Wednesday, December 09, 2009

A Christmas gift to you

Quick round-up of the most intriguing of the festive releases and giveaways of this most joyous time of the year:

  • The only albums our parents seemed to own were by Jim Reeves, spawning a lifelong gut reaction against the gravelly C&W star of yore. And to Come Back My Love by Darts, but that's slightly different. Camera Obscura have put their own MDF Of Sound spin on Reeves' tragic tale The Blizzard out as a 7".

  • We used to think of the Pet Shop Boys' 1997 fan club only single It Doesn't Often Snow At Christmas as a winner for our Christmas compilation. Now we've had to take it off as we fear The Man, as it's being issued properly in a new version as part of a Christmas EP, which also has a cover of Madness' My Girl and the Viva La Vida/Domino Dancing mix they've been doing live.

  • Also going medium length for the season are Slow Club, whose Christmas, Thanks For Nothing EP features two Darlene Love covers, Silent Night, all year round live favourite Christmas TV and two new songs.

  • You may know about Fucked Up's charity version of Do They Know It's Christmas?, featuring Yo La Tengo, GZA, Kyp Malone, Kevin Drew, Ezra Koenig, Bob Mould, Tegan & Sara, Andrew WK and David Cross. That's on all good download sites now. What you might not have come across is the British all-star song. The Magic Of Christmas is credited to HUNKS And Friends. Written and birthed by Rod Thomas and Radio 1 in Wales’ Jen Long, tapes went round so that contributions could be added by members of Los Campesinos!, Sky Larkin, Dananananaykroyd, Slow Club (again), The Airborne Toxic Event, Copy Haho, James Yuill, Sparky Deathcap, My First Tooth, Sound of Arrows and The Venus Stare, whoever they are. There is, of course, a tie-in blog.

  • Various Artists! Cherryade Records are the market leaders at these, and A Very Cherry Christmas 5 is no letdown, starring The School, The Lovely Eggs, The Bobby McGee's, Allo Darlin', Shrag, Foxes!, Das Wanderlust, Detox Cute and the Beauty Junkies, The Hi-Life Companion and ghost of music press past Everett True. Bubblewrap Records gave twelve largely Cardiff-based indiepop types one of the twelve days of Christmas signifiers each and asked them to write a song about it. The results are on 12 Days of Christmas, featuring The School, The Loves, Allo Darlin', The Bobby McGee's, Little My, Brontosaurus Chorus, The Rocky Nest, Speedmarket Avenue, Sweet Baboo and Silence At Sea among others. Remarkably, all the artists listed there also represented on A Very Cherry Christmas do so here with different songs. An Indiecater Christmas 2009 does well with standout acts Allo Darlin' again - Elizabeth must hold the national stock of festive cheer - Woodpigeon, Standard Fare and Boca Chica. Helen Llewellyn Product 19 Records, the people who brought you the Two Of The Beatles Have Died compilation, Christmas Blues EP brings together Mertle, Mr Huw, Lost Boy Scout and Filipino Dream Girls, plus on the download this year's traditional festive offering from MJ Hibbett. He's made two videos for it, split on gender lines, both of which are here. Where It's At Is Where You Are are offering a free four-track collection of its own, but don't want your money. Honey.

  • And neither do Jason Lytle or Parenthetical Girls, both of whom have free new stuff for you. Fanfarlo content themselves with an advent calendar of giveaways and videos related to their current and previous (spot the special guest star lurking with the band behind door 7) American tours, including a cover of Tom Waits' In The Neighbourhood. Maps Magazine are also carrying out their usual advent calendar o'fun, so far including a Brainlove Records treasure trove and a Victorian English Gentlemens Club exclusive remix. We'd also link here to Mitchell Museum's cover of Stop The Cavalry, but they've taken it down for some reason and so we will.

    More before Christmas, in all likelihood.

    Matt said...

    I missed Allo Darlin' supporting The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart last night - I walked in just as they were finishing - but I held a door open for Elizabeth and one of her chums at one point and got a disproportionately kindly smile in response, so it is possible that she could well have the national stock of festive cheer.

    Johnny Utah said...

    The mitchell museum version of stop the cavalry is back up and running.

    splinx said...

    Have you seen the Christmas videos for the Mr Huw track or the Filipino Dream Girls one? Ace!: