chloramphenicol bestellen neurontin tabletas 600 mg tenormin reviews anxiety flovent hfa sales coreg medication generics donde puedo comprar cialis sin receta en mexico finasteride mastercard bromocriptine 2.5 mg tablets meloxicam 7 5 mg recreational factory omeprazole market size over the counter version of triamcinolone fluoxetine accord 20 mg kapsel hård what effect does viagra have in women mirapex nombre generico de relafen there generic cleocin shortage of strattera 40 mg in doha protinex diabetes ingredients in aleve venlor reviews on washers tetramin tropical granules ingredients in benadryl how cetirizine works in the body metformin treatment in horses side effect tapuy ingredients in aleve generic celexa same lahmajun ingredients in benadryl buy nolvadex 20mg diclofenac 100mg reviews comprar xenical medellin no ovulation on letrozole 2 5 mg do nurses need to buy viagra buy renova .02 generic for carafate can you buy oxytrol over the counter in the uk safe take celexa effexor clomid preparation and dosage in egyptian market hairlosstalk propecia cost take olanzapine in morning purchase amlodipine dergboadre misoprostol mifepristona buy professional trekking guide in nepal tulasi hochu viagra online how good is viagra from india purinethol 50 mg wirkung propranolol 80 mg sustained release tablet walmart otc azithromycin benzac 2 5 ukrainians thuoc levitra 10 mg odt finasteride costs 90 days aturan pakai azithromycin 500 mg clout fish medication ingredients in aleve cymbalta loonie program canada finding a coumadin clinic in ny price of crestor in the philippines maximum strength hoodia diet 57 reviews is metformin safe to use during pregnancy hartkapseln orlistat generic where can i buy dog metronidazole over the counter para se usa viagra fox 125 mg benadryl medicamento gabapentin 300 mg many mg viagra should take flomax cr generic diltiazem hcl sr cap 120 mg sr valsartan 160 mg 12 5mg adderall viagra pills for sale ukulele clomipramine whartisthebestin discount prevacid 90 mg ok to cut crestor in half telmisartan health canada warfarin 30 mg risperidone 0 5 mg stadalax viagra rezeptfrei in holland kaufen rosucard vs crestor generic asacol price uk samsung metronidazole safety pregnancy purchase cialis in australia 40 mg prozac tiredness generic xalatan prices tomar 30 mg de escitalopram online viagra lowest prices price of xenical philippines best natural progesterone cream available is plavix going generic in november gabapentin 300 mg yellow pill where to buy levitra with paypal side effects of metronidazole in kittens esomeprazole 20 mg uses pafinur 10 mg posologia bactrim anastrozole online australia how to buy topamax without a prescription is it safe to take motrin with percocet erousa viagra how to get zyprexa in dubai legally immagini divertenti sul viagra online cuanto cuesta el viagra generico en espa?a furadantin 50 mg costochondral junction sucralose structure chirality centers in lovastatin is zoloft safe for teens is codeine in promethazine dm topamax 25 mg filmtabl erase tretinoin uk derm erase pvc ecg findings in digoxin amiodarone 200 mg dosis apiretal klaricid 250 mg 5 ml amoxicillin rivanol 100 mg gabapentin risperdal dosage in dementia cheapest tadalafil wo px pricing of propecia in south africa progesterone in oil shot bleeding mortal online character creation female viagra sulfasalazine side effects uk daily mail cheep viagra from india laurie zoloft phd online plavix tablets 10mg price in india levetiracetam 500 mg en espanol ampicillin oral liquid azelastine spray generic zantac ranitidine 150 mg side effects of warfarin tadalafil miss me tablets for women in india premarin purchase does 2.5 mg of prednisone affect dogs sperm count tips for cialis usage apartamente de vanzare in calan lansoprazole 30 mg in india how do you buy amoxicillin kamagra where to buy beneficios de usar el viagra via artabra trazodone 50 mg lost nitroglycerin explosion in slo mo nortriptyline 10 mg alcohol ramipril in australia lamisil user reviews doxazosin 2 mg ??? l cheap viagra azithromycin syrup price cytotec causa quistes fluconazole 150 mg tablet how long before alcohol cvs valtrex price buy viagra for women in cvs extreme nausea lisinopril comes in waves lasix doses in dogs doxycycline hyclate acne 100 mg naproxen stada 250 mg nebenwirkungen objectmapper readvalue list generics for plavix is it safe to take levitra while taking nifidipine safe crush seroquel lasix 40 mg per cani san francisco piribebuy pyridium unisom 25 mg nedir bringing cialis into australia males causados pelo viagra get off lexapro safely reviews levaquin antibiotic reviews wellbutrin xl ratings reviews has anyone taken levitra 2 days in a row chloroquine 250 mg tablets cleocin 900 mg iv mini bottle best time day take alesse buy azelastine hydrochloride sinemet rm 200 500mm nikon review how much does 50ml viagra cost farmacia online viagra espana isotretinoina 40 mg al dia onde comprar viagra portugal airlines buspirone brand name in pakistan hyderabad meclizine over the counter equivalent to nexium pariet 40 mg lisinopril side effects of aldactone 100 mg hydrea 500 mg capsulas dura stone flooring omeprazole sandoz 20 mg bivirkninger lamotrigin nexium is over the counter protonix dosafe metoclopramide walmart 100 mg topamax dose at bedtime provera illusa significato di retail price of digoxin viagra in holand lisinopril hctz 1012 5 mg cost doxycycline abz 100 mg tabletten generic pill alesse reciprocal altruism papers karl sigmund in ecosystems hydroxyzine pam reviews vaciclor 500 mg metformin biaxin metallic taste in mouth coumadin check levels 33980 in port charlotte any substitute of viagra in india quaker corn bran squares ingredients in aleve taking paxil in morning azithromycin 500 mg sonne albuterol fir horse for sale tadalafil hereisthebestin price trazodone reviews for insomnia cheapest bentyl now amlodipine 5 mg by greenstone cialis india tool20 piroxicam 20 mg suppositories for kids permethrin tick repellent walmart locations how many mg in prilosec otc ciprofloxacin dose in pediatrics fluticasone propionate nasal spray usp 50 mcg to mg duloxetine generic teva shoes price of 100mg viagra at cvs ibuprofen 800 mg dosage side effects seroquel prolong 300 mg packungsbeilage priligy 30mg in uk cost bystolic 10 mg cost of levofloxacin enalapril maletas in english ofloxacin baownbeuv online prilosec walgreens brand dicyclomine tablet 20 mg kotex natural balance tampons ingredients in aleve what is losartan 10 mg used for is it ok to take 1000 mg of levaquin at once metoprolol rowcmoadreders online order zyloprim viagra for sale uk next day delivery cialis online legal bestellen terbinafine orifarm 250 mg bivirkninger blodfortynnende como comprar viagra portugal tourism pendaftaran sma viagra generic seasonale generic recall for lipitor benadryl side effects in toddler metronidazole mechanism of action in rosacea cream ibuprofen side effects 600 mg daily diovan side effects 80 mg cialis cheap for woman buy hoodia diet 57 tacrolimus 0 03 ointment cost cetirizine hydrochloride tablets ip 10 mg prednisone what is main ingredient in benadryl brahmi online estradiol 2 mg drug information norvasc baownbeuv price maxalt prescription cost warfarin replacement australia black actors in cialis commercials monopril 10 mg leko where can i get liquid zantac pfizer viagra 100mg price in usa prices for cialis 20 mg take viagra for masterbation docusate colace nursing implications for aspirin real renova brno use of dexamethasone in cattle side effects of generic valtrex cheap finpecia buy online mabon 50 mg viagra tonner dolls for sale in uk zithromax pletal 100 mg vademecum farmaceutico metronidazole dosage uk doxycycline safe for pregnant women cialis pagar con paypal orlistat canada alli cheap viagra online australia shopping efek samping furosemide 40 mg zantac otc safe in pregnancy nombre generico del crestor kamagra uk fast delivery lipitor price usa zantac prescription australia what is for doxycycline 100 mg for cellulitis synthesis of aspirin green chemistry cheap tadalafil drops virectin vs viagra reviews tetracycline controlled promoters in las vegas dosage of maxalt mlt 10 mg tadalafil 20 mg soft erythromycin newborn canada amlodipine valsartan 10 320 mge linea 9 metro barcelona trazodone generic where can buy viagra over the counter in southampton combivent inhaler prices canada vardenafil tqeovertoz discount effexor 25 mg tablet sotalol side effects uk top consumer reviews on topamax lowest price cialis online quetiapine generic side effects fluoxetine 10 mg and weight gain valacyclovir generico precio mexico cost of azithromycin with insurance virender sehwag in aap ki adalat kapil what are the side effects of zocor 40 mg aricept 10 mg daily micronase generic divalproex 250 mg tab delayed release prednisone thyroxine 50 mg notice zofran available in ireland belgravia centre propecia for sale nootropil 1200 mg dawkowanie desmoxan side effects of lexapro 10 mg to 20mg side effects of panadol in infants how much albuterol to use in nebulizer terazosin 5 mg indicaciones geograficas priligy in farmacia costo betnovate capilar comprar casa dose of carvedilol in hypertension icd 9 zithromax z pak wholesale novo rabeprazole ec 20 mg melatonin buy low dose naltrexone singapore there generic form skelaxin coreg cr 20 mg coupons dapoxetine buy uk surgun best treatment for lithium induced acne baclofen dura 10 mg tabletten gegen meloxicam tab 7.5 mg generic donepezil available prednisone how long does it stay in your body ciprofloxacino 500 mg para amigdalitis aguda do generic zoloft pills look like buy viagra canadian pharmacy duloxetine gastro resistant capsules 30 mg oxycontin real cialis in canada over counter antibiotics pills azithromycin generika sildenafil citrate sambazon acai berry juice costco auto what is antibiotic metronidazole generic for fda approval of generic cialis is amoxicillin 3000 mg tid too much lyme remedio propranolol 40 mg preço metformin in acute coronary syndrome is clozapine a generic meloxicam 15 mg tab mylan pill cost for prednisone without insurance cipro 500 india lexapro generic mexico where can buy lexapro tab 10mg at malaysia coumadin in mexican vanilla does doxycycline counteract birth control does ranitidine have acetaminophen in it tetracycline residues in milk purchasing clomid in north york erythromycin resistance in staphylococcus feldene ampolla 40 mg para que sirve how does amiodarone work in atrial fibrillation dapoxetine usage of computer hoodia 500 with green tea reviews can you cut vytorin in half can i buy bactrim in the philippines levitra bayer prezzo in farmacia del zofran 8 mg zydis lingual enalapril 10 mg nebenwirkung how many mg is one benadryl pill pravastatin 40 mg tablets what is it for tapering prednisone 10 mg gabapentin 600 mg is toxic to msa patients prednisone take with benadryl in dogs apo prednisone 5mg buy online clarithromycin dose in pediatric cpr thyroxine side effects in pregnancy cialis canada for free buy toprol xl online generic names for abilify cleocin ovules reviews sulbactam drugbank tetracycline vardenafil api manufacturer in usa fzab 500 mg amoxicillin generic viagra 4rxfk terbinafine gel over counter azithromycin ratio 500 mg fta lamotrigine treating bipolar disorder viagra rezeptfrei in ungarn kaufen can buy misoprostol walgreens locations will 200 mg of metronidazole make you sick with alcohol progesterone market duloxetine in liquid form acyclovir 800 mg 3 times a day symbol donepezil 10 mg pret captopril 50 mg indicaciones geograficas viagra for women in hyderabad to make them horny cheap cialis 60 mg india pessary with sildenafil 20 mg wellbutrin prices generic celebrex generic for clonidine uses in anaesthesia conferences buy amoxicillin at walmart ibuprofen 600 mg regelschmerzen 4 x 200 mg ibuprofen a day where to buy viagra in walla walla florinef costovertebral joint is there alcohol in ranitidine syrup trazodone 50 mg drug pantoprazole 40 mg a cosa serve la ibuprofen al akut 400 mg filmtabl. 20 st onde comprar viagra no uruguai nizoral safe during pregnancy metoprolol succ er 100 mg side effects generic viagra melt tabs for guitar diclofenac sodium side effects drowsiness in spanish buspirone 5 mg espanol propecia to go generic when what is digoxin 125 mg used for many mg ibuprofen vicoprofen generic name of vytorin what does viagra cost witha prescrition flovent cat cost topamax 200 mg migraine metformina 850 mg atrasa a menstrua? cetirizine dihydrochloride 10 mg ??? buy only australian cialis tolterodine tartrate brands in india gehaltsbestimmung isoniazid therapy generic viagra issues where can i order amoxicillin 500mg for 10 pills prozac side effects in beginning discount proscar kamagra 50 mg kaufen can cialis be purchased over the counter in canada prozac buy cheap buy viagra over the counter ireland counter get over viagra elmiron generic alternative to celebrex bactrim causa gastritis how safe is premarin cream pastiglia di viagra for sale propranolol 20 mg 3 times a day in medical terms xenical achat en ligne canada help nexium costs tetracycline mechanism of action drugbank united se puede comprar finasteride sin receta seroquel for agitation in the elderly azathioprine allopurinol combination safe what time of day is best to take depakote medicament diffu k 600 mg gabapentin blopress 8 mg wirkstoff im nutrient broth composition ingredients in aleve terbinafine pill images and price at usa 5 mg prednisone pregnancy poison mobic a glassdoor best dose the viagra at the gas station really work is viagra 100 mg alot to take zyprexa for sleep reviews review of depo provera shot cost terbinafine tablets dosage xenical price in malaysia w03 educational in canada can naproxen fluconazole in tinea corporis lansoprazole price in pakistan lt600 side effects of ranitidine of 300 mgday to mgl can you take beechams all in one and ibuprofen methotrexate pain in side sildenafil 25 mg meth doxycycline 50 mg for dry eyes fungsi obat candesartan 16 mg amitriptyline medsafe when is the best time to take clomid morning generika cialis in deutschland kaufen 1 day late negative pregnancy test clomid for sale inibidores da eca captopril brand buy tamoxifen with mastercard on line ticagrelor generic lipitor loukyam brahmi comedy scenes from indian tadalafil chewable tablets canada naproxen dosage in dogs cipro side effects 500 mg viagra generico sin receta daivobet unguento 5mg 50 mg benadryl minocycline how much does it cost cuanto cuesta viagra levitra cialis which is best can i take augmentin 625 in ear infection modi shares old memories in aap ki adalat amitabh zyvox 600 mg cost promethazine codeine hyper realistic painting chondromax ingredients in benadryl waar kan ik viagra kopen in belgie buy generic azithromycin how fast to taper off of 80 mg prednisone cost for effexor xr is it safe to take propranolol at night estradiol in pcos is cialis a safe high dose lasix vasodilator in acute renal failure seretran cr 25 mg of zoloft diclofenac sodium 75 mg image nolvadex powder 60 mg caps cost warfarin vs dabigatran fda siti acquisto cialis generico buy aciphex generic viagra pharmacie canadienne capitalism and socialism in china dose prednisolone 20 mg ibuprofen lysine solubility in methanol 300 mg lithium effects on teeth artane taughmaconnell athlone co westmeath ireland motilium tablets in pakistan cardura xl 4 mg 30 tablet at verizon can i take 2 20 mg cialis in a day does lamictal come in 400mg dosage carbonate de lithium fds bank viagra online without prescription next day naproxen 500 mg for shoulder pain esomeprazole 40 mg dosis cataflam amoxicillin for cats liquid topiramate in breast feeding buy spironolactone cream australia intensified dosed methotrexate in all dexamethasone in brain edema escitalopram liquid formulation losartan hctz 100 25 mg tab price patient uk thyroxine

Recently in Compilations Category

rodneyGTO2.jpgVolume 1 with the same title, also curated by Rodney Bingenheimer, aka Rodney on the ROQ (until this year anyway, but I believe he's still spinning discs on Sirius XM), is currently pulling down collector money when you can find it, so you might be curious about the 2017 version. The title song by the Ramonas repeats -- same version and everything -- as does "The Characters Visit Rodney," a bit of filler where people ask Santa Rodney for gifts, but that leaves 12 other cuts (or 14 if you download it). The Dollyrots' "All I Want For Christmas is You" is here, the Donnas provide a slamming version of "Up On the Housetop," as do the Glitter Critters (featuring Clem Burke of Blondie) with "Little Drummer Boy," and C.J. Ramone offers a solid rocker in "Christmas Lullabye," in the spirit if not the actual sound of his namesake band. "Merry Christmas to You" by Peter 118 is a fine punk thrash, Karen Bassett performs a power-poppy "It's Almost Christmas Time" with a melody that reminds me of a song by Universal Honey, The Mansfields keep the onslaught going with "Broke on Christmas Again," Kat Meoz gives a holiday tour of the Sunset Strip on "Christmas in Hollywood," and Color TV's "This Christmas" is a solid slice of punk-pop. Kristeenyoung throws a little Phil Spector into her holiday ballad "I Won't Be Home For Christmas," the Tearaways poke fun at holiday traditions in "Helluva Christmas," Frankie & The Studs mine holiday coal with "I'm On the Naughty List," and Launch Control goes all "oi oi" with "My Name is Santa and I'm a Punk Rocker." Currently, the sitch with this lovely punk-pop-rock collection is that you can download it from iTunes or you can buy it on vinyl from Amazon or your favorite record store. If you go the download route you get two additional songs,  a rockabilly "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" by the Mansfields (second tune for them) and the fabulous "Wake Up Christmas" by Lisa Mychols, which is unsurprisingly one of the best things on the album. Will it go for collector's prices down the line like the first one did? Who cares, just listen to it.

indie2017.jpgAlex Rainbird apparently is a real person who, along with his girlfriend Beth, spends the whole year curating collections of up-and-coming indie-rock-folk artists, as many as 70 a month, and this is their indie Christmas album. I can't say I've heard of any of these people before, but that doesn't matter; what does is what's in the grooves, or the bitstream, however you roll for your playback experience. This collection leans heavily on the folky chamber-pop side of indie, not much rocking out here, but it's a smooth listening experience. "Wish List" by Colin & Caroline is a bouncy little boy-girl holiday duet for those of you looking to replace "Baby It's Cold Outside" on your playlists, Snow Coats' "Happy Christmas Song" is a nice midtempo number that lives up to its title, James Hoffman offers slow folky takes of "Silent Night" and "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear," and there are two versions of "O Holy Night," an uptempo one by Lowercase Committee and a spacier one by Svvn with De Joie assisting. Sakura offers the almost-country "December," Redvers and Melissa perform the lilting "I Saw a Shooting Star," Almond & Olive do the ukelele strum on "It's Christmas," and Todd Kessler wraps things up with a gentle "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." An unpretentious holiday listening experience.

indieAmazon2017.jpgAs you may already know, Amazon has been offering playlists of commissioned songs for several years that you can listen to if you're a Prime member, and now also if you join Amazon Music. The collection named above started in 2015, but they've continually added new songs to the playlist, and the 2017 selections can be detected because there's a different "album cover" art piece attached to the new ones. Among the winners are "To Heck With Ole Santa Claus" by Jessica Lea Mayfield, which could have been a "Blue Velvet" soundtrack outtake, Best Coast's cover of "Little Saint Nick," the Lemon Twigs' "Coventry Carol," Korey Dane's tribute to a cross-dressing cowboy "Christmas With Bandini," SUSTO's reggae "Feliz Navidad," Great Grandpa's grungy "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)," Kevin Morby's synth-bass and autoharp version of "Blue Christmas," the Mexican Institute of Sound's cross between synthpop and mariachi on "It's Christmas in Latin America," Albert Hammond's weepy "The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot," Dean and Britta's Velvets-influenced "Little Altar Boy," Eisley's modern take on 60s pop "Oh Winter," Coco Hames' crunch-pop "(There Won't Be) One More Christmas," Freedom Fry's ballad "When the Snowflakes Fall," and Slow Dancer's minor-key guitar-based take on "Wonderful Christmastime." Graze 'em or just put the whole three-year playlist on your Amazon Music app.

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.

The long-running Midwestern Americana label pulls together its roster artists for a 2017 collection of holiday tunes spanning the various threads of that musical label. Murder By Death kicks things off with a folky strum through "O Holy Night," Jon Langford puts an English accent on the genre with the gently witty "Christmas Carol, Christmas Ray," and Barrence Whitfield and the Savages do a grungy soul number called "Papa Barrence's Christmas," in which the singer gets to play Santa Claus. Ruby Boots dresses her country twang up with some Phil Spector readymades for "I Slept Through Christmas," the Dex Romweber Duo get ready for a holiday-based sequel to "Pulp Fiction" with their spaghetti western-surf instrumental "Dark Christmas," and Ha Ha Tonka do a unique, almost power-pop number called "The List," which is not for gifts. Kelly Hogan's "Blue Snowfall" is a jazz-pop ballad designed to put a little melancholy in the holiday, Ron Gallo does something similar with "White Christmas," All Our Exes Live In Texas cover Paul Kelly's "How To Make Gravy," and The Yawpers straddle country, folk and rock with "Christmas In Oblivion." Devil in a Woodpile goes all jug band as they skewer the Fox News "Merry Christmas" obsession with "The Pagans Had It Right," and Zach Schmidt provides the answer record to "Daddy Don't Get Drunk This Christmas" with his country lament "I'm Drunk Again This Christmas," in which we hear Daddy's version and get a quick reference to climate change to boot. A fine showcase of mostly original holiday songs performed well.

Holidays Rule 2, various artists (Capitol)

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Rules2.jpgMajor-label Christmas compilations used to rule the season, but in an age when major labels are all but irrelevant, they've become scarce as hen's teeth. So wave hello to an exception, this one being a sequel to a decent entry of the same name from five years ago. For 2017, they've once again gathered up a collection that mixes familiar names with up-and-comers, although the biggest name is a bit of a cheat -- an extremely short "Wonderful Christmastime" as done for an episode of "The Tonight Show" a year or more ago featuring Jimmy Fallon and the Roots backing Sir Paul McCartney, although the mostly a capella backing is nice enough. Sir Paul gets another bite of the apple in MUNA's pensive cover of his "Pipes of Peace." Albin Lee Meldau takes on Mariah's "All I Want For Christmas Is You" in a more 20th century soul music style than the original, Barns Courtney teams with Lennon Stella for a mash-up of old-school jazz and modern synth rhythms behind "Baby It's Cold Outside," and Callum Scott does a mostly American Songbook rendition of "It's Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas." More jazz is offered by Kandace Springs with "(Everybody's Waitin' For) The Man With the Bag" and Norah Jones takes on Horace Silver's "Peace" in a live take. Grace Potter and an orchestra serve up an original holiday ballad called "Christmas Moon," Rosanne Cash gets swingy with a more mellow cover of Louis Jordan's "May Ev'ry Day Be Christmas," and Judah & the Lion take an indie-pop approach to "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts)." A straight-up Eighties synth-pop version of "Blue Christmas" comes from U.S. Girls, Flor de Toloache do a compelling synthesis of Latin and Eastern European rhythms on "That's What I Want For Christmas," and Vera Blue does the indie-girl-singer take over heavy computer beats for "A Winter Romance." The Decemberists pay tribute to Big Star with a faithful cover of "Jesus Christ" and music-school nerds Lake Street Dive go all merengue on a cover of "I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas." As you might expect, the collection goes out with a New Year's song, in this case Andrew McMahon's quite traditional version of "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve." Much more pop than rock, but a fair number of highlights.

rocksea8.jpgBack once more from the Florida-Georgia coast, Rock By the Sea has released their eighth nonprofit compilation to help support various charities. The cover tells us that this year's proceeds will be directed to support the fight against pediatric cancer, and if you live close by their stomping grounds, they're always looking for support, as they also host concerts with the folks who play on their albums. As usual, the performers are indie folks in the Americana genre, straddling rock, soul, folk and country. Keaton Simons kicks things off with a snappy soulful original titled "Eyes Light Up at Christmas," FRIENDSWITHBENEFITS breaks out the laptop and rhythm boxes for a Depeche Mode-styled "Ding Dong Merrily On High," and Carly Burruss takes us to Nashville with "Red and Green," the correct colors for a holiday she perceives as trending toward blue. Pat McGee offers an original piano ballad, "No Warmer Place," and speaking of "warmer," Jeff Crosby takes the whole enterprise to California with the folky strum "Christmas in the Palms." Joel Madison Blount performs a spare, slow "O Come O Come Emanuel," The Wealthy West tries an original take rooted in "Carol of the Bells" with just the slightest hint of the original carol, and Brent Shuttleworth takes a country-folk approach to the original "The God In You." The Mrs. does a 70s rock take on Stevie Wonder's "What Christmas Means To Me," and Lang Freeman wraps it up with an electronic drone version of "Auld Lang Syne." Just 10 songs compared to previous longer editions of this compilation, but that will make it easy for them to do a vinyl version if they want to later. Click the cover to go to Amazon or visit Bandcamp.

Seattle may be the home office of rainfall, but it's also where Green Monkey Records is located, ground zero for a lot of fun lo-fi indie rock music-making. And the label is down with Christmas, as the multiple releases of holiday compilations over the years would indicate. Spontaneity is not in short supply here, as the producer's notes state he put a call out for contributions only at the start of October. For 2016, we get more of what made Green Monkey famous, with your contributions to the cause being donated to MusiCares. The Green Pajamas offer their version of a Mexican carol, "El Rorro," Captain Christmas and the Winter Solstice Singers take on "Christmas Boogie Woogie," originally found on the Anthology of American Folk Music Vol. 5, the Fastbacks punk up "Oh Come All Ye Faithful," Pleasure Island does a surf-oriented instrumental of "Winter Wonderland," and compilation producer Tom Dyer (who pops up on several of these songs) does a fairly straight reading of "Joy to the World." That's it for the covers. Cain Morehead and the Elves Bells rock out to "All Those Christmas Songs," Zelda Starfire breaks out the ukelele to proclaim in a deceptively upbeat way that "I Hate Christmas," Uncle Tiki puts in his holiday menu selections on the punky "The Potato Song," and Three Ninjas salutes their "Black Dog Family," which appears to be better than their real ones. Ed Portnow offers a shambling folkish "(Peace Can Happen) On Christmas," Free Creature puts original lyrics over a Fats Waller tune on the good-timey "Youse a Humbug," whose horn solo is simply "The Dreidel Song," the producer appears again with The Tom & Jim Yuletide Contraption on "(All I Want For Christmas Is a) Big Black Eye," and his family, The Dyer Spawn, offer the holiday nature strum "Wild Christmas." Steve Martinelli offers an ode to a "Pretty Cute Christmas Kitty," Guns of Nevada rocks out with their one-item Christmas list, "Liquor in my Stocking," The Fresh Prince of Brain Wizard offers us a spacey "Christmas In This Modern Age," the Write Brothers Sonic Soul Consortium give us a mournful ballad with the mouthful of a title "A Misspent Mercury Tear and a Cold Obsidian Heart," and Eric Padget wraps things up in a neat little package with "12 Drummers Drumming," which is nearly 12 minutes of exactly that. Run over to Bandcamp and grab this.
bongoboy.jpgBongo Boy is a record label that appears to specialize in compilations of lesser-known independent artists, and for 2016 they've rounded up 17 tunes across a number of rock/pop/soul genres. I can't say for sure whether any of these tunes were commissioned specifically for this album, although I know Les Fradkin's Spector-esque original "Say You Love Me For Christmas" is from his decade-old holiday album. Similarly, the synth-pop dance floor anthem "I Love Christmas Times (Remix)" by Wayne Olivieri & DJ Chris Ibe purports to be an updated version of an existing song, and Walter Rossi's rocking shuffle "Jingle Jangle" appears to have been around for a while, according to Mr Google. Inches From Sin trumps Walter with "Jingle Jangle Jingle," a 70s soul workout, Dennis Sy gives a more contemporary R'nB sheen to "Christmas Morning," as does Tammi T and Keith Hines Production on "Go Wish." Steel featuring Bubu the Producer brings the hip-hop on "Have a Gigolo Xmas," and Cousins Steel does a bit of the same on "1, 2, 3." Ysanne performs "Christmas in the Sun," a reggae carol, and Deborah Henricksson offers "The Angel Gabriel," a spare holiday ballad. The Forty Nineteens bring a bit of that mid-70s hard rock crunch to "Frosty the Snowman," and Jackie Kringle & the Elves (aka the Doughboys, or at least most of them) do a garage take on the collection's title song, also mis-punctuated as in the title to this post. Sarantos goes soft pop on "It's Christmas Time," which the press release identifies as something from an old school Christmas special, and you probably won't disagree. Bob Shaw gets the most Bongo Boy love with three tunes, a ballad in E Street Band style called "I Wonder Where You Are This Christmas," a country/jug band exhortation called "Don't Forget the Christ in Christmas," and a comedy sketch called "The Sleigh Ride" in the tradition of those old Beach Boys album fillers like "Bull Session With the Big Daddy" and "Cassius Love vs Sonny Wilson." Easily downloaded from the usual suspects, don't know if any hard copies are being manufactured.  

seasonal4.jpgThis surf music label sporadically comes up with a Christmas compilation, and 2016 is the year for the latest entry. Some of the individual tunes we've seen before, like "Lump of Coal" by the Barbary Coasters, "Hot Rod Hanukkah" by Meshugga Beach Party, "Groovy Old Saint Nick" by Los Straitjackets, and "Ye Merry Gentlemen" from the Falcons is from a decade-old album. The majority of these tunes are surf-style instrumentals, with a bit of late-50s-early-60s balladry mixed in, as in disc opener "Christmas in July" by Martin Cilla. Black Flamingos give us "How the Gurch Stole Christmas," their spelling not mine, which taps on the mood if not the precise melody of the Grinch's theme song, while the Twang-o-Matics go more spaghetti western on "Staffan Var En Stallendrang," a Swedish tune I could get very little about from Google Translate. The Other Timelines bring us "Public Access Christmas Special," a neat guitar-organ duet, the Crazy Aces give us a medley of popular carols called "Crazy Acemas," and the Kanaloas do "X-Mas Palm Tree." The Nutcracker gets a couple of different takes as Fronkensteen's "Nutty Sweet" is essentially a cover of "The Nutrocker," while Travelers of Tyme bring a bit of the tiki hut to "Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy." More familiar carols are performed by Aqualads, "Angels We Have Heard on High," "Santa Claus Is Coming to Surf" by the Takeoffs, and "Jingle Bells" by Tiki Joe's Ocean. Vocals aren't completely ignored here, as Whoa Nellie Vera and Johnny recast the Johnny B. Goode story as "Little Johnny Got a Japanese Guitar For Christmas," The Beagles take on "Snoopy's Christmas" with a "Hang On Snoopy" chorus, and the best cut here, "Xmas Is a Bust" by the Ogres, is a snarky original with more of the garage sound about it. Apparently only available from the label's website, no download or streaming at this time. UPDATE: "I Saw Three Ships (Mr Rebel Version)" by Urban Surf Kings was recorded new for this collection; I erroneously assumed it was from a previous album by them.

Minnesota-based Red House Records seems a likely place for a Christmas compilation to originate, and yet it took them until 2016 to follow through. This collection of Americana artists does a nice job with a collection of classics and originals. John Gorka's "Holed Up Mason City" is a road song about having to yield to the wintry weather, Heather Masse sings the praises of "Mittens," Dale Watson & His Lonestars go nearly full country with "Christmas To Me," Robin & Linda Williams go folky on the intimate "Together All Alone," Suzzy Roche enlists Jules Shear for his co-written "Cold Hard Wind," Charlie Parr breaks out the dobro for the album's near-title song, the field blues "Slim Tall's Christmas on the Lam," and the Wailin' Jennys give us the front-porch gospel of "Glory Bound." Reaching for the songbook are Jorma Kaukonen with the finger-picked version of the West Indian carol "The Baby Boy," the Pines cover Gordon Lightfoot's "Song For a Winter's Night," Bill Kirchen and Austin de Lone put a little Nashville on Mack Rice's "Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin'," Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams serve up a traditional country "Blue Christmas," and Davina and the Vagabonds slip a little Dixieland into "Santa Bring My Baby Back To Me."  A fine collection of roots music for Christmas. 

Holiday EP, Empty Houses (Sargent House)

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
This young Detroit band punches in for 2016 with their first Christmas release, a quick collection of five popular classics. No major conceptual ground is broken with these easily chosen covers, but they're well done and listenable and showcase lead singer Ali Shea very nicely. "Sleigh Ride" is a straight performance of the Phil Spector arrangement, "Santa Baby" is a more modern-sounding version of the original by Eartha Kitt, "Let It Snow" has a nice stride rhythm with horns supporting the vocal, and "White Christmas" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" put a little rhythm into what are otherwise ballad arrangements. Check it out at your leisure.
This band management company has been collecting Christmas songs from their clients for years now, and as usual the 2016 product of their curation is free to download. Up front, I'm disappointed that Piney Gir's contribution is the same "Love Is a Christmas Rose" she contributed to Volume 8 of the series, but if you missed it then, you've got it now. Andrew Joslyn & the Local Strangers bring an orchestra to help them render the aching ballad "Under Mistletoe." EagleWolfSnake provide the folk-poppy "Make It Glow" that concedes San Francisco doesn't do much to provide a white Christmas. Bill Berry's "Twas the Night After Christmas" is a nice boozy acoustic blues, Occurrence breaks out the synths for "This Is How You Know (It's the Holidays)," and Texture and Light add a bit of electronic flavor to their cover of Aimee Mann's "I Was Thinking I Could Clean Up For Christmas." Magnuson knocks out a minor key "Silent Night" to a martial beat (just the thing for the new administration, am I right?) and Blue Skies For Black Hearts top off the collection with a gentle take on the Bing & Bowie medley of "Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth." Another winning holiday gift from XO.

This record label is a UK-based concern promoting modern rockabilly and psychobilly artists, and this is their Christmas compilation. The label makes a point of releasing only material recorded in their very own studio, which helps them maintain a characteristic style. Not being a rockabilly specialist, I can't say I've heard of any of these acts before, but they all acquit themselves very nicely here. There are 22 tracks here, definitely value for money, with several artists making multiple appearances. Proceedings get under way with El Camino's "I Want Christmas," which starts out as a tribute to Elvis' "Santa Claus Is Back In Town" but quickly swings into a fine uptempo original. Little Timmy Tinsel & the Fairy Lights shouts out to British concerns with "Santa's Lost on the Underground" and also provides two versions of the rockin' "Blotto in the Grotto," Thee Elfmen also double up on the midtempo "Santa's Here," lament a "Cruel Yule," dance to the "Egg Nog Twist," and also give us a little of that Fifties novelty nostalgia with "Christmas on Mars." The Epileptic Hillbilly's (that's their spelling, not my typo) stomp out "Another Christmas Without You," the Bad Detectives keep one eye on the purse with "Keep the Receipt (This Christmas)" and "Christmas on Plastic," and Weazeldust demand that "Santa Claus You Dirty Rat (Bring Back My Guitar)." Sharna-May and the Mayhems give us a taste of Brenda Lee mixed with Lee Hazlewood with "We're Off To See Santa," Mary Kissmass also evoke Brenda with "Blue Mistletoe," Las Pistolas go for Fifties horror (and tell Bobby "Boris" Pickett the news) with "Creepy Christmas Party," the Go Go Cult goes a little dark on the beat with "Hey, Hey, It's Christmas," and Lew Lewis & the Twilight Trio throws their hands up and sings "Just Another Day To Me." Don't know if the rockabilly fanbase is concerned that some of these artists let their Brit flag fly, but it certainly doesn't bother me; this is fun from start to finish and a natural playlist on its own (minus the double cuts, anyway).
This Seattle indie label has been on the Christmas tip for years, as the number in the album title indicates. It's also where the fabulous "No Lou This Christmas" by Tom Dyer originated a couple years ago, so expectations are a little higher for this label's compilations. Burnseer gets the prize for political awareness with their "The Little Refugee Boy," who in other Christmas seasons would be the drummer. "Here He Comes" by Cassandra Sky manages to evoke the middle-period Beach Boys even without the choral harmonies, Fur For Fairies goes all antique music on us with "Cherry Tree Carol," Glamourpuss breaks out the toy piano to accent their lo-fi poppy "Christmas For Everyone," Jeff Kelly digs out an ode for two teenage girlfriends circa "Christmas 1995," Kat Dyer solos on "I Heard the Bells," Pleasure Island features the surf guitar sound on the instrumental of "Merry Gentlemen," God rest them, and Sheila Powers confesses "Santa Left Me (On Our Last Date)" in an original ballad. The Elf-Tones throw the garage door open so everyone can hear "I See Reindeer in the Clouds," and then the Navins grab the instruments to rock out on "Jesus Under My Tree." Tom Nook's "Best Darn Christmas Ever" is fun, amateur thrash rock, Tom's New Pagan Choraliers tell the story of "Little Blair's Unpleasant Christmas," Toxic Socket hammers out the bluesy "Santy Claws," Zelda Starfire breaks out the ukelele to promise she'll be home for Christmas "Next Year," and 3 Ninjas get all profane about the holiday in "It's an Agonizingly Slow Death," retelling the "Wonderful Life" story in more depressing terms. Couldn't get behind "A Saucy Holiday Indeed!" by The GMR Chamber Ensemble, though I predict somebody might roll this out during a wintertime Renaissance Faire. All told, another great collection from the rainy city. Get it from Bandcamp.
indieholiday.jpgAs with last year's All Is Bright, this is not actually an album but a playlist curated by Amazon as a come-on to sign up for Amazon Prime, which in addition to giving you free two-day delivery on all purchases also gives you access to their video library and lets you stream all the music you can eat. You can go ahead and buy all the individual tracks, though there's no album package price for doing so. For 2015, the playlist features such known quantities as Robert Pollard, Sondre Lerche, The Leevees & Matisyahu, Reverend Horton Heat, Langhorn Slim and Lisa Loeb, along with a raft of lesser-known indie artists, and most of the songs are fresh originals to boot. Hitting the highlights, we have the funky "Who's Up There?" by Bhi Bhiman, the hip-hoppy "Outside of December" with The Leevees & Matisyahu, a soulful "It's Only Christmas" by Moon Taxi, and Oscar's "It's Christmas Again" crosses lo-fi pop with 80s mopey new wave. Tuxedo goes all 90s R'nB on "Holiday Love," the Rev. Heat does what he does rockabilly style on "Donuts in the Snow," and Yacht (not to be confused with The Yachts or yacht rock), gives us an upbeat synth-pop confection, "Christmas Alone." Esmé Patterson (mentioned several days ago on the blog) has a David Lynch-influenced ballad called "If I," A Silent Film's "Christmas At Our House" is one of the nicer holiday nostalgia songs I've heard lately, and Kill Hannah's "This Is Our December" brings the modern arena rock vibe to the collection. My two favorites from this playlist are Langhorne Slim's garage rock take on "Deck the Halls" and Lisa Loeb's thumping New Year's party song (and who'da thought from her, right?) "Champagne (I'm Ready)." There are no stiffs in this list to my ears, just songs I like better, and that'll probably be how you relate to it as well. Don't feel obliged to buy 'em all if you're not a Prime customer; graze the ones you like. 

I Heart the Holidays, various artists (Palladium)

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Palladium Records appears to be a combination management company and record label featuring modern pop-rock artists, and for 2015 they've prevailed upon members of their artist roster to contribute to a Christmas album. Map the Stars is on here twice, once with a wildly upbeat and deconstructed "12 Days of Christmas" and again with the midtempo original "This Holiday." Tim Meyers contributes four solo songs, an original "Joy to the World" with no relation to the familiar carol, further originals "For the Holidays" and "A Magical Season," and a thumping-beat version of "O Christmas Tree." He's also part of Fm Radio with Schuyler Fisk, and a song from Fisk's previous Christmas EP, "More Than I Wished For," is here too. "Glow" by Mozella is an original based on a poppy version of the Bo Diddley beat, Kathryn Ostenberg gives us a power pop "Count Down To Xmas" and covers "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" in a similar vein, Lucy & the Cloud Parade break out the handclaps on "A New Time," and El May goes midtempo and bombastic on "All the Wonder." Serengeti & the Unknown goes for harder rock on "The Wish List," and just The Unknown break out the chimes and cellos for "Winter Night," and Nicole Vaughn resurrects the old Anita Ward disco chestnut "Ring My Bell" as a Christmas song, proving once again that context is everything. This is another collection worth checking out.

Music She Blogged is essentially a woman named Sarah who, wait for it, blogs about music in and around Toronto. She's compiled this lengthy set of music as a benefit for Toy Mountain, a Christmas charity in her home country. This is a mostly punk collection, all pretty well-played stuff, and it appears to be mostly original songs except for No Doubt's "Oi to the World" covered by The Stragglers and a thrashy "I Heard the Bells" by Quick and the Dead. Many of these songs appear to be non-Christmas, however, so I'll stick to the holiday tunes. Carly Thomas' "Hold You" is more of a pop ballad, and as such sticks way out from the rest of the lineup. Audio Visceral's "Wonderful Life" plays off the movie, Last Imprint hammers out a speedy "Through These Eyes," Rebuilder screams about "X-Mas PunX," and Redambergreen does a crunchy, almost 70s rock "Christmas List." The Good Boys do a more pop-punk take on "It's Christmas Time and I'm In Love With You (Haven't You Heard)," and You Big Idiot offers the punk shuffle "A Christmas Song." My suspicion is that a lot of folks are going to want the Carly Thomas song and not the rest of the album, but if you're interested in contemporary Toronto punk, the album makes a good snapshot of the scene, though the Christmas highlights are few. Music She Blogged apparently did this a year ago with Holiday Headbangers, and the rundown of that album is straight punk Christmas with thrashy covers of familiar carols. Both albums are at Bandcamp, and the Headbangers set is free to download.

Cleopatra Records takes two bites at the punk-rock apple for 2015 with this collection of female artists taking on the Christmas songbook. Yeah, it doesn't actually say "punk rock" anywhere on here, but a fair number of these folks have the sound and the attitude down, though this is a slightly more eclectic collection. And definitely a majority British collection, judging by the song selection and little hints like The Ethical Debating Society substituting "motorway" for "freeway" in "Run Rudolph Run." But punk kicks things off with PantyChrist's amped-up and profane "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." Diploid renders "Silent Night" as a drone and a shriek, LIINES puts some hard rock crunch into Mud's "Lonely This Christmas," Matagot strips down the Waitresses' "Christmas Wrapping," and Husbands n Knives liberally rewrite the lyrics of Slade's "Merry Xmas Everybody." Snap-Her appear to have the only original song, "I Hate Christmas," which is as punky as you can want, Thee Merry Widows punk up "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer," and more of the same for Kerosene Queen's "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree." Frightwig hits the Hanukkah tip with South Park's "The Lonely Jew On Christmas," Majorettes cover the Ravers' "It's Gonna Be a Punk Rock Christmas," Charla Fantasma gets girl-groupy on "I'm Gonna Lasso Santa Claus," and Lez Zeppelin tops the album off with a medley of "What Child Is This/Frosty the Snowman" set to the melody of "Stairway to Heaven." If you don't have time for anything else on the album, grab that one.
Not the most original title for an album in 2015, but certainly one that's accurate and descriptive of this 19-song collection. A good number of the artists on this collection, furthermore, are veterans of the original 1970s punk explosion -- Slaughter & the Dogs, the VIbrators, UK Subs, Anti-Nowhere League, Eddie and the Hot Rods, The Members, and there's an appearance by the Godfather of Punk himself, Iggy Pop, although that's the same semi-loungy "White Christmas" that's been compiled several times before. Everybody else came along later, like Suicide Machines, Unwritten Law, Smash Mouth and Reel Big Fish. Information out in the real world is sketchy, so I can't say with assurance that the original period punks' songs are from that time or were recorded later. This is a good collection, although it's best when the artists stretch the meaning of "punk" a bit, like Reel Big Fish's ska take on "Little Drummer Boy," Suicide Machines' punk-via-Broadway version of "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch," and Anti-Nowhere League's poppy if gruff "Let It Snow." Elsewhere, UK Subs do a version of Kevin Bloody Wilson's partially spoken-word (and profane) "Hey Santa Claus," Slaughter & the Dogs crunch down on "Run Rudolph Run," the Vibrators run with Slade's "Merry Xmas Everybody," Unwritten Law cram "Please Come Home For Christmas" into a square wave, and Eddie and the Hot Rods recorded "It Feels Like Christmas" new in 2015. Smash Mouth gives us "Snoopy's Christmas," 45 Grave takes on "The Snow Miser Song," Bankrupt covered the Cheap Trick self-parody "I Want You For Christmas," and Batfoot! drew the short straw, taking on Mariah Carey's signature holiday tune "All I Want For Christmas Is You." Good fun for punk fans, and even if you're not, feel free to graze it for highlights.

relevant.jpgRelevant is an online magazine and podcast emphasizing religion and spirituality, and its other sections on lifestyles, culture and the arts are informed by that mission. As you might guess, they like Christmas, and so we have a free download equal to a double-CD set of music that fits their mission. (Make sure you get parts 1 and 2.) Some of the folks featured on here, like Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors, the Oh Hellos, Dustin Kensrue, Sleeping at Last, Found Wandering, Sugar & the High Lows and several others, have been featured on Mistletunes before or at least on other compilations we've covered. This is a mostly adult alternative collection of mainly mellow items curated with the spirituality hook of the magazine in mind. Highlights include a more poppy version of "In the Bleak Midwinter" by Kids than you normally hear, Ben & Nolle's brooding electro-pop take on "Angels We Have Heard On High," Evan Wickham's modern Christian rock original "End of Exile," and Sugar & the High Lows' polyrhythmic take on "Jingle Bells." As previously mentioned, it's free, though in exchange for your e-mail address, which so far has only gotten me an occasional e-mail site update. If there really were four previous collections, you can't tell from the website archives, though I imagine the rights to the songs on past collections were only granted on a temporary basis. UPDATE: "Cindie" e-mails us the link to Volume 4.

Rocksea6.jpgThis organized charity in the Georgia/Florida area continues its annual drive to raise money for charity with musical outreach, and Volume 6 arrives for the 2015 holiday season. The musical style is, as always, mostly rootsy rock, which suits this site's mission statement. Sara Rachele kicks things off with the sprightly original "When the Fire Goes Out Tonight," the group von Grey offers the contemplative ballad "Cozy Tranquility," Mark Bliesener performs a nicely country-rock "It's Finally X-Mas Day," Eric Durrance contemplates "A Southern Christmas," and Martha's Trouble, about whom see more on this very site, donates their previously released "This Christmas." That wraps the original tunes on this collection; covers include the Electric Sons' semi-march treatment of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," Charlie Oxford's traditional treatment of "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts)," the Galavanters' Booker T-styled instrumental of "Jolly Old St. Nicholas," Michael Logan's solo acoustic "I'll Be Home For Christmas" and Amy Gerhartz's similar piano treatment of "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day." Another fine collection from Rock By the Sea to benefit good causes.

Somehow I have managed to miss the first eight volumes of this series, and Vol. 9 was actually out in 2014, but so it goes. It's the last of the series, according to the Australian producers' final statement on their Bandcamp page, and as it's free you should hie yourself over there, assuming you haven't beaten me to it as so many others probably have. The RAB folks are essentially curators, as they put out the call to indie rock bands to contribute finished tracks, and the final running order is what it is. In this case, it's a fine rock Christmas souvenir. Thee Knight of Thrashe cue the Bo Diddley rhythm on "Santa Claus (Here He Comes)," Burning Yule breaks down the fourth wall with the power-poppy "Santa Are You My Dad," the Click Beetles get compiled once again with their "So Glad It's Christmas," and Leadfinger get a sort of Jefferson Airplane groove going on the deceptively titled "Another Long Summer." The JAC with the Christmas Crew get a "Sweet Toothache" from Christmas treats, Class Action goes all primitive pop on "It Must Be Nearly Christmas," Cal Walker & Iain Wilson channel Bill & Ted on "Gonna Have a Wyld Time," and Ernie O With Richie Poate get a kind of late-60s thing going as they tell a Christmas story on "Gunna Tell You a Lie." Netherwood Lane dip into the garage-psychedelic well for "Christmas Without You," the Kiss-Offs offer a Blondie homage on "Santa Darlin'," Lotti Loop does what their band name suggests on the electronic "Crank Call Christmas," Hotlunch hearkens back to Mott the Hoople with "8 Letters For Going Home" and the Kleber Claux Memorial Singers wrap things up with the drone-backed chant "Treve de Noel," a song about the World War I Christmas truce. Someday I gotta go back and listen to the earlier volumes of this series.
This is the second collection from these Central Pennsylvania-based producers, and like the first one it benefits the Susan Giblin Foundation for Animal Wellness and Welfare. Also like the first one, power pop rules the roost, or the kennel in this case. This 2014 collection actually features bands from all over -- the Genuine Fakes, makers of the ballad "You Always Come Back Home," are from Sweden, in fact. The Honeymoon Stallions give us the uptempo "Snowbirds," for those who like tropical Christmases. The Bottle Kids (Featuring Captain Storm) yearn for a "Christmas in Paris," and feel free to use that as a shout-out in regard to the recent tragedy there. The Pengwins announce in Phil Spector-shaped tones that "Christmas Is Coming Again" to kick off the disc, and speaking of Spector, the Split Squad play off the progression under "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" on their own song "Another Lonely Christmas." The patron saints of power pop get a nod on the jangly "Beatles Vinyl" by The Tor Guides, and Shake Some Action! not surprisingly evoke the Flamin' Groovies on "Christmas in the Sun." Dan Kibler provides us the folk-poppy ballad "Winter Sun," S-Connection goes all New Vaudeville Band on "Poor Boy," and Sonata Form offer an ode to "Kurtis and Bart," which sounds like the band's pets, and that would be in keeping with the premise behind the album. Acoustic guitars are to the fore on Stephen Lawrenson's "Glad It's Christmas," electric piano anchors Wyatt Funderburk's sweet ballad "Cold," and minor legend Martin Newell wraps things up with an ode to the "Ghosts of Christmas." An eclectic collection, sorry I missed it last year.

The indie artist management company keeps the holiday string going for another year in 2015 with another collection drawn from its artist roster. Alejandra O'Leary kicks things off with an imaginative arrangement of Chuck Berry's "Merry Christmas Baby" that opens as a folky drone before the band kicks in behind her melodic vocal. It's at once a blues and a non-blues arrangement, if that makes any sense. "Winter Wanderland" by Art Peace is a modern hit-radio styled ballad about traveling on the holiday, "Not a Holiday Song" by Calisse plays with 1930s pop before turning into something that Nillson might have done, and Joseph Demaree's "Celebrating Every Day" is a lo-fi dirge that belies the sunny title. Magnuson knocks out a grungy cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "Hazy Shade of Winter," Revolt Revolt darkens "White Christmas" with dark, low-note vocals, Stubborn Son's "Snowed In" manages to be poppy and rockish at the same time with its prominent fuzz bass countermelody, The Winter Sounds takes us back to the 80s with "MasX," and once again XO gives us our fix of Piney Gir, this year giving us the singalong classic "Love Is a Christmas Rose." As usual, download it for free.

sotaxmas.jpgSOTA is a production company from Georgia, or "music collective" as the popular phrase currently goes, and they promote, produce and even make their own rock-Americana flavored music alongside a small roster of artists. For 2014 they decided to try their hand at Christmas music, and they've put together a nice collection of music featuring their own roster along with a few guests from outside. Things kick off promisingly with a fine uptempo arrangement of "Silent Night" from Marshall Ruffin, a song that too often gets the reverent, or worse, the diva approach. The Shadowboxers acquit themselves well on "Every Day Will Be Like a Holiday," Alex Gordon Hi Fi offers a guitar/bass instrumental rendition of "Deck the Halls," then they back Marshall Ruffin on "Angels We Have Heard on High." Indianapolis Jones offers a fine uptempo original by Galavanters' bass player Nicholas Niespodziani called "Peace and Harmony," and then that band comes back with their own organ-led instrumental take on "Jolly Old St. Nicholas." Big Mike Geier gets help from Larkin Poe on "Christmas Island," Trs Lechers perform a jazzy xylophone-led "Joy to the World" and Michelle Malone, who has a past Christmas album to her credit, performs the original "Feels Like Christmas." Stephen Kellogg, with help from the Galavanters, performs his syncopated original "Christmas in Cancun," the Handlebars render Ellis Paul's "Santa Claus & the Tooth Fairy," in which a mild Bo Diddley rhythm meets a child-sung chorus, Tim Smith takes on NRBQ's "Chrismas Wish," and Mike Snowden breaks out the cigar box guitar and accordion for a suitably rocking exit to the disc with "Auld Lang Syne." The producers imply in their liner notes that this may become a tradition, and that's all right with me.

I stumbled over the first Noise to the World right when posting resumed in November and found it to be a great free EP of Christmas tuneage. Should have kept checking after that, because in December 2014 they rolled out #2, another fine collection that's free. (Except for the Michael Christmas cut, which has resisted all attempts at downloading. You have to go to Soundcloud and download the songs one at a time, and that one won't cough up a button.) Deer Tick's "White Havoc" steals some melody from "At Seventeen" and a bit of "Last Christmas" in a fine rocker, IamSul's "Next Season" and "Pleasant Winter" by Michael Christmas provide the hip-hop on this collection, GRMLN's "Before December (You're Alive)" is a driving indie rocker, Torreblanca featuring Iraida Noriega offer a spacey take on "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," with a duo vocal offering a bit of Lee Hazlewood with Nancy Sinatra, and the award winners for this collection are the Dum Dum Girls with "On Christmas," a nice girl group via synthpop rendition of a fine melody, getting a little help with synths from the guys in Ice Choir. That's two in a row for the makers of Chuck Taylors, so I guess I better put a note in my calendar for 2015.

Festivus 2, various artists (Highline)

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
The Highline label previously had a very good holiday compilation with the first Festivus, and in 2013 they took another crack at the holiday with this 16-song collection, which I've had for a while but has slipped through my fingers until now. Piney Gir is here with the poppy "It's Christmas," Dodgy tugs at the heart strings with "Christmas at the Foodbank," Red Pony Clock puts "Ho Ho Hos Before Hos" and Anthony Elvin offers the acoustic ballad "My Heart Is As Pure As the Snow." Glam Chops asserts that "Baby Jesus Was the First Glam Rocker," and Ulysses rocks out in a similar genre on "I Wish You a Merry Christmas." Left With Pictures has a suspenseful take on "The Coldest Night" and Mi Mye has a midtempo rocker with the unlikely title "Don't Freak Out On Me." Darling BOY's bouncy "Thank God It's Christmas" is an original, not the Queen tune, and "One Christmas Wish" by The Priscillas is a driving female-voice-led rocker. Best band name on this collection is Dennis Hopper Choppers, who do "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," Lilys goes kind of 70s power pop with "Good King Wenceslas," Western Low have a spacey take on "Silent Night," Francis Macdonald and Anna Sheard offer the chant-oriented original "Silver Bells Sing Their Chime," and Alexander's Festival Hall offer an original take on the acoustic rocker "Three Kings." Another great collection from Highline.
Paste just dropped their 2014 sampler this very day via Noisetrade. Many of the songs have already been covered here, but it includes the Field Report song we mentioned the other day that was only up for streaming, so now it's yours in exchange for your e-mail address. Of the ones I'm just hearing for the first time, Swear & Shake lean into the bongos for "Santa, My First Love," River Whyless do a mellow "Jingle Bells," and Powerkompany gives us the musical apology "I'm Sorry About Last Christmas," which would be a good Festivus carol now that I think of it. Odessa does an acoustic "Silent Night" and Micah Dalton gets a little spacey with "Come Thou Long Expected Jesus." Cuts by Over the Rhine, Sinclair, The Oh Hellos and James Apollo round out the collection.
cherry10.jpgBritain's Cherryade label reaches the milestone 10th collection for 2014, although things are a little different nowadays. The label has not been quite so active in the past couple of years, so where past collections were composed predominantly from contributions by the label roster, the most recent Cherry Christmas discs reach farther afield for songs. As with Cherry 9, the current collection received curation assistance from Gareth Jones, host of a popular music podcast, and it's very much in keeping with the previous nine editions in terms of giving us the alt-indie view of the holiday season. Indeed, the current collection resembles the mix discs compiled by obsessed music hobbyists, and of course (see sidebar of this site) you'll never hear me say a discouraging word about that. A couple tunes have appeared in other places, like Los Campesinos!' "Kindle a Flame In Her Heart" and Very Most's "Wombling Merry Christmas," and some of you might have encountered others that I've missed until now. Kicking off the limited issue (100 discs, no download) is The Thyme Machine's "Driving Home For Christmas (Presents)," a fun indie-rock song about trying to visit family after forgetting to bring the presents. Among the obvious covers are Simon Love's version of "Santa's Beard" by They Might Be Giants, a grungy take of "Back Door Santa" by Ho3, and a slow, meditative version of the Waitresses' "Christmas Wrapping" by The Lost Cavalry. Town Bike does an alt-rock, girl-groupy "Worst Christmas Ever," Happy Fangs also mines grunge for the perfect extended holiday season rave-up "All I Want For Christmas Is Halloween," and Stephen Hudson & the Flat Pandas re-experience the trauma of learning "The Truth About Christmas." Melancholy creeps in with "The Shopworker's Lament" by The French Defence, "I Hope It Snows Tonight" by The Swapsies and "Under Christmas Lights" by Da Mighty D.a.Kid. Musical/spoken word hybrids are offered by Monkeys in Love with "Secret Santa Party #1 (In Comic Sans)" and Helen Arney with "Traditional Family Christmas Argument." Pocket Gods, who have been on numerous Cherry Christmas comps, appear here with "Moobular Bells," which I thought might be the Mike Oldfield classic done with cows but it's not, it's an original done on tubular bells. Quiet Maurader expresses love for turkeys and vegetarian meals with "It's Xmas, So It's OK (To Go and Hug a Turkey)," Sunny Intervals offers a sweet holiday duet with "Christmas In Your Sights," Partly Llama gives an antique folk reading of "The End of the Journey," and Jack Hayter gets his holiday shop on in "Xmas Eve in the Pound Shop," which I'm assuming is the British version of that US institution, the dollar store. The Twelve Hour Foundation wraps up with the instrumental "Christmas Follows Shortly," which actually it does, as I'm writing this anyway.

OpenID accepted here Learn more about OpenID


The long-standing e-mail address still applies. Inquiries for advertising are now being accepted here, as are offers of review copies. Music questions can still be sent here too, though a comments section is now live as well.