We'll get to the mainstream/major releases in a sec. But this is Stubby's House. We do things a little different around here. And because we are who we are and we do what we do, I have to, first, introduce you to Astrocolor. Yeah, you heard me. Astrocolor. This is some of the trippiest sh#@ I've come across in years. Or at least since TriBecaStan. Dig this.
Weird Party cut through all the AM/FM noise like a knife with their unique blend of Jazz, bluesy Funk, Psych and Ambient. Largely an instrumental outfit, their improvisations may remind you of classic Grateful Dead jams. To a point. Beyond that point, they are...Weird Party. Their album, "Mellow Funk - Vol. 1", was nominated for a Western Canada Music Award. Get ye a taste of the tasty here.
Astrocolor's forthcoming Christmas album is called "Lit Up" and will be released November 13. The album is being released as a digital set (available everywhere, they say) and on vinyl. Possibly on cassette (but no CD, so far as I can tell). Right now, to pre-order, you'll need to contact the band via email and, presumably, they'll tell you what you need to do.
Because I know you enjoyed the jelly and jam of "Sugar Plums", let's hear another from Astrocolor.
Not much to say about the November 6 release from The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra that we haven't already said. But I don't think we've shared the cover art and track list yet.
1. Jingle Bells
2. Let It Snow feat. Ellis Marsalis
3. It's The Holiday Season feat. Johnny Mathis
4. Silent Night
5. Good Swing Wenceslas
6. The Christmas Song feat. Ledisi
7. Little Drummer Boy
8. Sleigh Ride
9. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
10. Winter Wonderland
11. I'll Be Home For Christmas feat. Ellis Marsalis and Plas Johnson
Music For A While is a Norwegian group breaking down the walls between genres and challenging listeners to change their perceptions. The "group" is led by Tora Augestad, known as Norway's Queen of Cabaret. In an age where American Idol has singers striving to put forth a bit too much vibrato for my tastes, Tora's vocals are pure and clear--her vocal control exquisite. The musicians surrounding Tora are some of Norway's finest Jazz players. Their music lies somewhere between Classical and Jazz, and should also appeal to fans of Ambient, New Age, Pop (Classical Crossover), and Folk.
"Canticles Of Winter" is more of a seasonal set than a Christmas one, but you'll certainly hear some familiar carols as Tora (and a good many others) consider many Christmas songs among the most beautiful songs of any kind ever written. The album was released digitally last year, but, even in Import form, hard copy CDs are only finding their way across the sea this year. Amazon expects to have them available on November 13, while Europe should see the release a week earlier.
I only know of a few people adventurous enough to use music like this in their annual comps, and, hey, that's fine. But "Canticles Of Winter" might be an excellent disc to throw on late at night for your own head--just to decompress from the seasonal craziness. In any case, if you're intrigued and want to hear more (beyond the track below), visit Music For A While's YouTube page.
2. Wexford Carol
3. Wie soll ich dich empfangen
4. In dulci jubilo
5. Gute Nacht
6. Kirken den er et gammelt hus
8. Mitt hjerte alltid vanker
9. Coventry Carol
10. Will The Sun Forget to Streak
11. Come, Heavy Sleep
12. Now Winter Comes Slowly
This is the first time in 25 years all the Braxton women have worked together on a single project. That would be Toni, Tracy, Tamar, Towanda and Trina. Oh, and brother Michael (poor kid; he didn't even get a name that stated with "T"). No pre-order link just yet for "Braxton Family Christmas", but it's a Def Jam release, so you probably won't have to look too hard to find it.
1. This Christmas
2. Every Day Is Christmas
3. Mary, Did You Know?
4. O Holy Night
5. Last Christmas
6. Blessed New Year
7. Under The Christmas Tree
8. This Christmas (Braxton Family Version)