First up is a Christmas 7" that you can get through another Kickstarter campaign. Tristen Gaspadarek is one of the hottest emerging singer/songwriters around. Her hooks and pop sensibilities are second to none. Her sound is just a touch raw (with influences like Patti Smith, you'd expect no less). And, working and playing in Nashville, Tristen's records have just enough Nashville influence to appeal to audiences of multiple genres. Tristen has recorded 3 Christmas songs to press onto the 45--"Blue Christmas", "Winter Is Blue" and "Frosty The Snowman".
The good news is that Tristen has already reached and surpassed her pledge goal. The even better news is that a pledge of a mere $5 will reserve your very own copy of the "Decks The Halls" single. It would likely cost you that much or more to buy any 7" single anywhere. And you've still got two weeks (up until November 30) to get your pledge in. Now it is too late to get one of Tristen's handmade journals or scarves (unless you're down for $250 or more), but you can still get an autographed copy and an autographed poster for $25. Mostly, though, just get a pledge in for the single so you don't have to worry about--or worse, regret--not getting it.
Topping the list is a vinyl re-release of a very rare 1955 Christmas single from Sun Ra. Sun Ra is remembered today for his prolific recordings of cosmic jazz (and that little side trip to Saturn). But, back in 1955, he was making spacey doo wop records backing groups like The Qualities to keep his label going. Both of these sides--"It's Christmas Time" and "Happy New Year To You"--were included on the CD collection "The Singles", but having them back on vinyl is a wonderous thing. It's a freakin' Christmas miracle is what it is.
Norton's other two Christmas singles this year are, it would appear, newly recorded. From, to use Norton's phrase, "everyone's favorite obnoxious Christian Rock band"--Knights of the New Crusade--comes "Christmas (At Montsegur)"/"Three Magi of Damascus". And, finally, there's some serious raw roots rock in "Who Likes Christmas Anyway" from East L.A.'s Luis & The Wildfires, which just might be the most exciting of the three when all is said and done. So far no purchase link, but just root around Norton sometime next week and you'll likely find them all linked up and ready to go.
From Haust, we get "No Christmas" (which I'd play for you, but I think I spotted some seriously bad words in there and we try to tread lightly with that around here). You can check it out yourself on the label's SoundCloud page. Meanwhile, from Okkultokrati we get "All I Want For Christmas Is Glue". Sounds like something that will fit nicely in between Nat's "The Christmas Song" and Bing's "White Christmas", doesn't it? I'm guessing it's a bit of a takeoff on Mariah Carey's ubiquitous song, but there are no samples of that one lying around. Release date for the split 45 is November 25 and, if you happen to speak Norwegian, pre-orders are being taken at Tigernet.
Looking for some holiday Blues? Well, "Let Me Be Your Santa Claus". Actually, it's the Joe Hurt Trio playing Santa Claus with an all new original featuring Redd Holt on vocals and drums. Redd was the drummer with the Ramsey Lewis Trio way back when. The rest of the trio features Ken Haebich on the stand-up bass and Joe Hurt on the eighty-eights. Hurt released a Christmas album of traditional jazz back in 2004, "Joe Hurt And Friends Wish You A Merry Christmas", and Redd was on drums for that one as well. But hearing Redd on vocals makes all the difference in the world for me. Look for this one on Amazon MP3 or CD Baby.
Speaking of the Raveonettes, they're releasing "The Christmas Song". Again. I think it would've been cool of them to release their "The Christmas Song" paired up with their version of the more famous "The Christmas Song". But that's not what they're doing. Instead, the Raveonettes single will feature the original version of their "The Christmas Song"--again--with a much quieter and softer alternate version. At the moment, I can't find any evidence that there'll be a hard copy version of this single, but it wouldn't surprise me either way. The digital version will be unleashed on December 5.
Bluegrass veteran Donna Ulisse has been....let's say "encouraged"...to write and record a Christmas album by her label and publisher. Until earlier this fall, she hadn't come up with anything she was happy with. Then, one day, Donna got an idea to tell the Biblical story of Jesus' birth through the surrounding characters. "You Cannot Stay Here", for example, is the innkeeper turning Mary and Joseph away. "You Will Be Delivered" is the angel's conversation with Mary. The songs were written over a few days and recorded almost as fast.
Now that Donna knows where to take the project, she expects to have a full Christmas album ready for next year. In the meantime, you can listen to and download the first two songs written for the coming album at Donna's web site or using the widget below. The songs will also be available from the usual outlets around Thanksgiving.