Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Quasi Unexpected Holiday Music Recap

I know this is really cutting things to the bone here, but I realize I need to get this in now or it won't get done. This entry will highlight a few holiday music records: a unique disc released for a small time each year but not normally available. This time there's three that we want to let you in on. One I'm sure you know about but the other two I feel need some attention. Let's start with the most known one first.

Stephen Colbert and Friends - "A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift Of All soundtrack" download

This is basically what the title implies. The soundtrack to the Colbert Report host's recent Christmas Special. Musically, this varies from the lounge/standards of Colbert's "Another Christmas Song" to guest appearances by Toby Keith ("Have I Got A Present For You," which is amusing when just audio but funny as shit when watched), Feist ("PLease Be Patient") and several duets (including one with Jon Stewart called "Can I Interest You In Hannukah") as well as a group singalong of (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding" (Keith's appearance on this song is something I can honestly say I never thought would happen). While those unfamiliar with Colbert and his work might not get this, Colbert fans will love it. Snarky, tongue in cheek, and funny as hell. Only available on itunes but worth it.

(Comedy Central)

Destructors 666 - "Bah Humbug" CDEP

This band has been making an impression here at TTWN HQ (or whatever passes for it) for a while now, so imagine our surprise when this Christmas EP appeared. As you may have guessed, this is tear down the walls punk rock delivered with lots of aggro guitars and a tongue and cheek approach. Starting with "Just Another Christmas Song" (no, not the one Colbert did) on, this is a more sarcastic take on the season that's sometimes humorous, sometimes confrontational (one song is titled "Merry Christmas & Fuck Off), as well as a cover of Fear's early 80s classic "Fuck Xmas" for good measure. Straight ahead and loud, this is a great CD to listen to for a little relief from the usual drama that unfortunately occure this time of year for many of us. Well worth getting for next Holiday season (I checked the band's website and I don't know if they have it, but you can definitely find it on itunes).


Gentleman Auction House Christmas In Love CDEP

In our holiday music wrapup comes this EP from Gentleman Auction House. A brief collection of originals songs (with one or two exceptions), the band's layered power pop sound fits in this setting as tight hooks and clean harmonies mesh with a blend of synthesizers and guitars for a vibe between the old chestnuts and the more personal tales of love, relationships about to fall apart et al during this time of year What emerges though is a more somber take on the holiday as trying to move on from a breakup et al is the more prominent than any of the forced happiness that the media tries to get us to march lockstep to this time of year. While Holiday traditionalists and those not into poppier stuff might not enjoy it, this is an entertaining little disc that at least puts the season into context.


I hope this helps you in finding some new music for holiday cheer in its own unique way.

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