Stubbys House of Christmas       
Thank goodness for my friends at Christmas A-Go-Go.  I was beginning to think the Internets had gone crazy.  There's FREE Christmas music out there--including some of the annual traditions we all wait for with baited breath--and nobody's mentioning them.  Except Christmas A-Go-Go.  Bless their eclectic hearts.  Forget Black Friday.  No sale beats FREE.

Now, I know.  Its Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and all.  Places to be, people to go.  And, me, too, I usually like to listen and evaluate and offer up insightful commentary and clever witticisms.  And that's all well and good for some of these.  But the ROSEBUDS "Christmas Tree Island" is only available FREE for a week.  And about half of that week is gone.  Run, do not walk, over to Noisetrade this very minute and get ye a download code.   I'll wait.

"Christmas Tree Island" is simply brilliant Alt Rock/Indie Pop stuff.  Don't take my word for it.  Check this review from my pal at Christmas Underground.  Released just last year, this band from my adopted home of North Carolina WOULD likely have made my Top Ten of the year, had I bought the album.  Money was tight then.  Its tighter now.  And I will buy that CD one day soon.  But FREE?  How can you turn that down?  Go, go, go!  Noisetrade.  Now!

But wait!  There's more!

The annual Paste Magazine Holiday Sampler is out!  Released just today, I haven't had a full chance to check it out, yet.  But there are certainly some familiar names alongside the new discoveries.  The names don't come any more familiar than Otis Redding.  This year's Paste Sampler includes his classic version of "Merry Christmas Baby".  The best of the best!  There's a track from the new Nick Lowe album, here.  And Sufjan.  Gotta have a little Sufjan.  This 14 course holiday feast is free for the taking at Noisetrade.

1.  Christmas In The Room/SUFJAN STEVENS
2.  Snow Falls Down/GOOD OLD WAR
3.  Christmas Thyme/THE OLMS
4.  Joy To The World/SEABIRD
5.  The Christmas Song/MICAH DALTON
6.  Children Go Where I Send Thee/NICK LOWE
7.  Merry Christmas Baby/OTIS REDDING
8.  Blue Christmas/BRIGHT EYES
9.  Everything's Changed/DREW HOLCOMB & THE NEIGHBORS
10. Could've Been Summer/MAGGIE CHAPMAN
11. Jesus Gonna Do His Best/J RODDY WATSON & THE BUSINESS
12. Baby, It's Cold Outside/LITTLE HURRICANE
13. They Shined Up Rudolph's Nose/DAVE MAYFIELD PARADE
14. Carol Of The Bells/THE LAST BISON

Even Christmas A-Go-Go hasn't gotten around to mentioning another of our favorite annual Christmas delights, "XO for the Holidays".  And Volume 6 is now fully cooked and ready to eat, thanks to the holiday music chefs at XO Publicity.  I still haven't figured out why this public relations firm got into the free Christmas music business, but I'm awfully glad they did.  I sampled the new edition earlier on, before all the tracks were in.  Let's face it, you can never go wrong with Piney Gir.  Also very much enjoyed The Smoking Flowers' contribution and Magnuson's "O Holy Night".  Get "XO fot the Holidays" FREE from XO Publicity.  And, heck, if you missed any of the earlier volumes, they're all still there for you to be had.

1.  ST. CLOUD/Bombay Beach Christmas
 2.  MAGNUSON/O Holy Night
 3.  THE SMOKING FLOWERS/Ho Ho Ho (A Bow And Nothing More)
 4.  PINEY GIR/Every Day's A Holiday
 5.  HERE COMES EVERYBODY/Christmas in September  
 6.  FRED ROTH REVUE/Reindeer Get Lonley 
 7.  ELECTRIC SHEPHERD/Angels in the Grove
 9.  THE HAGUE/Hey Parkers Its Christmas 

Now that you can't rely on Stubby's--and you can't, not this year anyway--where are you going to go to find the best free Christmas music?  For my money (which is to say none), nobody is better on that beat than Lie In The Sound.  They just might be the best blog ever invented, period.  In fact, I just moved them up the Festive Friends list, since I go there so often (What?  You thought those links were for you?).  Christoph and Brigitte are good friends of our little corner of the web and vice versa.  This year's Christmas reviews are in German only, but music is a universal language.  I found some real gems there, already.  A 2009 collection from the Pursesnatchers (knew about "Christmas Lights", but not the rest of it, and its wonderful), a nice Starbucks styled Jazz cover of "Let It Snow" from another resident of Germany, Jenny Scott, and Dave Stewart of Eurythmics is offering up downloads of 4 of his original Christmas tunes from the still unavailable Cocktail Christmas album (it's a Twitter thing and I don't do Twitter).

But there was another free download presented at Lie In The Sound that just might be my favorite new Christmas song of the season (although I am very fond of the title track from Kelly Clarkson's latest)--"The Last Christmas" by Brainpool.  Not speaking/reading German, I was immediately drawn to the cover art...a kitty cat staring at a golden handgernade Christmas ornament.  I couldn't resist.  Could you?  And I was blown away.  No, no, no.  This is no Wham cover track, but an original that juxtaposes the jolly of the season with the absurdity of modern times.  Peace on Earth?  Yeah, right!  Musically, the song has a bright and cheerful Indie Phil Spector vibe.  It's just the cheeriest, most upbeat music imaginable.  It's so infectious, the lyrical punch sneaks up on you.  About the second or third chorus, you find yourself singing along and then you realize, wait, what now?  God, this is awesome!  Check it out.

I never worry that the pop and rock (and even country) Christmas tunes will get some blog play.  But, much like Stubby's, Lie In The Sound, casts a much wider sonic net.  That's why they're invaluable.

My own travels, through the series of tubes that make up the interwebs, have been few this year, but I did find a tasty treat or two to tickle your ear buds.

For example, here's a digital EP that you probably wouldn't hear about anywhere but here.  Glenn Crytzer's Savoy Seven play old school Hot Jazz and they play it very well.  A Little Love This Christmas features 5 tracks and two alternate takes for the price of...well, whatever price you want to Bandcamp.  You can swing out to "Jingle Bells" or get yourself a cup of java and a front row seat for the title track.  But my fave, here, is "Old Man Winter Blues".  Whatever else he does, Glenn plays a mean guitar, and that talent takes center stage on this one.  I wanna jam with that dude; he's got hip chops.

Finally, you rarely see a cover of Joe Turner's Jump Blues  holiday classic "Christmas Date Boogie"  And there's good reason for that.  I mean, c'mon, you're never gonna beat Joe Turner; his version of that song is definitive.  But so is Bing's "White Christmas" and that hasn't stopped anybody.  Joe Bonamassa went there, and he gives the track his best rock and roll swagger and stray cat strut.  Lots on energy on this one, available from Joe's web site.



11/29/2013 08:50

I am blushing, really I am Stubby! You are much bemissed even when you are there in a really "no, no I am not here" way. This year is just insane, I have bookmarked so many new releases already. So glad that I don't find even more new great stuff through you, sorry... ;-) But there's still those irresistible guys from Christmas A Go Go and Christmas Underground is a great blog too. The later suffers from the same desease we do (adding a lot of words to music that speaks for itself syndrom).

Much love from Berlin
Brigitte xxx

11/29/2013 10:28

Thank you for the links to all the great music! I really appreciate all the hard work you put in to this site. It makes my holidays so much better, and for that I'm very thankful.

Every year I make a Christmas CD mix myself. They're available for download here:

Maybe there's something you'd like. Happy holidays!

California George
11/29/2013 11:31

So nice to have you back, Stubby. You make the holiday's brighter. Be sure to grab the new Beta Radio EP, The Songs the Season Brings: Vol. 3. Free for a limited time.

11/29/2013 12:15

Always good to hear from you Stubby!
Thanks for the info.

David O
11/29/2013 18:16

Great to hear from you Stubby - in one single post, you have made Christmas so much merrier and brighter!

11/30/2013 11:57

Nothing? Are you kidding? Page 73 - Christmas Underground! I'm somebody now! Millions of people look at this site everyday! This is the kind of spontaneous publicity - your site in print - that makes people. I'm in print! Things are going to start happening to me now.

Thanks for the shout out Stubby! Great to see you popping on every so often. And to find that Brigitte has read my site is indeed quite nice.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving - looking forward to deluge of Christmas releases!

Der Bingle
12/05/2013 09:53

Dude - *great* comment. I have to admit - it took a couple readings before I got it. Comment of the year, IMHO :-)

11/30/2013 12:35

Linked XO on the blog, as you told me to. Sorry I missed it ;-)

Your pal, Jim
12/03/2013 07:07

Hey, Stubby!

Hope you make a full return soon!

Also, Santastic 8 has dropped, as per the vernacular of the day -


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