We’re getting ever closer to the big day: three days left until Xmas itself, and two days left until you’re frantically running around trying to buy last-minute presents. In order to chill you out (trust us, after braving the shopping mall at this time of year, you’re going to need chilling out) here’s a 1992 track from much-missed Sub Pop indie troubadours Velocity Girl: ‘Merry Christmas, I Love You.’ Now, doesn’t that feel better?
Christmas can be something of a double-edged sword – sure, you might eat too much chocolate, drink too much egg nog, and then puke all over the dancefloor at the office party and be regarded as an embarrassment to the company until you hand in your notice in mid-February, but at least it’s not boring.
One person who enjoyed a particularly memorable holiday season would be Ben Folds, whose festive tune ‘Bizarre Christmas Incident’ is today’s little treat in our BAMM Advent Calendar Countdown. As for what the incident actually is – well, we’ll let you discover that for yourselves.
Half-Man Half-Biscuit. Nope, that’s not the name of an ‘inspirational true story’ your Tivo forgot to record off the Lifetime Channel – it’s the moniker of one of Britain’s most curious national treasures. Half-Man Half-Biscuit have been delighting fans with their unique brand of satirical and smart indie-rock for almost thirty years now. And – get this – for a band so often labelled as a ‘comedy’ or ‘novelty’ group, they’ve actually got a killer grasp of pop melody to go alongside song titles like ‘Bad Losers On Yahoo! Chess’ or ‘Venus In Flares’.
So, to mark Day Five of the BAMM Advent Calendar, here’s a festive contribution from their huge back catalogue: ‘It’s Cliched To Be Cynical At Christmas.’
In case you hadn’t noticed (or unless you’re one of those hyper-organized freaks who does all their present-buying in July, and can freely cast such worries to the back of your mind) this little thing called ‘Christmas’ is fast approaching. We’ve decided to help you get into the festive mood with our very own BAMM.tv Advent Calendar!
Now, because technology has yet to grant us the opportunity to throw chocolates through your monitor (soon, Apple, soon), we’re giving you the next best thing. That’s right: a classic Christmas tune, every day from now until the 25th of December.
And we’re not going to be really obvious with the whole thing, either: we’re hoping to show you a selection of underrated, unknown, unappreciated but still genuinely great Christmas songs. Think of it as a public service – when you hear Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas’ blasted out of the shopping mall one too many times, this little place will be your safehaven for awesome Christmas music.
But, yeah … we’ll be throwing in a few of the classics too. Just wait and see.
Today, we start with a real curiosity. You may know Harvey Danger from their crossover hit ‘Flagpole Sitta’ (which reached a new audience as the theme tune to hit sitcom ‘Peep Show’). Sadly now defunct, the band released a Christmas song in the late-nineties: ‘Sometimes You Have To Work On Christmas’, a gloriously twisted tribute to anyone who’s ever had to pull an Xmas shift in a job they hate. It should be far more well-known, and hopefully that’s a journey which starts right here.
We asked our Artist Of The Month The Flashbulb to pick his favorite moments from the sprawling BAMM.tv music archive …
“I think I’ve actually gone through every BAMM video for this process. It made for a splendid Sunday morning. I kind of feel like an A&R guy, but my coffee isn’t expensive enough.
“After watching Who Cares – Show Me Some Change (below), I was reminded of how deceiving looks can be. I expected the sound of “Mouse Rat”, for those of you familiar with Parks And Recreation. The actual sound was an unexpected blend of 70′s Harlem, some open mic’d drums, and a filthy loop that sounds like the groan a baby didgeridoo would make while bashing out police car windows. The point is, this is unique, and it is great. The other point is, I need to grow my hair out and stop wearing tracksuits before I make another video.
Meet electronic mastermind Benn Jordan. He’s a man of many different names, collecting pseudonyms the way a hyperactive 90s kid collected Pokemon. You may also have heard him referred to as (deeeeeep breath now) Acidwolf, CHR15TPUNCH3R, DJ ASCII, Dr. Lefty, Dysrythmia, FlexE, Human Action Network, Lucid32, rapemachine, rnd16, 66x or Q-Bit.
For the purposes of our Artist Of The Month celebration, however, we fixing our beady eye on Benn’s most well-known alterego: The Flashbulb.
Benn is particularly direct when it comes to the origins of Flashbulb. “In the mid-70′s,” he recounts, “Lee Jordan and Denise Richardson met while vacationing in Virginia. Many sexual instances later Denise noticed she was more nauseated than usual. 9 months later the band was formed, but did not record music for another 14 years.” In other words: it’s just him. Flashbulb is a one-man operation, and Benn is the brains and talent behind it.
Hope you’re enjoying the hooks-and-handclaps ultra-melodic indie-rock from our Artist Of The Month Hollerado (we’ve already unleashed an in-depth article on the band, plus discovered their favorite musical moments from the BAMM.tv archives). Now we’re widening that search to the big old world of music in general, and finding out exactly what Hollerado are listening to right now …
We asked our Artist Of The Month – the soon-to-take-over-the-world Canadian rockers Hollerado – to pick their favorite moments from the massive BAMM.tv music archives. Let’s take a look at what they chose …
Charity begins at home, the old phrase goes – and if the history of Canadian melody-merchants Hollerado is anything to go by, it seems that musical genius begins in that area too. Born and raised in Manotick, Ontario (infact, three of the band members grew up on the same street together), the four Hollerado boys – Menno Versteeg, Nixon Boyd, Dean Baxter and Jake Boyd – officially came together in April 2007. Relocating to Montreal, they’ve since been gathering a well-deserved reputation as everyone’s favorite Bright Young Things.
Our regular round-up of what’s happening with BAMM.tv’s favorite artists right now …
Chilean hip-hop superstar Ana Tijoux has released new single ‘No Al TPP’, which is a savage political attack on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (more details here). Check out her BAMM.tv performances here.