Saturday, November 29, 2008

i'll stay 'til after christmas by various artists

Contrary to the popular rumor that's going around (okay, the rumor that we've been working so hard to sustain), the Would-Be Hipsters did not invent the holiday charity album. This holiday season there's a plethora of tasty albums and good causes to check out/support. Get involved. (This imperative goes for any cause.) I fail to see the downside of giving money to a worthy cause and getting a little something back1.

I'll Stay 'Til After Christmas (out December 2nd on iTunes) is a particularly cool charitable offering. First of all, and most importantly, all proceeds go to Amnesty International which, let's face it, you can't argue with. Campaigning for human rights since 1961, they now boast over 2.2 billion members in 150 countries.

As if supporting human rights isn't good enough, let's talk music. Secondary reason for caring maybe, but I'll Stay 'Til After Christmas is crammed with Would-Be Hipster favorites. Read: You will be getting something back. A lot of somethings. My Brightest Diamond does a haunting David Bowie cover (no, not this one). Sally Shapiro continues to make cute as a button electronica. Figurine (New album? Please?) goes for holiday heartbreak. Au (the hardest band to Google) takes standard "I'll Be Home For Christmas" and renders it unstandard, daydreamy, and haunting. Of course, what would any holiday be without Snoopy? Au Revior Simone channels everyone's favorite Christmas cartoon and get their Charlie Brown on.

The overall vibe is a bit wistful and melancholic, that moment when you're left staring at the lit tree, maybe reflecting a bit too deeply. Your heart is warm, your belly is full – reality, for the moment, is held safely at arm's length. Truth is, if you're reading this, chances are you're richer and more blessed than 95% of the world. This holiday season, take time to pass it along.

1. Kept me a KCRW subscriber for going on three years now.

mp3: "Shenandoah" by Le Loup

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