Odds N Ends

Not that I’m gloating or trying to be a smug git, but this year I am Mr. Organized, three weeks plus to go until Christmas and I’m done with my shopping, for the first time ever I’m sorted with no sign of a panic or last minute dash to the shops in sight, so Christmas stress levels should be at an all time low, leaving me to spend hours pouring over my best of 2010 lists and I’ve started thinking about putting together this years and immediately procrastination reared it’s combative head and left with the usual dilemma of what to pick and where to place it, this year is proving on first look very vexing the blog was never meant to focus on one particular genre (the old adage there are only two types of music) but this year I have moved away from the twang a little, not intentional just the way things have developed and a reflection of the fact Beat Surrender is getting lots of emails across the gamut of genres, I’ve tried to keep up and listen to as much as I can but it’s getting to a point where I have to make more and more one listen decisions on whether to give over any time to get involved with some requests and despite my best efforts I’ve not being able to get back to everyone and no doubt will regret not giving some submissions more time and attention, but hey it’s not like it’s a chore if it gets that way I’ll stop.

So anyway, should you be struggling for a suitable gift for the a discerning music fan, something with a little seasonal perhaps? ,then here’s a few suggestions you may want to consider whilst you wait for me to publish Beat Surrender‘s official top fifty of 2010.

Scottish power-pop band Dropkick are releasing a festive 7″ (red vinyl of course) Christmas EP this year on Swedish label Sound Asleep Records. “25th December” will feature 4 new songs: “I May Never” (featuring guest vocals from Alice Marra Clark of The Hazey Janes), “Up On The Hill”, “When Santa Comes Round” and “Christmas In The Cross”. A download version is also available featuring alternative artwork and two previously released bonus tracks “Writing To Santa” and “Scampi For Xmas” (I love this tune).

You can order the vinyl or download at Dropkick’s web site

Swedish Americana band Holmes are have made available a Christmas track on their Bandcamp page where you can still download all of their albums on a pay what you want basis as well as buy CDs, vinyl and t-shirts.

And from across the water a festive offering from Knoxville’s Scott Miller in the form of a seven track EP available at his store here where you can try before you buy.

1. The Kingdom Has Come – Journey of the Magi
2. Yes Virginia (S. Miller)
3. Christmas in Prison (J. Prine)
4. Joyful, Joyful (p.d. arr S. Miller)
5. Old Toy Trains (R. Miller)
6. Star of Bethlehem (N. Young)
7. Holy, Holy, Holy (p.d. arr S. Miller)

Dropkick – Abelay Hotel

This post is long overdue, sorry guys, Scottish power-pop alt-country band Dropkick have recently released a new album which you can get your hands on here for a bargain price including delivery worldwide.

The band started with brothers Andrew and Alastair Taylor along with Ian Greer in 1995 playing original punk-pop before settling into their brand of alt-country power pop , not a band to rest easy this bunch of talented gents have chalked up eight previous releases with various line-ups, on the current release Andrew (Vocals, Guitars, Drums) and Alastair (Vocals, Guitars, Pedal Steel) are joined by Roy W. Taylor (no relation on Vocals and Guitars) and Scott Tobin (Bass and Vocals).

These guys really enjoy their music and it shines through their work as they have produced some great albums with plenty of memorable tracks, mixing alt-country with power pop and a smattering of humour, the records are packed with catchy melodic songs with some sweet harmonies. Don’t just take my word for it, read the plaudits at the bands website and the reviews at AUK , or better still take a listen yourself, more at LastFM along with some free downloads.

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