The Holidays Are Upon Us

“The holidays are upon us” always sounds to me as if the barbarian hordes have breached the castle walls and are laying waste to our entire way of life. Maybe that’s just my family. Anyway, I’m sure Christmas at your house is fine. Of course, if you do find yourself being marauded by savages enjoying the warm embrace of family, there is a silver lining. In the smoldering rubble you may find an iTunes gift card or two. If that’s the case, I have a few suggestions.

Bruce Cockburn
“Lovers in a Dangerous Time”It’s sad to think of all the great songs that have been recorded and enjoyed over the decades only to fade into obscurity. We shouldn’t let that happen to this amazing song. It’s more relevant now than ever.

The Pretenders
“Boots of Chinese Plastic”
Time isn’t kind to rock stars. They get fat, lose their edge, and generally slip too easily into the comforts and financial rewards of artistic compromise. Not Chrissie Hynde. She seems to embody the punk ethos a little bit more each day. This song was released nearly 30 years after her landmark debut and I dare you to find one note of compromise.

The Drums
“Days”The Drums 2011 sophomore album Portamento should have been an indie pop classic. But I guess we’re not celebrating albums like we used to. That’s a shame because “Days” personifies the juxtaposition of bouncy bass lines and melancholy hooks that make Portamento irresistible.

The Sunjays
How indie-rock is this song? Very. In fact, when I searched this song on YouTube I was literally the first person to view it. The first person. Don’t these guys have moms?

“No Dreams”
The greatest guitarists fundamentally alter the way we think about how the instrument is played, and how it sounds. Think Jimi Hendrix or Eddie Van Halen.  Now add Sarah Lipstate to that list. Performing under the name Noveller, she’s reimagining what can be done with an electric guitar. Using a mind-boggling array of effects, loopers and alternate tunings, Lipstate creates amazing cinematic soundscapes that have more in common with classical music than rock.

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