Well, last year was such a smashing success, Sam Billen's back for another Kickstarter Christmas project...and this time he brought friends. Among the artists expected to contribute to "A Light Is On" are Andrew Connor of Ghostly, Jordan Geiger of Hospital Ships, and the truly legendary Half-Handed Cloud (who could forget the classic "Asian Meterologists Predicted the Heavens To Snow Down A Child--A Child to Us (Plant A Little Fir Tree)").
Sam doesn't need to raise as much money as for last year's album, even though the project seems somewhat more ambitious. This year's project is chock full of sights, as well as sounds. The music (and art) will once again be on line to view and available for free download but, to fully enjoy the complete "A Light Is On" multi-media experience, you're going to want to get one of the 4GB custom flash drives Sam and his friends will be handing out to random strangers this year. And, unless you're going to be on the right street at the right time (Lawrence, Kansas being your best bet), the way to insure that you get one is by pledging $10 or more to Sam's Kickstarter project. Just $10 will get you a (pardon the expression) crapload of music and art on a 4GB custom flash drive that lights up like a Christmas tree light. How cool is that? Pledge $25 and you'll get three of the flash drives, so you can gift a pair to your friends or (if you're feeling the total Sam Billen holiday feeling) hand them out to random strangers on Your Street in Your Town USA. More than a dozen musicians and more than a dozen artists have agreed to contribute. And this is your way to be a part of the "Pay It Forward" Sam Billen spirit of Christmas. Head to Kickstarter to learn more.
You may remember in our piece on Christmas retail exclusives that we wondered aloud what Target exclusive we were missing. Target is currently carrying "A Very Country Christmas" featuring 8 holiday tracks from some of Country music's biggest names, 6 of them newly recorded. And it was previously announced that a Jim Brickman Christmas CD will make its way exclusively to Target shelves in November. But they usually have at least 3 exclusives and sometimes more. Turns out the newly released R&B set "A Ginuwine Christmas" is a Target exclusive. The digital version can be had at the usual download outlets, but, if you want the limited edition hard copy CD, you're going to have to make your way to a Target store. Wasn't able to locate a link for Internet purchases, so this might be in-store only. Additionally, Target continues to carry the Christmas albums from Taylor Swift and Sheryl Crow exclusively.
This might be a good time, too, to remind folks exploring The List to look at the whole thing and not just what's still ahead. We are constantly filling in gaps and adding releases. This is especially true of Indie CDs and downloads, which we don't always hear about in advance of their release.
1. Christmas Spirit
2. O Holy Night
3. Silent Night
4. I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day