Friday, December 23, 2016

Hanukkah, Elves, a Premier, and Fuck This Year!

I'm going to be taking the week off through New Year's. I'm planning on using the time to get ahead on entries and to hopefully start updating daily again in 2017.

In the meantime, I don't typically post holiday music because although my assimilated family makes a to-do of Christmas, I'm Jewish. Hanukkah is only as big a deal in America to help Jewish kids feel assimilated included. It is a well-known fact that Hanukkah does not stack up particularly well with Christmas. It is also well-known that most Jewish music is dreary. But this week I learned that Woody Guthrie wrote not one but two Hanukkah songs because he married a Jewish woman, further intertwining Hanukkah in the American fabric. Nefesh Mountain's renditions are quite beautiful. I wish I'd had them growing up, but now my future kids can.

Nafesh Mountain co-founder Eric Lindberg arranged this one, but the peppy "The Hanukkah Dance" is Woody's creation.

Here's where you can learn more about Nefesh Mountain.

Another Hanukkah miracle is a new song from American Thread! When we last heard from them, Songs From a War was a somber reflection on working-class hardships. "Elf on the Shelf," by contrast, is a truly delightful (and I mean that sincerely) kids' song about the ubiquitous Christmas toy that inures kids to the surveillance state. This project is much less sinister, though, as the proceeds from the song will be donated to cystic fibrosis research, which lead singer Brendan Ahern's niece has.

You can purchase it here.

Lastly, Adam Lee's got an acoustic punk-rocker that sums up 2016 well. You can download it for free. You'll want to listen to it over and over -- it's a banger.

Learn more about Adam Lee here.

Here's to a 2017 of courage, resilience, and resistance. Be well and have a happier new year, whatever you celebrate!

EDIT: This post was updated to remove a song at the artist's request.

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