Stepping into Christmas with me…

Saturday, 23 December 2006, 21:39 | Category : Uncategorized
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Christmas is always upon us. And I’ve only just finished my shopping. In the rush to finish off my best of 2006 lists, I haven’t been purveying much of the usual music-blog Christmas cheer, with accompanying mp3s. After all, ‘Christmas’ is the most searched word on the Hype Machine at the mo, so there must be a lot of the ol’ seasonal stuff going round.

However, I haven’t been prevented from contributing to the second edition of the special Christmas Contrast Podcast. you probably don’t need me to tell you about it, but if you don’t have these, head over now and get yourself both of them, and enjoy some Christmas faves, some more off-kilter numbers and a whole load of dodgy intros. My choice comes from a new compilation called It’s Not Like Christmas, which is another one of these indie Christmas albums. If there’s one thing as sure as yearly complaints about how political correctness is ruining Christmas, it’s indie bands trying their hand at Christmas standards, or sometimes sticking their necks out and recording their own originals, with mixed results. Anyway, INLC is a pretty good album as these things go, has many fine tunes on and is well worth your money, especially as some of it will go to Shelter. Like I said, my Contrast submission was from it, and it’s Daily Growl fave Emmy the Great duetting with Lightspeed Champion - ex of short-lived London noiseniks Test Icicles - on John Prine’s Christmas in Prison. I’m also posting the 747s‘ uncharacteristic upbeat take on Blue Christmas, and Iain Archer’s ‘black forest’ (eh?) version of Little Drummer Boy.

Download: Emmy the Great & Lightspeed Champion - Christmas in Prison
Download: Iain Archer - Little Drummer Boy
Download: 747s - Blue Christmas

Of course, it’s too late to go to the shops to get this now, but you can head over to Rough Trade Digital and download your copy. £6.99 for 18 tracks can’t be a bad deal. Then you can hear all the others. You can even be its friend. By the way, for the downloaders, the Joseph and Mary Chain are a North East supergroup consisting of The Futureheads. Field Music and Kathryn Williams (and maybe more).

And while I’m on the festive tip, here are a few more Christmas songs that you may not have picked up on your rounds of the blogs.

Download: The Mules - Wassail Song
Download: Lucky Soul - Lonely This Christmas
Download: Noah and the Whale - To Cyril at Crunkmas
Download: The Hot Uncles - The Joy of Giving

For the fact fans:

- If you don’t know what Wassail is, look here for yer answer
- Yes, that is the Mud song Lucky Soul are doing. Wonder what it sounds like with a southern soul re-rub? Wonder no more.
- Noah and the Whale is Emmy the Great’s backing band, which is also a band in its own right.
- The Hot Uncles are Dan Michaelson from Absentee and Steven Adams from The Broken Family Band, bringing you some seasonal misanthropy.

Finally on the indie Christmas thing, thanks to Sweeping the Nation for giving us the heads up on this site with more indie Xmas tunes than you can shake a tinselled stick at. And even more finally, a Saint Etienne Christmas song, that’s slightly less-heard than I Was Born on Christmas Day.

Download: Saint Etienne - Come on Christmas


Now I’m retiring off downstairs to the bosom of the family, with all our food, drink and stuff we’ve amassed to be consumed over the next few days. Once the goose has been cooked, and the leftovers have been put in the fridge, hopefully I’ll have enough time in between assaults on the sales to bring you a few odds and ends I’ve failed to post recently. These include my top 10 artists of 2006, an overdue review of that amazing No-Neck Blues band gig last week, a Kate Nash radio session, a whole heap of other random radio stuff I’ve recorded but never posted, and a review of Jamie T’s 12 Bar Club gig that I’ve been lucky enough to get tickets for.

Happy Christmas everybody!

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