Tag Archive: Christmas


Collapsed HMV refuses to accept gift vouchers as more than 4,000 workers face the axe and administrators warn of mass closures

  • Retailer has struggled in the face of growing demand for digital downloads
  • Company had a poor Christmas sales period despite 35% sales reduction
  • Almost 300 stores and 4,350 staff face uncertainty as negotiations unfold
  • Administrator announces gift cards will not be accepted in stores

Warning: This sign in a Liverpool branch of HMV tells customers they could lose out

Thousands of gift cards given as Christmas presents are worthless as HMV announced it would no longer accept vouchers after collapsing into administration.

The historic music shop has become the latest high street victim of the financial crisis and double-dip recession, and its 4,000 employees are facing the axe if a ‘white knight’ rescuer cannot be found for the chain.

City firm Deloitte was brought in to take charge last night after crisis talks failed to find another solution – putting HMV on course to be the second household name to go under this year.

Today it was revealed that the chain will no longer accept gift cards and vouchers as Deloitte takes charge of the 238 stores.

Threatened: HMV could be forced to close its shops and lay off 4,000 staff after going into administrationThreatened: HMV could be forced to close its shops and lay off 4,000 staff after going into administration

Sale: Customers will be hoping for bargains from the administration of HMVSale: Customers will be hoping for bargains from the administration of HMV
Many Twitter users reacted with fury to the announcement that the shops will no longer accept its own gift cards as payment, just weeks after hundreds of them were bought as Christmas presents.

‘It’s a p*** take that HMV won’t accept vouchers,’ @Meygziie wrote, while @KevinAshford7 said, ‘That’s my £20 Christmas gift voucher going in the bin.’ @NiceEtoile added: ‘How is this legal?’

BBC journalist Hugh Pym was one of the customers affected by the controversial decision. He took to Twitter to write: ‘Oh dear. Administrators say HMV won’t accept gift vouchers – inc my teenagers’ Christmas pressie.’

The cards are currently worthless, but if HMV finds a buyer it is possible that the new owner will honour them, meaning that it may be worth people’s while to hold on to the cards.

The writing had been on the wall since the run-up to Christmas, when dire sales figures forced the firm to admit it might breach the terms of its bank loans.

Disappointment: Journalist Hugh Pym was among the customers who had bought HMV gift cardsDisappointment: Journalist Hugh Pym was among the customers who had bought HMV gift cards

HMV
Warning: This sign in a Liverpool branch of HMV tells customers they could lose out

HMV’s banks – state-backed Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds – said they were unwilling to go on lending it money.

The move to go into administration follows the closure of camera chain Jessops with the loss of 1,300 jobs at the weekend.

It is still possible that a ‘white knight’ buyer could ride to the company’s rescue at the last minute, buying part or all of its 230-strong network of stores. If not it will mean the end of a name that has graced the high street since 1921.

There was no sign of a saviour for HMV today, after US-based investment firm Apollo Management walked away from takeover talks.

Web users paid tribute to the legendary chain as they shared memories of shopping at HMV – but some took a more cynical tone. Rapper Professor Green tweeted: ‘HMV bankrupt. We may as well just give up on any medium that involves hard copy and get on with it. #sadtimes’

Struggling: The venerable chain has been hit hard by the rise of digital music and online retailers

Struggling: The venerable chain has been hit hard by the rise of digital music and online retailers

Change: Shoppers have spurned physical copies of music, film and books in favour of downloads

Change: Shoppers have spurned physical copies of music, film and books in favour of downloads

Jeremy Vine
Nipper

Jokes: Twitter users, including the BBC’s Jeremy Vine, posted witty pictures about HMV’s demise

CARNAGE ON THE HIGH STREET

HMV’s announcement that it is to go into administration makes it the latest in a long line of high-profile high street firms to fail – the most visible legacy of the financial crisis and subsequent double-dip recession.

December 2008: MFI, the furniture retailer, was one of the first major firms to go out of business at the start of the downturn, as retail sales began to fall following a sharp rise in unemployment

Woolworths

January 2009: Woolworths, right, shuttered its 800 stores, bringing home to many the scale of the UK’s economic collapse as the country entered recession for the first time

February 2009: Zavvi, HMV’s chief rival, stopped trading around Christmas – and refused to honour its gift cards, leading to widespread customer anger

Borders

December 2009: Borders, right, was another entertainment behemoth to go under as sale of CDs and DVDs were squeezed by digital downloads and online retailers

October 2012: JJB Sports closed all but 20 of its stores, which were taken over and re-branded by Sports Direct – leading to the death of the JJB brand and 550 employees losing their jobs

Comet

December 2012: Comet, right, shut down just before Christmas, leaving nearly 7,000 staff out of work and forcing the taxpayer to pick up a £50million tab related to its bankruptcy, which was blamed on soaring energy prices and a reduction in the number of home buyers

January 2013: Jessops was closed by administrator PwC earlier this month after years of struggling with online competition as customers turned away from traditional photography

NEXT? Past Times, Blacks and Hawkin’s Bazaar are among the many other firms which have entered administration but been able to survive in some form. However, as the economic recovery remains fragile these companies could tip back into serious trouble.

Labour business spokesman Chuka Umunna said: ‘For the sake of HMV’s employees, we hope a way can be found to keep the business going – the demise of this institution would be a body blow to British retail.’

Administrators could opt to keep stores open during the process in order to raise funds by shifting as much stock as possible. HMV failed to keep pace with the digital revolution, as shoppers turned to online retailers such as Amazon.

Internet firms were able to undercut the company thanks to lower overheads.

It has also been under attack from supermarkets such as Tesco and Sainsbury, which are able to offer discount DVDs and CDs thanks to their size.

The beginning of this year has seen HMV offer massive discounts in the hope of filling its stores and boosting revenues.

But despite the efforts, dismal Christmas sales were the final straw for the firm’s banks. HMV is understood to have asked them for a £300million lifeline, but was turned down on the evidence of its recent performance.

The decision by RBS and Lloyds to pull the plug on HMV is likely to cause a backlash, given that they were both bailed out by British taxpayers during the financial crisis.

The appeal for help from the two lenders came just days after the company asked suppliers to give it £300million to pay off its debt and revamp its business model.

That request was also turned down.

If HMV’s stores do close down, they will push up the sky-high vacancy rate on British high streets. More than one in nine stores is currently standing empty, according to the British Retail Consortium, as consumer confidence continues to flounder in the wake of the struggling economic recovery.

Neil Saunders, managing director of retail consultancy Conlumino, said the collapse of HMV was inevitable.

‘While many failures of recent times have been, at least in part, driven by the economy, HMV’s demise is a structural failure,’ he said.

‘In the digital era where 73.4 per cent of music and film are downloaded or bought online, HMV’s business model has simply become increasingly irrelevant and unsustainable.’

Are you an HMV employee affected by the news? Please call 0203 615 3594 or email hugo.gye@dailymail.co.uk

Flagship: HMV's store on Oxford St pictured in 1939, offering 'home entertainment and electric housekeeping'Flagship: HMV’s store on Oxford St pictured in 1939, offering ‘home entertainment and electric housekeeping’
Nipper the Dog
HMV delivery van

Iconic: Nipper the dog, left, and the HMV delivery van, right, are among the famous symbols of the store

HMV ON THE BRINK OF EXTINCTION AFTER 90 YEARS ON THE HIGH STREET

His Master's Voice painting

HMV stands for His Master’s Voice, the name of an 1898 painting of a dog called Nipper listening to a cylinder phonograph (right).

Rights to the image were bought the following year by the Gramophone Company, who asked the artist to repaint the work with a wind-up gramophone.

The Gramophone Company opened the first HMV store on Oxford Street, central London, on 20 July 1921.

It later merged with the Columbia Gramophone Company in 1931, to become EMI. They opened HMV stores across the UK and by 1977 had 39 stores stretching from Glasgow to Brighton.

The Oxford Street store played an important part in helping the Beatles land their record deal – setting them on the path to becoming the biggest band in history.

In February 1962, the band had just been rejected by Decca Records, who famously said that ‘guitar groups are on the way out’.

Undeterred, manager Brian Epstein paid a visit to HMV to transfer the band’s demo tape to disc – and the engineer who helped him was so impressed he called a music publisher down to hear the record.

The publisher got in touch with George Martin, who was quick to sign up the band and later produced their legendary albums.

HMV Media Group broke away from EMI in 1998. Today the group runs 239 stores in the UK and Ireland. It owned bookshop chain Waterstones until last year.

The company has 4,350 employees in the UK.

Nipper, the subject of the HMV logo, is buried in Kingston upon Thames in a small park surrounded by magnolia trees. A small road nearby was renamed Nipper Alley in his memory in 2010.

 

–written by rob davies and hugo gye for dailymail.co.uk all image courtesy of dailymail.co.uk

 

_tony-iommi-1
Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi posted an end-of-year update on his official website.

Iommi, who has been battling cancer since earlier this year, assured fans that the band are hard at work on their new album and that they’ll be touring as much as possible in 2013.

Here’s the complete message:

“What a year! Certainly not the one I was expecting.

Thanks to you all for your massive help and support, it was very encouraging. I’m still working on the album and managed to play three shows, not bad given the news a year ago. I’m looking forward to next year, seeing what you think of the record and touring as much as we’re able.

My Best Wishes to you all, I hope you have a great Christmas and New Year, most of all, stay positive,

– Tony”

Black Sabbath recently revealed that they are six tracks into recording their new album, which should be released in April 2013. Iommi has hinted that the new disc will feature 15 songs.

 

made by damian fanelli for guitarworld.com. image from innocentworld.com

Update: Pulp releases new version of “After You”, produced by James Murphy

As Pulp conclude their two-year long reunion, they’ve left fans with a nice parting gift. Attendees of the band’s recent homecoming show in Sheffield, UK were given Christmas cards with a download code for “a little present,” which was to be submitted to the band’s website on Christmas Day. What they received was a previously unreleased version of the We Love Life era demo “After You”.

Update: As Pitchfork reports, this new version of “After You” was recorded in November by the band, then finished with James Murphy in London and while on the Coachella cruise. It marks the band’s first new recording in 10 years!

“After You” was first demoed in 2000 at London’s Wessex Studios. Pulp drummer Nick Banks previously described the song as “an absolute lost classic.”

As our resident Pulp expert Frank Mojica reports, this new version offers more developed instrumentation and clocks in about a minute longer than an earlier version floating around the web. Take a listen below.

Speaking recently to Q magazine, Jarvis Cocker said the band had nothing scheduled beyond their appearance on the Coachella cruise. “We haven’t got anything planned after the New Year… we’ll just be cruising off into the sunset. Seems poetic. Not wishing to make a big deal, but we’ve played for a while and it’s been really good, but you can’t keep doing that forever.”

Photo via Bar Italia

–compiled by alex young for consequenceofsound.net

From ‘A Christmas Story‘ to ‘The Hangover‘: TheWrap’s 2012 Guide to Essential Holiday Viewing

With the holidays upon us, you’re going to have a lot of time on your hands — that is, when you’re not busy shopping, traveling, entertaining guests, reveling and recovering from said revelry.

What better way to kill off the abundance of downtime than by plopping yourself in front of the television for some fine, holiday-themed programming? Herewith, TheWrap presents your best viewing bets this year. (Where times aren’t noted, please check your local listings.)

MARATHONS

ABC Family‘s 25 Days of Christmas: ABC Family is the network equivalent of your overzealous aunt who starts her Christmas shopping in June. For its annual “25 Days of Christmas” extravaganza, the network began running nonstop holiday programming on Dec. 1. You’d be insane to try to have taken it all in. But Christmas Eve, when the network airs such classics as “The Santa Clause” trilogy, “Home Alone” and “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” is as good an entry point as any.

The Hallmark ChannelEvery day is Christmas at the Hallmark Channel, which is pretty much running continuous holiday programming this time of year. It includes “A Bride for Christmas,” “Matchmaker Santa,” “A Christmas Wedding Tail,” and “A Princess for Christmas.”

DEC. 24

“A Christmas Story”: TBS’s 24-hour marathon of the 1983 comedy (beginning at 8/7c Christmas Eve) is a cherished annual tradition for millions. If you’re not one of them, you should probably consider shooting your eye out with a Red Ryder BB gun.

“Christmas With the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Featuring Jane Seymour and Nathan Gunn”: Tired of punks like Michael Buble and Blake Shelton clogging up the airwaves with their holiday musical specials? Allow the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to rock you gently with some boss tunes on PBS.

“Christmas Eve at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome”: Once upon a time, back before retailers began setting up their Christmas displays in August, the holiday used to be about something more than rampant consumerism. Let NBC take you back to that long-gone time at 11:34/10:34c.

“Pawn Stars”: A History Channel is airing 20 consecutive hours of “Pawn Stars,” which started at 8/7c this morning. Because what better way of reminding yourself how far the holidays are putting you in hock?

Tom and Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale“:Want to get an animated start to your Christmas? Cartoon Network will air this yuletide offering, featuring the famous cat and mouse, plus “Abominable Christmas, “Scooby Doo!: Haunted Holidays” and “The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol” over three hours beginning at 3:30/2:30c.

DEC. 25

“Doctor Who: The Snowmen”: Matt Smith helps celebrate the holiday in particularly twisted fashion with the “Doctor Who” Christmas special “The Snowmen,” which features the Doctor doing battle with an army of pointy-toothed snowmen. The special airs at 9 p.m. on BBC America. As a bonus, the network will run a “Doctor Who” marathon starting at 8/7c.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas!He’s a mean one, that Mr. Grinch — but he’s been enthralling audiences ever since the 1966 release of this animated Dr. Seuss adaptation. And with good reason — directed by master animator Chuck Jones and featuring Boris Karloff in one of his final roles, this is one of the more enduring Christmas specials going. And going. It’s on ABC at 8/7c.

“Bad Santa”: Admit it — as much as you love the spirit of the holidays, Billy Bob Thornton’s portrayal of a drinking, thieving, fornicating shopping-mall Kris Kringle never fails to bring a smile to your face. On Comedy Central at 6 p.m.

DEC. 31

Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With With Ryan Seacrest”: If you insist on staying in and avoiding the crowds this New Year’s Eve, your best bet for at least some semblance of revelry is this annual ball-dropping ceremony, which this year features performances from serial dater Taylor Swift and “Call Me Maybe” sensation Carly Rae Jepsen. The festivities officially kick off at 10 p.m. on ABC, but they’ll be preceded by the special “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve Celebrates Dick Clark” at 8. It’s the next-best thing to actually gathering with your fellow human beings.

New Year’s Eve With Carson Daly“: Of course, Carson Daly’s nice, too. Well-groomed. An easy smile. Probably smells faintly of lilacs. He’s never done anything to offend you. And you like his show “The Voice,” don’t you? You’re not some kind of freak, are you? (On NBC at 10 p.m.)

“The Walking Dead”: Then again, if you’re feeling especially misanthropic, AMC is airing a marathon of the first half of season 3 of “The Walking Dead”, beginning at 9/8c. It’s a good way to ring in the New Year with fantasies of humanity being all but wiped out by an army of marauding zombies. Chances are, if you watch the whole thing, you’ll end up feeling a little zombified yourself.

JAN. 1

“Tournament of Roses Parade”: The pageantry! The tradition! The roses! NBC and ABC will both be airing Pasadena’s crowning moment at 11 a.m., when flowers pretend to be other things as they roll through the street. Plus, this way, you don’t have to camp out on the sidewalk all night to watch it, like some fools do.

“The Hangover”: If you’ve celebrated New Year’s Eve too aggressively, chances are you’ll be feeling pretty sluggish the next day. The ability to perform such tasks as sitting upright will elude you, as will your memory of the previous night’s events. As you nurse a recuperative Bloody Mary and ponder the mystery of who installed shag carpeting on your tongue while you were asleep, use whatever remaining energy you have to click over to TBS, where Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis and the rest of the “Hangover” over-imbibers will make you feel relatively temperate. “The Hangover” will air four times, beginning at 11/10c.

 

–made by  tim kenneally for thewrap.com

Christmas Celebrated Around the World

Published on Dec 25, 2012 by Associated Press

Christian faithful from around the world packed into churches on Christmas Eve to mark the beginning of the Christmas holiday with midnight mass. (Dec. 25)

 

Scott Ian‘s Christmas EP!

_ScottIan

Scott Ian Rosenfeld (born December 31, 1963), known by the stage name Scott Ian, is an American musician, best known as the rhythm guitarist for the thrash metal band,Anthrax. Ian is the guitarist and a founding member of the crossover thrash bandStormtroopers of Death. He has hosted The Rock Show on VH1 and has appeared on VH1’s I Love the… series, Heavy: The Story of Metal and Supergroup (TV series). Ian is also the rhythm guitarist for the metal band The Damned Things.

Anthrax are no strangers to a duet, having worked with Public Enemy on Bring The Noise in 1991 – but who would guitarist Scott Ian choose to team up with on a special Christmas EP?

K! sat down to hear Scott’s favourite Xmas numbers and the person he’d team up with on his own unique versions!

If this doesn’t get you in the festive spirit, make sure you pick up our special Kerristmas double issue – there’s 80 star-packed pages, on sale now. Click here for more information about what you can find spilling out of the issue!

Now, over to you, Scott…

BABY IT’S COLD OUTSIDE
“Now this is a Christmas song! Of course, it would be a little weird to have me and Dean Martin singing this back and forth to each other, so I’m gonna say I’ll do it with Bonnie Raitt. I don’t think people would expect me to like her but she’s the sickest guitar player and a great singer, and we’d do a proper faithful version of it, because personally I think covers should be played as they are and not screwed around with. You can throw it on and curl up by the fire with Scott and Bonnie on Christmas Eve.”



JINGLE BELLS

“I think I have to do at least one classic Christmas song, and Brian Setzer Orchestra did a great record of Christmas song covers and I would definitely like to jam with them on this one. I’d be down for just strapping on a guitar, getting up on stage with them and just bashing it out. I’m a big fan of bebop jazz guitar playing in general, and I think I could just about handle this one.”

WHOLE LOTTA ROSIE
“I have to have at least one non-Christmassy curveball that has an outside chance of getting to number one like Rage Against The Machine, so Whole Lotta Rosie it is. There’ll be Bon Scott on vocals, Dimebag Darrell on guitar, Cliff Burton on bass and I should probably go with a drummer who’s actually alive in case I have to fight off the zombies mid-song, but I’m going to go with John Bonham. I think the fact we resurrected four people from the dead is reason enough to get to number one – and the song’s about a big fat hooker, and everybody wants that around Christmas! (laughs)”

 

–words from kerrang magazine. image from loudwire.com

 

The Top 10 biggest selling Christmas songs of all time!

By Dan Lane

'It's for the underdog' … Kirsty MacColl and Shane MacGowan promote Fairytale of New York.

To celebrate Christmas 2012, today the Official Charts Company reveal the Top 10 biggest selling Christmas songs of all time.

With more records sold in the run up to Christmas than a typical chart week, the Christmas Number 1 is THE chart topper every artist wants to achieve. And it has been this way since the Official Singles Chart began 60 years ago.

To have a Christmas Number 1 on your musical CV means you really are the best of the best; capturing the heats and minds of the nation… That, or you’ve managed to dazzle the British public with your, um, uniqueness (yes, we’re talking about you Mr Blobby).

However, not all of the biggest selling Christmas singles have been to Number 1 (two in the Top 10 peaked at Number 2, and one peaked at Number 5), and not all of the biggest selling Christmas singles have necessarily been, well, Christmassy.

To celebrate Christmas 2012 and 60 years of the Official Singles Chart, the Official Charts Company reveal the biggest selling Christmas songs of all time. These tracks may or may not have religious overtones, but have nevertheless captured the essence of what this special time of year is about.

At Number 1 on the countdown is Band Aid‘s Do They Know It’s Christmas? – the landmark charity single helmed byBob Geldof and Midge Ure to help raise funds and awareness for the 1984 Ethiopian famine. Featuring an all-star cast including members of The WhoU2 and Genesis to name but a few, Do They Know It’s Christmas? has sold a staggering 3.7 million copies to date and is the second biggest selling single of all time. The 20th anniversary version of the track is at Number 6 in the countdown with sales of 1.17 million copies.

Mary’s Boy Child also appears twice in the Top 10, making its first appearance at Number 2 with Boney M‘s 1978 rendition (which has sales of 1.85 million copies), while Harry Belafonte‘s 1957 original is at Number 5 (with sales of 1.18 million).

Wham!‘s Last Christmas, which we can officially confirm is the biggest selling Christmas song to have never reached Number 1, is at Number 3 in the chart with sales of 1.68 million. The Top 5 is completed by Slade’s Merry Christmas Everybody at Number 4, which has sales of 1.21 million copies to date.

The full Top 10 is as follows:

SINGLE TITLE ARTIST YEAR PEAK POSITION
1 DO THEY KNOW IT’S CHRISTMAS? BAND AID 1984 1
2 MARY’S BOY CHILD BONEY M 1978 1
3 LAST CHRISTMAS WHAM! 1984 2
4 MERRY XMAS EVERYBODY SLADE 1973 1
5 MARY’S BOY CHILD HARRY BELAFONTE 1957 1
6 DO THEY KNOW IT’S CHRISTMAS? BAND AID 20 2004 1
7 WHITE CHRISTMAS BING CROSBY 1942 5
8 FAIRYTALE OF NEW YORK THE POGUES FT KIRSTY MACCOLL 1987 2
9 THE MILLENNIUM PRAYER CLIFF RICHARD 1999 1
10 WHEN A CHILD IS BORN JOHNNY MATHIS 1976 1

© 2012 The Official Charts Company. All rights reserved.

2012 Christmas playlist: the XX,Blink 182, Dropkick Murphys,The Killers and more

_xmas_songs

 

Every Christmas you’re forced to endure another airing of Bing Crosby’s ‘White Christmas’, whatever dreck Micheal Buble has released this year and – if you’re lucky – maybe someone will dig out A Christmas Gift For You from Phil Spector. This year has seen the record store bargain bins filled with new Christmas albums from practically every failed American Idol contestant, third rate opera warbler and even the horrendous return of John Travolta and Olivia Newton.

FL’s 2012 Christmas playlist has avoided those horrors but, like that cracker joke your uncle will tell at lunch on Christmas Day, this list of songs is still fairly questionable. Check out new Christmas carols from NOFX, Blink 182, Dropkick Murphys, The Killers, CeeLo Green, Kate Nash, Sufjan Stevens, Glassvegas, Tracey Thorn, and even a bizarre John Jarratt carol for Schapelle Corby.

NOFX – ‘Xmas Has Been X’ed’

Probably the only Christmas song to feature a lines about priests and nuns molesting each other, naked evangelicals and the death of St Nick. This NSFFL (Not Safe For Family Lunch) carol appears on the latest NOFX record Self Entitled.

Sir Christopher Lee – ‘Little Drummer Boy’

Sir Christopher Lee has made over 200 films appearing in the Lord of the Rings and Star Wars series, The Wicker ManThe Man with the Golden Gun and a string of Hammer Horror films. He has also released three album including Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross. His new album Sir Christopher Lee’s A Heavy Metal Christmas does exactly what it says on the box. You really, really need to hear his version of ‘Little Drummer Boy’.

Blink 182 – ‘Boxing Day’.

This cut from the maturing pop punks isn’t technically a Christmas song; it’s a day after Christmas song. The maudlin track from the band’s new EP Dogs Eating Dogs has Tom DeLonge singing about feeling “empty like the day after Christmas” in a way that makes you long for the days when their songs were just about penises. Hardcore fans can add the “Santa’s Lap” version to their Xmas wishlists – it comes with a t-shirt, limited edition poster, wrapping paper and a Christmas card.

Dropkick Murphys – ‘The Season’s Upon Us’

The band that aspires to be the AC/DC of Celtic punk rock has delivered an anthem we can all bellow after a few too many egg-nogs. “My sisters are wackjobs, I wish I had none/Their husbands are losers and so are their sons/My nephew’s a horrible wise little twit/He once gave me a nice gift wrapped box full of shit”

CeeLo Green – ‘All I Need Is Love (ft. The Muppets)’

According to Statler and Waldorf the Muppets have hit a new low and his first name is Cee. (Ba-doom-ching!) But how can you go wrong with a Christmas video that combines The Muppets’ classic ‘Mahna Mahna’, a shiny red suit that would made the 1980s version of Eddie Murphy jealous and Muppetified version of CeeLo?

The Killers – I Feel It In My Bones ft. Ryan Pardey

It’s a holiday tradition for The Killers to release a Christmas song. The past six years have brought us ‘Don’t Shoot Me Santa’, ‘A Great Big Sled’ and a collaboration with Mariachi El Bronx titled ‘¡Happy Birthday Guadalupe!’. The video for the seventh Killers Xmas tune features a series of Xmas killings as Santa track down and murders the members of the band.

August Burns Red – ‘Jingle Bells

All I want for Christmas is a metalcore version of ‘Jingle Bells’ – said no one ever.

Tracey Thorn – ‘In the Cold, Cold Night

The voice of Everything but the Girl has delivered the best Christmas record of the year (not that she was faced with much competition). The album features covers of Low’s ‘Taking Down the Tree’, Dolly Parton’s ‘Hard Candy Christmas’ and this White Stripes classic. Sure, it’s not really a Christmas song, but the album’s called Tinsel and Lights so we’ll let it pass.

Sufjan Stevens – Chopped And Scrooged

Following his five-disc Christmas album, Sufjan Stevens now has a Christmas rap mixtape with the festively punning title Chopped And Scrooged. The mix features guest appearances from ex-Das Racist member Heems, Nicky Da B, Busdriver, and others rapping over music from Silver And Gold, Sufjan’s five EP set of Xmas tunes recorded between 2006 and 2010. Download the Chopped And Scrooged mixtape here

Band Aid – Do They Know It’s Christmas Time?

Dawn McCarthy and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – ‘Christmas Eve Can Kill You’

A typically uplifting cover from old friends and collaborators Dawn McCarthy and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy although it’s not a new song – the Everly Brothers’ recorded this way back in 1971.

She & Him – ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’

Well it’s Zoeey Deschanel who sings the song. So i put the song on the list. 😀

Jimmy Fallon, Mariah Carey & The Roots – ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’

This one’s a special gift for your little sister who loves Mariah but should be listening to the Roots.

A Christmas message from Andrew WK and Lil Bub

Usually Andrew WK only has one word of advice: PARTY. As most of us have no difficulty partying over the holiday period Mr WK has another important message for us about the importance of looking after your animal friends.

Annie Lennox – God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman

Randy & Ronnie Brooks – Grandma Got Over Run By A Reindeer

The XX – Last Christmas (Wham Cover)

The Pogues ft. Kirsty Mc Coll – Fairy Tale of New York Christmas

Frank Sinatra – Chestnut Roasting on an Open Fire

— words taken from tom mann for fasterlouder.com.au, songs compiled from many sources, image from sheknows.com

 

Santa Claus (1898)

_Santa Claus

Santa Claus is a 1898 British short silent drama film, directed by George Albert Smith, which features Santa Claus visiting a house on Christmas Eve. The film, according to Michael Brooke of BFI Screenonline, “is believed to be the cinema’s earliest known example of parallel action and, when coupled with double-exposure techniques that Smith had already demonstrated in the same year’s The Mesmerist (1898) and Photographing a Ghost (1898), the result is one of the most visually and conceptually sophisticated British films made up to then.”

A former magic lanternist and hypnotist, Smith was one of the first British film-makers to make extensive use of special effects to create fantastical scenes. It comes as little surprise that Smith corresponded with the French pioneer Georges Méliès at about this time, as the two men shared a common goal in terms of creating an authentic cinema of illusion. (Michael Brooke)

You can watch over 2000 other complete films and TV programmes from the BFI National Archive free of charge at the BFI Mediatheque. There are Mediatheques at BFI Southbank, London, QUAD, Derby, Central Library, Cambridge, Wrexham Library and the Discovery Museum, Newcastle:
http://www.bfi.org.uk/mediatheque
http://www.derbyquad.co.uk/bfi-mediatheque
http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/leisure/libraries/online/bfi_media.htm
http://www.wrexham.gov.uk/english/community/libraries/LibHome.htm
http://www.twmuseums.org.uk/discovery/

–source: british film institute

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO PEARL JAM FRONTMAN EDDIE VEDDER

_ed2

Today is Eddie Vedder’s (born Edward Louis Severson III) 48th birthday!

Have a great birthday and a Merry Christmas Eddie.

Below clips from his concert through the years with Pearl Jam and his solo career.

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