12.21The New Christmas Canon, pt. 5
Coming towards the end, today we we some New Orleans jazz, a New Wave survivor, some earnest indie lads, and a whole album full of chilly instrumentals. And yet no Johnny Mathis, what’s wrong with me?
A Saints Christmas
Trumpeter (and star of the HBO show Treme), gives us a jazzy shuffle that is thoroughly sauced and far more aurally appropriate than any Kenny G. Xmas tune ever. And what’s Ruffins wishing for? The Saints in the Super Bowl! But of course.
Download: A Saints Christmas
Resist the temptation to shout “Christ-mas Baby!” in a nasally voice ever five seconds. Former B-52 Fred Schneider’s new outfit, the Superians, released a holiday album, Destination Christmas, this year. If this tune, a bouncy ditty evoking the Normal and Alan Vega’s solo work (weirdly) that has Schneider giving instructions on how to cook the perfect fruitcake, is any indication, this album is a surefire stocking stuffer. Best of all, the verses are punctuated by Devo-esque shouts of “Fruitcake!” from the rest of the band. I think I really like this.
My god, are the Sleepy Rebels attempting an indie-friendly update of Jimmy Buffets’ absolutely horrid Christmas Island record? I believe they are.
Download: California Christmas
The Holidays Don’t Have To Be So Rotten
Bloomington indie label Flannelgraph Records have made this instrumental compilation of holiday-inspired music available for free or donation (to charity). Never heard of any of the acts, but the music within reminds me of those ace Xmas comps from Silber records; definitely coming down on the lo-fi space rock and shoegaze end of the spectrum.
The Hush Now
Kinda Belle and Sebastian, kinda Gene, it’s lyrically very clever, but sonically this orchestral pop number doesn’t really have the Xmas vibe down. Like the horn riffing on “Jingle Bells” though.
Download: On Holiday