All posts filed under: Music

The best Alternative Christmas songs. Part III

So by now you’ve bought all your Christmas presents and wrapped them. You’ve lost the scissors and screamed at a roll of Sellotape. Now all that’s left, is to enjoy the big day with a bottle of sherry and a stupid paper hat, whilst you watch people tread crisps into the carpet. So, here’s the final ten in the best list of alternative Christmas songs. 10. Santa’s got a brand new bag, Gary Walker Yes That’s right, even Santa gets presents, and this time it’s a brand new (man) bag and who better to describe it to us than Gary Walker in this 1965 (should be) classic. 9. Walking in the air, Smerins anti social club On 7th December 2010, Nemone asked her BBC 6 Music listeners to vote on a Christmas song for Smerins Anti-Social Club to record. In less than a week the band had arranged, recorded and produced a ska-influenced version of Walking In The Air, Howard Blake’s composition made famous by The Snowman animation of 1982. Here is a good example of Ska’s …

Alternative Christmas songs part II

Are you counting down the days until Christmas? Well, if your’e opening an advent calendar door each morning and popping out a fake chocolate that’s moulded into a solid effigy of the baby Jesus… Then you’ll be aware that it’s not long to go. Here is a countdown that doesn’t involve eating fake chocolate for breakfast. This countdown is the second part of the best Alternative christmas songs. 20. Ella Fitzgerald, Santa got stuck in my chimney No, it’s not a hideous Christmas double entendres – It’s a christmas song courtesy of one of the greatest singers of her time. Ella could punch energy into songs with a soulful voice and this is no exception. 19. Merry Christmas, Johnny Osbourne It’s a Jah Christmas with Studio one legend Johnny osbourne who takes a classic tune and hangs some tinsel on it. The outcome is some truly christmas roots goodness. 18. Vince Guaraldi Trio, Christmas Time is Here ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ is an album released in 1965 as the soundtrack to the ‘CBS Charlie Brown Christmas. It is among …

Best Alternative Christmas songs. Part I

As we come screeching into the last corner and drag ourselves down the last furlong to slump in a heap on the finish line of 2015. Yet again, we see the usual countdowns of the year – The greatest moments, The worst moments, The best songs, The worst songs. Well, not wanting to feel left out of the obligatory Christmas-sunday-supplement-countdown, FNND has compiled a top 30 list of actually great Christmas songs that leave a warm Christmassy glow. Here is part 1… The countdown from 30 to 20 and it’s nearly Christmas. 30. Yule time throw down, Debbie Harry and Fab Freddy OK, so its the least Christmassy song on the list but who doesn’t want to be Debbie Harry or be ‘with’ Debbie Harry. The Bronx, Christmas style… 29. Booker T and the MG’s, Jingle Bells It’s pretty cheesy at the beginning, with all the jingle bells and Hammond organ. But before you know it – your’e listening to a Stax records Christmas jam that will have all the mums and dads dancing like only mums …

Country Funk. A genre with no name

In 2012, Country Funk 1969 – 1975 Vol I gathered together songs from a genre with no name. It’s a genre created not from geography or shared ideology but a term applied retrospectively based solely on the feel of the songs: hip-swinging rhythms with bourbon on the breath. These were songs to make your cowboy boots itchy, written and performed by the likes of Bobbie Gentry, Johnny Jenkins and Link Wray. Songs that encompass the elation of gospel with the sexual thrust of the blues; country hoedown harmonies cut with inner city grit. Compiled from tracks dating from the late ‘60s to the mid ’70s, Country Funk is the sound of country music blending with sounds and scenes from coast to coast, white America’s heartland music blending with the melting pot as the nation assessed its identity in advance of its bicentennial year. The good news for the people who fell in love with the first volume of Country Funk is this: there’s plenty more where that came from. There’s a follow-up to that first 16-track disc with a second …

Calypso; Musical poetry in the caribbean 1955-69

Available in all good retail and internet stores or direct from Soul Jazz Records. This new album features the music of Calypso in its many styles. Included is music from its birthplace – the island of Trinidad – as well as a number of other Caribbean islands (including Jamaica and the Bahamas) and its subsequent onwards journey (Britain, Panama and the United States), recorded during the years 1955-69. Calypso is one of the most exciting and enduring forms of musical expression to emerge from the beginning of the 20th century – swinging, persuasive rhythm, brilliantly expressive melodies and lyrics of great humour and wisdom. Calypsonians songs play out a role in society similar to the storytelling Griots of West Africa (and the corresponding music of Kaiso); with their own tales about popular and incredible news items, modern life, local politics all mixed up with sexual innuendo, one-upmanship, comedy and more. At its source, Calypso is intricately and inextricably bound to the social history of Trinidad and its myriad of traditions, beliefs, folklore and fables. As …