Milwaukee musicians can be quite festive from time to time. Through the years, local bands and solo artists have amassed an extensive playlist of amazingly tolerable holiday songs. There list grows more and more every year. This year is no different, as some area acts have treated us to a new batch of Milwaukee-made holiday originals, Christmastime covers, and yuletide music videos. If you can’t stand hearing “White Christmas” another time, here are some local ways you can stay in the holiday spirit this year.
Abby Jeanne — “Isle Of Misfit Toys”
How does Abby Jeanne wrap up a year that included a four-show “Fire In February” residency, a WMSE Record Store Day 7-inch, a flurry of high-profile festival gigs, a well-deserved $20,000 Backline grant, a successful “Cosmic Weekend” in her honor, and the announcement of a January 5 release show at Turner Hall? With a holiday release, of course!
With the help of her band of “Hi-Fi Misfits,” Abby Jeanne recently released a “wintry” 7-inch called Isle Of Misfit Toys. The two-song release includes the title track on one side, and a French version of the song on the other side. The songs were released digitally and on multi-colored (red, white, and green) vinyl last month. Limited to just 250 copies, the 7-inch—the first release on “Hi-Fi Records”—is currently available at the Bay View cafe, as well as Milwaukee’s Exclusive Company, Rush Mor Records, Luv Unlimited, Bullseye Records, and Acme Records.
The Eradicator — “The Court’s Closed On Christmas”
Chicago/Milwaukee punk band and performance art project The Eradicator somehow found a way to incorporate Christmas into its overriding theme of squash. Hear the up-and-coming act lamenting the squash court being closed on account of Christmas on their new song, “The Court’s Closed On Christmas.” You won’t be sorry.
Holy Shit! — “All I Want For Christmas Is You”
Last month, we asked a large portion of Milwaukee’s music scene whether they preferred Wham!’s “Last Christmas” or Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” Though the results were split and we ultimately didn’t emerge with a clear favorite, we did learn something awesome in the process. Apparently, Holy Shit! covered “All I Want For Christmas Is You” last year. There’s no recorded evidence, but it makes us happy to know it happened.
L’Resorts — Christmas Is A Time For Dreaming
L’Resorts is the new project from Martha Cannon (of Lady Cannon) and Vincent Kircher (Jaill). The tropical pop duo announced its presence (or presents?!) in particularly festive fashion last week when they released its four-song Christmas Is A Time For Dreaming EP. All proceeds from digital sales of the original EP will be donated to Hunger Task Force. You can hear holiday-themed songs from L’Resorts and a range of other local artists like Mark Waldoch, Testa Rosa, Barry Clark, Chris Rosenau, Lex Allen, Caley Conway, Joe Crockett, and more during a December 22 “Holiday Special” show at The Cooperage.
Next Paperback Hero — Christmas Eve
In late 2016, we included a song by Nathan Honoré on our annual local holiday music listing. Now, two years after the release of “Christmas ’16,” the singer-songwriter is back with a new name for his project and two more Christmastime compositions. Next Paperback Hero’s Christmas Eve offers a reflective title track and a “Song For A Dog In December.” Like L’Resorts, Honoré will donate all proceeds from online sales to Hunger Task Force.
Shawn Alan Hurd — “The Barrooms Don’t Have Chimneys”
Milwaukee singer-songwriter Shawn Alan Hurd is literally hours removed from releasing this somber holiday offering, “The Barrooms Don’t Have Chimneys” online. If Christmas has you down, you’re not alone.
Caley Conway — “Jingle Bells”
Last year, Caley Conway went all-in on winter when she re-wrapped and refined a batch of holiday classic with her Heart Be Light EP. Recently, Conway and her band were kind enough to come to The Back Room @ Colectivo to shoot a music video for her relaxed rendition of “Jingle Bells” from last year’s release for our “Public Domain” series. Adding to the new video is a second holiday EP, entitled Boleslaus The Cruel, which Conway plans to put out in the coming days. You can hear her play some of those wintry arrangements during Field Report’s December 14 “Home For The Holidays” event. In the meantime, watch the “Jingle Bells” video below.