A Homeless Christmas :Charity Project for 2015

We are all connected. Artists realize this and so they are quick to respond to any tragedy. Last year, a super typhoon hit my country and claimed thousands of lives. Singer/songwriters from Northern Ireland recorded a wonderful compilation album to raise funds. Being a blogger from this side of the world has its perks as it makes friends take notice and help. It’s succeeded by another compilation album from Radio Happy where I have a weekly show (every Saturday). If you haven’t listened to my shows yes, let me say that they are a combination of Celtic and Indie Variety music. So expect The Chieftains back to back with Arctic Monkeys to cite a better example.

About A Homeless Christmas

Marc Hupkens has already organized compilation albums through his Dance 4 Syria series which I also reviewed here. Just this month, he released A Homeless Christmas.

With this Little mini album, I like to raise attention to the fact that many people are getting homeless these days. This Christmas, we will be sharing food and other groceries with the homeless in our town, and I urge all of you to do the same.

All proceeds of this album, will be used to support these and other upcoming charity projects of the Elektro Punkz label

There are four tracks in this EP: Breaking Dawn, A Homeless Christmas(analog jam session), Kush and Goodbye (A song that he wrote the day Nelson Mandela died). These are all instrumental electronic music with varying styles and tempos. My favorite is Goodbye Madiba because of its complexity. I like Christmas albums that don’t sound Christmassy if you know what I mean. That way, they can be played all year. I think it is also wise to release charity projects, a year ahead. That way more funds can be raised.

Many artists are dedicating their lives to raise awareness to global issues. We are fragile. We think we are sheltered and we have a lot of cash to spend. But no one is invincible. When tragedies hit like wars or natural disasters, people die. We need to start caring and paying attention to the human condition and make this world a better place to live.

Jolly Tune for a Tragic Christmas

This Christmas is going to suck. I just lost my beloved dog Victor. Only a few months ago, exactly the 15th of May, my best friend and life companion-my mom- passed away. So you understand why it is hard for me to feel good or be grateful for still being alive. Is life prepping me for something worse to come? Yeah like…perhaps death or disease? Who knows? Do I care? No. Well, I don’t know. But if there’s one thing that makes me forget the injustice, then it’s music.

A month ago, Layne Greene mentioned in passing that he’s trying to come up with a holiday music project. He has never done this before because he hates Christmas songs. But he is doing it because a lot of good things happened recently. That is true. Well, on top of bad ones where one of his friends became a victim of a hate crime and now that fellow is on a wheel chair. But well, on top of that(and other atrocities) there are other good things to be thankful for. He is graduating  from a Business course soon and he will merge his business background with music. Who knows? He might become a music mogul one day. Or a legendary folk artist. Either way he is dedicating his life to music.

Well, we are both dedicating our lives to music. I love my stint as an online dj. I am also a contributing staff for Subkulture magazine. On top of those I am healthy. I don’t smoke or drink. Well, I drink occasionally(as a social drinker and also as a social smoker). But I don’t have vices at home. My only vice is music. It is a perfect drug. What could go wrong with that?

I’ll Be Home For Christmas is a jazzy and folkie take on this classic tune.It  is a Christmas song recorded in 1943 by Bing Crosby who scored a top ten hit with the song. I love songs by Bing Crosby ( and movies too). This particular tune echoes my sentiments. I want everyone I love to be home for Christmas. Perhaps they will be in spirit. I hope so. I am not religious. But I think it sucks when you don’t believe in anything more than this life. It’s been getting lonely here. I have lost so much this year. I think it’s changing me in a way. No one survives those tragedies without losing a part of himself. So my big thanks to Layne from bringing a song (and a series of holiday songs for the next 30 days)into this holiday purgatory. He will have more. So watch out for those.

I.V. Webb Casts a Spell

Also in this edition: “Movement and Location” by The Punch Brothers, Tyrone Wells: This Love and I’m Giving You My Heart – Single
by Brianna Gaither

She carries with her that kind of atmosphere that reminds me of a combination of cathedrals, incense filled rooms and forest trees.

I got introduced to the music London based artist  I.V. Webb today. I find her name intriguing. You don’t really get to hear  musicians having a name like that these days. It is so…cryptic. Just like her music. Her sound reminds me a bit of the Darkwave bands in the 90s. Bands like The Skeletal Family, Die laughing and singer/songwriter Eva O. It is the incorporation of classical instruments to her rock inspired ballads that provide the haunting pastiche.

Sometimes, her songs fall like velvet curtains under starry night, sometimes they swirl like smoke, floating and surrounding you. You rarely get to hear music like that on mainstream music these days. Songs like Stars, White Rabbit and Speechless will stay with you as she sings” Silence cast a spell on me ,and leaves me standing cold again…”

And her voice? It is captivating, no doubt about it. She knows how to use it like a fine instrument. She carries with her that kind of atmosphere that reminds me of a combination of cathedrals, incense filled rooms and forest trees. I hope to hear more of her.

http://soundcloud.com/i-v-webb

 https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/the-demo-seeds/id266021116

My thank you to Sarah Tremmel
of Delta Delta Delta for introducing me to this artist.

I’m Giving You My Heart – Single

 by Brianna Gaither

Remember the sweet lass from Oklahoma who gave us the stunning track “Find You?” Well that lass is back with a holiday tune called I’m Giving You My Heart.

This is what she says bout this track

” Hello!

Hope all is well with you. This year I had the privilege of writing and recording an original Christmas song! I’ve never written a Christmas song before, but it was a lot of fun and I’m excited to share it with you. It’s called “I’m Giving You My Heart”– hope you’ll check it out! You can find the song on iTunes via the link below. I’d love to hear your thoughts. ”

Buy it here:http://tinyurl.com/BriannaChristmas

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Tyrone Wells: This Love

60512-500

I got a copy of an album by Tyrone Wells via Noisetrade. A great music site that lets you sample thousands of great artists. If you like mellow Adult alternative types then you will like his melodic and introspective songs. Acoustic guitars, Cello and synths are combined perfectly to provide that soothing background suited to this season.

Listen to samples here: http://www.fixtstore.com/product/88908/Tyrone-Wells—This-Love-%28MP3-Album%29

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“Movement and Location” by The Punch Brothers

Hey I am a big PB enthusiast! This is an amazing video. Go ahead and watch.

The Punch Brothers play a track from their album Who’s Feeling Young Now? More CONAN @ http://teamcoco.com/video

Happy Holidays by Thomas McGregor

Shopping for a holiday album? Try Happy Holidays by violinist Thomas McGregor.

American violinist Thomas McGregor adds shine to old favorites by introducing his solo violin Christmas album. Happy Holidays is composed of 16 tracks celebrating the joy of the yuletide season. People looking for a holiday album this early should take note of this gem.

His style is upfront and robust. You hear every detail of the violin as the bow caresses each of the four strings of the instrument. My individual picks are I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas, Go Tell it to the Mountain, Jingle Bells, Little Drummer Boy, We Three Kings and Frosty the Snowman.

Depending on the volume level, the album is not intrusive. But like I mentioned above, it isn’t a shy recording. The atmosphere is electric. Each track is laced with his elegant style which he owes to his Classical training.

The album artwork looks beautiful. For someone who plays a single instrument all throughout, he makes it seem like you are listening to a full band. If you are tired of over produced pop holiday albums out there where they take the soul of the season away, this one is a great alternative.

Download here: http://thomasmcgregor.bandcamp.com/album/happy-holidays

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