SuperchunkMerge Records keeps on giving to those who pony up for the label's SCORE! 20th Anniversary Box Set with the fourth in Superchunk's live Clambake series, Sur La Bouche: Live in Montreal 1993. Next Tuesday the concert from the On the Mouth tour is available online at the MergeRecords.com store, but comes free as another bonus for subscribers to the box-set series that mails its first CD this month.

The Rock BibleIs there a hole in your stocking, or pink slips paper-clipped to the tree in a festive display? Times are tough, but the simple joys do survive. Pile on the blankets and give a gift to yourself this season, in the pleasure of a new book from the Dewey 780.9 section of your public library or your hip local bookseller.

Pearl JamWith the record industry in seasonal hibernation, I'm looking ahead to some of the events, tunes, and DVDs of the coming year.

Whole Lotta ZeppelinSanta and your friendly postal carrier might be wishing that everyone gave digital gifts this year, as gift cards and iTunes credits surely lighten the load of their sacks. I'm sorry, St. Nick, but the perfect gift to thrill the music fan might be one of four new coffee-table books.

Christmas a Go GoIf you are just starting to build or are looking to add to a collection of yuletide tunes, this year's offerings have something wonderful for any holiday hipster. Following six volumes in his Coolest Songs in the World series, Little Steven Van Zandt and his Wicked Cool Records imprint collect 20 of his holiday favorites in Underground Garage Presents: Christmas A Go Go. Featuring The Ramones, Electric Prunes, Darlene Love, and Rufus Thomas, highlights include Bob Seger's rare "Sock It to Me Santa," Soupy Sales' "Santa Claus Is Surfin' to Town," and Joe Pesci's "If It Doesn't Snow on Christmas."

DaytrotterThere's a lot to announce this week, after a few weeks of corresponding hiatus. First and foremost, starting this week, Daytrotter.com will be posting one brand new exclusive recording session seven days a week. Every day this month we're going to try to embody the holiday spirit more and more. If this trial month goes well, we'll continue the seven-days-a-week-of-new-session-posting throughout 2009. That would mean 365 days of sessions and at least 1,460 free songs. We hope that this makes you happy.

Tom Jones - 24 HoursAlthough he's almost 70, there's no slowing down Tom Jones, as the Welsh sex symbol returns with his first stateside album in 15 years. 24 Hours has just been released by S-Curve Records, and rather than take the sparse, dark, and pensive path of many of his seasoned, sunset peers, the new album is flawless, big-strutting, sweat-inducing Tom Jones fever!

Old Rare NewFor those of us who grew up thumbing through endless peach crates of vinyl records, the thrill of the hunt for coveted slabs of licorice pizza is still alive and forever under the skin. We may not feed the turntable as often or stumble in and out of the long-lost record stores of an earlier era, but the hunger is there. Downloading a selection from iTunes isn't the same as examining a wall of import seven-inch singles, finding the new bass player for your band in the aisles, or hearing Miles Davis for the first time on a battered tube-amp stereo.

Christmas on Mars The long-awaited backyard film project from the Flaming Lips, Christmas on Mars, arrives on store shelves this week. Nurtured over the past few years at the band's command center in Oklahoma City, outer space, weirdness, and joy all collide into a future cult classic.

Daytrotter Coming off a month in which we recorded nearly 50 sessions for Daytrotter.com , we're all a bit tired. There is going to be a dramatic decrease in recording this week, though we'll still find time to welcome Dungen, Horse Feathers, And The Moneynotes, The Coast, Little Joy, Dead Trees, and Cale Parks in for sessions.
The sessions of late have been out-of-sight, and if anyone was lucky enough to get to Iowa City last Friday -- on Halloween -- to see the great Stephen Malkmus and Blitzen Trapper perform, you'll know that they joined forces for an encore of The James Gang's "Funk #49." They learned the song earlier in the day at our studio and recorded it exclusively for us. Expect to see it on the site very, very soon.

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