Venus and the Moon Scale Down John and Yoko

“Happy Xmas (War is Over)” has traditionally been one of the few holiday songs that gets love from people who otherwise have no use for Christmas songs. John Lennon’s name and voice help, as does Phil Spector’s wall-of-voices production, but its parenthetical assertion and lack of Christian piety—“Xmas” not “Christmas”—separate it from the songs written by the previous generation’s finest songwriters. It’s not sentimental, and it’s not hearkening back to some fondly remembered yesteryear.  

The Breton Sound Owns its Ambition

The Breton Sound plays arena-sized rock in indie-sized rooms. Many of the band’s models are pop classicists—The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Monkees, Big Star—but the results are closer in spirit and sound to Weezer and Foo Fighters. It’s no coincidence that when the band performed a couple of Desert Island Disc shows last year, they covered Pinkerton and The Colour & The Shape from end to end.

Beck, St. Vincent, Phantogram, Jenny Lewis, and the Preservation Hall Ball

Friday: Nicky Da B Benefit feat. Sissy Nobby, DJ Jubilee, Walt Wiggidy, BJ So Cole, Jo Jackson, Reedy, and DJ Lil Man, midnight, The Republic: Rapper and dancer Nicky Da B passed away far too young last month. Some of the proceeds for this show will go to his family to help with the costs of his death.

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