Stubbys House of Christmas       
 
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Irish shoegazers September Girls have teamed up The #1s to create this raw Lo-Fi rocker that Little Steven would probably love.  You can download "I Want You Back (For Christmas)" via Soundcloud.

 
 
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I'm not sure how much of an impact the Dandy Warhols made on the American consciousness back in the day, but virtually every Christmas music collector remembers them for their stirring 1994 single "Little Drummer Boy", a mix of shoegaze and garage rock.  It was just the kind of thing Christmas fanatics lived for--weird and wonderful.  To be honest, I wasn't even aware that the Portland band still existed.  But they do.  And they've decided that 17 years between Christmas singles is enough.  The Dandy Warhols have recorded "Silent Night" and paired it with the original "Little Drummer Boy", creating a free Christmas digital single-slash-ecard.  It's an interesting take, though it lacks the garage elements entirely.  The dirge like tune plays, they whisper the lyrics and then, mid record, someone recites Longfellow's "Christmas Bells".  Well.  Anyway, it's cool that they're still around and that they've come up with a cool twist on the Christmas single.  Head to the Dandy Warhols web site, enter your name and email and the emails of three friends and then everybody gets the ecard and you get your downloads.  And, don't worry, if you haven't got any friends--or at least none that would appreciate a Dandy Warhols ecard--you can leave those spaces blank.  But you might want to enter your own email as a friend so you can get the ecard in addition to the download.  Just sayin'.

 
 
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1.  A Gift For You - Super Fossil Power
2.  Spike The Eggnog - Parlovr
3.  Pinheirinho - Donzelle
4.  A Damn Fine Christmas Tree - The Sunnies
5.  As Long As We're Both Present - Roadpops
6.  Christmas In Villeray - DigitMissile Command
7.  I Never Get What I Want (For Christmas) - Malcolm Sailor
8.  Sevivon (Dreidl Song) - Abigail Lapell
9.  Santa Suit Tattoo (Xmas 4 Eva) - Amber & Erin
10. Inappropriate Christmas Song - Mixylodian
11. How I Learned To Hate The Snow - Doug Hoyer
12. Get Down To Christmas - Teen Seagull
13. Wikileaks Winter - Banana Lazuli
14. Long Johns - Hamilton Trading Co.
15. I'm Santa - Parlovr
16. So Cold - Super Fossil Power
17. Jinglen Belld - Gambletron & Rumble
                                                                                                       DOWNLOAD FREE AT BANDCAMP

I wish there was a method to my madness, but there isn't.  Consequently I just stumble along the Internets until I trip over something and, picking myself up, wonder aloud "How did that thing get there?"  Thus it is that I'm at least a year late picking up on the "Feats of Strength Holiday Compilation 2010".  Feats of Strength doesn't appear to be an actual "label"--although they might be (a somewhat less than exhaustive search turned up a seemingly abandoned MySpace site and an equally desolate Facebook page, and not much else).  Rather it appears to be a collective of unsigned Montreal Indie artists who find that, on occasion, there is strength in numbers; so, every so often, they do a collective show and, every so often, they create downloadable collections to peak the music seeker's curiosity to seek out the actual bands involved (who DO have active web sites...most of them anyway).

"Feats of Strength Holiday Compilation 2010" contains mostly music that's well off the beaten path.  It's much more Indie Experimental and not so much Indie Pop.  But, if you're adventurous (and I know that you are), there are some gems to be mined here--especially for those who like to add a bit of a mindbender to their holiday mixes.

For my part, I came across this looking for Hanukkah music, so there's Abegail Lapell's "Sevivon" which had a sort of Psych Folk vibe.  Pretty cool.  The set's more accessible jams include Amber & Erin's "Santa Suit Tatoo" and Doug Hoyer's Indie Uke workout "How I Learned To Hate The Snow".  On the other end of the scale, there's definitely something to be said for the steel drum snyth pop weirdness that is Mixylodian's "Inappropriate Christmas Song".  Hamilton Trading Co.'s "Long Johns" could be subtitled "campfire folk music gone wrong".  I was with Teen Seagull and their "Get Down To Christmas"--really diggin' it--until it...just ended.  "Wikileaks Winter" will make you think you stumbled into a Halloween collection for a bit and "Jinglen Belld" will have you convinced that something--either your mp3 player or your mind--is seriously broken.  Parlovr we dealt with last year.  Really, the rule of the road, here, is kinda dive in head first and see if something strikes your fancy.  

But wait!  There's more!  Feats of Strength's 2009 collection "Holiday Songs" is also free at Bandcamp.  Don't miss Mixylodian's "Zombie Girlfriend Christmas" on that one.  And, if you still haven't gotten your fill of Indie oddness, I also came across a 2008 collection (though a non-holiday one) from the Feats of Strength folks...free for the downloading at Megaupload.  No email address required for any of this...just bring your sense of adventure.
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1.  There Is No Rose Suicide - Max Henry
2.  Happiness Like Christmas Comes And Weirds You Out - Jessie Stein
3.  Zombie Girlfriend Christmas - Mixylodian
4.  Deck The Halls - Adam Waito
5.  Where The Pine Trees Grow - Ava Luna
6.  Warm My Heart With Your Sweet Embrace - Johnny Hohner & The Hawaiian Hornets
7.  Prison Bells - Fall Horsie
8.  Christmastime Is Here - Cody Django
9.  First Up In The Morning - Kvetching Month
10. All I Want For Christmas 2012 Is To Get With You - Allen Ramenberg
11. I'm Santa - Louis J.
12. Spike The Eggnog - Tiny Timbit & Lil' Gin

 
 
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1.  Silent Night 
2.  Joy to the World 
3.  Silver Bells (of Destruction) 
4.  I'll Be Droned for Christmas
5.  Holiday Trash Medley
6.  The First Noel 
7.  Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
8.  (There's No Place Like) Home for the Holidays 
9.  It Came Upon a Midnight Clear 
10.  O Little Town of Bethlehem
11.  This Is What Child This Is 
12.  Frosty the Psycho Shoegazer Snowman
13.  O Come All Ye Faithful 
14.  O Christmas Tree

15.  Away In A Manger Of Dreams
16.  Bethlehem (The Unofficial 51st State)                                            DOWNLOAD FREE AT NOISETRADE
17.  This Is What Child This Is (Frogs In The Manger Mix)  

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The EleFUNt in the room, by CT Johnston
So I did my due downloading diligence on this one, popped it in the player, and started listening at, you know, track one--the beginning.  "Well, now," I thought to myself, "that sounds mighty familiar."  Strange, sure, but familiar.  Contrary to what you may have heard (and I don't know who would be spreading such rumors), I do not remember everything I listen to.  So, like Richard Dreyfus playing with his mashed potatoes, I was forced to conclude "this means something".

Sure enough, a quickie search of my own web site revealed that Chad Thomas Johnston has graced our pages before.  Back in December of last year, I came across the "name your own price" Bandcamp collection "All Is Calm, All Is Bright" and, giving it a two line description (I've got to get back to those) posted it on our Free page in the hope and belief that others would give it a listen or two and mentally apply their own two line description.

"Stalking Stuffers" is essentially an expanded edition of "All Is Calm, All Is Bright", so you get the same weirdness as before, only there's more of it!  

And two of the three new tracks were pretty damn cool, I thought (your mileage may vary).  OK, so I didn't get the "Frogs In The Manger Mix", but maybe that's just me.  "Away In A Manger Of Dreams", on the other hand, is a dreamy bit of Ambient electronica (or something), at least until the baby noises kick in.  

And whatever you think of the rest of the collection, you simply must download this for "Bethlehem (The Unofficial 51st State)".  "Bethlehem" was written for the 2007 Asthmatic Kitty Sufjan Stevens song writing contest.  Sufjan would choose a winning entry, record it and, in exchange, give the song's author the rights to one of his songs...forever.  Or something like that.  Well, I can't remember what song Sufjan picked, but I think he missed the boat entirely.  "Bethlehem" is genius!  Genius I tellz ya!  Check these lyrics:
A Theremin for Tiny Tim,
For Scrooge a Fender™ Squire.
Frosty belted bari sax
and melted by the fire.
Rudolph lapped the puddle up
and joined in with the choir.


And the music is great, too.  I know, I know...some folks listening to this will say Chad Thomas Johnston has sold out and gone commercial.  Well, that's your hang up.  There's still plenty of low-fi weirdness here.  But the man has a family and five cats to feed after all.  Would one hit Christmas song be such a terrible thing?  

Anyway, I haven't been able to get the song out of my head and I'm actually thinking that's a good thing.  So head on over to Noisetrade or to the official Chad Thomas Johnston website, or, heck, just use the widgety thing right here and download your free collection of "Stalking Stuffers: Coal For The Stocking In Your Soul".  Hmmm.  I wonder if he does Hanukkah songs?

 

    The FREE List

    Here we hope to direct you to some of the Christmas music on the web that can be yours absolutely free.  We will not direct you to mp3 or sharity sites, here, but only to artist sites, label sites, and other authorized and unquestionably legal locations.

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