So, last week, Seth MacFarlane does a bit of PR for "Holiday For Swing" and, today, Idina Menzel gives us the release date, title and cover art for "Holiday Wishes"--am I noticing a "holiday" theme this year? Anyway, there's Idina's cover off to your right. Look for the album October 14. The "Frozen" star promises "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas", "Holly Jolly Christmas", Joni Mitchell's "River" and a new song, "December Prayer". Full track list coming soon.
And Darius Rucker of Hootie & The Blowfish tells us his coming Christmas album will have "a couple originals on it and I think eight of the standard stuff". Among the highlights are "You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch" and "Baby Its Cold Outside" (a duet with Sheryl Crow).
There will also be a Christmas album from Blue Rodeo this year. "A Merrie Christmas To You" is scheduled for release November 4 and features a couple of holiday standards, a couple of originals, and a selection of more recent (and more folky) additions to the holiday canon, like Joni Mitchell's "River", Big Star's "Jesus Christ", and Gordon Lightfoot's "Song For A Winter's Night". The Canadian Country Rockers have been around since 1987, but the only Christmas track of theirs that I'm aware of is "Blue Christmas" from 1988 (and I'm not even positive that wasn't "promotional only"). This release, too, figures to be only available as an import this year, but at least it only has to come from Canada.
So what is "Metal Kalikimaka" anyway? It's the title of a forthcoming Christmas album from Tin Idols, a collective of Hawaii's best metal and hard rock artists. And technically, the album title is "Metal Kalikimaka--Volume 1". Hey, look, all that stuff above is great--I'm greatly looking forward to all of it--but I go out there looking for the absolutely new and different and the stuff that gets precious little publicity (if any) anywhere else. Last post, we had an exciting New Age project from David Lanz and Kristin Amarie and, this post, we're going all the way to the other end of the rainbow hoping to find another pot of gold (oh, wait...wrong holiday).
Tin Idols is the brainchild of producer/musician Gerald K. Gonsalves. Most Hawaiian music tends to be laid back and breezy, but Gerald is on a mission to expose the Islands and the rest of the world to Hawaii's fine Metal scene. To that end, he gathered up some of best musicians and vocalists of the genre playing the Islands and, last year, released an ambitious Metal reworking of "Jesus Christ Superstar" that they called "Jesus Christ Supernova". And it was well received, critically and commercially. So Gerald's "getting the band back together again" to take a run at the songs of the season. Hopefully, he'll have Cathy Malia Lowenberg back for this holiday outing; she did an awesome Mary Magdalene. Tin Idols are promising 17 tracks, including one original.
"Metal Kalikimaka" is crowd funded through Indiegogo. Unlike Kickstarter, Indiegogo lets the artist use whatever money they raise even if the campaign fails to reach its goal. But their target--which is mostly to cover the cost of licensing fees--is not at all unrealistic and they've got a couple of months to reach it. Who knows how this thing will turn out in the end? But its so crazy, it just might work. I'll drop a dime in the pot and hope the Tin Idols give us at least one track that's a Metal rendering of the Brothers Cazimero or Na Leo. That would be so totally worth it. That would be awesome. Judging from the taste we gave you up top (featuring Sandy Essman on vocals and Byron Moline on guitar), it's gonna be pretty awesome regardless. Visit the Tin Idols on Facebook and, if the spirit moves you, drop over to Indiegogo and let's get this record flying. Or...surfing. Or...canoe paddling. Or...whatever it is Metal Christmas records in Hawaii do.