The holiday music on the radio sucks, we got over the Waitresses back in high school, and we’re still having jingle-rock nightmares over last year’s televised Pomplamoose torture. So here’s the 2011 Boston Phoenix Holiday EP, featuring a few of the finest holiday songs to emerge this month from the Boston rock scene, available for free download via our Bandcamp.
&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;a href="http://bostonphoenix.bandcamp.com/album/the-holiday-ep"&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;The Holiday EP by Boston Phoenix&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
“BORN ON CHRISTMAS DAY”
Moon Crew Featuring Ra3x
Electronic music maven Michael Potvin had a vision of turning a raw Brooklyn warehouse into a 2500-square-foot live/work destination, and spent the summer recruiting Bostonians to join him. The result is the Moon II, a collective arts space that boasts ex-Bostonians DJ Volvox, Ming Ming, Steven Grise, and others. Together they revamped St. Etienne’s holiday classic “I Was Born on Christmas Day” into a trippy, heavy-beat grinder.
Artist page: themoonII.com
“BABY I’M ALONE TONIGHT (CHRISTMAS TIME)”
Free from the romantic Beatings, Rodriguez laments the lonely days leading up to Santa’s visit, making cocktails for one and staring blankly into the fireplace. ER has always been one of Boston’s more underrated songwriters, but here – the first track off the three-song Christmas On The Allston-Brighton Line EP -- he reaches new heights (or depths): “Now the house is quiet, the decorations done/I lit the candles in the window so you know I’m home.” Catch him performing live at Porterbelly’s in Brighton at the Cradles to Crayons toy drive, and try, just try, to cheer him up.
Artist page: eldridgerodriguez.bandcamp.com
Not everyone is miserable around the holidays, and the ho-ho-day-glo smile of Al Polk leads scenester carolers in a cheery, eggnog-drunk pop romp. Recorded at Elephant Music Group Studios in Arlington, Polk and his merry crew will belt it out across town at Sunday’s third annual Rock N’ Soul Holiday Concert at the Regent Theatre, alongside Casey Desmond, Barrence Whitfield, and others.
Artist page: itsstreightangular.bandcamp.com
“THE SNOWMAN’S WALTZ”
Since 2008, quirky pop duo Halston have tackled everything from disco to Palestinian piano ballads to personalized birthday songs for friends. After the success of last year’s “Chook Sung Tan (Merry Christmas),” Carlos and Dando dance a merry sing-along chamber-pop waltz to a not-so merry refrain of “Christmas time/Is not on my side.” Pass the bottle of Baileys.
Artist page: halston.bandcamp.com
Partially tracked at Q Division and featuring guest vocals by Magen Tracy, the noir-pop smarts of Parlour Bells dress Bowie in red and green garland and sparkle like the Corner Tavern on Christmas night. Vocalist Glenn di Benedetto, wearing mistletoe as a halo, positions himself as a fine holiday crooner, a glam Michael Buble for the guyliner-and-flask set.
Artist page: parlourbells.bandcamp.com
Brett Rosenberg may have left our city a few years ago for the sunnier skies of Nashville, but the veteran musician paid more dues in our scene than most Boston lifers. His lo-fi project Quichenight just dropped their A Very Quichey Christmas EP last month, and "Rocknroll Christmas" is enough to hope he one day moves back.
Artist page: quichenight.bandcamp.com/
Happy Jawbone Family Band
It sounds like it could be a lost Misfits classic, but "Martian Santa" is really a frolicking bathroom-pop romp from Vermont's Happy Family Jawbone Band. This was first released in November off the crew's A Happy Jawbone Family X-Mas Gift To You, 2011: Vol. 1: Operation Ho Ho Ho record, 16 holiday songs that absolutely rule.
Artist page: happyjawbone.bandcamp.com/
“HAPPY NEW YEAR, DEAR”
The Hush Now
Whether it's Mephistopheles following him around the night of Halloween, breaking into Dudley Town late at night, or simply going "On Holiday" in late-December, Noel Kelly is no stranger to the respectable seasonal jingle. Here, the Hush Now look past the religious days and focus on a night of true mysticism, New Year's Eve. A perfect closer for our EP.
Artist page: thehushnow.bandcamp.com/