Ho Ho Howdy Xmess Music Lovers!

Many thanks for everyone who contributed dough yesterday, we’re off to a great start on our Indiegogo campaign. A lot of folks are sharing the LINK and posting to their respective Facebook Pages, Tweeting & re-Tweeting the news and SIGNING-UP for the exclusive Backstage Pass (which you can find at BOTTOM RIGHT of the website’s home PAGE!

Help save Christmas! (music)

Its the official launch of our Indie Go Go campaign … check out our brand new demo, meet some of our fascinating characters, and help us save Christmas …one song at a time!

Le Fin du Vinyle? Heavens, no!

OMGWD! I just stepped back in time and straight onto the set of the great Stephen Frears film “High Fidelity” … but instead of starring John Cusack, this version of the movie featured my new pal Otis Fodder, and is set in Montreal, still circa 1985 at an incredible record store called “Death of Vinyl”.

Otis brought me here after weeks of hyping the place and its two lovely owners Steve & Dan. And lemme tell you, this shop did not disappoint. As happens often to me, I dropped in at just the right time because Steve had only the day before, dug up all their Christmas stock leftover from last season, and placed it in the bins atop which sits a marijuana leaf and Xmas stocking.

I knew I was in for for some treasures when, three LPs in, I found a copy of Canadian jazz icon Guido Basso’s sweet 70s instrumental Christmas album. Not MINT by any stretch, but fine enough that i can now preview both sides and determine if it’s worth shelling out the $ 200+ it usually goes for on eBay or GEMM. Price I paid? $ 1.49 ;P

La Fin Du Vinyle was named the best of the TEN BEST!

Bienvenue a Whoville

We’re here in Montreal setting up for the filming of my PITCH PORTION of our upcoming Indie Go Go Campaign. Last night, while everyone else was partying up a storm at the World Premiere of my partners’ latest opus The Fruit Hunters, I was busy as an elf decorating my editor, Ryan Mullin’s, office to reflect that Whoville vibe we’re going for… whadya think ?

All Aboard!

WOW! The shortest and one of the most worthwhile trips I’ve taken to this fabulous city. Found an incredible bargoon at the newly renovated (and very clean) Days Inn on Broadway in the upper West Side. I highly recommend it to anyone travelling to The Big Apple on a budget (isn’t that everyone these days? 😉  

Met with bebop pioneer Bob Dorough to cull thru the hundreds of fabulous archival photos and other memorabilia he has from 8 decades playing music. EIGHT decades, you read that correctly. What an inspiration! As I write this Bob is in Chattanooga, for a week long solo gig. The man is turning 89 in December and still travels and plays several times a month wherever and with whomever will have the courage to book him. His longtime collaborator, left-hand man and stellar guitarist, Steve Berger and I spent a fabulous evening watching footage and reminiscing about Bob’s incredible career.

Anywhoo, as is amply evident, I could gush about Mr. Dorough for hours. But this post is meant to wish Gotham a fine farewell and say Bonjour to Montreal where I am heading now on the Amtrak Line thru the stunning Adirondacks!

Miles Davis in Scrooged? Bah, humbug!

After all these years I finally watched SCROOGED (starring Bill Murray)  for the first time on my flight to JFK. I’ve been dying to see it for years, esp. since there is an infamous scene with Miles Davis, David Sanborn & Paul Shaffer (who composed the music for the film and who I am certain was the driving force behind persuading Miles to actually APPEAR in the film!) … Hard to believe Miles agreed to appear as a “starving” jazz player, even allowing the filmmakers to position him on a New York City street corner with a suitcase begging for donations!

There’s ANOTHER. much cooler connection that Miles Davis has to Christmas and New York City. It concerns a song that holds the distinction of being the only tune Miles ever recorded with a vocalist, “Blue Xmas (To Whom It May Concern)” the hippest jazz xmas tune ever recorded, and likely the most obscure of Miles Davis distinguished and varied oeuvre.

I’ll be dropping a soecific post about this song a little later, but suffice to say, the folks behind the creation of Scrooged (tho a fine film it is) could have truly upped the Xmas ante by having Miles Davis play BOB’s Song, instead of the royalty free ancient carol that was chosen for that street corner performance of “We Three Kings”.

Sirfjam CONQUERS Christmas!

Well, this is a dream come true…The inimitable Jewish Xmas music lover is embarking upon a full-fledged XMAS tour this coming November & December… Sadly, there are NO Canadian dates, but he is in Seattle on Dec 8th for all you West Coasters.

TIX go on sale for MOST venues this Friday at 12 noon EST. Grab em or be forever doomed to a lacklustre Christmas season ! Find out more here.

The Free Design

Greetings all. I’m traveling an hour or so north of Toronto to interview Sandy Dedrick of The Free Design. Incredible band with the best Xmas song title of all-time: “Close Your Mouth (It’s Christmas)”

Back in 1968, when it was recorded, they called it The NOW SOUND of Christmas…but the NOW sound (and the philosophy behind it) still prevails today !

Chris Dedrick and the band take Christmas music seriously, but not in an overtly religious sense. They recognize the holiday for its importance as a time for reflection, for telling those you love how you feel about them, to paying attention to your fellow man … pretty basic concepts. But those ideals of the holiday are getting lost, and what Chris espouses is that we need to take a moment and reflect upon what matters most.

And to me, their music does just that. It takes us to that place where we can feel a “spiritual” connection to the holiday and its inherent rituals and themes of family, togetherness, kindness and hope.

Sadly, I missed sitting down with Christopher Dedrick, who passed away in July of 2010. If you’ve never heard of Free Design before, you must check them out!

Jingle Bell Rocks! in the news

In an interview with culture writer Steve Burgess of thetyee.ca, I tell the story of how John Waters got involved in our film.

Steve gets it. He writes: “Many factors can make a Christmas hater — choking on Lego, early exposure to the Star Wars Christmas Special, Fox News. But for some it’s the music. Like the third-rate candy that briefly goes mainstream to fill Halloween demand, the likes of Burl Ives and Andy Williams re-emerge to set up camp in your ear canal come the holiday season. Even John and Yoko get tiresome after awhile.”

Read the story here.

Jingle Bell Rocks crew in Chicago

We’re in Chicago today interviewing and shooting with Andy Cirzan, Christmas music collector extraordinaire (and VP of Jam Productions), as he guests on WBEZ Radio’s annual Sound Opinions Christmas Spectacular.

Listen right now, or download the podcast from the Sound Opinions site. Holiday blues and soul are the specialty of this year’s show.