Stubbys House of Christmas       
 
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As the New Year approaches, and with Christmas 2012 seeming already to be fading in the rear view mirror, it's only natural that many obsessive Christmas music lovers think it's time to kick back and take a few months off.  Well, get that thought right out of your head!  "Nothing is over until we decide it is!  Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?  Hell, no!"

Now's the time to start planning for next year, to catch up on stuff that we missed (we've got a couple of new entries on the Previews page, including the annual Zunior Christmas compilation), to grab those free downloads while they're still free, and to help fund those projects that will make next Christmas the bestest Christmas ever!  "Who's with me? Let's go!"

.........

"What the eff happened to the Stubby's readership I used to know?  Where's the spirit?  Where's the guts, huh?  This could be the greatest night of our lives, but you're gonna let it be the worst.  'Ooh, we're afraid to go with you Stubby, we might get in trouble.'  Well, just kiss my ass from now on.  Not me!  I'm not gonna take this."

Sorry, got carried away.  I do love Animal House.

Point is, there's work to be done.  Music to find and projects to fund.

We're in the Home Stretch of the Indiegogo funding drive for Mitchell Kezin's amazing movie, "Jingle Bell Rocks!"  It's a movie about us--we crazy obsessive Christmas music hunters--and the music we love, for Christmas sake.  There's only 4 days left--tick--3!  Just THREE days left!  And Mitchell's not even at 10% of what he needs to finish this movie.  Where's the support from the Stubby's readership?  Where's the love?  I'm ashamed of you.  And you.  And...no, not you, not you...but that guy...yes, YOU!  Unlike Kickstarter, (I'm pretty sure) Mitchell doesn't have to raise the full amount for your pledges to count.  But every penny really counts, because, in the end, he needs what he needs to make this movie.  You better be good, for goodness sake.  How bout ponying up a little bit of that Christmas cash, eh?

Alright, OK, I can see this hard sell isn't working.  We'll have to resort to....bribery!  Bob Dorough, Jazz and Beat legend, the author (and vocalist) of Miles Davis' immortal "Blue Xmas (To Whom It May Concern)", has kindly donated 5 (FIVE) personally autographed copies of his exceptional (and impossible to find) book and CD package, Blue Xmas. And Mitchell will give those bribes--er, rewards--to the first five people who contribute $125 or more to the campaign.  For more info, check the updates section at Indiegogo.

So what are we waiting for?  "I think this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part and we're just the guys to do it!"  THREE days left, people.  

Now, this rant was written with a bit of tongue in cheek.  It's a--I say, I say--it's "hugh-muh", son.  But, really, "Jingle Bell Rocks!" is a movie about us, about our prides and passions.  It's about us, it's for us, it's our movie.  Don't you want to be a part of it?  You'll never have to explain to your friends and relatives ever again, as they roll their eyes (mentally mocking you) why we do what we do.  You can tell them, "Just watch the movie."  Check my previous rant here.  THREE days left people.  Go to Indiegogo, now, and give what you can.  Don't make me come back here with Sarah McLachlan and a bunch of sad-eyed cats and dogs, alright?


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Now another important matter has been brought to my attention by my friend, Ken, at Sounds of Christmas.

Lester Chambers is a rock and roll god.  He should be living it up on the royalties from all the great music he wrote and sang with The Chambers Brothers in the 60s.  But Lester never got any of that money.  If ever there was a poster child for the record industry's abuse and ripping off of an artist or artists, it's Lester Chambers.  Of course, those of us who grew up with "Time Has Come Today"--one of THE single most iconic songs of the 6os--never realized how badly Lester had been ripped off until, when the Occupy movement was just getting started, this picture was posted online and went viral.  It reads:

“I am the former lead singer of a 60′s band. I did not squander my money on drugs or a fancy home. I went from 1967-1994 before I saw my first royalty check. The music giants I recorded with only paid me for 7 of my albums. I have never seen a penny in royalties from my other 10 albums I recorded. Our hit song was licensed to over 100 films, TV & commercials without our permission. One major TV network used our song for a national commercial and my payment was $625 dollars. I am now 72, trying to live on $1200 a month. Sweet Relief, a music charity, is taking donations for me. Only the 1% of artists can afford to sue. I am the 99%.”

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Lester Chambers and his son, Michael Dylan Chambers
Think about that.  For 30 years, the music industry made millions off of Lester's music before he ever saw a dime.  That's an obscenity.

We can't set right all the past wrongs of the world, but we can do our part to have Lester's back going forward.  We can thank him for the music, for the joy, for the influence, by supporting him now.

Lester Chambers is funding a new album through a Kickstarter campaign.  And, yes, people have rallied to his side and Lester has already raised well beyond his $39,000 goal.  The new album has been fully funded and will be made.

So where can we come in?  What's the Christmas tie-in, exactly?  For a pledge of just $5, Lester will give you a pair of Christmas songs.  You'll hear his take on "Jingle Bells" as well as Lester's version of the all-too-seldom heard Chambers Brothers Christmas song "Merry Christmas Happy New Year".  More importantly, for a small contribution, you'll let Lester know that we, none of us, are as bad as the people who ripped him off.  Buying his records, it was never our intention to deprive him of the fruits of his labors.  We've got your back, Lester.  We are the 99%, too.

Now I'm sure I've offended someone, politically.  And I'll tell you right now I will not tolerate a political debate on this Christmas music web site.  But, frankly, I don't care.  If you can't see something wrong in what was done to Lester Chambers, then there's just something wrong with you as a person.  Get some help.

You can find out more about Lester's backstory and the project, and you can make a donation/pledge if you wish to, at Kickstarter.  The pledge drive ends January 9, 2013.


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Closing this post on an altogether lighter note, the one and only Richard Cheese is raising money through Kickstarter for a new Christmas album he hopes to release in 2013, "Live At The North Pole".  If you don't know Richard Cheese, you must be new here.  Richard garnered gigantic giggles from the Christmas collector crowd a few years back with the now classic "Christmas In Las Vegas"--a mixtape favorite and cheese-y lounge send-up of Christmas Vegas style.  Mistletunes called him "the Weird Al of lounge lizards".  The album that ensued, "Silent Nightclub", featured cheese-y snarky lounge versions of New Wave hits, including a 20 second version of "Last Christmas".  You see, "Cheese" isn't just his last name, it's his middle name.  And it isn't just his middle name, it's what he does.

Whereas Richard's "Silent Nightclub" featured satirical song choices for a Christmas album ("Ice Ice Baby" and "Holiday In Cambodia" for example), "Live At The North Pole" will feature Richard's satirical lounge versions of actual Christmas songs (like "Deck The Halls" and "Jingle Bells").  There will be a "Conversation With Santa Claus".  No, really.  He also promises his "hit", "Christmas In Las Vegas", and a new version, "Hanukkah In Las Vegas".  Oy vey!  It's a mixtapers dream (or nightmare) come true!

As always at Kickstarter, there are incentives for your pledge.  Just $5 will reserve a digital copy of "Live At The North Pole".  For just $8, you'll get the physical CD (SRP $11).  For just $16, you'll get TWO CDs, one autographed and one not.  And $25 will get you SIX CDs--two of them personally autographed to whomever you wish.  Get your 2013 Christmas shopping done before the New Year even starts, eh?

So head to Kickstarter between now and January 22nd and say "More Cheese, please" with your pledge.  C'mon.  Be a Cheesehead.  It's not just for Packers fans anymore.  And, anyway, all the cool kids are doing it.

 


Comments

12/29/2012 22:30

MY SINCERE THX & Gratitude to you Martin for yet another fine post in support f the movie...I'd hoped that the many unique perks & incentives (incl. special edition DVD copies of the fished film) would generate a little more enthusiasm and interest from the Christmas music community. But I do understand how tough it is for folks to part with hard earned dollars, ESP at Christmastime when every penny has to be stretched far & wide.

We/I have received sme incredible support from folks like you who have generously taken there topmost about the project, and who have tried to solicit funds on our behalf -- for all your efforts, thank you from the bottom of my poor & pleading heart !

We will finish the movie, come hell or high water, but by way of a concrete example, I'd like to let all you kindred Christmas Spirits out there know the kinds of expenses we are up against: As many of you know, we've secured the exclusive participation of Sandra Dedrick (Chris Dedrick's sister) and Moira Dedrick (Chris's widow) who I interviewed last December for the film. And, in the chapter in the movie about The Free Design, we hope to feature a wonderful archival clip from The Mike Douglas Show dated December 16th, 1968 of the band performing "Close Your Mouth (It's Christmas) !!! It is a stunning piece of footage, in all it's techno colour glory, but CBS Television, who own the clip, are charging us $ 15,000 U.S to use just 30 seconds of this clip.

So, that is the kind of situation we are up against...and it may seem like we've no need for money - given that we've secured artists such as Joseph "Reverend Run DMC" Simmons, but the truth of the matter is, having all the wonderful artists we do matters not if we can't finish the film, so we really do need all the support that fans of this subculture can provide!

My sincere thanks & Happy New Year wishes to you & yours !
2013 is gonna be one helluva a grand year...ESP come December ; P

Warmest Wishes,
Mitchell

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