Sunday, October 31, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween Eve Christmas Update

Autumn's Fall
Autumn's Fall by An Lionsa

Loads of Thanksgiving related posts popping up at Serious Eats

Stream (or buy) "Christmas is Cold" the terrific new Christmas single from Scottish folk'ers The Porch Song Anthology

Welcome Yule - An English Christmas Revels (New Christmas Music)

Welcome Yule - An English Christmas Revels - The Christmas Revels

New collection of performances, many recorded live, from the long running series of seasonal period entertainments offered each year by John Langstaff's Christmas Revels, in this case the Cambridge, Mass incarnation of the group. Olde English carols, dances and hymns, most, but not all, seasonal in nature, transport the listener back in time to a very different Christmas celebration than we're used to in these days of frantic shopping, overloaded schedules and holiday tidings poisoned by cynicism and irony.

Nothing can match actually attending one of these remarkable performances but there is a wonderful energy that more than makes up for the lack of visuals (and the occaionally shambolic production on a few of the live recordings), and while there is an occasional whiff of the amatauer theatrical, the obvious affection the performers feel for the material shines through.

Other Christmas Revels recordings include 2000's A Victorian Christmas Revels, 1995's Sing We Now Of Christmas, 1987's Christmas Day In The Morning: A Revels Celebration Of The Winter Solstice, 1982's Wassail! Wassail! Early American Christmas Music and The Christmas Revels: In Celebration Of The Winter Solstice from 1978.

Preview  / Buy CD at Amazon
Preview /  Buy MP3 Album at Amazon

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Friday, October 29, 2010

Santas Working Overtime on Twitter

You can now follow Santas Working Overtime on Twitter for site updates and holiday related tidbits throughout the day.

Afternoon Update (10/29)

Soviet New Year postcard (1979)

Soviet New Year postcard (1979) by Apple Min


Serious Eats :

How to Iron: Thanksgiving Linens and How to Set the Thanksgiving Table @ Holidash


The Natwivity - The Christmas Story Tweeted starting Dec1

Better Homes And Gardens Launches A New iPad App For Holiday Party Planning  @ Media Bistro 

Bish's Beat happily welcomes Anne Perry's new Christmas novella

Wilson Phillips - Christmas in Harmony (New Christmas Music)

Wilson Phillips - Christmas in Harmony

The new holiday offering from pop harmony trio Wilson Philiips starts off with a less than inspiring version of one of my all time favorite Christmas tunes, I Wish it Could Be Christmas Everyday (the Roy Wood/Wizzard original itself partially influenced by the Wison girls Beach Boy father Brian). The album improves from there but seldom reaches beyond the realm of well produced mall music. As is often the case with middling holiday tunes your feelling for this collection will likely be tied directly to your affection for the artists involved.

Polished pop, well performed (the harmonies are stunning, as you'd expect) but only a few tracks rise above the ordinary thanks mostly to the bland arrangements and pedestrian song selection.

My early picks for top tracks are Joy, Warm Lovin' Christmas, and Santa Claus is Coming To Town.

2.75 snow angels out 5

Buy CD at Amazon
Buy MP3 Album w/ Digital Booklet at Amazon

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Isaacs - Christmas (New Christmas Music)

The Isaacs - Christmas

Very nice, if not exceptional, bluegrass tinged offering from the inspirationally inclined group following up their previous holiday release,  2000's Christmas Spirit. Obviously, if you're a fan of the band or their earlier holiday effort you know to expect tasteful and heartfelt renditions of many of your favorite holiday standards. New listeners enjoyment may depend on thier affection for country/bluegrass.

3 out of 5 Snowflakes

Afternoon Update (10/28)

SoundsXP on St. Etienne's forthcoming limited edition Christmas offering

Annie Lennox Reveals Track Listing for "A Christmas Cornucopia' - ARTISTdirect News

The Superions: "Fruitcake" [mp3] via Largehearted Boy

Sam Billen's Kickstarter Christmas CD project plus free tunes from Sandra Mooy and The Injured List @ Stubby's House of Christmas

Free Christmas Music: The Very Merry Christmas Sugo Holiday Sampler

 Amazon has The Very Merry Christmas Sugo Holiday Sampler as a free MP3 download. The Holiday Sampler includes two tracks from Stevan Pasero as well as single tracks from Anna Maria Mendieta, Nina Postolovskaya and Indigo.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Festive Flickr: GE 1957 Christmas Light Idea booklet (JeffCarter629)

GE 1957 Christmas Light Idea booklet 
GE 1957 Christmas Light Idea booklet (JeffCarter629)

Sony's Yule Log DVD series

Sony Legacy have released a series of DVDs combining hit Christmas albums from the Sony vaults with "your choice of three heart-warming holiday scenes".  The series includes albums from Mariah Carey, Elvis Presley, Johnny Mathis, Andy Williams, and REO Speedwagon among others.

I'm tempted to pick one of these up since the price is right (less than $12), and I'm a total Yule Log addict. I'm a bit put off by the fact that you only get one album per disc, less than an hour of music seems like a missed opportunity. I tend to leave videos like these running in the background for hours at a time, often with my own music playing . There's no way I want to hear even my favorite Christmas LP over and over again all day. I'd have also preferred Blu-Ray, or at least a combo disc.

Here's Amazon's list of Sony's Yule Log DVDs

I'll probably go with the compilation  "A Traditional Christmas"
1. It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year -Johnny Mathis
2. The Christmas Song -Chris Botti
3. Frosty The Snowman- MItch Miller & The Gang
4. Silver Bells-Andy Williams
5. Jingle Bells-Willie Nelson
6. Pretty Paper-Roy Orbison
7. The Little Drummer Boy -Johnny Cash
8. Winter Wonderland -Aretha Franklin
9. O Holy Night -Mahalia Jackson
10. Silent Night -Babyface
11. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer-Gene Autry
12. Santa Baby- Eartha Kitt
13. The Twelve Days Of Christmas- The Norman Luboff Choir
14. What Child Is This (Greensleeves) -Percy Faith
15. Snow- Rosemary Clooney with Percy Faith & His Orchestra & The Mellomen
16. White Christmas -Frank Sinatra with Bobby Tucker Singers; Arranged & conducted by Axel Stordahl
I could probably handle this song selection a couple of times in a row if I had to.

The Superions: Destination: Christmas full album stream

The Superions: Destination: Christmas full album stream at

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hooray for Stubby's House of Christmas!

Great news! One of The Fa's top contributors has opened up his own Crimbo-centric web site and will be keeping us up to date on the latest and greatest holiday releases this jolly yuletide season. Stubby is the real deal and I can't wait to see what hes got in store for us!

New Christmas Music: Erin Bode's A Cold December Night

A Cold December Night - Erin Bode
Highly Recommended

First Impressions

Beautiful acoustic flavored holiday album that has been growing on me with each listen.

From Amazon:
A Cold December Night brought Erin's core band together in a cold Minnesota cabin - picturesque and snowy - to revel in the spirit of Winter. Hot cocoa, warmed brandy, and a few microphones were all it took to liven up everyone's mood and set the scene for a picturesque musical excursion. Includes original songs as well as fresh interpretations of classic holiday songs.