Born in Portland, Oregon and working out of North Carolina, this rising Indie PowerPop singer/songwriter boasts teen idol good looks, an incredible ability for writing intelligent pop melodies and lyrics, a sound that's part Paul McCartney and part Alex Chilton, and a voice that author Carol Anshaw described as being "like the lost Everly Brother."
Yep, that's Jon alright. Lindsay has been busy busy busy, so we didn't get the holiday album we were hoping for. But we did get a Christmas single. Ish. "Could It Be Christmas?" really only has the title song that mentions Christmas ("Castles In France" does mention snow). But, you know what? It really doesn't matter because this is the best Pop/Rock music I've heard in decades. All 3 tracks are musically and lyrically brilliant. Seriously, if Jon Lindsay doesn't become huge, the people of America have lost their minds. Check it:
I'll give you my ghost cause your graveyard ain't full
You've only begun to begin
Catch and release me, don't keep me too long
Throw me back out to sea
Little girl won't you please
Oooh. Chills, that is so good. The hair on the back of my neck is standing up. That's from "Castles In France" which, so far, is my favorite from the set. Yes, even over the Christmas tune, although that's bloody brilliant as well. "Could It Be Christmas?" is at Amazon and iTunes.
Now, as if that weren't enough good cheer, Jon is actually giving away the title track--"Could It Be Chistmas?"--as a free download. You'll find it (and some other great free tunes) at Epitonic. Jon also has a project coming out December 6--"Rumormill"--from his band The Catch Fire. And, as Jon himself says, "The year ain't over yet".
House of Heroes has become a nearly annual contributor to the season. In 2008, they released "Silent Night". In 2009, House of Heroes put out a 3-song digital "Christmas Classics" EP (which included "Silent Night") and this year, the Christian Pop/Rock band has returned with a cover of Jackson Browne's "The Rebel Jesus". Personally, I still feel the best version of the song was turned in by The Violets.
You can get "The Rebel Jesus" from Amazon and other digital outlets.
Artist Vs. Poet has a Christmas EP in the works. Release date is officially December 6 for "Naughty Or Nice". For the lead track, the Power Pop trio has issued a video for their cover of Blink 182's "Happy Holidays, You Bastard".
Last year saw the band's "Christmas With You" on the label comp "Tis The Season To Be Fearless".
There's a very nice Appalachian Country sound on "Little Did They Know", a new release from the Rural Rhythm Records group. The song's author gets billing on the cover for the digital single, but the star is easily award winning Bluegrass vocalist Jana Mougin. Jana sounds very much like Alison Krauss on this one, which you can find at Amazon and iTunes.
Little Jackie benefitted greatly from the exposure the group received last year through Target's "The Christmas Gig" free download and corresponding ad campaign. "Mrs. Claus Ain't Got Nothing On Me" was one of the set's best tracks and the band has a lot more fans because of it. So this year, they have re-released their 2009 Christmas single, "All I Really Want For Christmas". You'll find it bearing the name of Little Jackie vocalist Imani Coppola and, right now, it's only available from the band's web store. It's not as good as "Mrs. Claus", IMO, but it's great to have it available again since it wasn't last year. You may or may not remember that Coppola had a huge hit with 1997's "Legend Of A Cowgirl" but wasn't able to follow that up. In 2008, she and Adam Pallin formed Little Jackie, taking the name from a Lisa Lisa & The Cult Jam hit single "Little Jackie Wants To Be A Star".
California Electro Pop group Runner Runner have released "Christmas In California (You're My Holiday)". Runner Runner is comprised of the same members as the skatepunk band Over It. Just two different musical sides to the same band. The more emo Runner Runner is essentially a side project, though they've recorded some good stuff since 2008. Pick this one up at Amazon or iTunes.
Kate Diaz is a 14 year old from Illinois who, as it happens, writes and sings and plays a little guitar. She's pretty good, too. Beats the hell out of Beiber, as far as I'm concerned. She's got a sometime gig at a local restaurant in Buffalo Grove. This is the third year she'll be raising money for the National Childhood Cancer Foundation's Cure Search For Children's Cancer. In the first year, Kate raffled off her guitar. Last year, she wrote and recorded an original Christmas song.
"Christmas Smiles" is a pretty good song, too. But the important thing to remember is that Kate will donate all her proceeds from downloads of this single made on iTunes and Amazon MP3 between Thanksgiving and December 25. Obviously, the more downloads Kate sells, the more money will go to finding a cure for children's cancer. Additionally, Kate has already held one benefit concert this year and will be holding another on December 4 at Let Them Eat Chocolate! in Chicago. And, of course, Kate also gives away whatever tips she makes at the restaurant. Last year, Kate raised a total of $1074.55, which is pretty impressive. This year, she'd like to raise more.
Download "Christmas Smiles" through Amazon MP3 or iTunes. To learn more, visit Kate's web site. And, although the download version is a full band and professionally produced, here's a video of Kate performing the song solo and unplugged.