Saturday, May 18, 2013
Great NYT blog post yesterday about fellow Christmas music geek Mitchell Kezin and the melancholy "The Little Boy that Santa Claus Forgot." That inspired me to poke around for a sound clip to accompany this link, and while I couldn't unearth a digital version of the live Billy Mackenzie rendition that I love so, I stumbled across this oddly jaunty take from 1937.
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Sunday, December 23, 2012
It's time for one of my favorite Yuletide traditions: the unveiling of the latest Parenthetical Girls Christmas disc!* Good Christian Men Rejoice, It's Parenthetical Girls is now available in its entirety on the group's Bandcamp page, and carries a very charitable pay-what-you-will sticker price. Since I'll be spending Christmas morning in an otherwise empty KEXP, I'm especially fond of this year's cover art.
On a related note, Parenthetical Girls will be releasing a new album, Privilege (Abridged) in early 2013, featuring highlights from their five-disc Privilege EP series.
God bless us little drama queens, every one!
* Truth be told, Parenthetical Girls have been letting the new songs leak forth one at a time on various blogs over the last few days, but Christmas is overwhelming enough without me having to update this post every 24 hours.
Saturday, December 22, 2012
Twenty-eight years later, I'm still powerless against the evil marketing geniuses at ZTT. Slap some holly berries on a Frankie Goes to Hollywood picture disc and my wallet flies open. Damn you, Paul Morley!
Alas, this 7-inch doesn't include the FGTH 1984 Christmas message, "Holier Than Thou." For that track you need the 12-inch edition... or the magic of YouTube.
I'm totally crushed out on Seattle power pop quartet STAG these days. Their eponymous debut album is in Heavy rotation on KEXP and in my home. Their high-energy performance at the SMooCH benefit earlier this month was one of the highlights of a very long night. Ben and Steve have been two of my favorite Seattle music colleagues for more than fifteen years, guitarist Lincoln Barr is about to release a top-notch album of his own songs with Red Jacket Mine in early 2013, and I've recently become completely smitten with bass player Pete, too.
The sentiment of the Kinks' "Father Christmas" used to rile me when I was a younger man and financial worries weren't such a concrete concern. Frankly, Ray Davies' lyric just seemed mean-spirited. *hands on hips + Shirley Temple pout* But now that I'm older the song rather amuses me—especially when performed by such dear friends and fellow music lovers.
Despite their shared affinity for tinsel and fairy lights, glam rock and Christmas rarely seem to intersect in a way that pleases me. Slade's "Merry Christmas Everybody" ranks very low on my seasonal playlist, and I prefer the Funny Or Die parody of Bing & Bowie to the real thing. Lord knows, there are plenty of Christmas glam options to choose from—Gary Glitter ("Another Rock 'n' Roll Christmas"), T. Rex (enough drips and drabs to fill a whole digital EP), Wizzard ("I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day")—but none of them resonates with me the way this AMAZING Yuletide photo of the post-Cherie Currie Runaways does!!!
Please Santa, let there be a long-lost Runaways Christmas song somewhere in the vaults to complement this timeless image of holiday magic and wonder. And while we're waiting for it to surface, let's all huddle around the speakers and bask in the glow of Joan Jett's version of "Little Drummer Boy," one of the only two renditions of this wretched song that I actually enjoy.
Also Santa? I wouldn't say no to a pair of those shoes Joan is wearing in the Runaways photo. I wear a ladies size 10 1/2.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Longtime FESTIVE! fans know full well that Damien Jurado shares our affinity for Christmas. Heck, he even gave us a little photo "exclusive" last year. Yesterday he unveiled a haunting new song and video that captures the melancholy that haunts a changing subset of folks every December. Is that description cryptic? I hope so. I want you to watch the video and experience "Kalla Hus" for yourself.
Damien wrote the song with Kyle Zantos and it features string parts by Sam Anderson. Personally, the woodwinds at the top and tail of the tune make me melt.
Download "Kalla Hus" for free here.