It is that time of year when our sexiest Christmas heroes emerge with a sexy, sexy jam to lip-sync awkwardly at your significant other. Yes, the Grapes & Friends are back, slinking around the room with “One More Christmas.” This song has everything: wrapped human Christmas presents, crescent rolls, bearskin rugs, fax machines, promenades… what else can you want? Normally I’m also plugging their live show, but it has already past! Which is both terrible and wonderful… terrible if you could have gone and missed it, and wonderful in that it actually happened this year! Though I must say, it was quite fun to attend virtually last year. Perhaps normal life is returning, one funky, sexy, hilarious Christmas song at a time.
H/T to Randall Anthony, for hipping me to their new song!
Bottom Line: If you like what the Grapes are cooking up, you’re gonna to like this steamy pot of Christmas a whole damn lot.
Let me quickly introduce you to the Grapes and Friends, as there is the slight possibility that some of you have not been reading my blog all year. (FYI, I write about Christmas music all year… because I have problems, obviously). Grapes and Friends are an Austin, TX indie rock band created by smashing together members of Dangeresque, The Gorgeous Hands and Genuine Leather; they are an Austin version of our friends the Sunturns and Christmas Aguilera, a specifically indie-rock-christmas supergroup. TOMORROW NIGHT (Dec. 9) is their annual Xmas Extravaganza, and they just released their annual seasonal jam! “Wishlist” is exploding with cheeky funk, that special kind that will both get your ass moving and put a big smile on your face. When they bust this out at their xmas party – shit is going down. The song pairs perfectly with last year’s “Can I Come Home with You (For Christmas)?,” tickling those Midnight Vultures-era-Beck feelings of carefree youth. And those vocals… that delivery suggests something naughty is going down, and you know what? It just might. The day is just beginning… the possibilities are endless, and this is your holiday soundtrack.
Bottom Line: Slam your beer and start jumping around… or start evaluating whether you have any life left inside you – you choose. (Shit got deep there for a second.)
So… Lindby… what a score. What timing. Leon Bridges on your Christmas EP. Was that, a week ago that he played SNL, and only a few days after a Grammy nomination? “Merry Christmas, Baby” is off of this Fort Worth, Texas band’s 4th holiday EP, which I somehow had missed in the past. Be rest assured – they have been added to my “Bands Who Love Christmas Section.” Lindby’s electro-funk sets a nice stage for Leon and Ali’s vocals, and they both have voices that you kinda want to pay attention to! All the pieces come together to create a great version of a song that (IMHO) is normally covered by-the-numbers. The ending is the best part; You just gotta stay to the end.
Bottom Line: How did this premiere on Ft. Worth Weekly, and not some place like Stereogum… or Rolling Stone? Certainly a solid tune worth your time – and free on Bandcamp!
Nashville’s Sol Cat got together with the Kansas Bible Company, and what came of this unholy union? Why a funky cover of Donny Hathaway’s “This Christmas” of course! Sol Cat plays danceable indie rock, and the Kansas Bible Company looks to be about 15 members… whose critical mass and horn section undoubtably took this song to the next level. So, turn your speakers up, and close your office door. We’re getting funky.
Bottom Line: Shaved a few off because there is no download – but the fighting the funk is tough. 4.6/5
Those quite familiar with indiepop Christmas tunes know how wonderful those early Pas/Cal Christmas singles were. Then, when Pas/Cal was no more, Computer Perfection and Casimer & Casimir were born from the ashes. Both bands have contributed to the Christmas cannon, with Computer Perfection & Friends’ “Christmas Party” back in 2008 and last year’s Casimer & Casimir’s Soundcloud release “C&C does Margo for XXXmas.” Well, it looks like Computer Perfection are at it again, with “Little Drummer Boy (Funky Drummer).” Originally I thought it might be a James Brown song – but I think it may be their own mashup of “Little Drummer Boy” with Brown’s “Funky Drummer.” Readers of this blog may remember that “Little Drummer Boy” is my least favorite Christmas song ever, so please take the fact that I’m even mentioning this song as a reason to listen to it. Its funky & fun, with a splash of indiepop. It certainly deserves more listens than the 3 it presently has… 2 of which are mine.
Bottom Line:No download (yet)DOWNLOAD! and this funky tune and its falsetto deserve a spot in your Christmas party playlist. 3.9/5
I never thought I would heard a version of this song that I liked. Then Mayer Hawthorne reposted this song into his Soundcloud feed… and it blew my mind. Tuxedo is a new band comprised of Mayer Hawthorne and Jack One, and hot damn they are funky. They have made one of my least favorite Christmas songs both funky and soulful – and ultimately not only listenable but glorious. I want this to be played at every single Christmas party in the country.
Bottom Line: WTF. I can’t believe I like this song. 4.8/5