Despite your religious affiliation, Christmas music is unavoidable if you engage with any kind of media, or enter any retail store this time of year (even if you spend Christmas eating Chinese food and watching Daily Show reruns). So for those who’ve grown tired of Brenda Lee and Mariah Carey, consider this playlist of Holiday-themed tunes. Wishing you all a happy holiday and wondrous New Year!
1. Binky Griptite – Stone Soul Christmas
2. Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings – Big Bulbs
3. Tom Waits – Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis
4. Freddie McGregor – O Come All Ye Faithful
5. Dengue Fever – Little Drummer Boy
6. Yellowman – Santa Claus Never Comes to the Ghetto
7. Tracey Thorn – In The Cold, Cold Night
8. The Bird And The Bee – A Christmas Compromise
9. Low – Just Like Christmas
10. Augie Rios – Donde Esta Santa Claus
11. The Everly Brothers – Christmas Eve Can Kill You
12. Booker T & the MG’s – Jingle Bells
13. Butterbean & Susie – Papa Ain’t No Santa Claus (Mama Ain’t No Christmas Tree)
14. Poly Styrene – Black Christmas
Apparently, it’s Cuffing Season! To commemorate this time of year, during which single people develop an increased desire to be in a relationship due to the cold weather that keeps them indoors, enjoy the warm “Ripe 4 Luv” from Young Guv aka Ben Cook.
As all of tomorrow’s parties approach, I like to put on music from one of my new favorite singer-songwriters/avant gardeners, Courtney Barnett. The song I’m sharing today perfectly captures the recurring conflict between my outgoing nature and overly-anxious state of mind (basically how I feel every weekend). When I can’t decide whether to go out or not, this song is a nice reminder: nobody really cares if you don’t go to the party. Happy Friday!
Shilpa Ray pumps a mean, fuzzy harmonium live and sounds like Sharon Von Etten gargled glass and smoked six packs of cigarettes. I fell in love with her watching her open for Man Man and hope I can help you do the same. My favorite song from her new album “Last Year’s Savage” satirizes the idea of romanticizing a death wish, and with a titular reference to New York Dolls guitarist Johnny Thunders, warns that it rocks hard. Take a listen to “Johnny Thunders Fantasy Space Camp”:
At the moment, I only have eyes for Greek multi-instrumentalist Larry Gus and his inventive psychedelic pop release “I Need New Eyes.” There’s a lot of interesting things happening on this record, and while I find it difficult to pick a single song to share (“Black Veil of Fail” is unlike anything I’ve heard in a while), I have to go with “A Set Of Replies”– a poignant but catchy song that captures the coldness I sometimes feel in this age of automated responses and rehearsed answers.
Larry Gus shares a stage with YACHT this Thursday at the Teragram Ballroom in LA. Don’t doze!
In anticipation of the weekend, here’s a song I can’t get enough of from Richard In Your Mind, a fantastic psychedelic pop group straight outta Sydney. I’ve become a recent disciple of their label “Rice Is Nice”, and plan to explore its wondrous catalog while I day-drink the weekend away. Cheers!