Rocks Off is not trying to interrupt your Halloween plan-making - getting a little late in the game, isn't it though? - but you might as well forget about it anyway. We feel it's our civic duty to inform our readers that as of this moment, it's officially the holiday season.
So deck the fucking halls already.
Actually, Rocks Off has been holding out on you all. As far back as September 30, we got an email that Dr. Elmo, of Elmo & Patsy/"Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer" fame, has a new holiday album coming out called Bluegrass Christmas. Where is that reindeer when you need him?
But the prospect of a bluegrass Christmas sounds downright palatable considering the next few seasonal-album-touting emails we got. The next one wasn't even for an album, though - it was for "Dave Koz's Smooth Jazz Christmas Tour," which is coming as close as El Paso. Who says tours always skipping Houston is a bad thing?
Dodged a bullet there. Then there's ex-American Idol loser Katharine McPhee's Christmas Is the Time... To Say I Love You, which has actually been in stores for two weeks. (Rocks Off feels so privileged to be able to tell you about these things.) The title track was originally recorded in 1981 by rocker Billy Squier, and even the press release calls it a "rarely covered song." Wonder why?
"Hopefully my versions will be unique, but at the same time timeless; full and rich yet simple and intimate," McPhee is quoted as saying. Don't count on it, sister.
Continuing on, there's Mariah Carey's Merry Christmas II You, which will be available next month with a half-hour DVD including, and we're quoting.
Exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of Mariah recording her second Christmas album, candid interviews about the holidays and her favorite traditions, footage of her album photo shoot with acclaimed photographer David LaChapelle, interviews with Mariah's mother Patricia Carey and composer Marc Shaiman, and pictures from Mariah's personal photo holiday collection.
Jesus Christ. As much as we'd like to see what a "candid" interview with Mariah about the holidays might be about, we'll just leave it at that and show you the photo at right, because we don't want anything to spoil our memories of this. If you tuned in to the Home Shopping Network, well, last Wednesday, you could have pre-ordered it. Sorry about that.
Continuing on, there's Americana/soul siren Shelby Lynne's Merry Christmas, which sounds like it may be the best of the bunch. With Lynne's voice, it would be hard to screw up... well, "Christmas Is the Time... To Say I Love You," let alone "Silent Night" and "White Christmas," which actually are on there.
Her press release features a Q&A with Lynne and, after the Alabama native shouts out A Charlie Brown Christmas and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (both of which we could not agree with more), contains the following exchange:
Q: Did you ever perform in a Christmas pageant as a child?
A: I was Mary in a school Christmas play in the second grade, but I only got the part because I could sing "Away In A Manger." I really wanted to be Joseph or the cow.
Q: Do you prepare any special Christmas dish?
A: I always try and make cookies and salsa.
Awesome. But perhaps not as awesome as Destination... Christmas, the new holiday-themed project from Fred Schneider and the Superians, a group featuring absolutely zero of his B-52's bandmates, who we can only guess wanted absolutely nothing to do with this whatsoever. Lucky us, though, the album is out today, so click here if you want to hear contemporary Casio carols like "Jingle Those Bells," "Fruitcake" and "Santa's Disco."
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And then today, Rocks Off got the email that made us snap. It was simply titled "Brian Setzer or the Chipmunks: Whose 'Jingle Bell Rock' Rocks Harder?" Written in 1957, "Jingle Bell Rock" is most famous for Brenda Lee's iconic version and has apparently also been covered by Arcade Fire and The Fall.
Sadly, all we got was the version they're using to promote Setzer's It's Gonna Rock... 'Cause That's What I Do DVD (out now):
We quit. Is it Valentine's Day yet?