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2017 Wrap Up, Belle and Sebastian, KT Tunstall and Mac Demarco

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Hello again, last post of the year and just a few releases I have tweeted about but not had chance to put down in a blog so it's there when people search for it. You see that's why I write this blog because I used to spend ages looking for Indie Christmas tunes, I still do but I always wanted to find yet another blog that collected the Christmas songs they found so I could add them to the CDs I send out instead of Christmas cards.

Belle and Sebastian have a long association with BBC sessions going back to the late legend of my teenage years John Peel. In particular they have put in some brilliant Christmas covers over the years. There's this version of the Sonics' Santa Claus and then there's the Twelve Days of Christmas with Alan Partridge in the pear tree. Here they perform live for  BBC Scotland I think. Stuart looks likes he's forgotten the words but it's a fast paced rattle through the Waitresses Christmas hit. We love it and I reckon it's odds on …

Songs for Christmas Eve

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It's Christmas tomorrow and this year I've learnt...... not to drink and blog. Sorry I've had a few and this will be even worse than normal.
@Christmas_aGoGo are awesome and they suggested Christmas Eve In My Hometown by Bobby Vinton and Christmas Eve by Screeching Weasel, but we are doing the indie/alternative thing so here's a start on our favourite Alternative songs for the night before the big event. I reckon we will revist this in coming years and update it with anything new we find. Have a happy one and I'll see you on the other side.

Tom McRae and the Standing Band - Christmas Eve 1943.
This story of wartime preparations for Christmas with all the appropriate solemnity isn't a happy place but it'a  beautiful thing. A timely reminder of all we have to be thankful for.


Wombats - Is this Christmas?
"Twas the night before Christmas" narates Les Dennis in the prelude to this tune only to follow up that "not a creature was stirring except for…

Best Alternative Silent Night covers

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My copy of iTunes tells me that I have 37 different versions of Silent Night! Here's my favourites.
Do you know another version, a better version, leave me a comment below or maybe drop me a line on twitter @xmassongblong or email me xmassonblog@outlook.com.

I'll do this as a countdown top of the pops style. So in at 10 it's

The Flaming Lips with Silent Night.
From their alter ego Imagene Peise album this is an elctro jazz instrumental with the focus on the mental. It's a noodling lilting piece with no direction and all the better for it. They also do a more classic cover with lyrics if you must.



Down at number 9 it's Low with Silent Night. Slowing the song down even further than it is already. It's stripped down to just the harmonies and the stillness



Straight in at 8 its The Kills with Silent Night.
Performed for BBC radio 6 music in 2011 if memory serves. How does one convey such attitude with such a simple song and one guitar?



Falling to earth like a snowflake at 7…

Wavves, London Grammer and Chvrches Christmas tunes

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Hello, we've probably passed all the official singles and now we are in the season of Live covers and website exclusives.

There is two sorts of Live, there's live at a gig in front of an audience and there's the sort of radio live. We've found many a Christmas cover in the BBC radio 1 live lounge. This year they had Rag N Bone Man and Ed Sheeran if that's your sort of thing. Secretly I thought Sheeran did quite a good version of fairytale of New York but I'm only able to tell you that because I don't have an credibility last to lose. Anyway it wasn't as good as Florence and the Machine with Billy Bragg a few years back.

Alongside these stars they had London Grammer in. We are quite partial to their minimalist approach. They gave us a cover of White Christmas and a burst of one line of All I want for Christmas is You.
Just a shame they didn't finish that one.


With the other sort of live two thirds of Chvrches were in Hollywood at a Charity show and i…

Mid December update, Wolf Alice, Charly Bliss and more

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Ok so I think I'm getting worse at blogging rather than better. I only blog for about 2 months a year and yet I still struggle to keep it up to date. Anyways whilst I'm on musing about how terrible a friend I am here's some of the Christmas music we've been picking up on this year.

Wolf Alice - Santa Baby
I have a constant disagreement with myself over North London rockers Wolf Alice. They've done a cover of Santa Baby and they sound nothing like themselves. This could be Kylie I'd have had to listen twice to be sure if you'd said it was. Anyway it's streaming on Spotify on a collection of specially recorded singles. This is the only thing that is remotely listenable. (before anyone replies about the Rostam version of Fairtale of New York all that does is remind us how good the original is).


Charly Bliss - All I Want for Christmas is You.
Amazon now commission (I presume) a yearly list of Christmas covers for a few nice playlists they have running. One …

Alternative Christmas Music: 2017's Playlist

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Another year another playlist, Have a good one and let us know what you think on twitter @xmassongblog

Tracklist
Holiday Road – TennisLast Christmas – Chad PeckIn the Bleak Midwinter – Marika HackmanMerry Christmas Everyone – Lucy RoseSilent Night – Flaming LipsHappy Christmas (War is over) – Damien RiceSilver Bells – The Dandy WarholsCarol of the Drum – The Polyphonic SpreeThe Christmas Song – Mark KozelekBlue Christmas – The LumineersSleigh Ride – SentinelChristmas Time Is Here – This Is The KitChristmas Magic – The NationalLittle Town of Bethlehem – Kate RusbyStained Glass Windows – Michael AngelakosJack’s Obsession – SparklehorseHave Yourself a Merry Little Christmas = Phoebe BridgersChristmas Song – WeezerHappy New Year (Prince Can’t Die Again) – Mac McCaughan
1. Tennis - Holiday Road.

We've been here before with Holiday Road but this is a really good cover, all jangling guitars and bouncing beats and Alaina's vocals soaring. 


2. Last Christmas - Chad Peck
We got alot of Last C…

Early 2017 Releases, Phoebe Bridgers, The National and more...

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Hey everybody,

Yeah were back with our all too casual approach to blogging the best indie and alternative Chrsitmas songs. It's been a slow start to the season but we are hopeful the usual rush of radio show appearances will give us something to add to my playlists. So far we've had some little nuggets of Christmas peaking through the British rain. Maybe it'll turn to snow but I doubt it.

Gregory Porter got in early throwing a classic version of The Christmas Song onto his Nat King Cole covers album. It's silky smooth, probably not different enough to get onto one of our playlists but It's lovely all the same. Here's a live version the studio version is available on album "Nat King Cole & Me" out now. 



This next song was out last year but I didn't really pick up on the band until this year. Not until they released Moonshine Freeze and I heard it on BBC 6 Music. Anyway it's the Charlie Brown song they covered last year. It's in much the ac…