The tree is always up around my place, though the baubles and angel are seasonal. The tree is practically through the ceiling these days. So I’ve showed you mine now you us yours.
It was announced yesterday that there is a new album on the way from The Monkees. 2016’s Good Times was a fantastic listen and they’ve gotten the band together one more time for a, wait for it, Christmas Album!
The Monkees Christmas Party has new and old contributions from all the people who generally live inside my pop brain. Produced by Adam Schlesinger (Fountains of Wayne) and with new songs via Any Partidge, Rivers Cuomo and Peter Buck, plus they’re going to do *those* songs made famous by Roy Wood and Paul McCartney. Peter Buck also plays on a cover of Big Star’s Jesus Christ. Who doesn’t want to hear that??!? It worth saying again: Peter Buck plays guitar on a Big Star cover on the new Monkees album. What a time to be alive.
What do you need to see, hear, end or whatever just because it’s what you always do at Christmas? We’ve done Christmas songs, we know that @Locust has an admirable tradition of reading A Christmas Carol up loud, maybe you watch Elf or Die Hard every year to mark the festive season. I dig out David Sedaris’ Holidays on Ice for the Santaland Diaries and this one, Six to Eight Black Men.
When it comes to Bob Dylan, I’m a completist. I’ve got all the official albums, and whenever he releases a new one, however awful it is, I know I’ll be parting with my money. Same with Van Morrison. I’ve been invested in his records for so long it’s too late to stop now.
Of course compared to many here I’m a complete lightweight. I’ve never bothered with bootlegs, and even with the Official Bootleg series I’ve restricted myself to the 2CD sets rather than the big shiny box sets. But still, that collection from ‘Bob Dylan’ to ‘Trouble No More’continues to give me a lot of pleasure.
Except there’s been a big Christmas shaped hole in the middle of it. For some reason I’ve never been able to bring myself to buy ‘Christmas in the Heart’. Until today. I finally cracked in HMV today – at £3.99 it would have been rude not to. I listened on the drive home from work. And what a gloriously funny, barmy, joyous record it is. When I wasn’t singing along at the top of my voice (even less tunefully than Bob it has to be said) I was grinning from ear to ear. » Continue Reading.
DJ Paul takes us through some of his favourite songs of the time. He had good taste in music, even back then. Add to this tape loops and some not necessarily unstoned banter.
It was intended to be strictly limited, with only his fellow fabs given a copy each. But more than fifty years later, well. Here we are.
The Roxy Music thread reminded me of Trash, a single with a video that’s fallen off the radar completely. 100k YouTube views compared with over 11million for Avalon.
Sometimes these forgotten cuts can shed more light on a band than some of their well known songs. A song that’s not a hit by a band that is used to having hits, can expose that band’s set of tricks or way of working a lot better than a track that is hugely familiar and successful. I have a low grade obsession with Queen’s Hot Space album. The video for Calling All Girls throws the band into the mix of a ridiculous Sci-Fi premise wherein they are the stars. The video is a damp squib, however they repeated the MO with the very next video they made: Radio GaGa. There’s a fine line between clever and stupid.
So any more of these parallel universe tracks?
Out in December….
This is the Afterword, so of course we all must have hoped Santa would bring us some music this year. I was lucky enough to be given the following from various loved ones and a big bearded fella*:
Rolling Stones – Blue and Lonesome The Mokess – Good Times Loretta Lynn – White Christmas Blue (on the vinly) Miles Davis – The Original Mono Recordings (from Dottie – clever cat) The Isley Brothers – The RCA Victor & T-Neck Album Masters megabox
What music-related stuff did you receive? (Or indeed anything else you’d care to mention.)
*Mr Breakfast of course
I saw Low last week in Bristol, they played their Christmas album and were fantastic. There were two supports before the main show, the first being Erik Koskinen, who also joined Low for their Christmas set and sang this song. The video shows US GI’s putting on a spread and entertainment for some orphans…..the song and video has been in my brain and heart all week. He has some good albums on Spotify and I just wanted to highlight it to you guys, the massive, who have given me good suggestions for music to explore on this site and the previous one. I hope you all enjoy whatever Christmas break you have this year and get some respite from the utter bollocks that was 2016 Sláinte !
Actually they are; they’re right there in the centre of the pic. But how many other bands are cunningly represented? Let’s catch ’em all!
I know you cannot get into the spirit of the season until my Green Christmas CD is released and available on the Interweb. Apologies for the delay but I had to replace the Megadeth Christmas message before it would copy the gubbins onto the final mix.
WARNING: starts with Mr Blobby.
I left the pub just after five o’clock. It was already properly dark and a light, silent snow was falling. I turned up the collar on my denim jacket, thrust my hands into the pockets of my jeans, and headed home.
It was Christmas Eve.
I had finished work at two, across the road, and into The Three Pigeons, top of the High Street. Des was already there, already firing on all cylinders, already surrounded by people laughing with him, buying him drinks, slapping him on the back. He didn’t know any of them but, hey, that’s Des. That’s why I love him.
He spotted me, grinned, turned to the barman, and announced, “Get this man a light ‘n bitter. He’s been working and needs refreshment!” He turned back to me. “Alright, mate?” I grinned back. “I bloody am now.” I took the pint glass, more than half full with delicious bitter, and began to slowly pour the contents of the bottle of light ale into it. As usual, there was nearly a third of the bottle left, once the glass was full. See? A great drink AND you get extra value for money. I drained half the glass » Continue Reading.
Previously mentioned in dispatches. The 2014 edition is also available on Mixcloud, as is the Simon Bates CD. Merry Christmas y’all.
Two weeks to go and no sign of Christmas cheer at the Beany Arena, apart from the now completed Green Christmas CD and a few cards. I blame those good folks at the Glossop Record Club for getting me side-tracked and sending me home last night with more records than I took. Bear with me while I catch up (baaaa!) and the spirit of Christmas records past catches up with me. In the meantime have some Pan’s People to keep you warm.
The Independent needs your help again; it wants suggestions for the worst Christmas songs. I think some of the cognoscenti amongst us will be able to suggest one or two, (possibly several). I have checked a few and couldn’t face listening to some of them. Send them to email@example.com
Here is an example of a song from Greg lake’s first solo LP, co-written with someone you would not expect to be associated with the Prog warbler. They did not actually sit in a room together to write the song. Here is what Greg says.
“I wanted to do a ???????? song on an album because I respect him a lot as a writer and as a performer, and I had a friend who used to be his tour manager. I didn’t want to do one of the regular songs of his that people cover. I wanted to see if I could get something unusual to sing, maybe something that he had not released. He gave me a half-finished song, and he said, ‘If you can finish it, then that might be the best solution,’ so that’s what happened.”
Guess the ???????? No cheating. The prize for the first correct answer is a copy of my forthcoming Green Christmas CD. Second prize? 2 copies….
I know that summer is barely over, but in the week when mince pies appeared in my local Co-op and The Archers has a story line about planning the Christmas play, I feel that we should join the bandwagon now.
So, here is what is – without a doubt – the best Christmas song ever.