I have a piece up at Blurt on mod-psych band, the Jigsaw Seen, and its new not-really-a-holiday album Winterland
HOLD THE EGGNOG The Jigsaw Seen
In which we learn how to make a not-exactly-a-holiday-album.
BY JENNIFER KELLY
Why would any self-respecting rock band make a Christmas album? The bargain bins are tipping with seasonal detritus, ill-advised forays into holiday cheer. My own favorite, a cassette that wore out years ago, was The Reggae Christmas, which, I dimly recall, had Eek-A-Mouse's version of "The Night Before Christmas." It was just the thing to clear the room of all relatives over the age of 30, damned useful in those days. But really, after a whole month of schlepping through Target and Macy's and waiting on hold for a Lands' End operator, who has any real need for more Christmas music? Surely we can agree that no version of "Jingle Bell Rock" is either a) music, or b) any kind of holiday.
Tell that to the Jigsaw Seen, LA's best mod-referencing, power-chording, melodic rock band, an outfit that has made not one but two holiday recordings, the first a 2006 EP called What About Christmas, the second, out now, a full-length named Winterland. And here's the shocker: they're both pretty good.
The secret, says Dennis Davison, is to not really make a Christmas album. "Very few of the songs are actually about Christmas," he says. "Even those are not really so much about Christmas. They just happen to take place during Christmas. So, yeah, we were very conscious of the idea that we didn't want the whole concept to come across like a bunch of cornball Christmas songs."
What About Christmas? by The Jigsaw Seen
Snow Angels Of Pigtown by The Jigsaw Seen