3some: Xmas 2009

Photograph by Chris Ziebarth

Merry Christmas! Here’s our last installation of holiday cheer for the year. First up, a faithful rendition of The Three Wise Men’s (aka XTC) “Thanks for Christmas” by Ireland’s Pugwash. Led by Thomas Walsh, his band has a revolving cast of characters (Andy Partridge and Dave Gregory (XTC), Michael Penn, and Jason Faulkner. Watch for their U.S. debut next year. Next up, a song to remind everyone to keep their cool during the holidays by The Crookes. Cheerful on the surface with the ringing guitars and tambourines, but blue on the inside, relating the tale of a poor soul who gets the cold shoulder. Then a more traditional Christmas song from a band awfully generous to call themselves The Crookes. Check their 12 Days of Crookesmas for more holiday music. Hurricane Bells stuffs your stocking with a brief gem that I wish played through at least one more time. Songwriter Steve Schiltz, the former frontman for Longwave, has a new record out through Vagrant called Tonight is the Ghost. Last, but not least, London producer LJ Kruzer (Stephen Fiske) cranks out a bumping version of “We Three Kings” awash in heavy doses of synthesizer. Alrighty then, I’m off to celebrate Christmas Eve with sushi and the family. Peace and joy to you and yours!

Thanks for Christmas [MP3]
by Pugwash

Chorus of Fools [MP3] and
Oh Come All Ye Faithful [MP3]
by The Crookes

Christmas Don’t Be Late [MP3]
by Hurricane Bells

We Three Kings [MP3]
by LJ Kruzer

Miles Tilmann

I first encountered Miles Tilmann on the compilation “Six Records Breaks Your Heart Again” (in truth it was the first and last time the label would break your heart, because it was their first release and they haven’t released anything since) and a recent revisit to the album sent me searching around for facts and tunes from some of the artists. Miles Tilmann, pleasantly surprised me by offering up close to 100 MP3s on his site. Tilmann produces a variety of ambient tracks, but the ones I chose to highlight here are more beat driven. Tilmann’s music is awash in fluid synths, deep kick drum pulsations, and well, plenty of ambient sounds. You’ll discover similarities to Boards of Canada and Aphex Twin. Tilmann has been steadily releasing music since 1999 on labels like Sub:marine, Consumers Research & Development, and Toytronic. For his latest effort Departures (2008) he collaborates with drummer Steven Hess for an album of unpredictable rhythms and soundscapes. Extreme chill factor ahead.

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