You can also pick up last year's Hanukkah single from the Maccabeats on Amazon. We weren't around much last year, so we'll play it for you now. "Burn".
Six13 and Shir Soul aren't the only Jewish a cappella groups. The Maccabeats have been turnin' out the tunes for a long time, as well. Originally formed in 2007, as a Yeshiva University student vocal group, the Maccabeats made their big splash in 2010 with "Candlelight", a Hanukkah reworking of Taio Cruz's "Dynamite". Since then, The Maccabeats have traveled the world and appeared on countless television programs bringing with them their combination of American beats and Jewish heritage. Their pinnacle piece may well be "Lecha Dodi" which put some of the most beloved words of the Torah to the music of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah". This year, the Maccabeats deliver their Hanukkah take on Meghan Trainor. Because "It's All About That Neis". You can get the tune from Amazon.
You can also pick up last year's Hanukkah single from the Maccabeats on Amazon. We weren't around much last year, so we'll play it for you now. "Burn".
This is our fifth Christmas together. And they said it wouldn't last. Every year (so far anyway) I put together a little mix of some of the free music we've spoken about on the site. It goes up when it goes up and it comes down on January 7--following Little Christmas and the Feast of the Epiphany. And then (say it with me, kids) it is never posted ever again.
Usually, "A Stubby's House Christmas" comes together fairly organically. The music and I, we sort of have an affinity for one anther and the songs know where they belong. Not so this year. I haven't had my usual focus since that thing I said I wouldn't talk about anymore. And it was a struggle to make sense of the mix. I started out shooting for two discs. I tell you true, I don't know that there's been a year since Stubby's started when there was more music that really excited me. It's a crime that Pony Boy isn't on here or anything from the Polaroid collection. And, dang, that Hemispheres EP is just the most gorgeous thing. And the Imani track I really wanted to use was "Come Thou Font" and that's over ten minutes long. So we surely had the music for a double disc. But it just wasn't working.
So what I ended up doing was taking the first part of the first disc and the last part of the second disc. And, now, it sort of works except for one thing. The first half of the disc rocks hard and the second half is really really mellow...and there's not much of a transition between the two. That's why our unofficial mascot this year is Two-Toned Cat. Yes, that's a real cat--no photoshop.
Most years, "A Stubby's House Christmas" somehow manages to contain a Stubby's House Exclusive--a song that was NOT available for download anywhere else on the World Wide Webs; the only way you can get the song without paying for it is by downloading "A Stubby's House Christmas". I am pleased and proud to say that Morgan Shaughnessy has kindly agreed to lend her wonderful Christmas single "Pretty Colored Lights" to our humble gift. Please thank her by visiting her on Facebook and her web site and by considering her equally wonderful EP, "Makeout Scars And Breakout Stars". Oddly, there were a lot of songs about Christmas without the one you love, this year, but Morgan's positive seasonal tune is snuggly nestled between two other positive songs--I don't think it would have worked any other way.
So y'all know how this works. The zip file contains everything you'll need to make your own "Stubby's House Christmas" CD (artwork for both slimline or regular CD case). The songs in the playlist below are linked to our original write-ups. And, most importantly, remember...."A Stubby's House Christmas 2014" will disappear forever on January 7th. Click on the link right here or on any of the artwork (other than Morgan's EP). Oh, and I did throw an extra little surprise gifty into the zip file for you. Nothing amazing, just a lil' sump'n sump'n. Report broken links. Mrs. Katz (not her real name) says "Meeeoww...and can I get my person back now, please?" Merry Christmas from Stubby's House of Christmas.
1. ALL I'M MISSING IS YOU - CHASE ATLANTIC
2. FEELINGS - ATLAAS
3. THE SEASON'S UPON US (Radio Edit) - DROPKICK MURPHYS
4. (IT AIN'T CHRISTMAS) WITHOUT YOU - ROXY ROCA
5. CAN'T SPEND ANOTHER CHRISTMAS (WITHOUT YOU) - KRIS RODGERS & THE DIRTY GEMS
6. LOVE DISEASE (CHRISTMAS IN NEW YORK) - CAFEINE
7. HOLIDAY HARE - THE RETURNERS
8. I SAW MOMMY KISSING SANTA CLAUS - BLUEBEATERS
9. THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO A SHEEP - HOW TO THROW A CHRISTMAS PARTY
10. ON CHRISTMAS - THE DUM DUM GIRLS
11. AWAY IN A MANGER - ARMAND & IMANI
12. PRETTY COLORED LIGHTS - MORGAN SHAUGHNESSY (Stubby's House Exclusive!! YAY!!)
13. OUR FAVORITE CHRISTMAS MOVIE - IAN McGLYNN
14. NO CHRISTMAS (UNTIL YOU'RE COMING HOME) - FREDRIK MAGNUSSON
15. X-MAS SONG (LONGING FOR NEW YEAR) - JUDY K
16. THE NORTH WIND - WHITEMOOR
17. KAIRE - INMAN
18. BREATH OF HEAVEN - THE WINTER FAILURE
19. LAST CHRISTMAS TIME - TOFFEES
20. BABY PLEASE COME HOME - NOAH
One of my favorite singers of Jewish Folk music is Julie Geller. She seems to come up with a new Hanukkah song every year and they're usually free. Based in Denver, Julie has been singing and playing professionally for at least 15 years. For the last six years, she's run her own label--Beating Heart Music. She also runs artist workshops all over the country, helping other aspiring artists to tap into their creativity and find their voice. Julie's 2014 Hanukkah song is "Shine With Me", available as a free download from Bandcamp.
Since we weren't around much last year, we can give you a double dose of Julie Geller Hanukkah music. Her 2013 single, still free from Bandcamp, was "I Believe In Miracles".
1. Patrick Curley - Merry Christmas Baby
2. NoiseMaker - Dance of the Reindeer Handlers
3. Bug and Little bug - Silent Night
4. Eve and the BluesBusters - The Joy of Christmas Eve
5. Andries D EKER - Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
6. Slowpaw Steve T and the Middlesex Itinerant Hobo Gospel Choir - God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen Boogie
7. Chris Dickens - You'll Shoot Your Eye Out !
8. Cause the Blue Rat - Hark the Harold Angels Sing
9. Mr C - I Know I'm Getting Cole for Christmas
10. Glenn Watt - O Come, All Ye Faithful
11. Phill Hill Billy - The Day I Met Santa Claus
12. Reeds Taylor - Away in a Manger
13. Rich - A Winter's noon
14. Uncle John - Uncle John's Christmas Song
15. Bug - Ho Ho Ho
16. Anonymous Pick - Meansleeves (Greensleeves revisited)
17. James O Lunsford - Ma Ma's Christmas Pie
18. Wes & Kathy Carl - Christmas Island
19. Jim Morris - It Won't Feel Like Christmas
20. Mr C - The Little Drummer Boy
21. Phill Hill Billy - Christmas Billy Rock
22. Cause the Blue Rat - The Holly and the Ivy
23. Matthew Borczon - Letter from a Soldier on Christmas Day
24. Rich - There might be Santa Claus
25. James O Lunsford - Merry Christmas CBN
26. Patrick Curley - Hallelujah Chorus
27. Bottleneck John - Oh Holy Night
28. Cigar Man Mike - Three Kings Instrumental
29. Ice Bob - Happy Birthday Jesus
30. Skeesix - Good King Wences Rock
31. W M Petersen the Sailor - I Sailed Three Ships
32. Henry Stratovarius Lowman - O Come O Come Emmanuel
33. Waldo - Noel Ramble
34. Ice Bob - White Christmas
35. David Kennedy - Just One Present
It seems we've lost a lot of our annual friends. Suburban Sprawl says they're done doing Christmas (though they've left quite an archive of holiday tunes from past seasons to be enjoyed and downloaded). Haven't heard a peep from Alternate Root this year. No Paste Holiday Sampler (though I think the HGTV collection is supposed to be this year's Paste collection). But one of my personal favorites is back.
Behold, the 2014 collection from Cigar Box Nation. Cigar Box Nation is a web site and forum for and about those folks who enjoy making instruments from cigar boxes. Before I heard of Cigar Box Nation, I assumed all cigar box instruments were pretty much the same--just some strings across an old cigar box (thoroughly acoustic in nature). Au contraire mon frere. Cigar Box instruments can be as simple or as complex as any other instrument--as simple or complex as the maker wishes (within the confines of his or her instrument creating ability). And, yes, there are electric cigar box guitars. You betcha.
So the people at Cigar Box Nation share tips on building the instruments and then they share the music they make with them. Some of these people are professional musicians and some are hobbyists. And that's what makes the annual "Cigar Box Nation Christmas Album" such a stone cold blast. You never know what's coming next.
For the obvious reasons, contributors to the Christmas album are expected to write an original song or play one in the Public Domain. No Mariah Carey covers, here, thank God. What you will get is plenty of Americana, Blues, and Good Ol' Rock N Roll. Sometimes, you'll even get Jazz, Ambient, or some other genres you wouldn't expect. There's Lo Fi and fully produced. Its a veritable pinata of musical Christmas surprises.
So I did something I almost never get to do with these humungous colletions; I actually listened to it all. It's a Blues heavy set, so you know already I think it's their best yet. Highlights for me included the Boogie Blues "Merry Christmas Baby" from Patrick Curley (not the Charles Brown song), obviously Chris Dickens' "You'll Shoot Your Eye Out", Noisemaker's Old Timey/Folk instrumental "Dance Of The Reindeer", Mr. C's slow Blues "I Know I'm Getting Cole For Christmas", Bug's Novelty Blues "Ho Ho Ho", Uncle John's Country Blues "Christmas Song", Anonymous Pick's Hard Rock "Meansleeves", Jim Morris' Old Timey/Country "It Won't Feel Like Christmas", Ice Bob's Gospel Blues "Happy Birthday Jesus", and Skeesix' Mashup of "Good King Wenceslas" and "In A Gadda Da Vida", "Good King Wences Rock". As you can see there's quite a lot to like.
Get your free download of "Cigar Box Nation Christmas Album 2014" at Cigar Box Nation.
It's the fifth night of Hanukkah. And we've got a couple of new Pop Rock Hanukkah singles to share with you. But first (Stubby, you suck!) we have to do something akin to a Parental Advisory. As a Goy, I don't understand all the rules of Judaism. And, my guess is, this would mostly apply to very devout Orthodox Jews (and I suspect they're not haunting Stubbys in the first place--although you never know who will stop by). But, apparently, there is something called "Kol Isha". This has to do with certain things that men aren't supposed to hear. There's a theory (call it fact if it makes you feel better) that the sound of a woman's voice speaking of intimate things--feelings, body parts, whatever--will arouse men sexually in a manner and to a degree that is inappropriate. Thus, men are forbidden from listening to "Kol Isha". And, actually, if you're really really Orthodox, you're not supposed to listen to a woman sing at all. Forget content, just the voice of a woman singing is enough to drive what my faith would call "impure thoughts". Listening to a woman sing, apparently, is the equivalent to seeing her naked. Personally, I think its nonsense, but then I'm a Goy. And, believe me, my own faith has more than its share of nonsense. My ears aren't what they used to be, but I've listened to this song over a dozen times and I hear nothing inappropriate--just a great song. But I guess you'd have to think twice about including the song on a mixtape for your more devout Jewish friends. And, for any Orthodox Jews who might stop by here:
The following audio track contains "Kol Isha" and is intended for women and girls only.
Riv Eilfort is a young singer/songwriter from California. Her song, "One Light", is an expression that even the smallest of lights can dispel the deepest dark--whether the darkness is around you or within you. The single at Amazon bears the notation of "explicit", but I'm gathering that's the "Kol Isha" thing, since I hear nothing inappropriate. You can find "One Light" at Amazon, iTunes or CD Baby.
The following audio track contains "Kol Isha" and is intended for women and girls only.
OK. On to something that doesn't carry a warning. So far as I know. Although there is a woman singing, so I don't really get the distinction.
I have been unable to learn anything about The Petting Zoo. The group is signed to Dee Town Entertainment who, musically, mostly deal in soundtracks. The Petting Zoo's Poppy Hip Hoppy Hanukkah single "Eight Nights Of Light" is reportedly getting lots of radio airplay on the west coast (very big in San Diego, we hear). "Eight Nights Of Light" is available at Amazon.
Trust me. If I didn't absolutely love this, it would not be it's own front page post. I mean, this....this....this is....genius!
Remember those dramatic records from when you were a kid? With the spoken word parts? Like "Big Bad John" by Jimmy Dean and "Ringo" by Lorne Greene? Oh, crap, I keep forgetting I'm the oldest guy in the room. Remember records? Kinda round and you'd.... Ah, forget it.
Beard & Glasses took that most tired of tired novelty records, "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer", and breathed new life into it. Every DJ in America hates that Elmo & Patsy song because goof ball kids would call constantly to request it. Not just in December, either. We'd get calls for it in June. July. August. Basically all year. Requesting that song was like the putting a tack on teacher's chair of disc jockey harassment.
Hopefully, you're already far enough into the song that you aren't even paying attention to me anymore. So...blah, blah, blah. Buh-blah blah. Moo.
Beard & Glasses are a Folk duo from Vermont, I'm told. Matt Scott and Sam Clement. It snows a lot up there. Not much to do expect dream up wicked concepts for otherwise unlistenable novelty records (and I'd rather they do that than torture the local DJs). This is spaghetti western meets mariachi band meets Carlos Santana meets the Kingston Trio. And that's a helluva thing.
I've made a point of saying that I don't much care for novelty records. But this Beard & Glasses takeoff on "Grandma" is one of the exceptions that prove the rule. Mixtape worthy? Hell, yeah. You can get "Grandma" at Bandcamp (not a freebie, but for a buck). Beard & Glasses also have an earlier Christmas EP, "Tinsel Babies", if you want to check that out.
It's the fourth night of the Festival of Lights! Halfway Hanukkah! I have a great new Hanukkah song I can't wait to share with you. Indie Pop Rock. If you like music at all, this one's going to get you. I should save it for last, but I know I won't be able to. So....... maybe tomorrow.
Stubby, you suck!
Tomorrow, kids and kittens.
For Halfway Hanukkah, I think its time to unleash the goof. One thing I like about Hanukkah is that its not really a major holiday on the Jewish calendar. Therefore, there's license to have a little bit of fun (did you know that there is no word in the Jewish language that translates precisely to "fun"? There is "keyf" in Hebrew, but that comes from Arabic. Just a little education for you.).
Stubby, you still suck!
To take the sting off of the whole "tomorrow" thing, this, too, is new and cool but unfortunately not available and poorly recorded (probably on a smartphone). Aimee Mann and Ted Leo (The Both) are in the midst of their Christmas shows this month. Recently, they were joined on stage by Susanna Hoffs of the Bangles. Susanna being Jewish (and a Bangle), they reworked "Walk Like An Egyptian" into a Hanukkah song--"Nesh Gadol Haya Sham". I think the public is going to demand this be recorded and released professionally. While we wait for the groundswell to reach critical mass, enjoy what we have.
This song from Jew Direction (a parody of One Direction) is from last year. But I wasn't around last year. So it'll do. Playing off of "What Makes You Beautiful", this is "Chanukah Makes You Jewtiful". This one is available as a free download via Soundcloud.
Next up, a collection of mutant animals and vegetables known as the Radioactive Chicken Heads pay tribute to Hanukkah AND Elvis Presley with "Burning Latke". RCH bill themselves as The World's Most Notorious Band of Genetically Modified Poultry Punk Rock Mutants! They're hoping to bridge the gap between all humans, chickens and vegetables. And, hey, they even appeared on the Tyra Banks Show. Good to know. This one's also a free download on Soundcloud.
I'm quite certain that watching this next video qualifies as some kind of mortal sin (in any and all religions) and yet I can not avert my eyes. Sharon Luxenburg is an Israeli artist whose stock-in-trade is outlandish parody. Flip through the YouTubes sometime and you'll find her singing Heavy Metal wackiness and cursing like a sailor. So, by comparison, Sharon's "Hanukkah Song" parody of Sia's "Chandelier" is tame and light hearted. Yeah, that's what I'm going with. Not available to download or buy--not that I could find anyway. It's probably just as well. I mean, it really is a visual thing. And, should you want to see the video in its original language, we can hook you up.
I'm really done with the fourth night, now. But it is twenty years since Adam Sandler broke through that Hanukkah glass ceiling, making the world safe for new Hanukkah music of all kinds. So I really can't leave without tipping my Kippa to the man. Remember to come back tomorrow for a great new Hanukkah song that hasn't yet been all over the Internets.
When I first introduced you to “Molto Groovy Christmas”, I spoke about watching late-night Italian movies growing up—badly dubbed, but with soundtracks that were both whimsical and magical. Those soundtracks were the inspiration behind “Molto Groovy Christmas”.
For this project to work, the music needed to be cinematic. Producer Roman Coppala’s background is movies. He also founded and heads The Directors Bureau, known for award-winning commercials and music videos. For this project to work, the music had to be authentic. DJ Alessandro Casella is perhaps the greatest living authority on the music, the movies, the soundtracks and the culture of Italy from the fifties, sixtes and seventies, having founded and published The Jaguar Magazine devoted to these things since 1999. Casella has also collected the sounds of the era and has organized two international festivals of 60s music and Jazz soundtracks. Finally, for this project to work, the music had to be good. Carlo Poddighe is a multi-instrumentalist musician, sound engineer, producer and composer of international renown. Highly in demand as a session musician, Poddighe has toured the United States with various Rock bands and he runs the Poddighe Recording Studio. He has also composed scores for many independent films. One last thing. The music had to be analog--recorded the way music was recorded then, alive and real. With our players in place, we can begin.
And, to begin, I owe the makers of “Molto Groovy Christmas” at least half an apology. I had assumed, based on the premise and thirty-second clips, that the album was largely a novelty. High concept novelty, but novelty nonetheless. Having heard the whole thing, now, I have to say “Molto Groovy Christmas” is much more than novelty. This is an exquisite album, delightful from end to end. “Molto Groovy Christmas” is a complete trip—a good one and one you’ll enjoy taking over and over again. It is whimsical, to be sure. The Italian soundtracks that inspired “Molto Groovy Christmas” are like that. But, like those soundtracks, and, frankly, like a lot of overlooked Christmas records from the 60s and 70s, once you get past the 30 second goofy sounding snippets, there’s some awesome arrangements and musicianship going on. If this album had actually been cut in, say, 1968 or 1971, it would be at or near the top of every Christmas collector’s Wish List. It would be legendary.
What I hope you can understand is that it doesn’t matter when the record was made. It doesn’t matter that this isn’t some long out-of-print piece of vinyl that you can never seem to lay your hands on. It’s about the music, the sound. And “Molto Groovy Christmas” sounds amazing! And you can actually get your hands on it. Easily. Download, CD, even on vinyl if you must have the full throw-back experience. No big used record store search required.
The album opens with “Come All Ye Faithful”, the beginning of which could easily have been lifted from those old Italian soundtracks. But, soon enough, the track kicks into full Psych. Listening to “Come All Ye Faithful”, you’re going to see the multi-colored lights spinning behind your eyeballs, go-go dancers in cages, bellbottoms and miniskirts. It may be fortunate the track isn’t longer than it is; I was beginning to wonder what Mrs. Fields was putting in those cookies.
“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” is straight up Mod Squad era Funk (complete with what sounds like Now Sound era backing vocals--just like on the old Italian soundtracks). Where does this one take you? Well, let me just say, this is the track that you’d find playing in an Italian Christmas rom-com during a scene of comically unexpected faux, ahem, romance, as the Bass-man makes unintelligible noises while a feminine voice provides sighs of, ahem, delight. All in an Italian Christmas rom-com sort of way, mind you.
On to “Joy To The World”, vaguely Beatle-esque with my favorite Christmas sound—a screeching organ played with as much funky R&B heat and energy as you could ever imagine.
“Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”? You bet he is. And he’s got the Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu. Love the arrangement on this one. And there’s that great organ again.
“White Christmas” is a lovely piece of Exotica, complete with waves, vibes, rhythmic Island percussion, and soothing "doo-doo" vocals.
“Jingle Bells” is a full-on Ventures or Dick Dale styled Munster theme. Almost sounds menacing—but whimsically so.
“Have Yourself A Merry Christmas” returns us to a sweeter sound and features wah-wah guitar and a soaring female vocal (no words, mind you, just a sweetly operatic oooh aah vocal). That soaring female vocal is inspired by Edda Dell'Orso, the voice on many of those vintage Italian soundtracks. "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" also has one of the album’s best endings.
The organ takes the lead again on a pleasantly funky “Little Drummer Boy”. This is the kind of song Christmas collectors spend their lives looking for on old 60s and 70s albums. Who knew all we had to do was wait for 2014?
Poddighe and company go Bossa Nova Lounge for “Silver Bells”. It's old school AND old world and would fit nicely in a mix with those Ultra Lounge albums.
Sitar sounds spice up “Silent Night”, making for a more exotic sound. And, this time, it’s wah wah singers instead of wah wah guitar. And what Italian soundtrack would be complete without a whistling section? Not this one.
We get another splendid arrangement on “Sleigh Ride”, possibly the most overtly Christmasy track on “Molto Groovy”. You get a little bit of everything on this one—kettle drums, an organ bit, moog, fuzz, more whistling, plenty of Psych influence, and bells. (Cause you gotta have bells).
The album closes with “Feliz Navidad” which gets a “Mah Na, Mah Na” makeover without losing the overall funkiness of the record as a whole. For those who didn't know, "Mah Na Mah Na" was written by Piero Umiliani (hope I spelled that right) and originally appeared as part of the soundtrack for the film "Svezia, Inferno e Paradiso". Just in case you thought the Muppets invented it. In it's way, "Feliz Navidad" is the one genuine goofy track on the album. But its nice, at the end, to bring you back around to where you started. Safe, sane, and with none of those mind altering substance hangovers.
I tend to think in analogies. To me, “Molto Groovy Christmas”, is like a Quentin Tarantino film. Hear me out. Tarantino makes many of the movies he does out of love for the B-movie cinema he grew up on. And, because he loves those old movies so much, his tributes to them exceed the originals in every detail. In other words, if an album like this had been recorded in 1968 or 1971, it probably wouldn’t be anywhere near as good as this is. “Molto Groovy Christmas” is a perfect record for the coolest of Yule bashes (and I do mean perfect). But it’s also a great record to listen to anytime and in any setting (if you can’t imagine yourself driving down the highway with this playing, then there’s something seriously wrong with you). And for mixtapes? “Molto Groovy Christmas” is a gift from the heavens. Sign me up for Volume 2.
Aish.com is the world's leading Jewish content website. It's stated purpose is to allow Jewish people the world over a place to discover and/or connect with their heritage. Come Hanukkah time, Aish is usually good for an original video and/or song celebrating the Eight Nights. One of their most popular was the Rock n Roll mash-up "Hanukkah: Rock Of Ages". This year, Aish features an original song from the Israeli Hip Hop band Shtar. Shtar was formed in 2006 by American rapper Ori Murray and English guitarist Brad Rubinstein. They combine Hip Hop with various styles--Rock, Funk, Pop, Electronica--as well as Sephardic music, and they count Beck and Coldplay among their influences. "Lights" tells the story of Hanukkah and the sentiments behind it in a contemporary musical setting. A very nice track, indeed, and available as a free download via Soundcloud.
THIRD NIGHT BONUS: You're good at this game of Dreidel, aren't you?
If you ever decide to do a full Hanukkah mixtape (or several), don't restrict yourself to the known knowns. Like Christmas, the themes of the holiday can be expanded beyond the obvious. One place few ever think to look to is Israel. There are a great many contemporary artists in Israel creating a variety of wonderful sounds. Their music may be Rock or Jazz or Folk or Hip Hop, but it usually also contains a good measure of traditional influence reflecting the people and culture. Songs that deal with themes of love and perseverance may not technically be Hanukkah songs, but fit the broader context of Hanukkah (think "Put A Little Love In Your Heart" from the film "Scrooged" as your Christmas analogy) and will make your mixtape sparkle. Just the music, Stubby.
One of my favorite Israeli bands is Moshav. Back in 2006, I used their song "Don't Give Up" on my "Stubby's Chanukah 4: A Chicken Suit Is Good For The Soul" mix. Not a Hanukkah song, but an excellent Alt Rock tune well within the themes of the Hanukkah story.
Now based in Los Angeles, Moshav has a new album out, "New Sun Rising". The album contains the single "World On Fire" featuring Matisyahu. The full album was released on Tuesday, the first night of Hanukkah, and Moshav simultaneously debuted the video for "Chicki Boom". Again, not a Hanukkah tune, but good stuff all the same.
The Metal CCM band Flyleaf have a new album in stores, now, "Between The Stars". Released in September, the album reached #1 on the Alternative charts, #3 on the Christian charts, and #33 on the overall album charts. Celebrating that success, the band has gifted a newly recorded version of "O Holy Night" (they must have known that's my favorite, right?). There are some great Rock versions of "O Holy Night"; the song lends itself well to the genre. But Flyleaf brings new dimensions to the song (IMHO), wrenching every last bit of passion and beauty from it and all while rocking until the walls shake and the windows break.
There's good news, here, too. For a limited time, the Christian site New Release Tuesday (yes, the same folks who are offering a free download "NRT Christmas" album already) has a free download of the song available. Get it while the gettin's good. And I say that because...
Last December, Flyleaf recorded a version of "It Came Upon A Midnight Clear" which was only available as a download to people who pledged toward their "Between The Stars" recording. And it's not currently being offered anywhere (for sale or download) a year later. We can still listen, however. (Please note: I hate streams. As a collector, they frustrate me. Were there not a free download available of "O Holy Night", I would not post this stream on its own. Just sayin'.)