tired voice and depressing lyrics, make a great, great song. Really.

A tad LOUDER is this track by Georgia's Eat Lightning. From 2011, but brought back to life for the holiday season. Grunge blues, if that's a thing, well, it's this:

As I wrote before, How to Make Gravy by Paul Kelly is one of the greatest Christmas songs ever written. On Saturday, it's #gravyday down under, because of the lyrics. This version by Anita Clare is stripped down to just a guitar and a back up singer. That's all it needs, really. Also on this compilation is a sweet, sexy version of Mariah Carey's AIWFC.


The Wrong Reasons

I dunno what's more impressive, the fact that Utrecht-based band The Wrong Reasons made a good countryrocking song about getting into the Christmas spirit (unironic, really what Christmas should be about), or the choir singing along with them, featuring Ken Stringfellow (The Posies), various Yearlings-members, Maurits Westerik, guys from Pondertone, Reiger, various comedians....anyhoo, give it a spin:

Timid, The Brave

Hi. How about a really beautiful slow song about Christmas Eve and love? Piano-driven, a bit debut-album-Coldplay-ish? Sang by a Canadian songwriter? Hmmm? Try this:

Darling Buds

A cover of Sugababes' seasonal hit New Year, by indie sweethearts Darling Buds. Sounds great, no? Download for 'name your price' below, but be quick cuz it's only here until January 2.

Original version:

(VIA)

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Arcana

We're all for having a sexxxy xxxmas, so when a band calls its EP 'Sexxxy XXXMas', we're listening. Aracana is a four piece brassband from Chicago. Like Youngblood Brass Band and Hot 8 Brassband, they rework songs by others. Earlier, they did a pretty amazing version of Prince's Darlin' Nikki AND Rush's YYZ. But now, Christmas. The sexiness 'comes' from the fact that the carols they bring, have 'come' in the name. O Come O Come Emmanuel, O Come All Ye Faithfull, It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.
Now, I'm pretty sure you never heard those carols played in the way Arcana does 'm over. Prepare for their O Come Emmanuel version. It has an interlude about Rahm Emanuel, mayor of Chicago. Who's is not running for re-election, so to do a song about him isn't really working (apparently), so instead they sing the original latin version of that carol. Oh, and they throw some Eminem in the mix. Yes, it's THAT good:

Kris Kringel

Every now & then we post songs in Dutch on this blog, because a) hey, we're Dutch and b) they're good stuff! Take this short but sweet, Spinvis-ish track by Leiden's Kris Kringel. Dunno who disguises behind that moniker, probably one of the guys from Smikkelbaard Records. If odd, leftfield stuff is your thing (and it should be, why are you here then?!) check out their other releases. Back to Kris now, he recorded two covers, in Dutch, of 'O Come All Ye Faithful' (aka Komt allen tezamen) and 'El decembre congelat' (aka 'Midden in de winternacht'), plus an orignal. 'Flappie in de pizza' is a story about Christmas not being a feast for everyone, especially when you're a rabbit.



By the way, Smikkelbaard released a few singles from the Plurex catalogue, one of the first indie labels in the Netherlands. This was one of the very first punk singles ever released in the lowlands.

When Christmas Comes

Google translate tells me that 'När det lider mot jul' means 'When Christmas is nigh'. Swedish one man band (I guess) Ring Snuten made this Violent Femmes-y, hyperactive short track and it's very, very good. By the way, his name translates as 'Call the snout'. Just so you know. H/t to CU.

Monday, December 17, 2018

The Winston Jazz Routine

Nobody's called Winston, and he/they didn't play jazz. Not even as a routine. Nathan Phillips was the brainchild behind WJR, they made two albums with gentle, nicely arranged songs, sung by Phillips high voice. Though he sings differently, WJR reminds me of The Blue Nile. On a now untraceable compilation from 2007, there's a WJR song called 'Through the Snow'. I recently heard it for the first time, and I think it's really gorgeoous (I now see that Wouter put it on his TBASB-Xmas Mix in 2011). Couldn't find if Nathan is still making music, if you know more, please share. Thankfully, that song's on Youtube:

Pondertone

It's here, the newest Christmas song by Dutch band Pondertone. Who, as you may recall, made this blog, this community of alt.Christmas lovers, this...world a better place with their great xmas tracks. Find'm all here.
This is the most serious Christmas song Pondertone has written. In a year rogue presidents, populist parties popping up everywhere, famine, wars, climate change and environmental problems - you need someone, a song maybe, that helps to get things right. To make a stand. To draw a line. And to help celebrate the festival of light.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

More songs from yesteryear

A follow up to the post below, more songs we forgot about, but shouldn't:

From 2012, retro-soul outta Auckland, NZ. Only single they made, according to Bandcamp. Vocalist reminds me of Levi Stubbs.

Weird 50s style waltz, deep deep horns. Think Addams Family.

Oh, how could we forget this indiepop ballad from Boston. Love that golden horn that suddenly pops up.

When you listened to a lot of Phil Spector, and indierock, and decided to give it go. Glad they did.

Actually recorded in Ecuador, but by an indierock band from Minneapolis. A bit off, but that makes it all the more charming.

OK, I'm a sucker for vocals such as these (think She & Him), and the retrovibe.

Way before Trump, this fierce rockin' track (love that organ) makes clear what Christmas should mean to all of us.

Irish sweetness, husky vocals and a guitar. Some bells. It can be so simple.

WHY ISN'T THIS TRACK ROCKIN' ALL OVER XMAS JUKEBOXES ALL OVER THE WORLD RIGHT NOW?!

The bestest Christmas track Scott Walker never wrote, or sang. What a brilliant song. Try their other xmas hit as well.