Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Wolfbanke

As you may recall (HERE HERE HERE), we have a thing for synthmas here at CAGG. So when Osaka, Japan duo Wolfbanke comes along with their Human League/When In Rome-like analog electronic EP, we say HOLY OAKEY! Thanks to everyone who tipped us this gem. Listen to them pairing the Stranger Things theme to Silent Night too, HERE.



Christmas with the cats

Hey Stubby, this one's for you!
Christmas with the Cats by Laurel Minnes is a fun folksy song about the downsides of celebrating Christmas with cats. Hairballs in your stocking, a toppled tree, etcetera. But there's a plus side to it too. PS: don't bother listening to the other tracks on this EP. They're boring.

Horrible/Adorable

Sweet-as-cherrywine voices over LOUD FUZZY GUITARS. A winning combination, if you ask us. Horrible/Adorable, made up of guitarist Kristin “Kiki” Petiford and drummer Candice Kuter from Oakland, just released a single with a we've got a fuzzbox and we're gonna use it-attitude to Christmas, covering Merry Christmas Baby and adding their own (?) 'Santa, Dear', which we love best.

Monday, December 11, 2017

almost that time

A Wild Frontier are a relatively new band from Atlanta. Their debut album was released this year. The duo just recorded a seasonal track, 'Almost Time For Christmas'. If you dig bands like Weezer, check this out.

weird x-mas

Just when you thought you'd heard a lot of strange Xmas music, in walks Mark Mothersbaugh (Yes! Devo!). He's an American painter and musician but most important he was one of the original members of the (art)punk band DEVO. He likes strange and weird music. In 1999 he released an album called 'Joyeux Mutato'. I never saw it, it was strictly limited. This year he did put one of the album tracks on a beautiful looking 7 inch. 'I don't Have A Christmas Tree' is a strange sort of mash up and looks to be a very unusual cover of  'Silent Night'. Also check out the 'stupid' B-side 'Jingles Jingles Jingles'

punky christmas classic

While looking at Youtube for Christmas music I stumbled on this rare footage, from German TV, of the great 1977 punk song 'Father Christmas' by The Kinks. In the UK this single had a fantastic comic cover, also difficult to find.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Last Christmas


There is of course the brilliant Face of a Lover blog, posting the oddest, bestest and weirdest covers out there of Last Christmas. Some of them are on Spotify. I listed 81 versions, HERE. Metal, pop, jazz, soul, electronica, folk, piano, choirs, whatnot?

Newman

The Bartlett is a small music venue in Spokane, Washington. Since 2014 they put out Christmas compilations, featuring local talent. #4 is just out, and contains a very cool song by duo Newman, who take their inspiration from Angelo Badalamenti and Cocteau Twins; dark ethereal beauty, then. Also good is the southern gothic country of Runaway Octopus, and the offbeat version of Christmas Time Is Here Again by JT Landy. Check 'm out HERE.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Dixie Dicks


Gotta love them Dixie Dicks. "Straddling the Mississippi from Proctor, AR to Memphis, TN. Topping the charts and bottoming too." This is country for the different good ole' boys. DD released an EP with songs called 'Carol of the Dicks' and 'Pray the Straight Away', only one track is up for free listening, a lyric excerpt:
Cum down my chimney
Slide inside, stroke your dick
by the light of the tree
Cum down my chimney
I'll wake up and see.

Even if it's not your orientation, have a listen:

Randy Spike Conspiracy

Randy Spike is a one man conspiracy, or band, who likes making Burger Records-like indiepunk with smart lyrics - on his debut are songs called Britany Spears will have her revenge on Long Island and My Girlfriend works for the CIA. His just-released Christmas track is noisey in a Wall of Punk-vein. Again, with smart lyrics:

Eugene Kelly & Carla J. Easton

Ah, that Wall of Sound. Very few things say 'Christmas!' as good as a lot of strings, fat drums & heavy guitars as merry ol' Phil's productional invention. Listen to this duet, taken from an interesting looking compilation by Olive Grove Records. Eugene we know from The Vaselines, Carla's a member of TeenCanteen. This sounds classic to us:

Friday, December 08, 2017

Sleigh Shakers


Jingle that bell aloud honey, for the legendary Dutch rebel rousin' Sleigh Shakers are back again! They're rocking around the Christmas tree like there's no tomorrow, with an EP featuring two originals and one Albert King/Mack Rice-revisit. Harmonica Galore! All tracks should be on Soundcloud HERE (keep an eye out), but are on Spotify right now. We like this track bestest:

V.D. King

Already spotted by Mistletunes, this cool Beatlesque Christmas song by Better Off Dead's V.D. King:

BRUUT

Probably up on their Bandcamp later today, but I want to be the first to post this great instrumental souljazz track by smart dressed Dutch jazz outfit BRUUT. I'm a sucker for that organ sound, what can I say?



UPDATE: and on Bandcamp:

Thursday, December 07, 2017

London humor

London duo The Rhythm Method are a funny bunch. Apart from sleigh bells and name dropping, there is a lot of laughing in their seasonal song:  'Christmas Special'. Another funny detail; the video timer says the recording is made on December 25, 2017!






a wise man christmas

Former Late Of The Pier member Samuel Eastgate (aka Sam Dust) now goes under the name LA Priest. If he hears the sound of sleigh bells he transforms in LA Wise Man. And so he wrote this catchy and noise 'All I Want For X-mas Is Rock & Roll'. A great song with echoes of T.Rex and Slade!


Sexy X-mas

About Seattle girl band Thunderpussy, Bandcamp has written: "This new Seattle sex bomb will blow up in your face". Their dress code seems to be sexy, specially during their energetic concerts. For the holiday season they recorded a great version of  'Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)', the 1963 Phil Spector classic from Darlene Love. It also features Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready.




Miracle Legion

If you know Miracle Legion, you're over 35 years old and have a strong urge to dig deeper when it comes to music. Miracle Legion were a cult band in the 80s, often compared to R.E.M. but never as big. Read Thom Yorke's ode to the band HERE. ML disbanded half way the nineties, but sprang to life in 2016. They released new material, and yes, two Christmas covers. Blue Christmas and The Little Drummer Boy. Truth be told, they're not that brilliant, but the singing is still great, and so is that guitar sound. (I'm playing Closer to the Wall again, what a song!)

Tom Waits

Happy birthday mr Tom Waits!

Remington Super 60

More vintage sounding (or should we say, nostalgic) Christmas pop, here from Norwegian retro-hipsters Remington Super 60. It's a bit desafinado, which we like. And that organ is gorgeous too.

Mrs Claus

Sex and Christmas, someone should make a playlist with songs about getting it on under the tree. This track by Kevin Andrew Prchal (yep, he's been here before) could easily be on that list. It's not profane, but you know what's going on when Mrs Claus is alone on the North Pole, and she has some of her 'naughty boys' over. And some toys. You can guess the rest. It's a vintage sounding, jazz-infused track. Crooner style. We like it.

a traditional trash metal X-mas

Berlin trash metal band Exxperior released a seasonal EP last year, which we missed. But now there is a sing-a-long video from their long version of the traditional 'A Christmas Carol'. They call it a trash metal musical. And that's exactly what it is: explosive material with influences from Alice Cooper and Savatage.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Still A Great Night

No idea who this is, or why he chose to re-do his Still A Great Night song, but he did. And we're glad. For this Nada Surf/Talking Heads-hybrid (Popular/Once in a Lifetime get lyrical nods) is a Great F'ing Song. Is it about Melania, about Trump? Who knows. Could be. We just sing a long. Loudly.

Johnny Hallyday

Il est mort, Johnny Hallyday. Remembered for a lot of things, from his translation of rock to French/France, for his attitude, but also for this French Christmas classic:

Goddammit Jeremiah

"Santa baby, it hasn't been my finest year, I know/I've been a bit of a shit/Santa baby, but maybe they deserved it?".
Interesting take here on the classic 'Santa Baby', just as all the songs on this album taking twists and turns with well-known seasonal songs. Goddammit Jeremiah is a collective featuring Jacqui, who we all know of Expendable Friend (see HERE), who got fed up with the usual Christmas tracks and decided to indiepunk things up a bit. It's as funny as it is good!

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

What nobody wants on Christmas Eve

'Here's a song I wrote with Mikey Erg, a Christmas song. About something that people don't think about at Christmas. Maybe they should.' So begins this song by Canadian comedian Conor Ratliff. And yes, this is something to muse about.

Korean Kristmas

Oh yes, this is the stuff this blog was designed for people. A South Korean Christmas album. It's basically a beatbox, some twangy guitar and a guy or a girl singing in Korean. No clue what they're on about, but that's not a problem at all. See the cover (Santa with a shotgun!), listen to this track:

Mighty Sparrow

There's always room for the Classics here at CAGG. So when Radiophone Archives decided to put Christmas With Sparrow (1964) on Bandcamp, we're making room on this blog to let you know that this is a) NOT a calypso album, but b) an album with Christmas classics that can compete with the bestest x-mas crooning out there. Quote: "In a more just universe, Sparrow would be recognized for his enormous musical legacy. He's not the Elvis of Calypso. He's not the Sinatra, Dylan or Beatles of Calypso. He's the Mighty Sparrow of Calypso."

outer space x-mas

In the eighties I released a serie of three special cassettes, 'Oscar's X-mas Carols'. I invited befriended musicians like Pascal Comelade, Ptôse, Legendary Pinkdots, Van Kaye & Ignit, Grandmaster O or Doxa Sinstra to contribute a track. It's all experimental and electronic stuff. Some of it we now call Minimal Wave.
Spanish label Domestica just a released 'X-mas Card From Outer Space', a sort of Best Off Oscar's X-mas Carols, on LP only. The drawing on the sleeve is made by Dutch designer Max Kisman. If you like adventurous and unusual festive music, check out this LP here. The title track comes from the Dutch outfit Ende Shneafliet.

Monday, December 04, 2017

Azimuth A.D.

There's the Brazilian Azymuth, UK jazz outfit Azimuth, metalband Azimuth, and there's Azimuth A.D.. There's a homepage with very little info (HERE), what I do know is that these guys challenge the Beach Boys vocally. Harmony overload, people. Listen to this:

Merry Navidad

Tamu & J'Aime are Spanish. Their label, El Nébula Recordings comes from Pamplona. On their noisy Navidad single, released in an edition of 250, they sing in Spanish.  I prefer the B-side,  'Navidades Sin Ti'. It has lots of sleigh bells and reminds me of The Jesus & Mary Chain. You can listen to it here.

If I don't make it through this Christmas

Quote:
If I don't make it through this Christmas, Have a drink on me, Put all of my belongings, Under some poor family's tree, Dress me up like Santa, Deck me out in mistletoe, Sing "O, Hallelujah" And bury me in snow.

Nope. This is not a fun song, but a good one nonetheless. Ragtime jazz, with a strong female vocalist. This could be a classic in the making. UPDATE: Turns out that it is a classic, for the song is from 2013.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Caro Emerald & Metropole Orchestra

If Santa Baby-like songs are your thing, try this collab between Dutch retro-singer Caro Emerald and Dutch Metropole Orchestra. Big bands do work for Christmas, I'd say. Not the first Christmassong from Caro, she did a (re-recorded) duet with Brook Benton.

Kim Wilde & Lawnmower Deth

Yes, that's the former 80s pop queen Kim Wilde, together with Brit metal parody act Lawnmower Deth. The latter once recorded a metallurgic version of the former's biggest hit. My guess is that this one will pop up on very few Xmas mixes. But then again, we do promise you to present you the weird stuff too.


Via SWOT

On Spotify

If it's Spotify you use, please follow our yearly round up of the 2017 Christmas tunes, HERE.

Angry Snowmans

J'oi to the world! They're back, the hardcore/punk-outfit Angry Snowmans, with a record that'll make you slamdance with the Christmas tree. I don't recognise every rework (for they cover punk and hardcore songs with added Christmas spirit), but this FEAR-cover I do know:

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Bubblegum Lemonade/The Perfect English Weather

Bubblegum Lemonade is a guy from Glasgow called Laz (hence his EP's called Laz Christmas) who like The Velvet Underground, The Byrds and Postcard Records artists. He recorded quite a list of albums. Two of the songs from the EP are featured on Soundcloud. Not a good voice, but Laz has a thing for writing catchy melodies:



Labelmates The Perfect English Weather recorded a gorgeous melancholic song, Christmas in Suburbia:

merry x-mas from gaspard royant

One of CAGG's  favorite artists is French singer Gaspard Royant. Last month we posted a new single, but now we proudly present his first "Album de Noël". In 2009 he released his first record. His second album, from 2016, is produced by Edwyn Collins. He likes the sixties but also (Northern) soul. Since 2014 he released  Christmas songs every year. They are all compiled on 'Wishing You A Merry Christmas'. Apart from three songs of his own he does a lot of covers like 'Everythings's Gonna Be Cool This Christmas'  from The Eels. But also known songs like  'Last Christmas' or even 'White Christmas', but never boring. The album closes with 'New Year's Day' a surprising make over from the U2 song. In this video, from radio Europe 1, you can find out more from his very nice X-mas album.

It's Christmas on earth


Sacred Bones Records releases a one time coloured (red or green) 7 inch, in an edition of 500, from the Danish outfit Marching Church. Their 'Christmas On Earth' is a sad and dark carol about a parental kidnapping. "Lost custody to the bitch, I deserve to see my kids" are the last words of this unusual song. The B-side is an absolutely weird version of 'White Christmas'.

Friday, December 01, 2017

The New Fever

If you're from Denmark, it's pretty obvious you sing about the cold in your Christmas song, no? The New Fever have a The National-kinda take on the season. With autotune. It's slow, it's electronic, it's charming.

Oh No It's Christmas!

This starts like a Gary Glitter cover, but is an original (at least, that's what I think) song by Irish band Session Motts.


It comes from a compilation by The Co-Present, a radio show. From the site: 'A Co-Present Christmas album in aid of Pieta House features a Collection of Christmas cover versions and original songs by an eclectic mix of Irish artists. Compiled and curated by Dwayne Woods Presenter and Producer of Irish Music Radio show The Co-Present on Dublin Digital Radio.'