Do you hear what I hear? No Virginia, not all holiday music is lousy... by G r e g Cahill
It wouldn’t be Christmas without an acoustic guitar, a cozy ﬁre and L’Oreal.
The Christmas Jug Band—who gave the world the irreverent “Daddy’s Drinkin’ Up Our Christmas”—brings its jugabilly mystique to the theater Sunday, Dec. 16, at 6pm, following a Dec. 15 set at the 2AM Club. The loose-knit ensemble of longtime Marin musicians (sometimes including the reclusive Dan Hicks) recently released its latest seasonal blast, The Christmas Jug Band on the Holiday Highway, featuring such special guests as Country Joe McDonald, Norton Buffalo, Mike Duke and Dan Hicks’ Lickettes. (A spinoff of these merry music makers performing under the moniker Three Elves Named Moe can be savored in coming weeks at shows in West Marin and throughout the county.) And, ﬁnally, the Hot Club of San Francisco celebrates the release of its new Gypsy jazz-
ﬂavored holiday album Hot Club Cool Yule on Wednesday, Dec. 23, at 8pm, also at a 142 Throckmorton Theatre event. < Share your favorite holiday music with Greg at gchaill51@ gmail.com BARBARA KELLER
emembrances of the childhood sounds with addiction. and smells of the holiday season— On the other hand, this engaging new Grandma baking cookies and Dad sing- Christmas album feels like a family reunion ing his favorite Christmas songs—inspired Bay or a visit from long lost friends. It features a Area singer and songwriter Michelle Schmitt to polished band that includes Michael Rodrirecord Christmas on Pine Mountain, a heartfelt guez, Ricky Fataar, Garrin Benﬁeld, Marc mix of originals and countryLevine and Damian Sol. inﬂected classic carols. Proceeds from the album But there’s nothing sugary also beneﬁt Meals on Wheels. about these songs. Schmitt will debut her Sure, there are nods toalbum at the beneﬁt concert ward what she calls family Thursday, Dec. 3, at 8pm, at strength, love and committhe 142 Throckmorton in ment. But Schmitt, who downtown Mill Valley. Tickets will perform a Christmas are $20. A $100 VIP reception program at the 142 Thbegins at 6:45pm. rockmorton Theatre as That’s just one of several a beneﬁt for Meals on The ‘Pine Mountain’ of the album title holiday-related events at from the name of a recording Wheels, pens probing lyr- comes the ﬁnancially strapped studio in Alexander Valley. Schmitt ics that are rife with mean- actually grew up in Detroit. Mill Valley theater that ing, often addressing the could use a few holiday challenges of personal relationships and gifts of its own. the weaknesses of the human spirit. On Saturday, Dec. 12, at 7:30pm, the venue Call her the Oprah of singer/songwriters. hosts Celebrate the Holidays: A Seva FounHer concept album Home chronicled the dation Beneﬁt with emcee Wavy Gravy and ups and downs of marriage. And “These Little musical guests Moonalice, the David Nelson Pills,” from her 2008 album Another Winter, Band and the Rowan Brothers. Tickets are was inspired by friends who have struggled $50-$100.
The Jug Band’s latest release features such hits as ‘Shoot ‘Em in the Pants’ and ‘Santa’s Going Crazy This Year.’
›› SPiN OF THE WEEK A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector (Phil Spector Records/Legacy) Various Artists Yup, that Phil Spector—the pop producerturned-convicted murderer.This long out-of-print collection of seasonal ditties, first released in 1963 and reissued several times over the years under various titles, bundles pop renditions of classic Christmas fare:“White Christmas,”“Rudolph the RedNosed Reindeer,”“Frosty the Snowman,” “Silent Night,”“Here Comes Santa Claus,” and others (including the weird “Marshmallow World”).They’re all performed by Spector Records’ stable of chart-topping acts: Darlene Love, the Ronettes, the Crystals and Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans. Rolling Stone magazine has hailed Phil Spector’s Christmas album as “hands down, the best holiday album in the history of pop music.” It’s certainly the perfect antidote to Bob Dylan’s new karaoke-like offering, Christmas in the Heart (why, Bob, why?).—GC
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Published on Nov 26, 2009