Here they come a-wassailing

Rock bands, throat singer, and a partridge in a pear tree
By SUSANNA BOLLE  |  December 19, 2008

Hats and Glasses

There's not a whole lot of Yuletide-themed activity on Boston's musical fringes this year, and that makes the holiday rock show at the Milky Way this Sunday all the more welcome. According to organizer Dan Shea, the idea is to have five local bands — LIFE PARTNERS, EARTH PEOPLE ORCHESTRA, THICK SHAKES, HATS AND GLASSES, and WEYMOS (a Weymouth-centric Christmas-song-playing supergroup) — play three songs each, at least two of which must be holiday-related.

"We're doing a cover of Clarence Carter's classic 'Back Door Santa' from his '68 album Soul Christmas," says Life Partners trumpeter Greg Kelley. "Many may know this as the sample source for Run DMC's 'Christmas in Hollis' or perhaps via the Black Crowes' rendition from Mission Impossible III or Bon Jovi's version from A Very Special Christmas, which was a Special Olympics benefit comp. We're also doing two originals that may have Christmas or winter-related themes, 'Rapist Gets Off' and 'Men Are Talking.' Should be a very special Christmas indeed!"

Elsewhere in questionably holiday-related musics: the Tuvan throat-singing ensemble ALASH return to the Lily Pad in Cambridge this Friday. The eerie bagpipe-drone whistle of throat singing might not seem all that season-appropriate, but the quartet, who mix traditional Tuvan and Western music (leaning heavily on the former), recently performed on a Bûla Fleck Christmas CD. Besides, there are few things more festive (and otherworldly) than vocal overtones.

LIFE PARTNERS + EARTH PEOPLE ORCHESTRA + THICK SHAKES + HATS AND GLASSES + WEYMOS | Milky Way Lounge & Lanes, 403-405 Centre St, Jamaica Plain | December 21 at 9 pm | $5 | 617.524.3740 or | ALASH | Lily Pad, 1353 Cambridge St, Cambridge | December 19 at 7 pm | $15 |

Related: Spare Us the Early Onslaught of Christmas!!, Local influence, Live radio lives, More more >
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