VA – Ho Ho Ho Spice: A Hospice Awareness & Benefit Project [2CD] (2002)


Artist: Various Artists
Title: Ho Ho Ho Spice: A Hospice Awareness & Benefit Project
Year Of Release: 2002
Label: Volunteer Records [VolRec 001]
Genre: Alternative Rock, Folk, Pop Rock, Holiday
Quality: 320 kbps / FLAC (tracks +.cue,log,,d.booklet)
Total Time: 2:35:10
Total Size: 378 mb / 1.03 gb


Nearly 50 songs long and possessed of no discernible musical vision – folk, goth, punk, pop and more vie for the listener’s attention – Ho Ho Ho Spice: A Hospice Awareness And Benefit Project (Volunteer Records, 2002) is a worthy effort that can be a taxing, discombobulating listen. That said, some very accomplished material is nestled here amongst a raft of rather anonymous, often amateur music. In fact, Ho Ho Ho Spice contains no less than five entries from my Top 100 Songs list, including super-rare tracks by the Reducers ("Nothing For Christmas") and Sonny Columbus & His Del Fuegos ("That Punchbowl Full Of Joy"), a not-so-scarce classic from NRBQ (Christmas Wish"), and two cuts from Chris Stamey’s currently out-of-print Christmas Time (Stamey’s title track and the dB’s "Holiday Spirit").

Beyond those acknowledged classics, Ho Ho Ho Spice captures a number of worthy older efforts – some of them also quite rare – from notable artists. These include exemplary songs from Graham Parker ("Soul Christmas" from his out-of-print EP, Christmas Cracker); Wednesday Week ("Christmas Here Could Never Be Like That," a track from the legendary Midnight Christmas Mess series); Klark Kent ("Yo Ho Ho," a pseudonymous release by Stewart Copeland of the Police); and two cuts from the deleted 1991 power pop collection Yuletunes.

Plus, unexpected gems emerge beyond those stellar tracks. Some are "lost classics" unearthed for the project (c.f. the Hungry Dutchmen’s 1988 pop nugget, "Looking For Santa") while others are newly recorded. Of those, tracks by Mike Daly (ex-Whiskeytown), Buzzed Meg (featuring Smithereen Jim Babjak), and Marina Belica (formerly of October Project) are particular standouts. Adding it all up, Ho Ho Ho Spice begins to look a lot like a Christmas cornucopia.

By the final tally, Ho Ho Ho Spice encompasses 24 essential Christmas tracks (see below). Bottom line, that’s one very solid CD, albeit one that’s spread over two very long discs. Nevertheless, Ho Ho Ho Spice sells for a bargain price, and it serves a very worthy cause (read more). So, buy one, then rip the good tracks to your hard drive – that’s what MP3 players are made for!
TRACKLIST:

Disc 1
1. The Idea – It’s About That Time
2. Chris Stamey & The dB’s – Christmas Time
3. Brave Combo – It’s Christmas
4. Andrea Perry – Christmas With Fat Aunt Bette
5. Klark Kent – Yo Ho Ho
6. Ed Haynes – Holiday Song
7. NRBQ – Christmas Wish
8. Big Fish Ensemble – Christmas Day
9. Rocky Zharp & The Blues Crackers – Merry Merry Christmas
10. Glowfriends – Joy Of Christmas
11. Rick Paul – It Started In A Manger
12. Marina Belica – O Come, O Come Emmanuel
13. astroPuppees – It’s Not Christmas
14. 5 Chinese Brothers – And To All A Good Night
15. Mike Daly – Something About This Time Of Year
16. Jim Babjak’s Buzzed Meg – It’s Love On Christmas Day
17. The Butties – Joy To The World
18. Flat Duo Jets – Jingle Bells
19. Sonny Columbus & His Del Fuegos – That Punchbowl Full Of Joy
20. Wednesday Week – Christmas Here (Could Never Be Like That)
21. Bite The Wax Godhead – (I’ll Be Glad When) Christmastime Is Done
22. Graham Parker & Nona Hendryx – Soul Christmas

Disc 2
1. The Negatones – The Negatones’ Christmas Card Greeting
2. Helen Avakian – Christmas Tree
3. Sandi Kay – Christmastime Is Here
4. Michelangel D’Amico – Heading Home For Christmas
5. Better Than Ezra – Merry Christmas Eve
6. The Whereabouts – Christmas Eve
7. Keith LuBrant – Another Perfect Christmas
8. Pam DeCosmo – I Love Christmas
9. King Virtue – Christmas Is My Favorite Holiday
10. Leanne Weiss – Christmas Ain’t Just For Kids Anymore
11. The Hungry Dutchmen – Looking For Santa
12. Christopher Grey – I Can’t Sleep On Christmas Eve
13. Red Dirt Rangers – Rangers’ Christmas Lullabye
14. Abney Park – The Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairies
15. Empire State Human – Christmas Angel
16. Five Iron Frenzy – You Gotta Get Up
17. Kelsey Jean – Let’s Look Under The Christmas Tree
18. Boss Gremlin – The Gift You Always Wanted
19. The dB’s – Holiday Spirit
20. Alice Project – Re-Gifting For The Holidays
21. The Reducers – Nothing For Christmas
22. The Chinkees – X-Mas
23. Bleach – What We Call Christmas
24. Scrap Daddy – Hey Hey Santa
25. Pork Chop – White Trash Christmas
26. The Kises – Holly Jolly Christmas
27. The Cucumbers – Auld Lang Syne :: ::

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