‘Tis the season for holiday music. It’s a genre that often gets a bad rap, for good reason: a lot of it is pretty dire. Though there are classics (like Roy Wood’s “I Wish it Could be Christmas Every Day,” ELP’s “I Believe in Father Christmas” and the Kinks’ rocking “Father Christmas”) it remains a
In between his jam-packed musical schedule, Hendersonville-born-and-raised Blake Ellege found the time to attend and graduate from the International University of Santa Claus. Fulfilling a lifelong ambition – a dream, really – Ellege says that he’s preparing to make his first annual “complete formal transformation” into the jolly St. Nicholas for the 2018 holiday season.
Though exploitation knows no era, the 1960s was truly the decade of the cash-in. Americans of a certain age recall that in the wake of the Beatles’ initial stateside success (beginning with a filmed show in Washington D.C. and a series of broadcasts on The Ed Sullivan Show), countless ripoff albums seemed magically to appear.
Scottish fiddler Jamie Laval has earned worldwide acclaim for his lyrical and evocative musicianship, as well as his always-compelling annual Christmas-themed live shows. Ever winter since 2011, the award-winning fiddler (winner of the 2002 U.S. National Scottish fiddle Championship) has staged a fascinating and highly entertaining show built around themes of the holidays, solstice and
With 18 live dates scheduled in December 2017, Alaska-born folk singer-songwriter-guitarist Hope Griffin is clearly in demand. Performing in a variety of configurations – solo as well as part of a duo, trio and full band – Griffin showcases he soulful voice, straightforward arrangements and solid, accessible songwriting. After relocating to Asheville, she released her
Today’s Valentine’s Day. So let’s observe and celebrate the day with an Irish-themed story about … Christmas! — bk Every year around the Christmas holiday, there’s a search for something beyond the overly-familiar carols and “Jingle Bells” that we’ve heard for years. Those who want something different – yet still grounded in tradition – might
For several years now, Celtic fiddler Jamie Laval has crafted a special December program for audiences. Bringing together music, dance and storytelling, Laval presents “Celtic Christmas,” a family-friendly performance that showcases not only Christmas traditions, but observances of older pagan rituals centered around winter solstice. Laval’s late December performance calendar included a show in Asheville
‘Tis the season for … a bonus weekend post. I almost never post features or reviews on a Saturday, but these two titles warrant the exception. Plus, if I wait until I have an open weekday, you won’t read about this until late February 2017. Some people simply detest holiday music. I grew up in
Two of pop culture’s kitschiest phenomenons collide on this new reissue of an ultra-rare LP from 1964. Not counting revivals and renewed interest, surf rock was popular from about 1962 to ’64 (a year that – not at all coincidentally – The Beatles took off in America). Originally centered around southern California, the style quickly
Imagene Peise — Atlas Eets Christmas Let’s get a few things out of the way right up front about this holiday-themed release. First there is no Imagene Peise; despite a convoluted backstory, “she” is really The Flaming Lips. But no, that’s not quite accurate, either: This album – a reissue of a 2007 limited edition