Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Frosty Got Flattened By a Mannheim Steamroller

The third edition of Night Beat Noel is upon us, and I think I'm going to try having just four this year. Sort of like Quarterly Nominations for the PVA's four has a nice symmetry to it. Plus I think I would go nuts if I had to do anymore.

I thought I would mix things up a little bit by making a few recommendations of a Night Beat Approved Christmas Celebration. Now I've been known to enjoy "traditional" Christmas Carols done in the "Traditional" Way, up to a point. Too much tradition and I go into scrooge mode. No, I do my best with non-traditional "holiday" music. If you do to, then I think you have some of these artists on your iPod already.
  • Trans-Siberian Orchestra - One of two Christmas Supergroups out there (the other has the initials M.S.) Christmas/Sarajevo 12/24 You'll understand completely. Christmas Eve and Other Stories or The Christmas Attic should get you started.
  • Mannheim Steamroller - Chip Davis and Company are the undisputed "Kings" of the Christmas Music season. (Well, except for Jesus of course, but he is "King of Kings", so I guess that M.S. is one of the under-Kings). Even though I thought they stumbled with their Christmas Symphony, for the most part these guys are Platinum. Pat a Pan, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (Rock), Hark the Herald Angels Sing, even Rudolph shines with them. A must have in any collection. If the local radio stations would just play TSO and MS non-stop all December, things would be cool.
  • Denver & The Mile High Orchestra - Timeless Christmas - If you like your Christmas Music with a touch of Al Capone or Speakeasies, then Denver is for you. Just kidding on the Capone, but seriously, Big Band Swing Christmas. Frosty the Blues Man is worth it alone. Ladies, I highly recommend This Christmas All I need is You.
  • Barlowgirl - Home for Christmas: Guys, this one is for us. One of CCM's top FFR (That's Female Fronted Rock) bands ditches the electric guitar for some absolutely heavenly three part harmonies. Yes, I know, Jesus is the reason for the season, but these ladies are melt the snow HOT. Hearing Alyssa sing "I'll be home for Christmas" you really wish for it.
  • Kathy Troccoli - Christmas Songs: Another one for us guys. KT was just starting out when your favorite blogger was spinning vinyl, and while she could always break the gages when she hit the high notes, this album makes the most of her sultry voice. This is the sensei. Barlow girl went the torch song route as well, but KT is the Flamethrower to their match. Listen to Christmas time is here and admit it, you're thinking "Charlie Who?"
  • Annie Moses Band - This Glorious Christmas: Parents remember, you may be able to make your kids take violin, cello and harp lessons, but they'll still find a way TO ROCK. And when dad plays a mean Jazz/Honky-Tonk piano, you get the AMB. If you love Mannheim Steamroller. This is what Chip Davis was trying for but failed with Christmas Symphony. It's mostly instrumental.
  • Vince Guaraldi - A Charlie Brown Christmas A must have, and not just because of the TV Special. Jazz up your Christmas. Okay, how about this for a Christmas Playlist. TSO, Mannheim, Denver, Annie Moses and Vince.
  • Rivertribe - Christmas Three words. Christmas. Australia. Didgeridoo. Enough Said. Not really. These Aussies mix the Didgeridoo with Trance and Pop. You will never hear Christmas Music like this anywhere. Give it a shot. You won't be disappointed. Except for some guest vocals, it's all instrumental.
Now, for the second part of my post. This one is long, but I think it is necessary. We also have some entries this year. KT was in my previous post.
  • Jason Bare - Have You Heard EP 3.75 Emeralds
  • Jim Hitchcock - Coast Highway Christmas 3.5 Emeralds
  • Hillsong - Born is The King 4 Emeralds
  • David Ian - Vintage Christmas 4.5 Emeralds
  • Jadon Lavik - Christmas 3.75 Emeralds
  • Hawk Nelson - Christmas 4.5 Emeralds
  • Our Hearts Hero - Love is Breathing 4.5 Emeralds
  • Smalltown Poets - Christmas 4.25 Emeralds
  • Various Artists - Rockin Around The Christmas Tree 4.5 Emeralds This one needs a little more said about it. A lot of albums have this title. It was released on the First of November and has music by Anberlin, August Burns Red, Ivoryline, Demon Hunter and others.
That does it for now. I think I can finish up the rest of the Christmas Releases in one more post since December seems to be quiet. I won't have to have an Epiphany Edition. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.