Stubbys House of Christmas       
 
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1.  Miss Santa Claus
2.  This Mus Be Christmas
3.  Jack Frost
4.  Ice Ice Baby
5.  My Wish
6.  Cuddle Up
7.  Sleigh Rider
8.  Wintertime
9.  Get Festive

ARTIST WEB SITE
ARTIST WEB STORE
AMAZON (US)--NOT AVAILABLE


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1.  Miss Santa Claus

2.  This Mus Be Christmas
3.  Jack Frost
4.  Ice Ice Baby
5.  My Wish
6.  Cuddle Up
7.  Sleigh Rider
8.  Wintertime
9.  Get Festive

ARTIST WEB SITE
ARTIST WEB STORE

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Si Cranstoun
The stuff I miss far outweighs the stuff I find and one reason the search always goes on is to ensure that, eventually, I catch up with really awesome confections like "Get Festive" that I missed initially.  And, seriously, I cannot recommend this CD highly enough.  I mean, WOW.  Just WOW.  I can scarcely think of fans of any genre this wouldn't appeal to.

The Dualers are/were brothers Tyber and Si Cranstoun.  Based in the UK, their father was a Ska promoter, so putting together their own Ska band seemed a natural thing to do.  The brothers scuffled and even charted a couple of tunes.  In 2010, Si embarked on a solo career to move in a more Soul/R&B direction leaving Tyber to front The Dualers.  And you can probably hear the beginnings of that split in "Get Festive".  The Dualers release is from 2007 (that's the one I bought) and I have little doubt that the 2010 release of "Get Festive" credited to Si Cranstoun is the exact same record repackaged, since it's pretty clear that this is and always was Si's album.

While Ska rhythms certainly corse through many of these tracks, Si's voice is so incredibly soulful and the arrangements so well and carefully done that "Get Festive" is far more an homage to the history of Soul music than anything else.  Comparisons to Jackie Wilson are impossible to avoid, given Si's voice, energy and moves.  He breezes easily through a multitude of retro Soul stylings, Doo Wop, early Blues, R&B, Northern Soul.  And, on the album's ballad, "Cuddle Up", you might swear at times Si's channeling Nat King Cole.  All 9 tracks were written by Si--not a cover of Bing or Mariah or Wham in sight--and most are more than worthy of being, themselves, covered often for generations to come.

If you're a Ska fan, you'll probably like this album well enough.  But if you have any affinity at all for classic Soul--especially from the 40s, 50s and 60s--you're going to L-O-V-E love this one.  And, let me tell you, this sounds extremely cool on an extremely hot July afternoon, too.  Highlights include the upbeat "Sleigh Rider", the infectious "Miss Santa Claus" and the previously mentioned "Cuddle Up".  But there's not a slacker on the program.  Two of the tracks from "Get Festive" are available domestically from Amazon MP3 for 89 cents each--"Miss Santa Claus" and "This Mus Be Christmas"--but I heartily recommend you just get the full CD.

 
 
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PURCHASE FROM AMAZON (JAPAN)
PURCHASE FROM CD JAPAN
ARTIST WEB SITE
This is the latest from J-Pop star 
Hyadain (Kenichi Maeyamada).  He's generally known as a composer of anime songs, but he also likes to cut loose with some original jams, like this one, which he composes on his PC.  "Xmas? I Don't Know Such A Thing" (also translates as"Christmas?  What's That?  Is It Tasty?") is about being single at Christmastime.  And it's not a happy song.  Hyadain isn't singing"Jingle Bells"; he's singing "Single Hell".  And, as I understand it, when you see the girls dancing around with the laptop computers, Hyadain is singing about free internet porn (and giving a whole new meaning to the phrase "White Christmas").  It's all in good fun, though, kinda like Andy Samberg's Lonely Island tunes.  And it doesn't hurt that Hyadain recruited cute young actress Takayama Yuko for the video.  The song will be available, with numerous mixes, on an extended CD/DVD single due out November 23.  

 
 

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1.  We Cook With Fire - I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
2.  Jaap Boots - Kerstmis In De Tropen
3.  Roald Van Oosten - Donda Esta Santa Claus 
4.  Mist - The Bell That Couldn't Jingle
5.  Me - Away In A Manger 
6.  Cloudmachine - Old Waits Carol
7.  Kaat Hellings - Petit Papa Noel
8.  Hospital Bombers - Het Is Geboren Het God'lijk Kind
9.  Hunter Complex - Christmas 4 Am Alone
10. Rob Boskamp - In Exelsis Deo (feat Sonya)
11. Spoelstra - Space Christmas
12. Eddy De Clercq & Friends - Silent Night 
13. Monte La Rue - I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
                  
ALBUM SITE                    14. Grandmaster O - Santa Cut

   PURCHASE DOWNLOAD VIA iTUNES
            PURCHASE CD AT BOL.COM
               HUNTER COMPLEX MIX

Ah, I missed them so.  Our good friends at the Christmas blog with an international flair, Christmas A Go Go, have returned for the season and, among their first orders of business, they've alerted us to this collection of mostly Dutch artists covering some of the great and not so great in a techno dance pop vein.  Roald Van Oosten covers Augie Rios, Spoelstra covers Shoen Knife, Mist covers Herb Alpert and/or Bobby Vinton, and Kaat Hellings gives a sensual read to "Petit Papa Noel" (but, then, everything sounds sensual in French).  Grandmaster O closes things out with a bit of a MashUp, though I expect we'll hear better on "Santastic V".

You may notice, on the cover at at the Hunter Complex link, the inclusion of some of those being covered--Bobby Vinton, Big John Greer, Jimmy Boyd, etc.  Well, I suspect international licensing proved to be more challenging then the folks at Sonic Scenery had hoped because all the versions I have seen for sale are only 14 tracks long (the Hunter Complex mix is 23 tracks long).  The good news, if any of this strikes your fancy, is that you can find "Christmas Cover Up" on American iTunes (where its listed as a "partial album" and all tracks are a la carte only).  The bad news, I guess, is if you want the version with Johnny Cash and Jimmy Boyd, you'll have to keep an eye on the overseas stores and see if the physical CD contains them.
 

    International

    When it's Christmas, it's Christmas all over the world. And I've long been fascinated by the holiday songs of faraway lands--so different and new and yet somehow so familiar.  

    Archives

    Christian Bautista
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    Sanna, Shirley & Sonja
    Aoi Teshima
    Mans Zelmerlow
    VA-Christmas Cover Up
    VA-Fra Danske Hjerter
    VA-Make Merry Christmas
    VA-NOW Christmas 2010
    VA-NOW Christmas 2011
    VA-Santas Funk & Soul
    VA-The Spirit of Christmas
    VA-Spirit of Christmas 2011
    VA-Yule
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    Macross Frontier

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