November means I have more work to do on this here web site and, specifically, more tunes will be showing up on the Free List page and, yes, there are a couple of newbies up there right now. So you're going to have to click through fairly regularly, now, to stay caught up.
And November means that our good friends at Christmas A Go-Go are back in business! All hail Christmas A Go-Go! Gotta love them cats; they always have great stuff...most of which I miss. Stubby's may be the Mets of Christmas music, but Christmas A Go-Go are the Royals (damn it). They're just better than we are. They "keep the line moving" (and that is the last freaking time I ever want to hear that expression). I'm not ashamed to admit it (a little depressed, but not ashamed). Bitter about the World Series much? Just call me Mr. Coffee.
The set opens with a fairly awesome mix of Doo Wop and early Rock and Soul. We get a Blues favored Noir Rock outing with "Have I Been Naughty or Nice". And I don't care how stuck in the mud you may be, "Ride Santa Ride" is gonna make you move--don't try and fight it. That Sock Hop Blues Jumper reminds us that we were shakin' it off long before Taylor Swift was a gleam in her mother's eyes. More Noir Rock with a driving beat on "New Year's Day My Way". The gang's got Rockabilly covered and "Santa's Movin" has got a Bill Haley/Elvis Presley vibe. To close it out, "Happy New Year", a ballad that belongs among such iconic performances as Patsy Cline's "Crazy", Brenda Lee's "I'm Sorry" and Sam Cooke's recording of "A Change Is Gonna Come". Kerry Pastine & The Crime Scene really hit a home run with that one (crap, another baseball reference).
Every song on "It's A Crime Scene Christmas" is an original and every one is a winner. The sounds are, at once, familiar and fresh, vintage and cutting edge. That's not that easy to pull off. The guitar playing of Pauly "Six" Shellooe is perfect. The stand-up drumming of Mike "Mad Dog" Minnick couldn't be better. Lance "Romance" Bakemeyer slaps that stand-up bass like a doctor bringing a new life into the world--with precision and passion. (Somebody in the mix is adding a little organ). And Kerry Pastine is Wanda Jackson, Patsy Cline, Grace Slick and Ann Wilson all rolled into one.
What a great Christmas surprise "It's A Crime Scene Christmas" is. No hard copy on this, but the digital download should be available everywhere by the end of the week (official release date November 4). I think you'll get the best deal by ordering from the band via Bandcamp. Thanks again to Christmas A Go-Go for finding this one (and welcome back; we missed you).