Month: December 2004

MP3 of the Week: Holy Cripes.

     I lied. Here are a few (emphatic) christmas music recommendations. My friend Jason sent me a link to Pledge Drive’s “X-Mas Rhapsody” (Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ reimagined as a christmas carol). Totally good. Here’s a link to Pledge Drive’s site. [via jason, via]

Pledge Drive – ‘XMas Rhapsody’
From: Here (2003)


     Also recommended by me is that ‘Where Will You Be Christmas Day?‘ comp that Pitchfork wrote about last week. Good stuff for fans of all things archival and old-timey.


     Eagle-eyed Abigail recently posted a comment on my previous entry about Adrian Tomine’s New Yorker cover. In her comment, she offers a very strong candidate for the identity of the book both characters in the illustration are reading. Below is an enlarged scan of the book in the image, followed by the cover for “The Spiral Staircase: My Climb Out of Darkness” by Karen Armostrong, which was released in hardcover in March of this year. It’s not an EXACT match, but it’s pretty close.


'Tis the Season

     For the past three years I’ve been involved in an annual effort to get local members of a growing Michigan(ish) music community to record Christmas songs. Getting 20 plus part-time music-makers to agree to contribute a Christmas song is one thing, collecting the song in order to meet a deadline is another entirely.

     It is in the interest of encouraging everyone to contribute that we stress a Lo-Fi friendly policy. We typically set a deadline around the beginning of December and keep pushing it back as we try to gather everyone’s submissions to burn a master. Once this is done, we put together a few hundred hand-packaged CD’s and distribute them.

     Over the course of three CD’s we’ve collected 63 original and traditional holiday songs with production ranging from Parsons to Barlow, all of which are available for download in a variety of formats (mp3 / zip / torrent) here. This year, I play on these songs and recorded the basic tracks for this one.

     Over time, this compilation has become an excuse for people to write and record in groups independent of their ‘normal’ band situations. This inevitably leads to a slew of pseudonyms and joke songs, which punctuate the more somber/sincere offerings nicely and keep the mood ‘balanced.’

      It’s worth noting that we used a wiki to organize this year’s efforts. Everything (With a few exceptions) went smoothly, and we finished up about 2 weeks earlier than last year. Imagine that! Wiki + Musicians = Productivity!

     Also still available is my Christmas Mix from last year. I haven’t stumbled across enough new christmas music to justify a new installment, so I defer to last year’s page, which I am very glad I left up.

Again with the Coverspotting.

     With this entry, I’ll be continuing my recent habit of only updating this website when I spot the work of an artist I like in a place I’m not expecting to see it. I was in Borders today and noticed that the cover of the newest Michael Chabon book, “The Final Solution: A Story of Detection,” has cover art by long-time indie rock poster designer Jay Ryan. You can view his website here, or sort through this gallery of his work at This cover is pretty underwhelming compared to his other work – two of my favorite posters by Mr. Ryan are this one and this one.