2016 Christmas Stories, part one.


Thanks for listening! #wprbxmas

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With under three weeks to go (!!!!!!) until this year’s marathon, here’s the first half of the Christmas Stories recorded exclusively for the 2016 edition of my 25-Hour Holiday Radio Show on 103.3 fm WPRB.

Part two will appear next week! Or else I totally blew it!

Please click on the links provided and support these musicians, artists and talented individuals who were so kind to tape remarkable original pieces for the show. Follow them on Twitter! Like them on Facebook! Buy their records and books! Support their events!

May these works inspire you to record something for this year.

The Brixton Riot + The Anderson Council – “Flexible Flyer”

Combining American and English influences, New Jersey’s The Brixton Riot fuses elements of 70’s power-pop and punk, 80’s jangle-rock and 90’s indie rock into a sound that is both familiar and distinct. The Replacements, Big Star and The Jam represent only a small fraction of their influences. Their full-length “Close Counts” was released on Mint 400 Records earlier this year. Here, they’re joined by fellow NJ act The Anderson Council.

Spleverb – “We Want Fun For Hanukkah”

A long-lost 1994 recording by Mr. Brian Musikoff, a Chooch of Seattle (by way of NJ / NYC) who draws cartoons as needed and played bass for a rock group named Stuyvesant.

Memorial Gore – “Holiday Crow (If It Makes You Merry)”

Brooklyn’s Memorial Gore sounded like William F Buckley, Jr debating Gore Vidal on the Pulaski Bridge; the murky waters of Newtown Creek swiftly rise up and swallow them whole.

SAVAK – “Wonderful Christmas Drone”

SAVAK was formed in 2015 by members of The Obits, Holy Fuck, Nation of Ulysses, and The Cops. Their second album “Cut-Ups” was released recently on Ernest Jenning.

Korean Jeans – “Christmas Jeans”

Korean Jeans is a noisy duo of tuba and non-tuba. Offering primo financial tips from Chicago since 2010.

Bill & Karlee Goffrier – “Christmas Is Not In The Cards”

Bill Goffrier was in two of my favorite purveyors of terminal plaid shirt rock, The Embarrassment and Big Dipper. He currently lives in Alaska with his wife Karlee. Please visit their Bandcamp page for more.

The ‘Mericans – “Listen The Snow Is Falling”

“This song was written and originally recorded by Yoko Ono in 1969 and appeared on the John and Yoko ‘Wedding Album’. It was later covered by Galaxie 500 on their 1990 album ‘This Is Our Music.’ Our version was influenced by both, but we also took liberties with it and its lyrics.” – The ‘Mericans.

Find this song and more on “A Merry ‘Merican Christmas.”

Edith Frost – “In The Bleak Midwinter”

Edith Frost can be found on her website and/or Twitter.

Piano by James Dering and guitar by Jeff Ragsdale.

This is her fourth contribution to the marathon in as many years.

David Nagler – “In The Hot Sun Of A Christmas Day”

David Nagler is a Brooklyn-based musician and songwriter. He is the founder and frontperson of NY metropolitan area pop group Nova Social, the musical director for Wesley Stace’s Cabinet of Wonders at City Winery, and the host of The Oracle Show at NYC piano bar Sid Gold’s Request Room. His most recent releases are a collection of songs informed and provoked by recent presidential cabinet appointees called “The Appointees Volume 1” and the acclaimed “Carl Sandburg’s Chicago Poems.” The above is a Caetano Veloso song.

Aerialist – “Shchedryk”

An interpretation of the Ukranian new year/harvest song Shchedryk (later re-written as the Christmas song “Carol of the Bells”) with Ukranian folk dancers from the film “Hopak.”

Lary Hoffman began making music as Aerialist in 1997. Over the years the project morphed from bedroom electronic pop to synth-rock collaborations with drummers Stevie Treichel & Nikhil Ranade, to both analog and computer-based solo instrumental productions. After a long hiatus, Lary has been steadily digitally self-releasing new Aerialist music since the fall of 2015. Based in the DC area, Lary and his wife Erica own Virginia bars Galaxy Hut and Spacebar.

Fond Han – “Xmas Time Is Here”

Drawing influence from Daughters and Converge to Modest Mouse and Dischord Records, New Jersey’s Fond Han are unpredictable by nature. The band’s Bandcamp tags include “arboreal yazz” and “shark doom” among others, a glimpse into the mindset of Fond Han and the strange new world the duo have created with their post-hardcore indebted weirdo punk. Here, they uniquely reinterpret a tune from A Charlie Brown Christmas.

King Mistletoe Jr. – “Hark, Oh Brother Tannenbaum”

The fourth King Mistletoe song, a tribute to both The Fall and the marathon itself.

Jim Lewis – vocals, organ, aux perc
Steve Heise – guitar, sampler

The Rutabega – “Empty Holiday”

Indiana’s Joshua Wayne Hensley has been writing, recording, and birthing hopeful sad-bastard songs under The Rutabega moniker since early 2002.

In 2011 Joshua joined forces with Garth Mason, and The Rutabega evolved into a bona fide Carp Rock power-duo.

Josh & Garth have since played a bundle of shows (mainly across the Midwest, but also venturing to both coasts), recorded live sessions with Daytrotter and WPRB and released a pair of full-lengths.

Joel R.L. Phelps – “It’s Christmastime But Tonight The Devil Wins”

Vancouver’s Joel Phelps is a member of The Downer Trio and has also recently played with the group Dama/Libra. Joel is the only artist to record a “Christmas Story” for the show each of the last six years. Many demos and new recordings of his have been posted on Soundcloud, with the lion’s share of his studio output available through Bandcamp, including the 2017 EP “Consulate.”

Mac McCaughan – “Happy New Year (Prince Can’t Die Again)”

He of Superchunk and Portastatic. This song arrived in the final hours of the marathon and when I listened to it in queue for the first time prior to debuting it on-air, I actually broke down crying.

Glory! Bangs, Corin Tucker & Lance Bangs – “Will It Snow?”

A piano and vocal exploration of whether it will snow (it did.) Corin Tucker is active with Sleater-Kinney and Filthy Friends. Glory! Bangs composed piano score for “Waves of Echo” at the Echo Theatre in Portland, OR. Lance Bangs recently realized that he has been making music for several decades.

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