Dandy Boy Records
This excellent Dandy Boy Records compilation of Bay-Area bands has been on my radar longer than any other 2021 release… and while a long wait could lead to unrealistic expectations, I am quite happy to express the opposite. This is one of those rare occasions when a compilation is excellent all the way through. With five originals (some previously released as singles by the bands) and one classic cover, each song has a distinctly different feel, yet nothing feels out of place.
The leadoff track, “Christmas in the Tenderloin” by the 1981, is a rollicking wine-soaked singalong.
On “Lonesome Christmas Blues,” Stevie and the Scrooges sing about drugs with swagger and just enough horns to give me that beautiful brass contact high.
The Wind-Ups add a few syllables here and there on “Where are You this Christmas?,” their fantastic fuzzed-out take on the classic “missing you at Christmas trope,” whose ragged edges feel much more realistic to the usual “Baby, Please Come Home” shimmer.
Coctails sound like an indiepop Replacements on their excellent “‘Tis the Season,” with jangly guitars meeting late 80’s indie rock.
FLTY BRGR GRL‘s dreamy song to an ex, appropriately titled “Ex-Mas,” taps into that emotional vein of lost love at Christmas, and draws deep.
The only cover (I think? I’m not an expert, despite having a website) is “I’ll be Home for Christmas” by Yea-Ming and the Rumours. It is an absolutely lovely rendition – delicate but not too precious, and a perfect way to end the record.
Bottom Line: I tip my hat to you Dandy Boy Records, you are floating in rare air. Snag yourself a copy on cassette if you can, as there are only 100 with proceeds going to the bands & Toys for Tots.