This blog has gained many new readers since I first posted my Spiked Candy Canes mixes in 2005, so I thought I'd share them again for anyone who missed out the first time around. Hopefully they'll give you an idea of the abundance of lesser-known but fun, interesting, weird or sometimes beautiful Christmas songs that are out there, and maybe introduce you to some artists you haven't heard before. If you're looking for more info and links to purchase anything that's still in print, have a look through the December 2005 and the December 2006 archives.
I'm feeling spoiled this year thanks to all the quality Christmas music I've found online that the artists have generously made available for free download. Below is my list of finds. Got any more to add?
Heading this list are a trio of Swedish pop girls - Kin, in her uniquely cute and slightly batty way, asks Santa what it takes to make his 'nice' list; El Perro Del Mar brings to her Christmas tune her signature style of creating a haunting, melancholic atmosphere using cheery 60s girl group sounds; and Bobby Baby surprisingly refreshes a tired old standard, making it pretty and icy, yet somehow warm and cosy too.
A guest post from Tag:
Sometimes I feel like someone's made a record with me in mind. Not in an angst-bitten way, analysing lyrics and convincing myself "it really speaks to me". I mean something that matches my own personal brand of perfection. A song I'd want to marry. Gothenburg's Sally Shapiro has made such a record. A record produced in the blissed-out Italian disco tradition, with a melody to match Abba's most bittersweet moments, delivered by a singer so possessed of wide-eyed lovesickness, she makes Annie sound like a veritable vixen. It's called "Anorak Christmas" which should make me wince with cloying indie associations - but it's just right. It could sound contrived, coquettish, but it simply sounds like a girl who's fallen rapturously in love at some midwinter discotheque, emerged into the snow and went straight home to put her feelings down, hesitantly but honestly.
My note: Sally so beautifully makes it her own, it's surprising to find out the song's actually a cover. Here's the original by twee synthpop artist and fellow Swede Nixon:
I think I've hit on a plan to let me keep blogging without exhausting myself and then subsequently losing interest. I'm going to keep things as simple as possible with just pictures and the song and probably not buying links, although I feel a bit guilty leaving those out. But you should be able to find any albums from the vendors in my sidebar. If you've searched high and low and can't find where to buy something, you can always ask and I'll help you out.
Please use the comments section to ask me any questions. I've taken down my email address, but if you still have it, please don't use it to ask me questions you can easily find answers for on a search engine. I'm also unable to send out anything individually, even for a trade. Nor am I taking requests or band submissions. Unless you're a band in my myspace friends and you want to send me free stuff? Eh? Eh? Can't blame a girl for trying.
I'm excited to be adding
Radioblog*, which I discovered on the gorgeous blog Pop 'N Cherries. I've been trying to find a free way to do something like this for ages, but had no luck so it's a happy discovery indeed. This is my exception to my no requests policy; you can ask me to post an mp3 if you like anything on there. And I'm hoping that will make the blog a little more interactive and I'll get some more feedback on what people like. Remember, feedback keeps your widdle bloggers happy and makes them want to go on! Even just a 'thanks' or 'you rule the school' or even 'you suck!' (no just kidding, please don't) is great to hear.
I did think of starting up a forum where readers of this blog and the others that post French 60s stuff regularly could talk about what they love and any new discoveries, or trade stuff, but again I'd be biting off a bit more than I can chew. But for anyone who'd be interested in such an idea, please join the last.fm groups I have, French 60s and Ye-Ye Girls and maybe you could liven those up a bit. Even if you don't use the other last.fm features, the forums have the potential to be a great meeting place for fans.
And don't forget
Spiked-Candy Last.fm Radio is still chugging away, churning out lots of aural treats and free to listen to. If the player has let you down before, try the beta for the upcoming release. As long as you have a decent connection, it should work a charm. And I know the 2 separate downloads for the Audioscrobbler plug-in and the Last.fm player are confusing to some; this download has them both in one and guides you through everything you need to do.
Merci, and I'll be back with some tunes very soon .
Really struggling illness-wise at the moment, so it's hard to get the enthusiasm to blog. Not closing up though, just having an extended break. Anyone who has written to me, I will get back to you eventually, just a bit overwhelmed right now.
Don't forget about
Spiked Candy Last.Fm Radio, which will keep bringing you the pop tunes in my absence! Also, have a look at my two posts on Last.FM about on-demand music available on there - here and here. Some of the bands mentioned are France's Watoo Watoo, Japan's Limited Express (has gone?) and Piano Magic. Some other on-demand music I've recently found on there: I'm From Barcelona, The Lovekevins, and Carrie (actually I can't get her page to work, I'm just assuming she's good because I like the bow in her hair). If you've been put off before by the player not working, it's running perfectly now.
And one release I've been meaning to blog about is Boutique Chic's Chez Le Coiffeur on Thomas Deligny's Stereofiction label. Deligny's previous releases as Concorde Music Club are also up on last.fm, as mentioned in one of my entries.
stream the whole thing on last.fm or on the Boutique Chic site, where you can also download samples (click the album cover, then click 'buy this 12" or download mp3'). I have to agree with Guuzbourg - the standout track for me from this collection of hair salon-themed club tunes is Minimatic's 'La Raie Ou Milieu'.
- The Shermans - Monday Morning Girl
- The Modesty Board - C'est Moi
I'm very excited about the arrival of the Pop The Question compilation from local (Brisbane, Australia) mail-order label Book Club Records. A collection of exquisite indiepop tunes from husband-and-wife bands around the world, this is a pleasure from start to finish. It was hard to choose a couple of songs to post, but these two songs are definitely among my favourites on the disc. Other standout tracks for me are from Watoo Watoo, The Golden Circles, The Owls, The Pinks, Sun Hill, Citra Super, Manchester By The Sea, Kanda, Las Puertas... ok, all of them pretty much.
Overseas readers, this will only set you back AU $12 including shipping... that's only about 8 or 9 US bucks for 25 songs! Since they are practically giving it away, I am insisting you buy this... and some of you may recall what happens if you don't do as I say. A perfect Valentine's gift for your loved one, or, if you prefer, perfect for demanding your significant other buy it for you or they don't love you etc.
Sweden's The Shermans are Mikael & Ingela Matsson and Christer Nilson. Mikael was previously in Red Sleeping Beauty and both Mikael and Ingela have more recently formed the equally irresistable The Charade (who also have a song on Pop The Question). The Shermans are still together, but have been a bit quiet of late, with The Charade being Mikael & Ingela's main focus at the moment. 'Monday Morning Girl' is a gorgeous example of their 60s-influenced jangle pop sound.
Melbourne band The Modesty Board are married couple Justine Negus (vocals, keys) and Michael Dwyer (vocals, guitars, ukuleles), and Dylan Coleman (percussion). Michael tells me the song was written "when we were on holiday in France and driving through the Dordogne Valley in a rented blue Twingo. It's a song about being silly in love." You'll also hear their infant son, Django making a contribution at the end of the track!
out of print
- February 19 2017
- February 2 2017
- December 24 2016
- December 23 2016
- November 25 2016
- November 19 2016
- November 11 2016
- October 29 2016
- October 7 2016
- September 1 2016
- August 29 2016
- July 30 2016
- July 19 2016
- July 14 2016
- Sat, Jun 25 2016
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