Thursday, January 27, 2011

Happy Belated Holidays!

On Tape spent all month hungover, so we're just now managing to get to the Great Holiday Wrap-Up of 2010! As Sesame Street taught us, we should keep Christmas with us all through the year. So, in that spirit of delayed gift giving, here are some yuletide treats you may not have seen...

In an interview with David Bazan, holiday music blog Festive! (by KEXP's DJ El Toro) revealed that the depressing Christmas carol aficionado plans to compile all of his occasionally-annual Christmas vinyl singles onto one album, to be released in time for the 2011 holidays. The interview also features some interesting insights into Bazan's tumultuous experiences with Christianity, and how they've shaped his feelings about Christmas and its music.

Sleeping at Last did something similar, compiling their annual, free holiday mp3s into an eight-song "Christmas Collection 2010," which you can stream here. (Expect another batch of free downloads this December.) Additionally, the band's new, original Christmas song, "Snow," is featured on their December EP, part of the group's Yearbook project, in which they're releasing a three-song EP each month for a year. The video for "Snow" is comprised of fan-submitted footage:

No stranger to Christmas music, Sufjan Stevens officially released two holiday tunes featuring Arcade Fire's Richard Parry and The National's Aaron and Bryce Dessner. But for those keeping count, these tracks already became (unofficially) available a few years ago, when the never-formally-released Songs for Christmas, Vol. VI: Gloria! made the rounds online.

The only other Songs for Christmas EP to have seen any light since Stevens's box set of volumes 1-5 was 2008's Vol. VIII: Astral Inter Planet Space Captain Christmas Infinity Voyage, which gave us some insight into just how electronic and weird his next non-holiday album, last year's The Age of Adz, would be. Assuming Stereogum is correct in reporting that 2010 was an "off year" for a Songs for Christmas release, that means the only EP that's never shown up is volume 7. (Anybody got it?)

Meanwhile, Suf's buddy, Daniel Smith, released his Sounds Familyre label's third annual free holiday compilation, A Familyre Christmas - Volume 3, featuring Stevens and Vesper Stamper's "Up on the Housetop," as well as new tracks from Danielson, Half-handed Cloud, and others.

And who better than Zooey Deschanel to remind us that the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear? Conan musical guest She & Him rocked a few jams backstage with Coco, including this rendition of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas":

Finally, everybody's favorite weirdo holiday duet, Bing Crosby and David Bowie's "Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy," gets the homage it dearly deserves, thanks to John C. Reilly and Deschanel's Elf costar Will Ferrell:

Happy super-late holidays, everybody! .

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