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

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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.

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News Roundup: Brendan Flowers, Live Nation, Neutral Milk Hotel, Chris Brown/Rihanna

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--The Killers' Brendan Flowers likely got to live out a childhood fantasy Saturday when he joined Bruce Springsteen for a duet of "Thunder Road" at the opening night of the Neatherlands Pinkpop Festival. Nowadays, it's a right of passage for Springsteen-influenced acts to join their idol onstage. The Arcade Fire played two numbers with him in 2007 in Ottawa, Canada, including the long-unplayed "State Trooper."  The same year, Springsteen joined The Hold Steady on "Rosalita" at a New York tribute show.

-- Billed as the biggest ticket promotion ever, Live Nation is introducing "No Service Fee Wednesdays." The promotion, which begins and ends June 3 (more Wednesday-related "specials" are promised for the rest of the summer), will eliminate extra fees at all amphitheatre concerts. This includes shows like blink 182, No Doubt, Phish, and Kid Rock/Lynyrd Skynrd. No word on whether Live Nation will also eliminate impossible parking, long bathroom lines, rain, and the guy in jean shorts throwing up all over the place next to you.

--Another piece of old, weird America is preserved. The 81-year-old Paragon Carousel, located in Hull, Massachusetts, has won a $100,000 grant from American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Neutral Milk Hotel's Julian Koster and Jeff Mangum wrote a note urging fans to help save the merry-go-round in April. It won out of 25 other Massachusetts landmarks. Read our own Camille Dodero's recollections of the famous merry-go-round here.

--New photos of Chris Brown and Rihanna have leaked, according to TMZ. The pictures show the stars in happier times, smiling and kissing. It's a curious leak, considering Brown is facing two felony charges for attacking the "Umbrella" singer in February . Brown dug himself a deeper hole last week when he declared, "I ain't a monster" in a video intended to help promote his new album and single.

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