Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Happy 10!

Thanks for stopping by, hope we helped to make your Christmas be as wonderful as ours. See you next year.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Blues Are Still Blue Christmas Compilation 2009

For the fifth year in a row The Blues Are Still Blue presents:

Christmas Compilation 2009

001 Welcome Wagon - Hail to the Lord's Anointed
002 Feist – Lo, how a rose e’re blooming
003 Storybox - It's Christmas Time
004 The Decemberists - Please daddy (don't get drunk this Christmas)
005 Musee Mecanique - White Christmas
006 Sam Baker - Angel Hair
007 Rilo Kiley - Xmas Cake
008 Boca Chica - Snow Angels
009 Clyde Lasley and the Cadillac Baby Specials - Santa came home drunk
010 Debbie and the Darnells - Santa, Teach Me To Dance
011 Huey Piano Smith - Doing the Santa Claus
012 Mumford and Sons - Winter Winds
013 Nellie McKay - The Christmas Waltz
014 Sam Cooke - Jesus Gave Me Water
015 Ron Sexsmith - Snow Angel
016 The Gasoline Brothers - Hungover Boxing Day
017 Basia Bulat - The Hem Of His Garment
018 That Band From Holland - Santa must be Daddy
019 J.D. McDonald - Boogaloo Santa Claus
020 Weezer - O come all ye faithful
021 Sufjan Stevens - Did I Make You Cry On Christmas Day (Well You Deserved It)

You can download last year's compilation here.

Merry Christmas!

Snowflake bake ice cake

Not so much of a Christmassong, more a seasonal ditty, this X-mas gift of Dutch neo-jazzo's EinsteinBarbie to all their loyal fans. And you.

Snowflake bake ice cake
Polkadotting the blue sky
Popsicle pops little frosty spots of white fly by
Snowflake bake ice cake
Shimmering lights seasoning grass with little carpetry fluffs on you and me spots on you and me dots on you and me

EinsteinBarbie - Ice Cake

Xmas at KMart

Foster MacKenzie III, a.k.a. The Duke of Puke, a.k.a. Root Boy recorded in 1978 as Root Boy Slim & The Sex Change Band with The Rootettes his pretty obscure and remarkable Christmas track 'Xmas at KMart'.
This self-produced ironic recording was the starting point of his career, as an A&R manager of Warner Brothers heard it and offered him a record deal immediately. They made six more albums after this one. Root Boy Slim (born 1945, died 1993), who started as a singer-songwriter, soon gathered instant cult-fame with his mixture of glamrock, Memphis-style boogie and blues, but died way too soon at the age of 48 of natural causes. 

Root Boy Slim & The Sex Change Band with The Rootettes - Xmas At KMart (YouTube)
Root Boy Slim - Boogie Till You Puke (YouTube)

Tiny Little Christmas

This morning, I was a guest in the Dutch Radio6-show The Beat, playing obscure, yet funky X-mas choons. Also playing was the Tiny Little Big Band, a 'band of gentlemen' playing the standards. They made a Christmas album, and one of the highlights is a version of Gloria In Excelsis Deo, described by the band as 'part jazz, part churchhymn, part carnival.'

Tiny Little Big Band - Allegro in Excelsis Deo

If this is way too smooth for you, try this:
Tryfles - Gloria

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wishing You...

...Happy holidays, merry Christmas and more of that.
From Daniel Johnston, George Harrison, Joey Ramone, Madonna and Marc Bolan (T-Rex).

Surfin' Santa

The Beach Boys recorded a Christmas album in 1964 with five originals and seven standards. The two songs in this topic were both original songs. 'Little Saint Nick' already hit the charts in 1963, 'The Man with All the Toys' was a golden number one hit in 1964.

The track by Soupy Sales (Milton Supman) originates from 1966 and was part of one of his christmas shows back then.

'O Come, All Ye Faithful' is a traditional religious Christmas carol which is done in a funny way by The Chevelles. No further info on them. Anyone?

The Beach Boys - Little Saint Nick
The Beach Boys - The Man with All the Toys
Soupy Sales - Santa Claus Is Surfin' To Town
The Chevelles - Come All Ye Faithful Surfer Girls

Damn Fine Christmas

Go HERE if you want to sing along.

(via J-W, thanks!)

Lemmy, Keith & Rudolph

Even old dino-rockers do have their moments of weakness. Luckily for us they manage to get something good out of it, like covering a Christmas track.
Mr. Motörhead Lemmy Kilmister recorded a version of 'Run Rudolph Run' together with Billy F. Gibbons (ZZ Top) and Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters).
Keith Richards did his version on his own. Some don't need no others.

Lemmy Kilmister and Friends - Run Rudolph Run
Keith Richards - Run Rudolph Run

Christmas Carol & Berend Dubbe

Carol van Dijk, leadsinger of Bettie Serveert, is blessed with one of the most veiled voices in Indieland. The mysterious beauty recorded a gorgeous xmas track (a Joni Mitchell cover from the album Blue in 1971, thanks Jan Willem) with her band in 1998 called River. It appeared on a compilation for VPRO, a Dutch public broadcasting organization. Bettie Serveert is still active and about to release their 9th CD 'Pharmacy of Love' in january next year.

Berend Dubbe played drums in Bettie Serveert 'till 1998. That year he left Bettie because of musical disputes and formed his solo-project Bauer. He recorded a sort of christmas soundscape with woodfire, argues and other stuff representing that typical Christmas atmosphere for the same compilation Bettie did.

Bettie Serveert - River
Berend Dubbe - Overige Geluiden (Remaining Sounds)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Noël with international friends

Although this EP is full of hits, I posted it here for the cats.
Seriously, Alice Dona has this one jazzy, dare I say break-beat-ish Christmas song that I like. Short, yes, but sweet.

I'm off to Paris for Christmas by car with people from four different nationalities and three continents. So Noël des copains (The friends' Christmas) it is. And if you want more French Christmas music (shameless plug), then download Radio Oh la la's Christmas podcast.

Santa Brown

The hardest working Santa in showbusiness made several Christmas-albums, his most famous seasonal song is probably Santa Claus Go Straight To The Ghetto (covered by Belle & Sebastian, no less). Here's a small selection of Mr Dynamite's Christmas tunes, featuring the very un-seasonal, but nevertheless very fantastic double take This Is My Lonely Christmas, with piercing keyboard-solos.

James Brown - Santa Claus Go Straight To The Ghetto
James Brown - This Is My Lonely Christmas pt 1
James Brown - This Is My Lonely Christmas pt 2
James Brown - Go Power at Christmas

Monday, December 21, 2009

Who's gonna fuck Santa up the ass?

OK, it's official. Poor Mr Santa by André Williams is THE most potty-mouthed Christmas song ever. Not suitable for wimps.

Andre Williams - Poor Mr Santa

Santa Pesci

Joe Pesci's musical career started in the 1960's as one of the guitar players of Joey Dee and the Starliters. Other early famous members of The Starliters were Charles Neville (The Neville Brothers) and Jimmy James (Jimi Hendrix).
Later on Pesci went solo under the name Joe Ritchie, but unlike the ones mentioned before, Joe Pesci wasn't very succesful and started an acting career. He won several prizes, one of which was an Oscar for his supporting role as Tommy DeVito in Martin Scorsese's Good Fellas.

In 1992 Joe Pesci played the character Vincent LaGuardia Gambini in the movie 'My Cousin Vinny'. Six years later Pesci released an album as Vincent LaGuardia Gambini called 'Sings Just For You', which contained the xmas track 'If It Doesn't Snow For Christmas'. Explicit lyrics of course.

Vincent LaGuardia Gambini - If It Doesn't Snow For Christmas

A Banjo Christmas

London based Italian Alessio Natalizia, better known as Banjo Or Freakout delivers a great 9 piece christmas-album full of new interpretations of well know christmas classics:

01 White Christmas
02 Merry Christmas, Baby
03 Jingle Bells
04 Christmas Is Coming
05 Must Be Santa
06 Silent Night
07 Come On Ring Those Bells
08 Joy To The World
09 Blue Christmas

Download it here (zip)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The X in X-mas

Inspired by Natasha's post about The ultimate Christmas gift, I tracked down the sexiest X-mas tunes available. There's the sulty Eartha Kitt, with a song also covered by Kylie and Madonna. But those don't hold up against Mrs Kitt. There's the well-endowed Candye Kane doing a horny duet with Country Dick. The latter wants Candye to dress up in a red lace nighty and green stockings. Bob Rivers likes a fancy dress party too. Jimmy Butler wants to trim your tree. Finally, Albert Kings sings about the needs of Father Christmas.

Earth Kitt - Santa Baby
Candye Kane & Country Dick - Let's put the X back in X-mas
Jimmy Butler - Trim your tree
Bob Rivers - Walkin'round in women's underwear
Albert King - Santa Claus wants some lovin'


As suggested by Designwallah in the comments (thanks!):

Eartha Kitt - This Year's Santa Baby
Ella Fitzgerald - Santa Claus got stuck in my chimney

The cutie in the picture is Kay O'Hara.

Tradition music, modern cover

Of all the silly Québec expressions I've taught my Dutch friends over the years, the one thing that has always stuck with them --they can actually sing part of this, accent and all-- is the 1977 comedy Christmas song by Québec's Paul & Paul, called "C'est Noël car il neige dans la tête" (roughly, "It's Christmas because it's snowing in my head"), which I mentioned last year on 16 December on this blog.

The funny duo Crampe en Masse covered this classic a few years back and gave it a traditional Québec party feel, accordion and all. If you don't understand the lyrics, you'd probably think it was American square dancing music without the calls. In fact, American square dancing music usually comes from Québec (also from Ireland and Scotland), but not the other way round. If you're not convinced, ask yourself why Americans would use words like 'do-si-do' (also called 'do-sa-do' (dos à dos - back to back), 'allemande left/right' (à la main - by the hand) and 'promenade' ('to walk around'). And 'crampe en masse' is very Québecois for 'having a huge laugh', as well as making sharp turns in your car. Now, I've run out of explanations.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas with Clare

Clare and the Reasons, Musée Mecanique and Josh Mease all got into the holiday spirit and produced three X-mas tracks. All covers, but done with a twist. If you're wondering how White Christmas sounds with a singing saw, or if the gorgeous Clare Muldaur holds up against a fuzzy guitar, have a listen.

All 3 songs in one zip (Mediafire)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Make your guy happy for Christmas

A few years ago around Christmas time I walked into my local record shop in Amsterdam and I heard some jazz music, so I decided to stick around. Then I did a double take and thought I heard the f-word in verb form. A few seconds later I heard the word 'pussy' and the woman wasn't singing about her cat.

I looked around the story and nobody seemed to flinch but me, which happens often, but this time I knew something was up. I went to the girl behind the counter and she smiled and said, 'finally somebody gets it'. I bought Durwood Douche's 1998 album Big, Banned and Blue right away and annoyed all my friends with it.

It's time to share this one with anyone who missed it, because lucky us, they have a Christmas song.

Remember ladies, sometimes it's all about giving your man something he actually wants.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Betty's world

If I was in Massive Attack, or Morcheeba, and looking for a new singer, I'd choose Betty Steeles. Her quirky, atmospheric and highly charming music is a treat, her Lolita-voice feels like fur rubbed softly on your earlobes. Especially for this blog she recorded a beautiful cover of Louis Armstrong's Wonderful World. A song to play on Christmas morning, when all is quiet, when the snow is pure, when time seems to have stopped.

Betty Steeles - Wonderful World

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas with France

France de Griesen, the blonde hard-rocking fille whom we got to know here, made a very special Christmas track for all Christmas a gogo visitors. It's sweet, it's funny, it's L-O-U-D. It's a cover of this, which is a response to this.

Bonne noël!

France de Griessen - PP Haine

(picture was made by BlackHeart)

Monday, December 14, 2009

A true holiday story

I was 12 years old, we lived near Montréal, Québec and my mother wanted to visit friends in a remote village some 300 km away. It was January in the 1980s with temperatures around -20, we didn't have a car, but we had matching Inuit parkas with fur and all. We hitchhiked all the way there, with hunters (I sat with a big dead moose in the back), truckers, even the police helped us along. My mom made me ask everything as she didn't speak French properly. We got there the same day, but arrived some 6-7 km from the house we had to go to at night. By then I figured out mom had not called ahead (her friends didn't have a phone) and this was a surprise visit. I thought this was normal.

It's pitch black outside, no wind, we're walking uphill on a 'rang', which is a rural road with a number because it's in the middle of nowhere. No street lights, no cars, a few wild furry animals, a house every 1 km yet empty and snow, snow, snow. All you hear is the sound of your footsteps in the snow, nothing else. We didn't see a single car the entire time on that rural road and there were no trees in sight. We walked for a long time, it was really cold and my mom didn't even have an address, just an idea of where the house was.

We finally got there in the middle of the night, woke up this friendly couple with their young daughter I hadn't seen in years and their newborn baby girl. They were pleasantly surprised, laughed, all got up, fed us freshly poached rabbit in mustard sauce with drinks and all, stayed up all night, played songs on the guitar for us and were happy to see us. They were artists - it's still an artists' village today - and were very cool. We stayed with them for about four days, played with their Saint-Bernard dog in the snow, helped them with some construction work as their house was far from finished (you can just build one in many towns). It wasn't Christmas or New Year's, but it was winter.

How did we get back? We left one day when the sun came up, we walked back down that hill (slid most of the way) and hitchhiked all the way back in terribly cold weather.

It took me about 25 years to tell my father this story, he knew this couple as well, although him and my mother had met them in the summer elsewhere. He would have just driven there in the toasty warm Volvo. 
La Bolduc sings traditional 1930s holiday music when the recession was on, people were out of jobs and drank out of boredom. La Bolduc (aka Mary Travers) had money, chose to record songs and make people happy. She is a French Canadian legend and this beer was named after her. She grew up poor, but had a dream and is still covered by Québec bands today.

"Peinture ton cutter, va ferrer ta jument
On ira voir ta sœur dans l'fond du cinquième rang"

(Paint your cutter, shoe your mare
We'll go see your sister, down in rural road number 5)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas with The King

In addition to the remarkable black kiddie xmas-track Mordi dropped over here, there is this white, nine year old countrykiddie called Michele Cody from (where else) Nashville. She did a pretty embarrassing christmassong for Elvis in 1978. Try to hold on till the end, cause there's some sticky redneck spoken word for Jesus too.

Another girl, Debbie Dabney (a.k.a Marlene Paul), wanted to spend Christmas with Elvis back in 1956. Now while you're sitting under that christmastree: try to find all the references that are made in these lyrics to titles that Elvis has sung. Good luck!

Elvis had a pretty busy Christmas that year, as Eddie Cochran (only on guitar) and The Holly Twins (singing) wanted Elvis for Christmas the same year too. Cause ''You ain't nothing but a reindeer, ooh barkin' all the time''. Thanks Eddie.

Finally there's a fine cover of one of Elvis' own Christmassongs, done by 2009 newbies First Aid Kit: Blue Christmas.

Michele Cody - Merry Christmas Elvis
All four tracks in one zipfile

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Dreaming of a Dutch Christmas

Dutch indie-rockband The Gasoline Brothers are like Santa Claus - they like giving stuff away. Like their music, for instance. Gasoline Bros think social media helps bands, instead of allowing other people to steal music. They've upped their special Christmas song on Bandcamp, along with nine other Christmastracks (covers, originals) from other Dutch bands like the mighty MOSS and the grand Audiotransparent. Go here to download it all for FREE! A taster?

It doesn't often snow at christmas

My fellow contributors to this blog are doing a great job, but still I'm having some trouble getting in the mood for christmas this year. The warm and rainy weather isn't helping either.

I need some beats, some adrenaline, some jingle bells! Some Pet Shop Boys to get the party started:

Pet Shop Boys: It Doesn't Often Snow At Christmas

Pet Shop Boys: Jingle Bells

A drink for Christmas

I wish we could spend Christmas together with some family (mine make boeuf bourgignon), and sit by the fire (they have a fireplace) and look at the snow falling outside (mine have loads of that, they live in Québec and you'll have to shovel your car out in the morning).

All I'm missing for Christmas is you. I've overheated my Amsterdam flat, I'm sitting on the floor at my turntable wearing something burgundy, sipping champagne and hoarsely singing along to music. Joyeux Noël, mon chéri, je t'embrasse and let's finally get together in 2010.

When I saw a Christmas album called Un martini pour Noël a few years back, I had to check it out. This song is a classic translation of Winter Wonderland, yet another English-language Christmas song written by people who have never even see an Inuk and uses the word 'Eskimo' which is a big no-no in Canada.

Angel Hair

When I heard Sam Baker perform Angel Hair live last september, it was the first time this year I thought about this website again. I promised myself I would write about the song at Christmas-A-Go-Go, so more people would get to know the beautiful music of this extraordinary songwriter. Three months later I'd forgotten about my promise completely, untill last night when I was driving home and I heard the song again. So here it is, enjoy it (despite the sad lyrics):

Sam Baker - Angel Hair (Cotton)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Not without you

Producer/remixer Matt Pendergast and friends recorded a great atmospheric Christmas-track, that sounds a bit like St Etienne. Which is nice.

Matt Pendergast - It wouldn't be Christmas without you

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Go tell the elves to fuck themselves

Ghosts of Christmas Future

Dutch downtempo demi-gods Adani & Wolf teamed-up with the voloptuous Mieke Stemerdink (pictured) for this seductive x-mas song.

Adani & Wolf + Mieke Stemerdink - The Ghosts of Christmas Future (Sendspace)

Go tell 'em!

Want to download this song? Go here.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Zat you, Santa Claus?

Last year, I posted the original version of Zat you, Santa Claus by Louis Armstrong, plus the remix. Now here's two very nice and sexy covers.

Holly Cole - Zat you, Santa Claus? (YSI) (re-upped)
Banu Gibson - Zat you, Santa Claus?

French jazz for Noël

We've mentioned 'Vive le vent' (French version of 'Jingle Bells', meaning 'Hail to the wind') by Québec superstar Ginette Reno and now it's time to share with you one of my Ginette Reno favourites, 'Père Noël arrive ce soir' ('Santa Claus is Coming to Town', meaning 'Father Christmas is coming tonight'). It's a nice jazz affair, perfect for that kir royal just before Christmas dinner.

Monday, December 07, 2009

X-Mas Grooves

Probably the best Christmas compilation to come out this year is In the Christmas Groove, sporting 12 obscure, but very funky x-mas choons. By artists like Milly & Silly, Zebra and Electric Jungle (okay, Jimmy Reed and Harevy Averne are on there as well), and mostly taken from the original vinyl. Here's a great track by Funk Machine.

Funk Machine - Soul Santa

All this funkiness reminded me of a good funky x-mas album by Shawn Lee, featuring a hard hitting sitar-version (!) version of Little Drummer Boy.

Shawn Lee's Ping Pong Orchestra - Little Drummer Boy

Show me your tree

Leave it to The Lovers, that naughty French duo to come up with a song about a Christmas tree that takes on a life of its own. Although the song is in English, in typical French style, it’s all about the lyrics. And if you really don’t get it, think Christmas office party, with that hot yet shy guy in the IT department having too much to drink and luring him to the photocopying room.

Christmas Tree - The Lovers

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

who else is dreaming of a black christmas?

santa claus is a black man - akim
no christmas should be without this song and the child singer sounds totally drunk

Forget The Past With A Present

Dutch Indieband That Band From Holland gives us a present to forget the past. You can go here to download all four songs of the EP.

Monday, November 30, 2009


A nice way to promote yourself as an artist, is to record a Christmas song. A free Christmas song, of course. Meb, from Montreal, studied music, was part of a band but now records on her own. She counts Françoise Hardy, Rufus Wainwright, Kimya Dawson and Joni Mitchell among her influences. La Neige, the free song, is recommended whilst drinking hot coco and is very stress relieving. More Meb on Myspace.

Meb - La Neige

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A soulful Christmas to you all!

I'd like to get this year's Christmas countdown kick-started with a brand spanking new song by Laura Vane & and The Vipertones called "Christmas Day with Me". To get your own copy of this soulful song, sign up for the band's newsletter and Santa Claus will send it to you!

Forget those uninspired Christmas songs, these guys let the soul shine right through, as they do on their entire, self-entitled debut album. Their album is a collection of hits, one after the other, made with love and some solid production work. This British-Dutch soul band is a favourite of radio stations and DJs everywhere and perform throughout Europe exposing thousands of people to their infectious music. Rumour has it they may be playing the world-famous Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, which means my friends back home could finally see for themselves what I've been on about. It's just a question of time before Laura Vane and the guys hit the big time and they know it too!

A few weeks ago, I was driving alone in a car for the very first time since I got my driving licence to a far away DJ gig in heavy rainfall and winds across a 32-kilometre Dutch dyke in a borrowed car. I was nervous, the car was literally being blown sideways and the only thing that got me across safe and smiling was Laure Vane & The Vipertones cranked up as loud as possible and me singing along to it while nobody could hear me.