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.
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
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
8. PAPER TONGUES/O Come
9. THE HAGUE/Hey Parkers Its Christmas
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.
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 pay...at 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.