The greatest Christmas song ever.
Archive for December, 2008
The greatest Christmas song ever.
Christmas posts coming fast & furious. We’re total Elvis Presley fans here at NHT. How about a little stocking stuffer of some great sounding Christmas outtakes, alternate versions and what have you. They’re from the 50′s through that last live track from 1974. Be sure to check out the 7 minute “Merry Christmas Baby.” Elvis belting in a nice, loose session.
I’ll Be Home On Christmas Day (piano version)
Winter Wonderland (undubbed master)
Merry Christmas Baby (remake for ‘This is Elvis’)
The First Noel (without cymbal)
Oh Come All Ye Faithful (alternate version)
It Won’t Seem Like Christmas (undubbed take 6)
If I Get Home On Christmas Day (extended mix)
Holly Leaves And Christmas Trees (undubbed take 6)
Silver Bells (undubbed take 2)
On A Snowy Christmas Night (extended mix)
The Wonderful World Of Christmas (extended mix)
I’ll Be Home On Christmas Day (alternate master, country version)
Merry Christmas Baby (unedited master)
Holly Leaves And Christmas Trees (remix)
If Everyday Was Like Christmas (alternate takes 1 & 2)
White Christmas (remix)
Here Comes Santa Claus (acetate recording)
Oh Little Town Of Bethlehem (acetate recording with echo)
Santa Claus Is Back In Town (remix)
I’ll Be Home For Christmas Day (acetate recording with echo)
Blue Christmas/Santa Claus Is Back In Town (rehearsal, 6/24/68)
Blue Christmas (live 9/28/74)
Get the whole thing at once right here: Elvis Xmas Outtakes zipped
I almost feel like I created this blog for the sole purpose of posting this video. One of my all time favorite Christmas television moments is one of the most surreal pairings in TV history. A thirty year old David Bowie duets with Bing Crosby on September 11, 1977, just over a month before Crosby would pass away. I have a clear memory of seeing this when it first aired (on 11/30/77) and feeling really strange about watching who had died a few weeks earlier. So here in my first ever Christmas themed entry, “Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth,” for you:
Fans of mid 90′s guitar driven Brit rock are dancing in the streets with last week’s news of the original Blur lineup reuniting (for a one-off at press time) in Hyde Park next summer. Yes, Graham Coxon comes in from the cold to join Alex James, Dave Rowntree and Damon Albarn onstage for this first time since their Royal Festival Hall performance in 2000. If you plan on being in London Friday July 3rd (or flying in for the occasion) you can buy tickets right here (as if there are any left).
Can’t think of a better excuse to share these unreleased demos from their 1993 sessions for Parklife. An interesting work-in-progress view of what I consider their high water mark (many thanks to Mike @ Dead Flowers for originally posting these):
To The End (w/ Justine Frischmann)
Clover Over Dover
One Born Every Minute
Girls & Boys
Trouble In The Message Centre
The Debt Collector/Anniversary Waltz
Parklife (w/ Damon narrating)
Get the whole shebang (with cheesy artwork) here: Parklife demos zipped
I’m pretty sure “The Debt Collector/Anniversary Waltz”, “Parklife”, and “Bank Holiday” are from a Mark Goodier session live on the Beeb
Every blogger’s gotta have one so here’s my list for the best of a pretty strong year. Click on the album covers for band websites.
#1 Blitzen Trapper – Furr (Sub Pop)
The finest 6 piece band in Portland delivers an adventurous stunner on their fourth record. There’s so much going in every song I feel like I’ve heard a whole record’s worth of ideas after two or three tracks. Where do I start? It’s the Kinks meets Of Montreal, early Dylan meets Wilco, After The Gold Rush era Neil Young meets Beck. And I’m diggin’ the 80’s hair metal logo! Suffice to say that if my boys sing along to every tune then it’s been in pretty heavy rotation around the NHT house. I do skip “Black River Killer” when the kids are around; hard to explain that one to a nine year old…
That last one is downright chilling live.
CF’s latest sheds the freak folky Americana leanings of their past efforts in favor of a Blitzen Trapper type rock infused with Arcade Fire’s sense of drama (without their tiresome aura of self-importance) and tasteful doses of Latin and Eastern European flavor. Guests include Brian Kotzur (Silver Jews), Tom Hagerman (DeVotchKa) and Neko Case. This may be Eric Bachmann and his shifting brood’s best yet. Unfortunately I can’t bring myself to include the cover art (hey, we’re kid friendly ’round here)
The Crooked Fingers released this one all by their lonesome. Buy it here: http://www.crookedfingers.com/
#3 Firewater – The Golden Hour (Bloodshot)
Original review here. Tod A can still bring it after 10+ years out of Cop Shoot Cop. A brilliant travelogue about Tod’s 3 year sojourn through India, Pakistan, Israel & Turkey, bringing a solid rock foundation to showcase music from halfway around the world.
Leeds me to believe Tod’s happier living out of a suitcase…
Original review here. Finally a magical night of Cuban music sees the light of day. Music that was a revelation in 1998 on the studio record is nothing short of incendiary in this live setting. The sheer joy and exuberance of these incredible musicians, many playing the US for the first time, pours out of the speakers.
#5 Paul Weller – 22 Dreams (Yep Roc)
The Modfather takes a bold, audacious step outside the comfort zone that dulled his last couple of albums and succeeds in spades. Solo record #9 is his most varied yet, touching on Brit folk, blue eyed soul, jazz, crunching rock, driving psychedelia, Middle Earstern grooves and piano ballads. So inspiring to see an artist still able challenge himself after 30+ years. Guests include Robert Wyatt, Noel Gallagher, Graham Coxon (on drums, only Weller could bring together the Hatfield & McCoy of Brit rock), Gem Archer and Ocean Colour Scene’s Steve Cradock is all over this (he also gets a production credit).
#6 The Last Shadow Puppets – The Age Of The Understatement (Domino)
Review of “Standing Next to Me” single here. A collaboration between Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner and Miles Kane (Little Flames, Rascals). It’s early Bowie’s 60’s symphonic-pop meets Love meets The Yardbirds with Enio Morricone and John Barry flourishes. Delicious.
#7 The Dodos – Visiter (FrenchKiss)
One of my favorite local bands I haven’t seen live yet. ‘Course I don’t get out much… Their second album is smile inducing from start to finish. Another guitar-drums duo (I was hoping bands without bass players was a passing fad) fills so much space with so little. Here’s a couple tracks from Visiter live from The Doug Fir Lounge, Portland recorded in October of last year:
And my fave tune from Visiter: Fools
Original review here. If Nonesuch hadn’t reissued their first collaboration My LIfe In The Bush Of Ghosts this new record may never have happened. Getting back in touch for the reissue, Eno mentioned he had a large cache of tracks and Byrnne offered to compose lyrics. Sheer beauty ensued.
Available only on their website it here.
#9 Foals – Antidotes (Trasgressive)
This post-new wave Oxford, UK 5 piece sounds like Gang Of Four for a post Arctic Monkeys world. So catchy, so much fun. Here’s a live version of one of my favorite tracks of their full length debut:
One of the best shows I saw all year. Jack White is a straight up rock star, Brendon Benson is an underrated genius, great songwriting, driving guitars, killer hooks, what’s not to like?.
When they played “Carolina Drama” at Slim’s White stepped to the front of the stage to deliver the last couple of versus without the aid of amplification. You could have heard a pin drop as his voice reached every corner of that room. Gave me the chicken skin…
And the best of the rest, hopefully to be fleshed out in the near future:
#11 Alejandro Escovedo – Real Animal (Back Porch)
#12 The Botticellis – Old Home Movies (Antenna Farm)
#13 Los Campesinos – Hold On Now, Youngster (Arts & Crafts)
#14 Drive-By Truckers – Brighter Than Creation’s Dark (New West)
#15 Antony and the Johnsons – Another World (Secretly Canadian)
#16 The Zydepunks – Finisterre (Nine Mile)
#17 Jesca Hoop – Kismet (Columbia)
#18 Aimee Mann – @#%&*! Smilers (Super Ego)
#19 Calexico – Carried to Dust (Quarterstick)
#20 Lucinda Williams – Little Honey (Lost Highway)
Tickets for M. Ward’s show at the Palace Of Fine Arts on March 5 went on sale today. They should go fast considering they had to put a stop to the pre-sale a day and a half early. Click here to get ‘em. I’m dying to hear tracks from Hold Time, due out in mid February. Guests include Jason Lytle (ex Grandaddy), Lucinda Williams, Tom Hagerman (DeVotchka) and She & Him partner in crime Zooey Deschanel.
To get get you in an M mood here’s a bunch of songs from his tour opening for Beth Orton. See, Mr. Ward was making with the lady duet thing a good two years before he ever met Zooey. Many thanks to Aquarium Drunkard for originally posting these…
Beth Orton w/ M. Ward live @ the Seymore Centre, Sydney 2/11/04
Or get ‘em all at once: Beth Orton w/ M. Ward zipped
The rest of M. Ward’s tour dates:
2/18 BOSTON – Somerville Theater
2/19 NEW YORK – The Apollo Theatre
2/20 PHILADELPHIA – Trocadero Theatre
2/21 WASHINGTON, DC – Sixth and I Synagogue
2/25 LONDON – Borderline
2/26 PARIS – Café de la Danse
2/27 AMSTERDAM – Paradiso
3/04 LOS ANGELES – Music Box at Fonda
3/05 SAN FRANCISCO – Palace of Fine Arts
3/06 SEATTLE – Showbox At The Market
3/07 PORTLAND – Aladdin Theater
Hold Time track listings
1. For Beginners (AKA Mt. Zion)
2. Never Had Anybody Like You*
4. Hold Time
5. Rave On*
6. To Save Me**
7. One Hundred Million Years
8. Stars of Leo
9. Fisher of Men
10. Oh, Lonesome Me***
12. Blake’s View
14. Outro (AKA I’m A Fool To Want You)