Four Excellent New Christmas Songs That Are Guaranteed To Be Drummer Boy Challenge-Safe

This is the sixth year that the Killers have put out a Christmas song. Man, I feel old.
This week in the Voice I discussed The Little Drummer Boy Challenge, a sort of Frogger pitting your ears against "Christmas creep." The rules are simple: If you haven't heard "The Little Drummer Boy" in any form—including Justin Bieber's recent, Busta Rhymes-assisted update of the song—since midnight struck on Black Friday, you're in. Once you hear those rum-pa-pum-pums, though, you're out. It's a pretty maddening challenge, and Bieber's entrance into the holiday-album arena (which is only his second studio full-length!) only makes it more difficult. But there are plenty of other new holiday tunes that avoid the manger of "Drummer Boy" entirely. Four standouts below.

More »

Q&A With Dave Segedy Of The Awesome Indie-Rock Revivalists Sleeping Bag, Plus The New Video For "Slime"

One of my favorite debut efforts of the year is the self-titled album by Sleeping Bag, a three-piece out of Bloomington who craft hooky, low-end-heavy rock that sounds like it could have been lifted off a 7-inch originally purchased in 1994. (You can pick it up via their Bandcamp site.) They're touring the country right now, and tonight they hit Cake Shop for an Officially SOTC-Approved show. After the jump, the brand-new video for the endlessly catchy single "Slime," plus a few questions with Dave Segedy, who started the band as a solo drum project called Whoa Bro Awesome, then added a couple of members to round out the band's sound, but staunchly stuck to splitting duties on the drums and on vocals.

More »