As ephemeral as Christmas singles can be — and, in most cases, rightly so — at least a few of them have managed to withstand the test of time.
I, for one, could never tire of the Kinks imploring "Father Christmas, give us some money" or James White & the Blacks promising that "Satan gives each girl and boy just what he or she deserves."
Then there's Run-D.M.C.'s "Christmas in Hollis" and Kanye's "Christmas in Harlem," John Lennon's "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" and the Ramones' "Merry Christmas (I Don't Want to Fight Tonight)," Elmo & Patsy's "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer" and Darlene Love's "Christmastime for the Jews."
And who among us can forget Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas," try as we may?
Yet in the five years I've been in Colorado Springs, the only Xmas songs I'd heard by local artists are Unikord's two-fisted "Santa Claus Is Killing the Town" and "Silent Night Cause Your Dead."
All of which means local alt-rock band Knight in Colors' newly released "Christmas for One" single was long overdue.
"Dan, our drummer, came up with the title, and I took it from there," says Ben Scott, who cranked out the music in 10 minutes and lyrics like "Don't have to deal with in-laws / Or pretend that there's a Santa Claus" in 10 minutes more.
The band, meanwhile, has cut down on live shows in order to work on its first full-length album. "We gigged a lot last summer — well, a lot for us," says the frontman of the band's live run, which included an impressive set at the Indy Music Awards and concluded with an early October date opening for the Mowgli's.
"That seemed like a good time to end our summer and start to focus on a new record," says Scott, who found writing and playing at the same time pretty much impossible. "This is the first band I've been in that has lasted past four months, and I think that's the case with most of the band. So it might have just been that we weren't used to it."
The single, which was uploaded earlier this month to Knight in Colors' bandcamp site, will be available in physical form when the group plays the Black Sheep's Ugly Sweater Xmas Party this Saturday.
The event is also a CD release party for headliner Sound|Studies, who'll be playing material from its new debut, Late Night, Early Mornings. The loop-augmented rock trio holed up in the loft of a local warehouse to record the EP's eight tracks, which were then mixed by Colorado Springs singer-songwriter Jeoff Harris and mastered in Boulder by Dominick Maita, whose credits range from Philip Glass' Koyaanisqatsi soundtrack to the Plain White T's "Hey There Delilah" single.
Ryan May, who first collaborated with cofounder Brandon Metz in the local band leer, tells us the group's current single, "Smoke and Mirrors," is getting daily airplay on 103.9 RXP. The station is also offering the song as a free download through its website this week only.
The Myth of Modern Medicine and GhostRADIO will round out Saturday's bill.
In other news, Bullhead*ded's Zetfree FoundDed has joined MC 3Two, Everai, Vaughn Helm and Patrick The Stoner in Denver-based progressive hip-hop group Folklorist, aka FOLO. You can catch them opening for Public Enemy this Saturday at Denver's Summit Music Hall. The emcee will also continue on as a member of Bullhead*ded, which recently returned from a tour that included an Albuquerque date opening for Talib Kweli.
Meanwhile, to add one more live music option on your Saturday night, Alex Koshak has booked Kevin Greenspon to play the Subterranean. The L.A.-based ambient sound artist is also the founder of Bridgetown Records, home to bands ranging from Denver noise-pop band School Knights to SoCal act Nicole Kidman, whose repertoire includes "I'm in Love With a Jehovah's Witness" as well as homages to Material Issue, Taking Back Sunday and Miley Cyrus. Opening the show are Charioteer and Miette Hope.
And finally, the Triple Nickel will be celebrating its eighth anniversary in style this weekend. Friday night's headliner is the Queers, whose albums for the Bay Area's Lookout and Asian Man labels are part of punk-rock history. On Saturday, the celebration shifts gears, with DJ Landry hosting an '80s prom. Shoulder pads, leg warmers and fingerless gloves are welcome, but thankfully optional.