Checking out “Christmas in Hollis”

Whew! Finally coming up for air after a whirlwind week of shoots in Baton Rouge, Saddle River, NJ, Brooklyn, Manhattan (four) and Hoboken. 

The crew are shooting B-Roll in Hollis, Queens and Harlem while I stayed back to catch up on some much needed housekeeping and updates like this one.

Tonite we’re off the Maxwell’s Bar in Hoboken, where we’ve got tix (and will meet) YO LA TENGO, one of my favorite bands in the world. I’ll be posting separately about them later on the FB Fan Page !

This post is all about what is indisputably the finest & freshest rhyme ever to be written for the holidays: “Christmas In Hollis” by Joseph “Reverend Run DMC” Simmons!

Sunday we spent the morning with the hip hop legend  who was the funniest, most gracious host & subject I’ve interviewed in the three years we’ve been making out little movie. He shared stories about his childhood Christmases in Hollis, Queens, getting his first purple Speed Racer bike, his distaste for mittens, he told us the story of how “Christmas In Hollis” was written whilst inhaling bacon & eggs, he even rapped the entire song for me, sans the “Back Door Sample” from  Clarence Carter… and we talked at length about the more serious side of the holidays: the pain that so many go thru during what for most is the happiest time of the year, and the weight the Reverend feels to comfort his nearly 4 million Twitter followers, who receive Run’s daily “Words of Wisdom” or WOW’s as he called them. If yer not already a disciple, go here to become one.

We ended the interview with a discussion about God & Santa Claus and whether the two were one in the same…You’ll have to wait until the movie’s released next year to find out what Rev Run’s true feelings are, but in the meantime, if you’d like a hint at his distinct POV, let me just share this with you: 

One of the last things he said to me will become, I think, the cut-line for the movie: “Everything is Santa Claus”…What a day, what an inspiring man. Praise Be to Reverend Run!

Jingle Bell Rocks on BBC Radio!

The good folks at BBC RADIO 4 have created a special programme on Alternative Christmas Music. Yours truly gave one of the best interviews of his life, but they cut me out entirely…OK by me cuz that means more room for Bob Dorough and Andy Cirzan to discuss Blue Xmas, Jingle Bell Rocks! and the other great songs featured in our movie! 

BBC Radio 4
Tuesday December 11 at 11h30 GMT. 
Sparklab On Air
An Alternative Christmas – BBC Radio 4 TX 11th December 2012. Rev. Richard Coles uncovers a treasure trove of Christmas tracks that were recorded but remained unplayed and forgotten, until now.

Live with Back Door Santa!

We are moments away from the Sound Check for the fabulous and LIVE Clarence Carter Holiday Show! comin’ at ya from Baton Rouge, Louisiana!

I arrived late last night, and my producer Mila is her with me too. We’ve got a great local crew (Loui & Julius) and we are raring to go.

Clarence Carter is an artist I’ve loved for decades – and also someone whose music I played constantly during my brief three year stint as a wedding DJ.  [Read more…]

Hola! El Vez Fans!

As many of you know, I’ve been a huge El VEZ booster ever since a very kind old friend Ron took me to my first Merry Mex-Mas show at the now long gone Club Soda in 1999…I was blown away by how goddam sexy EL was (and still is) not to mention his energy & ingeniousness in terms of performance  — with the extraordinarily lovely El-Vettes & The Spiders Of Mars + all its set pieces and glamorous Bowie-esque costume changes — but also how inventive the Xmas Song Mashups were…This was WAAAY before DJs were mashing songs together to create something new and engaging. [Read more…]