I admit it. I’m a holiday junkie. While Halloween is my “official” favorite, from October through December I’m in full-on holiday mode, immersed in what you could call “holiday culture.” In fact, I have nearly 90 days straight when I’m working on holiday content and that means unearthing some unique pop culture gems to share with all of you.
Right now, Thanksgiving is big on everybody’s minds, but this year we have a once-in-a-lifetime situation: my Jewish friends will also begin celebrating Hanukkah on turkey day. So, whether your family is celebrating Thanksgivukkah or just Thanksgiving, here’s some new music for your upcoming holiday gatherings. These picks may be a little off-the-mainstream radar, but could surprise you.
Mama Doni Band – “Mama Doni’s Jewish Holiday Party” DVD and Mama Doni: The Acoustic Jewish Holiday Collection
After releasing the funk-infused ” Chanukah Fever” in 2011, Doni Zasloff is revisiting the holiday with The Mama Doni Band for 2013. This is really the definitive Thanksgivukkah collection and that’s coming from a guy that just might brave the crowds for some X-mas shopping in the later hours of Thanksgiving. “Mama Doni’s Jewish Holiday Party” (available through MamaDoni.com) is an excellent DVD that features three episodes which focus on Chanukah, Passover and Shabbat. In addition to music and recipes, a 13-song soundtrack entitled ” The Acoustic Jewish Holiday Collection” is included. For those looking for just the music, a stand alone album of the same name has also been released.
The Dirty Sock Funtime Band – “Hannukah, O Hannukah (Introducing The Menurkey!)”
The Dirty Sock Funtime Band just released their new album, “The Dirty Socks COME CLEAN,” last month, but they didn’t stop there. Available on iTunes as a digital single, “Hannukah, O Hannukah (Introducing The Menurkey!)” celebrates Thansgivukkah by giving musical props to the Menurkey – a turkey-shaped Menorah created by nine-year-old Asher Weintraub and put into production via a smashingly-successful Kickstarter effort. Only bad thing about the Menurkey? You’ll have to wait until the year 79811 to use it again.
Matisyahu – “Happy Hanukkah” Mibblio Jam-a- App
While his “Happy Hanukkah” single became an iTunes hit last year, Matisyahu finds himself one of the latest artists to get their own Mibblio App for iPad. Mibblio makes interactive storybooks that kids can jam along with through “keys” on the iPad screen. It’s been a growing platform for kindie and family music artists of late, with Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band, Joanie Leeds & The Nightlights, Recess Monkey and many more getting the Mibblio treatment. Now, Matisyahu’s “Happy Hanukkah” Jam-Along brings a little seasonal flavor into the mix. Check out a preview:
DidiPop – “Hanukkah Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas (New York Times Songs Episode I)”
The wildcard of the Hanukivving music this year is Deborah DidiPop Poppink. She penned this new song after reading an article about the colliding holidays in the New York Times. She checked out the article at 9 a.m. and by the time she picked her kids up from school at 2:30 p.m., this song was written, recorded and available on YouTube:
Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights have made their single “Tofurky Song” available as a free download this year. If you haven’t heard it before, there’s a video for it, too:
Finally, Chicago’s very own Mr. Nicky has released a new single called “The Thanksgiving Tale of Joe Roy (The Potato Boy),” and he’s offering it to you as a free download!
Now, Thanksgiving isn’t exactly a big holiday when it comes to music, but you know what we need? A really rockin’ Turkey Day anthem. Sure, there’s plenty of songs about being thankful, but where is the real gobble gobble jam? I’m crossing my fingers that someone answers the call and delivers something really tasty by this time next year. Maybe I’ll write one…