Mistletunes tag:www.mistletunes.com,2009-02-08://1 2017-12-10T22:19:04Z The ho-ho-home of a rock 'n roll Christmas Movable Type Pro 4.23-en A Very Decent Christmas 5, various artists (Mad Decent) tag:www.mistletunes.com,2017://1.1841 2017-12-10T20:11:38Z 2017-12-10T22:19:04Z EDM DJ and music mogul Diplo keeps his string of Christmas albums intact with this 2017 entry into the canon. "Know No Better" by Major Lazer (and a cast of thousands, judging by the credits) kick things off in fine... Rudolph decent2017.jpg
EDM DJ and music mogul Diplo keeps his string of Christmas albums intact with this 2017 entry into the canon. "Know No Better" by Major Lazer (and a cast of thousands, judging by the credits) kick things off in fine style with this uptempo jam, Party Favor performs "WAWA," which has nothing to do with the Philadelphia-area convenience stores but is a riff on "Jingle Bells," Foodman contributes "Island Christmas," a fairly languid instrumental with a modern take on reggae, and "Tropical Holiday" by LIZ & Hoodboi is a slow jam vocal about partying equatorial style. Aquadrop gives us the EDM version of "Feliz Navidad" we're all waiting for, "Smash the House" by Rrotik does the same for "Deck the Halls," Tre Oh Fie deconstructs "O Holy Night" in the fast-tempo "O Litty Night," and DJ Douggpound turns "We Three Kings" into "We Three Bings," but they do it by singing the "bing" syllable, not by sampling vintage Crosby. KiWi crosses EDM with K-pop on "What's In the Present Box," and SpydaT.E.K. offers "TEKK the Halls Up," another slightly more straightforward version of "Deck the Halls." This is for younger people than your favorite reindeer, but there are at least a couple of tunes here I'd consider for a playlist.
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Kaskade Christmas, Kaskade (Arkade/Sony) tag:www.mistletunes.com,2017://1.1842 2017-12-10T15:16:14Z 2017-12-10T22:18:20Z There are lots of strands of DJ culture outside the mash-up experts we've championed here over the past several years (and as of last year appear to have taken their places in the history books), and here we have one... Rudolph kaskadeXmas.jpgThere are lots of strands of DJ culture outside the mash-up experts we've championed here over the past several years (and as of last year appear to have taken their places in the history books), and here we have one of house music's biggest stars diving into Christmas music with this 2017 album of mostly covers transformed by the house treatments. Actuallly, this is probably more chill, as there aren't many fast tempos here. There are a few originals, like the mid-tempo "Cold December," the slow-jam ballad "It's Beginning to Snow," and the chill-sounding "This Christmas Night," with guest vocal by Dia Frampton. "Christmas is Here" is a repurposed "Carol of the Bells," "Deck the Halls" with singer Erika gets a heavy syncopated synth-bass backing, Skylar Grey sings "O Come Emmanuel," Ilsey guests on "Silent Night," which has one of those wildly mixed-up tempos, and Gabrielle Current sings "The First Noel," which picks up the tempo considerably from the previously mentioned songs. Kayrae is the singer on "In the Bleak Midwinter," there's a jaunty "Winter Wonderland," and Jane XØ sings "Santa Baby," which gets a kind of robo-reggae rhythm. My pick to click off this is "God Rest Ye," which is the gentlemanly carol set to the backing of "Sara Smile" with Debra Fotheringham on vocals, but then I'm a sucker for this kind of juxtaposition arrangement. Check it out, it's the time of year we all have to chill, right?

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"Another Christmas Song," Remington Super 60 (Cafe Superstar) tag:www.mistletunes.com,2017://1.1844 2017-12-09T17:42:16Z 2017-12-09T22:15:06Z We had this Norwegian band on the site many years ago with a holiday EP, and they're back for 2017 with a single. The song with the self-effacing title has that low budget indie-pop vibe, with a sound very reminiscent... Rudolph reminganother.jpgWe had this Norwegian band on the site many years ago with a holiday EP, and they're back for 2017 with a single. The song with the self-effacing title has that low budget indie-pop vibe, with a sound very reminiscent of the 1960s (which has been a trend recently in that world among bands such as Foxygen). All told, a very warm little number. Due to hit the download stores sometime next week; meanwhile, have a listen.

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"Red and Green," Dead Gwynne (self-issued) tag:www.mistletunes.com,2017://1.1845 2017-12-09T00:28:08Z 2017-12-09T00:31:29Z We post these guys every year because they selflessly write and record a new original Christmas song that they make available free for downloading. Their 22nd release is a downtempo folky strum colored with prominent organ backing a talk-sing vocal,... Rudolph redanddead.jpgWe post these guys every year because they selflessly write and record a new original Christmas song that they make available free for downloading. Their 22nd release is a downtempo folky strum colored with prominent organ backing a talk-sing vocal, featuring a melancholy look at the holiday. When you click on the cover art, you can download any or all of the group's oeuvre.

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"I Can't Wait ('til Christmas Day)," V.D. King (Garageland) tag:www.mistletunes.com,2017://1.1843 2017-12-08T03:00:24Z 2017-12-08T03:41:23Z Our annual gift from New Jersey via V.D. King of the band Better Off Dead has just arrived, and damn, haven't we been talking about Beatle parodies a lot this year? Check this out. No independent audio, but you can... Rudolph Better Off Dead has just arrived, and damn, haven't we been talking about Beatle parodies a lot this year? Check this out. No independent audio, but you can enjoy it this way.

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Wrapper Paper, various artists (Hated By Most) tag:www.mistletunes.com,2017://1.1840 2017-12-08T02:07:08Z 2017-12-08T03:46:11Z "Various artists" is a bit misleading, in that most of these tunes are by Sly Till I Die, occasionally with guests. This record label is based in south-central Michigan, promoting a roster of up-and-coming hip-hop artists, and this longish seven-song... Rudolph wrappaper.jpg
"Various artists" is a bit misleading, in that most of these tunes are by Sly Till I Die, occasionally with guests. This record label is based in south-central Michigan, promoting a roster of up-and-coming hip-hop artists, and this longish seven-song EP is their holiday joint for 2017. Sly is assisted by Sixx Digit on "Generous This Christmas," which is a party record about giving gifts, "Cookie Doe," featuring Sly and Woe, is a rap about collecting money for weed and gifts over a minor-key version of "Jingle Bells," and Postman assists Sly on a suitably portentious track celebrating "Krampus." Sly and Eod Homegrown posture menacingly on "Merry Scary Christmas," Kodeen offers an ode to "Spiked Nog," Sly takes all the credit for the midtempo "Christmas Without You," and Postman wraps up with "New Year New You." All the songs get the Explicit tag, just so you know before playlisting them.

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"Little Drummer Boy," Teflon Beast Family Band (Teflon Beast) tag:www.mistletunes.com,2017://1.1839 2017-12-07T01:44:58Z 2017-12-07T01:48:02Z Last year we had Three Seasonal Songs by Mr. Mom and Chris, and for 2017, Mr. Mom prefers to be known by the monicker above with this ukelele and bass rendition of the classic carol over a light tom-tom rhythm.... Rudolph Tefdrum.png
Last year we had Three Seasonal Songs by Mr. Mom and Chris, and for 2017, Mr. Mom prefers to be known by the monicker above with this ukelele and bass rendition of the classic carol over a light tom-tom rhythm. On the flip, we get "Twas the Xmas of 2017," a short bit of studio goof-about. It's unique, I'll say that for it. Go over to Bandcamp and check it out for yourself.
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"Christmas Time Is Here Again," The Weeklings (Jem) tag:www.mistletunes.com,2017://1.1838 2017-12-07T01:36:35Z 2017-12-07T01:44:18Z Hey, we just had them on here a few weeks ago with a Beatle-like object. Well, they did another one in 2017. This originally was just a handful of snippets sprinkled through one of the Fabs' "Goon Show"-like Christmas records... Rudolph WeeklingTime.png
Hey, we just had them on here a few weeks ago with a Beatle-like object. Well, they did another one in 2017. This originally was just a handful of snippets sprinkled through one of the Fabs' "Goon Show"-like Christmas records (which have been issued in a box set of vinyl 45s for Christmas giving, btw) but a version of it reached the public as an extra cut on one of the Anthology-era CD singles. Nevertheless, Beatle fans go big for this tune at Christmastime; hell, even Ringo did a version once. Because it's short and repetitive, the Weeklings spiced it up by mashing it with "Flying" from Magical Mystery Tour, and at the end they tacked on a coda ripped from the chorus of "Baby You're a Rich Man." Now you have to decide if it's this one, the other one, or both for your Christmas mix.
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"Last Christmas," The Dollyrots (self-issued) tag:www.mistletunes.com,2017://1.1837 2017-12-07T01:32:19Z 2017-12-07T01:44:42Z Pop-punk rears its head once more as this fab duo gives its heavily Ramones-influenced treatment to the Wham! classic. It's free at Bandcamp.... Rudolph dollylast.pngPop-punk rears its head once more as this fab duo gives its heavily Ramones-influenced treatment to the Wham! classic. It's free at Bandcamp.

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Dear December, The Minus 5 (Yep Roc) tag:www.mistletunes.com,2017://1.1836 2017-12-06T02:06:39Z 2017-12-06T02:11:31Z Scott McCaughey, formerly of Young Fresh Fellows and sometime R.E.M. stage and session guy, is probably best known nowadays for The Minus 5, which includes him, Peter Buck, and other folks, plus the Baseball Project, adding Mike Mills and Dream... Rudolph minus5.jpgScott McCaughey, formerly of Young Fresh Fellows and sometime R.E.M. stage and session guy, is probably best known nowadays for The Minus 5, which includes him, Peter Buck, and other folks, plus the Baseball Project, adding Mike Mills and Dream Syndicate's Steve Wynn. Apparently Scott was commissioned to write a Christmas song for somebody and he went batshit and composed an elpee's worth of tuneage, as the saying goes. And then the guy had a massive stroke recently, and being a less-than-famous working musician, people are having to ramp up the GoFundMe campaigns to help him out. Needless to say, grabbing a copy of this 2017 holiday album will be a big help as well. The best part is that you don't have to rely on your charitable impulse to take part this way, as this is a fine, fine, supafine rock 'n roll Christmas album. Folks who have previously partaken of Minus 5 and Baseball Project recordings won't be surprised by the sound, but for those who haven't, rootsy rocking rules the day. Guest stars turn up to assist as well, with M. Ward and Chuck Prophet on "See You In December," the Decemberists' Colin Maloy joining for "The Fourth Noel," Death Cab For Cutie's Ben Gibbard featuring on "I See Angels," Kelly Hogan and Norah O'Connor backing up the vocalist on "Johnny Tannenbaum," Mike Mills providing a Hanukkah Alert on "Festival of Lights (Hanukkah Song)," and Kelly Hogan duetting on "Yule Tide Me Over." The group's "Your Christmas Whisky" from a decade ago turns up here again, "When Christmas Hurts You This Way" is a jangle-pop take on a sad holiday, "Merry Christmas Mr. Gulp Gulp" whips up a Phil Spector beat to back up a look at a holiday of excessive imbibing, and things wrap up with a hard-rocking "I Still Believe In New Year's Eve." Grab this now and give it as gifts too.

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The Good, The Bad, and Other Christmas Favorites, various artists (Green Monkey) tag:www.mistletunes.com,2017://1.1835 2017-12-05T01:35:22Z 2017-12-05T01:39:20Z We've been impressed with the musical fecundity of this particular corner of the Pacific Northwest indie rock scene, particularly in regard to Christmas music. This 2017 entry is Green Monkey's eighth holiday compilation, as always a combination of individual artists... Rudolph newmonkey.jpg
We've been impressed with the musical fecundity of this particular corner of the Pacific Northwest indie rock scene, particularly in regard to Christmas music. This 2017 entry is Green Monkey's eighth holiday compilation, as always a combination of individual artists and bands plus whoever label maestro Tom Dyer can con into bashing out some jingle-jangle with their rock 'n roll. I'll lead with Tom Dyer and the True Olympians, whose two original tunes, "Christmas in Olympia" and "Christmas Is Love," are the class of this group; they've even been issued separately as a single. The former is a rocking holiday tour through the Washington city of the title, and the latter is a set of holiday verities set to a solid garage rock beat. Dyer comes back solo with an accordion-led version of "What Child Is This," the Elf-Tones offer "Wish You Well This Christmas," on which the vocals remind one of early Frank Zappa but the song itself is a nice mid-60s midtempo rocker, and the Krampus Quartet knock out the novelty "Fruitcake." Instrumentals get their due as the REDS go all antique on the public domain "Breakin' Up Christmas," a slightly rocked-up hoedown from the Virginia-North Carolina mountains, while Pleasure Island grunges up a heavily Duane Eddy-influenced "Hark the Herald Angels." The Randy Hicks Band brings the rockabilly with "Car Parts," which is all the singer wants for Christmas, and she throws a few puns at you for kicks. The Green Pajamas go for the backhanded holiday anthem in "Let's Get Together at Christmas (It's Better Than Drinking Alone)," Jim of Seattle gives us "A Christmas Song" that is a parody of the "Star Trek (TOS)" theme, along with a brief goof called "Have a Merry Christmas," and Ed Portnow's "Christmas Time is Here" is what you'd get if you crossed Wild Man Fischer with the "Peanuts" song of the same name. More rockabilly emanates from Duane Hibbard in "A Child's Christmas Wish," Burnseer gives us some of their home region's grunge with "Search Party," which is about homelessness, and The Fresh Prince of Brain Wizard (honest) offers a dour piano ballad about lost children, "Santa Won't Be Here." Elves Bells (great name) give us the primitive sounding "Orphan's Christmas," Saint John and the Revelations rock out with cello on "Christmas Fire," in which the singer burns the tree because "Santa's a liar," Space Band contribute their rocker "@santaclaus," Kelly Kristjanson go almost power pop with "Follow the Angels," and Earle Thunders/Mike Shuppe completely deconstruct the Disney chestnut "Toyland." This is a fine collection of indie-rock with attitude. Get it from Bandcamp or Amazon.

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"We Three Kings," Alexander Jean featuring Casey Abrams (self-issued) tag:www.mistletunes.com,2017://1.1834 2017-12-04T01:37:50Z 2017-12-04T01:40:23Z This up-and-coming duo features Mark Ballas of "Dancing With the Stars" and singer-songwriter BC Jean, and they added Casey Abrams of "American Idol" fame for this 2017 rendition of the minor-key classic carol, featuring lots of percussion and a solid... Rudolph Amazon.

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"Merry Christmas (Face the Future)," BEAK> (self-issued) tag:www.mistletunes.com,2017://1.1833 2017-12-04T01:34:54Z 2017-12-04T01:37:34Z This English group includes Geoff Barrow from Portishead, and for 2017 they've decided to raise funds for mental health charities with this shambling, edgy track, a strong rocker that seems to be encouraging and discouraging lyrically at the same time.... Rudolph beak.jpg
This English group includes Geoff Barrow from Portishead, and for 2017 they've decided to raise funds for mental health charities with this shambling, edgy track, a strong rocker that seems to be encouraging and discouraging lyrically at the same time. I rather like it, and given the charitable motivation I encourage purchasing this from Bandcamp.

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"Christmas On Earth," Marching Church (self-issued) tag:www.mistletunes.com,2017://1.1832 2017-12-04T01:32:08Z 2017-12-04T01:34:32Z This Copenhagen, Denmark act has several self-released albums and singles on Bandcamp, and this one is a 2017 ode to a parent and his kids -- specifically, a parent who wants to see his kids on the holiday so bad... Rudolph marchchurch.jpg
This Copenhagen, Denmark act has several self-released albums and singles on Bandcamp, and this one is a 2017 ode to a parent and his kids -- specifically, a parent who wants to see his kids on the holiday so bad that he kidnapped them.  This might upset some, but the actual record is pretty good, a young Shane McGowan vocal over a white-guy soul backing, and if you didn't know what the song was about, it would pull you in for a closer listen. Kidnapping is always illegal, and there are no valid justifications, but you can still empathize with a character driven to such lengths even as you call the authorities. The flip side (vinyl or download) is "Silent Night (Karaoke edition)," which explains itself. 

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A Tav Falco Christmas, Tav Falco (ORG Music) tag:www.mistletunes.com,2017://1.1831 2017-12-03T03:02:38Z 2017-12-03T03:07:39Z This rootsy guy is best known for starting the band Tav Falco's Panther Burns back in the mid-late 70s, which caught the attention of Big Star cult hero Alex Chilton and led to recording sessions together. Originally a more psychedelic... Rudolph tavfalco.jpgThis rootsy guy is best known for starting the band Tav Falco's Panther Burns back in the mid-late 70s, which caught the attention of Big Star cult hero Alex Chilton and led to recording sessions together. Originally a more psychedelic sounding group, over time Falco's love of original era rock 'n roll and rockabilly came to play a larger role in his sound. That's the sound that predominates on this 2017 album, eight performances of mostly familiar rock and country holiday tunes. "Santa Claus Is Back in Town" and "Blue Christmas" feature the Elvis Presley arrangements, and "Jingle Bell Rock," "Holly Jolly Christmas," "White Christmas," and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" are rendered fairly closely to the most familiar pop-rock versions of these songs. Like Bob Dylan, Tav chose to do the Sammy Cahn "Christmas Blues," and things wrap up with a shambling version of James Brown's "Soulful Christmas." This is a listenable collection of tunes, although I can't help feeling like folks would be better served searching out the original sources. But if this disc points people in that direction, it'll be a public service.

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