Go Jimmy Go, Holiday Hell Yeah!
[CD] It was a toss up between this local CD and A Michael Bolton Christmas. In the end, I figured most people already know about the Bolton CD, because who does Christmas better than a man with bad hair plugs? Anyway, Holiday Hell Yeah! Is what I like to call “The Anti-Christmas album.” Band members Jason Friedman (lead vocals, percussion), Ian Ashley (guitar, vocals, percussion), Jay Kalk (bass, vocals), Ryan Kunimura (trombone) and Eric White (tenor and baritone saxophones) along with Reuben Durham on the organ pull off a swingy, jivey Christmas feel that replaces sand for snow and macadamia nuts for chestnuts roasting on an open fire. I wouldn’t recommend this album for someone looking for a classic Christmas time sound, but if you want to blow your brains out after spending time listening to piped in carols at the mall, Holiday Hell Yeah! may be just what the doctor ordered. “Ching-A-ling-A-Ding-Dong” and “Holiday Movie Marathon” plus eggnog equals one hell of a good time.
The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming—a Christmas story
By: Lemony Snicket
[BOOK] I don’t have a lot of Jewish friends, but I love Adam Sandler. Not to mention, Adam Levine from Maroon Five is pretty hot. Anyway, this lovely little tale about a latke who runs screaming from a hot frying pan, encounters and is misunderstood by flashing colored Christmas lights, candy canes, and a Christmas tree before finding a nice family (Jewish, I presume) to go home for the holidays with, is quite refreshing. It’s equal parts funny, introspective and politically correct and incorrect. The overall message is one of acceptance and belonging which, in a perfect world, is what the holiday season is all about.
Slack Key Christmas
[CD] This Christmas-themed album, with slack key performances by Sonny Lim, James Kimo West, Randy Lorenzo, Charles Michael Brotman, Jeff Peterson, Wailau Ryder, Ben Kaili and Dwight Tokumoto, really surprised me. It’s a great album to play during a Christmas party or while wrapping presents. Okay, that sounds really tacky, but it’s true. I promise that Slack Key Christmas is anything but tacky; in fact it has a very mellow, yet dignified feel to it without loosing its fluidity. The quality of the performances and over all recording of the album made perfect sense after I discovered that it was produced, engineered, mixed and mastered by Charles Michael Brotman who is the recipient of the first Grammy award for Best Hawaiian Music Album. In two words? Classically festive. MTW