Monday, November 30, 2020

Metal & Christmas

 Metal and Christmas are not my favorite combination. But when a metal band does a loudmouth version, with lots of screaming guitars from  Chuck Berry's 'Run Rudolph Run', I have to listen. It's on the compilation 'Christmas Rocks' on Mascot Records.  It also has a heavy slow version of 'Silent Night'  and a fast loud version of 'Blue Christmas'. Listen to the album here.

Arts & Crafts

Canadian label Arts & Crafts released a damn fine Christmas compilation, with artists covering holiday classics in a highly original manner (listen to Auld Lang Syne!), and some artists penned their own songs. Sloan's Kids Come Back Again at Christmas, that one we've heard before (HERE), others sound new to me. Charles Spearin's The Christmas Box, with it's leftfield funk groove, is (so far) the best song on this comp. I was also very touched by Ellevator, and this pleadin' song by Reuben and the Dark , a folksy band from Alberta. HIGHLY recommended.

X-Misses Come Home

X-Misses are a band from Nashville.  In 2018 they surprised us with their Xmas LP 'Christmas Reminiscences'. Now they have a new digital Xmas track out with very nice vocals and a bit country & jazz. Get it on their X-Misses  Bandcamp.

X-Misses head honcho Tim writes on BC that he wrote the song right after that highly praised first album, as a consolation track for a friend. That changed when the corona virus took over:
When the trajectory of the virus became clear in October, I spent weeks deliberating about whether I should wait until next year to release the song. Many of us will not be traveling home for the holidays; myself included. Many of us will be mourning people we've lost or spending the holidays trying to save lives. I don't want to be insensitive, nor do I want to promote traveling without taking strict precautions.

So, when Tim asked advice from his friends (nurses, soliers, pharmacists), they all said: RELEASE THIS SONG. And we're SO glad he did. Because songs like these, 2020 really needs.

Covid Christmas (part 8)

Hi, and welcome back to another roundup of recent COVID-themed Christmas songs. Some strong, one bad. If you wanna keep up, see earlier posts HERE, or follow our (incomplete) playlist HERE.

Elegant ballad about shooting the stars out of the skies with your thumb at Covid Christmas (because, what else?):

A plea for having Christmas in June, when we're all vaccinated (and might be immune). VERY smart song:

Covid Big Band Swing:

Funny guy Jacob Bloom made a funny song:

Green Day's When September Ends get corona'd:

Internet phenomenon Trisha Paytas also jumps the COVID Christmas train (we all remember her Hot Girl Christmas single, right?), and the result is, shall we say, an acquired taste:

The Isotopes, Zane Brune

The Isotopes are an instrumental rock band from Rochester NY, making music that hints to the Shadows, jazz guitar greats like Grant Green and surf rock. On their first Christmas EP they go for the classics (God Rest Ye, Last Christmas, AIWFCIY, etc) but this mash up of Tchaikovsky's Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy and The Little Drummer Boy (orig Katherine K. Davis). This makes for a loud rocking version of both classics, with bells, and it shows craftsmanship.

Speaking of interesting, different covers, try the album by Zane Brune. Very original, not to say barking mad (or blind drunk, you choose) takes of classic carols and xmas pop hits. Lots ofr reverb, rock riffs and odd atmospheres. He made a mash-up too:

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Funny Bells

 In the eighties Betty Arden and Saskia released a few cassettes, they are highly collectable now. Betty Arden also did contribute to the third and last cassette from the serie  Oscar's X-mas Carols (1986), a compilation serie with unusual electronic Christmas music, released by journalist and  CAGG conrtibutor, Oscar Smit. That track, 'Funny Bells', is coming out as a 7 inch on the Belgian label Stroom Records. B- side of the single is a nice little electronic song from Saskia, also dating from the mid eighties.You can order the single here on the Stroom Bandcamp.

Get Your Jingle On

This post will be updated, because I think we're a bit too early to post this song. But, then again, it's out there, we can listen to it, and it's just LOVELY. What I puzzled together from bits and pieces, is that this song won a competition in Ireland, and that it's Ken and Joanne Nolan you here on this upbeat, Northern soul-like stomper. They're gonna release it as KJ & the Backliners, a clip is in the making. That's what I read on Ken Nolans Facebook (link), and as said, I will update this as soon as I get more.
In the meantime, here's the song:

UPDATE: the song is released as JT & the Backliners, it's out on iTunes and currently topping the Irish download charts. It is also on Spotify, HERE

The Mieters

No, not the Meters, it's Dutch 60's beat band the Mieters. Influenced by Kinks, Beatles and Dutch 60's greats like ZZ & the Maskers, Outsiders, Q65. This is one HECK of brilliant piece of beat, a song that translates as 'Leave me alone at Christmas time'. Love the organ, love the vocals. Really great. Yeah yeah yeah!

And there's a video!

What In Your Heart Can Put You In A Trance

Now THERE's a band name, right? Our friends at Ten Dollar Recording co. (home of Mariya May, Mo Douglas) released this single by WIYHCPUIAT, an oriental influenced mantra with just the title as a lyric. But then again, 'We're gonna get together on Christmas day', isn't that something we all hope for, now more than ever?

Also on TDRC, this Silent Night version. As an xmas music blogger, I heard A LOT of SN-versions (here's a playlist) but every now and then, there's a special one. This is such an occasion.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Dancin' around the green tree together

I have a feeling that many people are listening to Christmas music online more these days as an actual tonic against the state of things the health crisis has put us all in. They mention wanting to forget their troubles even for a brief moment, needing comfort, and even something to help them sleep. I feel the same way.

Here's a new take on an old classic, a French version of 'Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree' by American singer Brenda Lee, known in French as 'Dansez autour du vert sapin', here sung by Québec's Marie-Ève Janvier and Jean-François Breau, from their Christmas album of 2013, 'Noël à deux'. 

'Noël à deux' means 'Christmas the two of us', and it's not just an act, there are a couple in real life.

WORLD PREMIERE: Don't Call Me Ishmael

Yet another WORLD PREMIERE on this blog. Don't Call Me Ishmael's Mountain Goats-meet-Band-Aid-marriage 'I Won't Hesitate (This Christmas)'. An ultra-xmas track, paying tribute to Bing Crosby and Band Aid, and making a firm (yet risky) statement about kissing under the mistletoe.
I want your thrashiest jumper, your driest turkey, your cheesiest song
I won’t give a damn, I’ll sing a-long

There's a fantastic LEGO video for this:

And DCMI made more Christmas songs. Remember this one:

And even more HERE

Friday, November 27, 2020

Covid Christmas (part VII)

If you follow this blog, you know we're posting covid-themed Christmas songs almost daily. Here's a round up the nicest we found recently:

Sweet rocking version, based on 'Jingle Bell Rock':

Cheerful folksy Britpop:


Modern day pop:


Good rockin' tonight

A nice surprise from Amsterdam, the digital EP 'A Christmas Gift To You' from The Chimney Brothers (very appropriate name). Although the title points to Phil Spector, the tracks are raw rock( 'n roll). Specialy  their versions of 'Run Rudolph Run' and 'Merry Christmas Baby' will make Chuck Berry proud. The band doesn't exist anymore. These songs date back from a 1999 cassette and are now widely available for the first time.

Grace Eden

Could write a lot about this track. But then again, 'so beautiful' is enough. London-based singer Grace Eden wrote an original track, and sings a very tender version of In The Bleak Midwinter.

And CU seems to agree...

Prima Donna

It's Friday, so there's a lot to post about. Prima Donna is a Los Angeles-based power pop band and in 2018, they released the fist-in-the-air xmas singalong Gimme Christmas as an online only track. Now, it's pressed on green vinyl, together with a new, very Southside Johnny-like song called 'Mistletoe Blues'. Find all info on Bandcamp.

By the way, now where did we see that coverdesign earlier...

Moon Moon Moon

Christmas and sex.
Not a combo that hasn't been explored earlier (see here, and here) but Dutch artist Moon Moon Moon adds another layer. Basically, the lyrics to his song Adult Christmas come down to this: don't be sad that the magic of Christmas (Santa, snow, singing carols) is gone. No more kiddy Christmas, but meeting someone and having sex in a toilet stall is here!
Have a listen to this Sufjan Stevens-ish track (also about understanding lyrics by The National):

Moon Moon Moon is a December and Christmas music fan too. This is an earlier Christmas song:

This one is gorgeous too:

And this is the demo for Adult Christmas


A high-octane, sped-up version of Jingle Bells. Not like we hadn't heard that one before. BUT. This version of sister duo Bleached raises the bar. It refers both to pop queen Charli XCX and The Ramones, or The Damned (listen to the guitar solo near the end. And like the punk post below, we sure luuuuuurve to jump around on our couches whilst blasting rabble rousing xmas pop. J-I-N-G-L-E !

Thursday, November 26, 2020

French/Russian ska/punk + Dollyrots

Ska and punk always mix very well. In the case of this 7 inch EP (in many colors) called 'Christmas Fight Diary'. Tis a shared EP; ska from French verterans Skarface and ska-punk from the band Suspense Heroes Syndicate from Moscow. They do crazy covers of French seasonal faves 'Petit Papa Noel'(a rather drunk version) and the Jacques Dutronc smash 'La Fille Du Pere Noel', their Russian counterparts go for modern standards 'Merry Christmas' (Ramones) and 'Santa Claus Is Coming to Town'.

And while we're on the subject, how'bout The Dollyrots' seasonal release? Two sunny Californian sing-a-long-punk covers! Hey ho ho ho, let's go:

Skye Zentz

This song is, for me, the highlight of an EP with self-penned Christmas songs by Norfolk, Virginia resident Skye Zentz. With just a few instruments, she hits all the right spots. It's been quite a year, but there's an up on the downside:

It's COVID outside

The covid-christmas hits just keep on coming. Here's a round-up of recent finds. More HERE:

This is a really great, updated classic (well sung too):

(h/t to James/CU for this one)

On that same note, a classic, covid-style

Of course there are more examples, like this Slade-update by Goldie Lookin Chain, Lennon's Happy Xmas updated, Chris Stapleton (for Jimmy Kimmel) doing a covid-medley, and this 12 Days of Christmas/Quarantine version (there are more, far more).

So why not be frank about it?


Regular name on the alt. Christmas scene, X-Mas Donkey. This discofied track brings a lil' sunshine to the covid-theme:
Nice, cosy popsong:


Wednesday, November 25, 2020

swinging spanish christmas

It's a pity Shazam doesn't do translations. Scorcia Big Band Boom swing like a great jazz orchestra. Allthough it lacks the 'balls' of Brian Setzer and his orchestra. But it's very special, only I really can't understand where they sing about. The 7 inch has a great cover and it's out on Mitik Records from Spain.

Soundcloud link not live yet. LINK


Kevin & Nate, best known together as Uncle Billy, are superb seasonal songwriters. Last year, they made the highly original 'It's Christmas (I'm a dog)', and if you read our post, you know the duo have had more quality tunes up their sleeve. This year, they are going straight for your heart, via your soul, brushing your tear ducts. 'Together Again' is a warm 'n cosy ballad, lovingly arranged, and with lyrics that are very 2020 (and probably on point for years to come). Thanks Uncle Billy.
When I dream, I drift away
To wakin' up on Christmas Day
Ain't a present to be opened
Just the ones I love and hold so dear

You can send the song as a Christmas e-card to loved ones. Follow THIS LINK

Kelly Finnigan

Kelly Finnigan's 'future soul classic' is out now, the full Christmas album. On all streaming services, on Bandcamp. The earlier singles were very promising, and mr Finnigan, together with band members from Dap-Kings, Orgone, Ghost Funk Orchestra and more, they all really delivered.
Listen to this pleading, Stylistics-like soul ballad.

Minimal Schlager

Minimal Schlager, great band name. If you're not familiair with Schlager, it's what Germans call smash hits of the schmaltzy kind. Example, this one. The 'Minimal' works just like the 'Prefab' in Prefab Sprout - there's nothing minimal to a Schlager. Anyway. Minimal Schlager = Fran and Alicia Parisi, bro and sis of Argentinian descent and based in both London and Berlin - for this Christmas single they worked with Art Brut singer Eddie Argos, and Laura Lee of German band Gurr. If these names sound familiair, you can probably recall their Xmas duet 'Christmas Holiday' from 2018. The Parisi's made Laura and Eddie sound like a clash between Trans X and Human League, 80s vibes all 'round, with lyrics that refer to gloom 80s as much as gloom covid-time.

Is this a good time to also bring up this fantastic xmas track featuring Eddie Argos? It probably is:

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

New Ron

Sunny, west-coast influenced (but 60s bands like Zombies and Raspberries spring to mind too) by New Ron. It's (I found out via Huffington Post) a duo, consisting of Zac Lavender and Kevin Harvey. This is a damn fine track, one of the highlights of this xmas music season:

Matt Dorrien

Guestpost! @T55 wrote a few lines on Matt Dorien:

First track of pianist Matt Dorrien’s upcoming My Christmas Plea EP. Nice jazzy laidback tune called Burrowed. File somewhere inbetween Harry Nilsson and Randy Newman. Produced by fellow Mama Bird recording artist Ryan Oxford. Comes with lots of violins and brushed drums. The rest of the EP will be filled with two other originals and a cover of White Christmas.

Yes, MORE covid Christmas songs

Fresh batch of covid-themed Christmas songs that are worthy posting here. More? HERE
Catchy folksy, uptempo acoustic driven track:

It is what it is, right? Why not just say it (loud):

A full album! Short, yet funny songs:

Upbeat country-style, catchy as covid (great lyrics):

Put your presents under the tree, stay away 6 feet from me:

Feast of funk

Mike Mory aka DJ Tron started his DJ career at the age of 14, mixing Italo disco and house. He comes from Switzerland. On this X-mas 7 inch. He's more into funk and old skool hiphop. 'Merry Christmas' is a great funkrap track with a sample from the horns of 'Back Door Santa' (Clarence Carter). 'Santa's Coming' is all in the James Brown tradition with lots of nice samples. You can order the single from Burning Sole Records in Basel, Switzerland.

Monday, November 23, 2020

The Christmas Dick

"That record will break your heart just like the poem did. Nothing but a heartache etched in that vinyl.”
If you want to know more about the song(s), this quote and who the fantastic mr Bourbonridge is, you have to read the full story, HERE.

Louise Connell

Scottish lass Louise Connell isn't taking any chances. The proceeds of her Christmas EP go to local food banks, and the lead song on that EP is making VERY clear where she got her inspiration:
So I fill out the forms
And I do as I’m told
Little hands tug my sleeves
My God they feel cold
It's one thing in the summer
But winter’s closing
I have my pride
But that's all that I have

Her gorgeous voice, the Highland accent, the strings, it all adds to a weeper of a classic Christmas song. It's really heartfelt. Don't let this one pass you by.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Nick Piunti

Detroit native Nick Piunti got his first guitar for Christmas, so he was bound to write a seasonal song, right? This indie power pop hero has an impressive discography, if fierce, melodious rock is your thing, be sure to check out songs like 'The Upper Hand'. References; dB's, early Bryan Adams (because of the voice), Cheap Trick.
Anyhoo, 'Christmas Morning' sounds like an anthem even though, I must admit, I can't figure out the deeper meaning of the lyrics. 'As long as you're here with me', seems to be the key line. In true Christmas spirit.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Even more Christmas COVID songs

Yep, the covid-themed seasonal songs just keep on coming. Here's a fresh batch. Earlier posts here, here, and here. And this beauty.

Opinions, everybody's got 'm. This festive duo (with quite a reputation when it comes to seasonal songs) is singing a song about hugging granny at Christmas and leaving the mask off while singing. They're free to sing that, but we are free not to follow:

Modern r&b, highly emotional:

New wave-y British rock:

Tom Waits-inspired blues:

Comedy, power ballad style

Maybe this Christmas

Said it before, Ron Sexsmith's Maybe This Christmas is a modern day seasonal classic. So every now and then I check for covers. Here's a batch of very fine interpretations. Other versions HERE

Love her voice:

Folked up version:

Nice vocal play:

Instrumental guitar version:

Grooved up:

Can't let this one pass

With jus' a little shakin' goin' on:

VERY nice version by soul singer Rumer:

Etheral version (odd bandname):

Piano cover

Bring in the violin:

Black Pumas

Buzz band of the year Black Pumas are part of this year's Spotify Holiday Singles series. They made a VERY good version of the Lou Rawls seasonal classic Christmas will really be Christmas. For the soul-fans.

The Hi-Risers

Heartbreaking lyrics about being alone at Christmas, with an upbeat, driving rock'n roll rhythm. That's what you get from The Hi-Risers, a trio from Rochester, NY who released this single on HiTide Recordings. Home of many lounge, surf and rock 'n roll bands who love Christmas as much as we do. See the Bandcamp page for lots of (mostly instrumental) xmas goodies. Earlier, we posted about The Volcanics.
This track by Hi-Risers is an original, and so is What Christmas time Means to Me, that sounds like an early Jan & Dean track.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Christmas in Denmark Street

 "I wish I was back in Denmarkstreet the way it just to be the day before Christmas" sings Spizz on the new Spizzenergi 7 inch. Denmarkstreet was the centre of popmusic in the 6oties, 70ties and 80ties, with recording studioas and record/music shops. This is a sort of ballad with Christmas bells. It's produced bij famous producer Tony Visconti (David Bowie, Damned,  Morrissey etc).

Kelly Finnigan

New track by soulster Kelly Finnigan, from his upcoming Christmas album. Uptempo soul, with a nod to Funkadelic's I've Been Watching You (at least that's what I hear). Great track!

christmas and the dears

Montreal duo The Dears are sharing a 7 inch holiday single with us. On the A side their self penned 'Christmas Love' and on the other side an atmospheric cover of 'O Little Town Of Bethlehem'. It's available on Dangerbird Records.  The band have also announced a ticketed holiday themed livestream, Christmas Love Special.  It will happen on December 11 via Side Door. Tickets here

offspring vs spector

 American punk band The Offspring, who ga back to 1984, do a cover of Darlene Love's 'Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)'. According to The Offspring, “It just seemed like the world could use a nice holiday song right now." The hand of Phil Spector is not far away. And by the way on december 11 it comes out on  a red vinyl 7 inch too!

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Beau Jennings cd

Last year, mr Beau Jennings made the best Christmas album. Hands down. Read what we wrote about this HERE. It was only available digitally, but now he's releasing it on a compact disc.
In his own words:
Last year I released a solo album of Christmas songs on my 4-track with some help from my friend Dustin Ragland. It was only released digitally, but this year I’m releasing it for the first time on that wonderful, long forgotten, vintage format…that’s right, the compact disc. To celebrate I’m including a postcard insert with handwritten lyrics to the song ‘The Christmas Heart’. I’m even putting a bow (beau?) on it. I think these make a cool gift

If you somehow missed that album, check this track. Go to BJ's Bandcamp to order.

Mele Kalikimaka / merry christmas.

 Leslie Odom Jr is an American (jazz)singer. His ten track  'The Christmas Album' sounds a bit to smooth for CAGG. It features mainly tradtionals. But this 'Mele Kalimake' is nice. This known Hawaiian Christmas song, meaning Merry Christmas is not covered that often. Also on the album the traditional Hanukkah song 'Ma'oz Tzur'.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Stick in the wheel

Brit trio Stick in the Wheel make folk music, but not as we know it. Take their version of the old English carol (dating back to the 1600s)'Drive the cold winter away'. You might know the song from albums by Kate Rusby or Loreena McKennitt. But no mandolines or guitars here - the pulsating synth makes this carol sound more like the Stranger Things soundtrack. 'The medieval Kraftwerk' they're called. And, my fave, 'The witches of Macbeth meet Sleaford Mods'. This version was released first in 2019, also appears on their new album, and a 'radio version' was just released.

More Christmas covid songs

Covid, quarantine, corona, lockdown, it's a theme this year. Every now and then we'll round up the covid xmas songs. More here, and here.
This is a good natured, upbeat children's song (with a choir and a happy end). We hear the LA band Atwater Collective, Bryan Dobbs (guitar, banjo, bass), Mary Grace (vocals) and Vince Green.

Less cheerful, but still funny (and with 'kids'):

Practice social distance around the family Christmas tree:

Even Bostonians The Sheila Divine (90s alt rock band) got in the game:

Elton John-ish piano ballad:

Monday, November 16, 2020

christmas with calexico part 2

 Yes, december 4  will be the release day from 'Seasonal Shift',  the Christmas album from mariachi country rockers Calexico. We talked about it before, here. This is a brand new, second, clip from te album. On  'Seasonal Shift' there are eight new compositions and three covers. This one is the most known cover, with very nice, Lennon like drawings.

Kung Fu Christmas

I bumped into this song by the Luvmenauts on Bandcamp, and thought, are there more Kung Fu themed Christmas songs? But of course there are. That EP by The Luvmenauts is really good by the way, if you dig retro, organ-driven instrumental soul and funk. 'Christmas Soul' from that EP is the killer track, and to hear them funk the hell out of The Carol of the Bells is a true pleasure.

Johnny's idea for the this rocksong was probably better than what came out, the cheerful refrain sure is catchy tho.

No clue what this emo band is singing, but hey, it's karate:

Not a Chinese or Japanese contact sport, still: it's fighting.

And then there's this troupe of comedians, with a fantastic Motown, blaxploitation parody:

Sunday, November 15, 2020

snowflakes christmas single club

 Amsterdam based label and blogspot  Snowflakes just released their yearly bunch of specially made Christmas singles.  The three 2020 single are from:

- Silent Winter, a Greek metal band

- Jetstream Pony, guitar band from the UK

-The Detox Twins, Berlin electropop

. More details HERE.
Have a listen:


Girlhouse = Lauren Luiz, from Los Angeles. If you recognise her voice, you might've heard Wild's version of "All I Want for Christmas" - it is the same singer. The cover version is cool, but this original track is REALLY something. With its feet in the early alternative, dreamy nineties (think Liz Phair, Sundays, Juliana Hatfield), with a strong chorus and some really great lyrics: 'Flash back to Halloween, oh ya we should seen it coming/ (i was Dennis the Menace, you we’re good at being Ted Bundy)/You were way too good at being Ted Bundy'. Many great Christmas songs alreay, THIS is a true gem.

Québécois medley, with cars crashing in the snow

Fiddler funny guy Alain-François of Victoriaville, Québec (where poutine was invented) brings us a fast-paced ditty with nods to Les Classels' Sentier de Neige while covering 'Jingle Bells' ('Vive le vent' in French), but calling it 'Prendre le champ', roughly 'Ending up in the ditch'. All the cars trying to get around in snowstorms is as legit as it gets and reminds me of home.
Don't understand Québécois? This tune totally swings and you'll recognise a lot of well-known American Christmas melodies, while watching Americans stuck in the snow as well, bigly.
Vous comprenenez le français ? All the lyrics to all the songs were changed to complain about snow, which is what all Canadians do at least five months a year.
For the advanced class, there are skidoos in this clip, a proud Québécois invention from 1959.

Krampus 3

Santa Claus wants some lovin', and not only him. Krampus 3, a rockabilly trio from Fort Collins, Colorado, made a seasonal song about, well, sex for Christmas. Kinky sex, that is. Candlewax, pegging, it's all there. Stuffing - the other way, so to speak. The other K3 song is a response to Mariah Careys inescapeable All I Want for Christmas. It's not all fun and games here, these guy can really rock. Hat tip to Christmas Underground for this tip.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Four times surf

 American surf-trio The Volcanics release a green 7 inch entitled 'Christmas Wassailing EP'. with four loud surf instrumentals full of reverb. Even the normally dull 'Tidings Of Comfort And Joy' sounds great and uptempo. Also on Bandcamp.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Christmas in Lockdown

A really great power pop track about Christmas in lockdown. So far, couldn't find any info on Brett. EDIT: Well, there's a website now, with a video and links to the relief fund Brett's supporting. Go HERE

Chilly & Feist

'A Very Chilly Christmas' is a mainly instrumental piano album from 15 tracks, with on three tracks guest vocals from Canadian singer Feist and former Pulp-singer Jarvis Cocker. Most of the tracks are traditionals but als new traditionals like 'Last Christmas' and 'All I Want For Christmas'. The atmosphere is soothing, the cover of Purple Mountains' 'Snow Falling in Manhattan' is gorgeous. The single self-penned track is this clip here, sung by Leslie Feist.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

White Highway

What made me post this mainstream-ish (for this blog) country-tinged track by Norwegian stars Bendik Braenne & Emilie Nicolas was that Bendik worked with the excellent Daniel Romano and the fantastic Death Surf Mariachi band Los Plantronics. You hear nothing of those influences/collabs back in this fine, slow burning wish-you-were-here-track, but I thought it was good to know.

Michael M

Another addition to the post of covid-themed Christmas songs, an EP from Glasgow-based Michael M. Who took Phil Spector's classic A Christmas Gift for You and transformed it into a digital xmas gift, but keeping the wall of sound. Forceful choir, brass, bells, the shebang. Two songs available on Bandcamp, more to follow.

Michelle David & the Gospel Sessions WORLD PREMIERE

As promised, here's the world premiere of a song from Michelle David & the Gospel Sessions' Christmas album. This song is offically released tomorrow, the full album's out December 4. Michelle & the guys are a big staple in the Dutch live circuit, their gospel infused soul revue is one heck of an experience. Their album taps in to the atmosphere of the great soul xmas albums, so think Motown (they cover Stevie), think Sharon Jones, think even Mahalia Jackson. And, because Michelle is quoting him in this first track, think William DeVaughn.

Follow THIS LINK to listen to It's A Soulful Christmas.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Old Toy Trains

Nothing wrong with a litte cry during a Christmas song, is there? Well, not to me. Whilst scanning Bandcamp for new(-ish) Christmas songs, I bumped into this track. It's a carefully made cover of an old Roger Miller track. A song about al little boy playing with the toys he just got from Kris Kringle. There's something really moving about this scene, maybe because I'm a parent, maybe because I clearly remember myself playing with toy trains I just got from Sinterklaas (Dutch Santa Claus). Ah, those were the days.

Anyhow, turns out a lot of people made versions of this song. Here's a few more:

Here's another one, by Christmas enthusiast Peter van Helvoort, aka Teenage Kicks (be sure to listen to his original Christmas Story):

Sexy voiced DTCV
Noisily redone:

Cool christmas

After last year's succes, Universal decided to release a second 'A Very Cool Christmas' compilation. Number 2 is divided in a Rockin' and a Groovin' part. The double LP has 32 tracks and the 2CD package contains 47 tracks. Most of the artists are known to very known with names like Pearl Jam, Paul Simon, Johnny Cash, James Brown, Amy Winehouse or Michael Jackson.. The choice of tracks is good. They tried to avoid the most obvious songs, so there is a lot of nice and new music to discover here. Like this great Ramones cover from Little Steven, on both LP and CD version.

Also on te Rockin' section  hardly known tracks from Baby Bird  (on LP & CD) and the band Harvey Danger (CD only) and a hilarious Dread Zeppelin novelty song. One of the CD-only tracks comes from the only Dutch contribution on Cool Christmas 2, this nice  Tangerine song from 2014.