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Rhan Wilson | An Altared Christmas

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United States - California

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Jazz: Weird Jazz Spoken Word: With Music Moods: Mood: Christmas
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An Altared Christmas

by Rhan Wilson

A tweaked collection of standard Christmas carols redone in a minor mode resulting in trippy, alternative moods. Perfect for that "Altared" holiday get-together.
Genre: Jazz: Weird Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Silent Night
5:38 $0.99
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2. A Visit From St. Nicholas
6:30 $0.99
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3. Deck the Halls
4:32 $0.99
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4. Carol of the Bells - Part 1
3:03 $0.99
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5. We Wish You A Merry Christmas
2:24 $0.99
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6. Away in A Manger
2:39 $0.99
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7. Joy to the world
0:08 $0.99
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8. Carol of the Bells - Part 2
4:21 $0.99
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9. Little Drummer Boy
6:42 $0.99
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10. Jingle Bells
11:25 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Who brought the Hash Fruitcake?

"An Altared Christmas" is a totally tweaked collection of Christmas carols offered up by vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, Rhan Wilson.

With this CD, he asks the musical question, "What happens to joyously major-key songs when they are suddenly recast in a minor mode?"

The result is "An Altared Christmas," a sometimes spooky, often funny, completely bizzare and oddly satisfying collection of nine familiar Christmas carols, bent by Wilson's inspired vision.

The record gives nine hackneyed holiday songs a fresh angle while retaining the original lyrics and melodies. It opens up with an eerie, ambient "Silent Night." "A Visit From St. Nicholas" gets a quiet, quirky jazz treatment reminiscent of Lord Buckley, that takes a turn when Santa sparks up his famous pipe. The normally chirpy "Deck the Halls" becomes the lament of a mournful mom tending to her wailing baby. On a comic note, a mall girl whines her way through "Away in A Manger," at the same time cracking her way through the lyrics. (Like, what is like, nigh?)

A closing bonus track of even more edgy laughter
is sure to send you back out into the Christmas chaos refreshed and ready to face the rigors of the season - with renewed energy and a slightly naughty smile.

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Reviews


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Ukelele Dick


Most of all I am transported through time, As I journey through an everchanging landscape of the uncertain. From the dark, desert, ancient, silent nights Into a dream of St. Nick when I was a frightened child. Lying in bed, sad alone, in the dark While grownups deck the halls in a sad distant revelry. A flight of rhythm lifts me high above the land, soaring and reaching up...up... Only to land in the mall parking lot - no parking spaces. Stuck in the elevator with a beautiful girl I had no thought of being with. (Bummer) Fly - away and away Forget the last minute shopping!! Deep breath Back again to the timeless desert night Oasis camp barum pum pum pum Two thousand years later...it's cold. Though it's warm and stuffy at the cabaret. Not warm enough to melt the icy, hearltess nazi uniforms as they accost the barmaids. "The Bird" sums it all up on his horn. Who made the hash fruitcake???
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MichaelBraude


When I first heard Deck The Halls, I was struck by the sadness in the singer's voice. While the minor key certainly sets the contradictory tone (melancholy music vs. celebratory lyrics), it is this sadness that extends this contradiction. What is it that makes this woman choke up to the point where she can't finish some of the verses? Could it be that Christmas is no longer the joyous time it was when she was a child (represented by the giggling baby)? For the most part, children only experience the positive side of Christmas, such as jolly St. Nick and a tree surrounded by presents. They have yet to be turned off by the rampant commercialism, crowded malls, & frequently unpleasant family gatherings that make up an adult's Christmas. The woman in the song seemingly is mourning the loss of childhood innocence that allowed her to enjoy the holiday season. Yet, in some odd way, her mourning allows us to mourn too, relieving some of the angst that we feel, thereby restoring some holiday cheer to our lives.
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SC Sentinel


SANTA CRUZ SENTINEL "O the holidays. We start out following tradition with the best intentions: dutifully shopping for friends and family, patiently waiting in the post office line with parcels tightly taped to government standards, carefully stringing outdoor lights outdoors and indoor lights indoors. In the quiet, idle moments we sip eggnog and think good thoughts, all to the soundtrack of relentlessly cheerful, stultifyingly familiar Christmas carols. You've been so nice, don't you think you deserve to be a little naughty? I'm not suggesting you give the shopping mall Santa a hotfoot, but a merry little "Altared Christmas" may be just what you need. "An Altared Christmas" (Dhejuti Records), is a more-than-slightly skewed collection of Christmas carols offered up by Rhan Wilson, the vocalist and multi-instrumentalist of Thoth and Haunted by Waters. This holiday season, the Santa Cruz raised performer poses the musical question: "What happens to joyously major-key songs when they are suddenly recast in a minor mode?" The result is "An Altared Christmas" a sometimes spooky, often funny, completely bizarre and oddly satisfying collection of nine familiar Christmas carols, bent by Wilson's inspired vision. Like many of us, Wilson had equated the Christmas season and its music with "the pressure to deliver, the emphasis on guilt and consumption.'' A playful recording session meant to tweak some fun out of a couple of "seriously overexposed" carols became a full blown project after he transcribed the familiar lyrics and rediscovered their power. Guided by the memory of a friend who had died of AIDS, Wilson decided to expand the project into a full-length album and donate half the profits to benefit AIDS services in Santa Cruz and San Francisco counties. Wilson's partners in this methodical madness include local musicians Pipa Pinon, Daniel Lewis, Bob Burnett, Gary Regina, David A. Wallis and sound engineer Noel Gott. Portland artists Cyoakha and Melo and San Francisco contributors S.K..Thoth, actor Kelvin Han Yee, Janet Roitz, Mark Edwards, baby Cazzie and dogs, Lucky and Liesl round out the ensemble. The record gives nine hackneyed holiday songs a fresh angle while retaining the original lyrics and melodies. It opens with an eerie, ambient "Silent Night" duet by Rhan and Pipa. "A Visit From St. Nicholas" gets a quiet, quirky jazz treatment reminiscent of Lord Buckley, that takes a turn when Santa sparks up his famous pipe. The normally chirpy "Deck the Halls" becomes the lament of a mournful mom tending to her wailing baby. On the instrumental side, "Carol of the Bells" switches on with jazz fusion guitar squall and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" frizzles with fractured violin strains. On a comic note "Mall Girl" Cyoakha whines her way through "Away in the Manger," at the same time cracking on the lyrics. ("Like, what is, like, 'nigh'?") The ensemble then converts "Jingle BellsÓ into a strange, slow Yiddish chant only to whirl it like a dervish into a raucous laughing fit that totally grosses-out poor Mall Girl. A closing bonus track of even more edgy laughter is sure to send you back out into the Christmas chaos refreshed and ready to face the rigors of the season -- with renewed energy and a slightly naughty smile. "An Altared Christmas" is available at local record stores or though the website at www.altared.com. -Adrienne Rogers SANTA CRUZ SENTINEL
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Preston


I had been hearing about this "you got to hear it" Christmas Cd from some of my friends and finally found and ordered it. Geez, I really thought I hated Christmas carols, but what I hated was the was they have always been recorded. Not any more. thanks
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