When Green Monkey Records restarted in 2009, we put out our first Xmas album, “Santa’s Not Dead: It’s a Green Monkey Christmas!” We’ve done a album or show every year since. Why? Because we just like to! We gather up whoever wants to play each year and put it out. Whatever sales we get go to charity. And we are going to keep doing it!
Dec. 2017 The Good, The Bad, and Other Christmas Favorites! Ye Olde GMR Xmas 8
Dec. 2016: All I Want For Christmas: GMR Xmas VII
Dec. 2015: Christmas Monkey On My Back
Dec. 2014: Tom Dyer – Xmas 30 Years In The Making This year we had a Xmas show and did not do a Christmas comp!
Dec. 2013: Merry Krampus!
Dec. 2012: Frothing the ‘Nog: Ye 4th Green Monkey Xmas
Dec. 2011: It Crawled Down the Chimney: It’s Another Green Monkey Christmas
Dec. 2010: Hot Dog! It’s Another Green Monkey Christmas!
Dec. 2009: Santa’s Not Dead: It’s a Green Monkey Christmas!
Dec 04,2017 Tom Dyer and the True Olympians, whose two original tunes, “Christmas in Olympia” and “Christmas Is Love,” are the class of this group
By Rudolph on December 4, 2017 8:35 PM | No Comments | No TrackBacks newmonkey.jpg We’ve been impressed with the musical fecundity of this particular corner of the Pacific Northwest indie rock scene, particularly in regard to Christmas music. This 2017 entry is Green Monkey’s eighth holiday compilation, as always a combination of individual artists and bands plus whoever label maestro Tom Dyer can con into bashing out some jingle-jangle with their rock ‘n roll. I’ll lead with Tom Dyer and the True Olympians, whose two original tunes, “Christmas in Olympia” and “Christmas Is Love,” are the class of this group; they’ve even been issued separately as a single. The former is a rocking holiday tour through the Washington city of the title, and the latter is a set of holiday verities set to a solid garage rock beat. Dyer comes back solo with an accordion-led version of “What Child Is This,” the Elf-Tones offer “Wish You Well This Christmas,” on which the vocals remind one of early Frank Zappa but the song itself is a nice mid-60s midtempo rocker, and the Krampus Quartet knock out the novelty “Fruitcake.” Instrumentals get their due as the REDS go all antique on the public domain “Breakin’ Up Christmas,” a slightly rocked-up hoedown from the Virginia-North Carolina mountains, while Pleasure Island grunges up a heavily Duane Eddy-influenced “Hark the Herald Angels.” The Randy Hicks Band brings the rockabilly with “Car Parts,” which is all the singer wants for Christmas, and she throws a few puns at you for kicks. The Green Pajamas go for the backhanded holiday anthem in “Let’s Get Together at Christmas (It’s Better Than Drinking Alone),” Jim of Seattle gives us “A Christmas Song” that is a parody of the “Star Trek (TOS)” theme, along with a brief goof called “Have a Merry Christmas,” and Ed Portnow’s “Christmas Time is Here” is what you’d get if you crossed Wild Man Fischer with the “Peanuts” song of the same name. More rockabilly emanates from Duane Hibbard in “A Child’s Christmas Wish,” Burnseer gives us some of their home region’s grunge with “Search Party,” which is about homelessness, and The Fresh Prince of Brain Wizard (honest) offers a dour piano ballad about lost children, “Santa Won’t Be Here.” Elves Bells (great name) give us the primitive sounding “Orphan’s Christmas,” Saint John and the Revelations rock out with cello on “Christmas Fire,” in which the singer burns the tree because “Santa’s a liar,” Space Band contribute their rocker “@santaclaus,” Kelly Kristjanson go almost power pop with “Follow the Angels,” and Earle Thunders/Mike Shuppe completely deconstruct the Disney chestnut “Toyland.” This is a fine collection of indie-rock with attitude. Get it from Bandcamp or Amazon.
Dec 11,2016 “Run over to Bandcamp and grab this”
All I Want For Christmas: GMR Xmas VII (Green Monkey) By Rudolph on December 11, 2016 3:29 PM greenmonk7.jpg Seattle may be the home office of rainfall, but it’s also where Green Monkey Records is located, ground zero for a lot of fun lo-fi indie rock music-making. And the label is down with Christmas, as the multiple releases of holiday compilations over the years would indicate. Spontaneity is not in short supply here, as the producer’s notes state he put a call out for contributions only at the start of October. For 2016, we get more of what made Green Monkey famous, with your contributions to the cause being donated to MusiCares. The Green Pajamas offer their version of a Mexican carol, “El Rorro,” Captain Christmas and the Winter Solstice Singers take on “Christmas Boogie Woogie,” originally found on the Anthology of American Folk Music Vol. 5, the Fastbacks punk up “Oh Come All Ye Faithful,” Pleasure Island does a surf-oriented instrumental of “Winter Wonderland,” and compilation producer Tom Dyer (who pops up on several of these songs) does a fairly straight reading of “Joy to the World.” That’s it for the covers. Cain Morehead and the Elves Bells rock out to “All Those Christmas Songs,” Zelda Starfire breaks out the ukelele to proclaim in a deceptively upbeat way that “I Hate Christmas,” Uncle Tiki puts in his holiday menu selections on the punky “The Potato Song,” and Three Ninjas salutes their “Black Dog Family,” which appears to be better than their real ones. Ed Portnow offers a shambling folkish “(Peace Can Happen) On Christmas,” Free Creature puts original lyrics over a Fats Waller tune on the good-timey “Youse a Humbug,” whose horn solo is simply “The Dreidel Song,” the producer appears again with The Tom & Jim Yuletide Contraption on “(All I Want For Christmas Is a) Big Black Eye,” and his family, The Dyer Spawn, offer the holiday nature strum “Wild Christmas.” Steve Martinelli offers an ode to a “Pretty Cute Christmas Kitty,” Guns of Nevada rocks out with their one-item Christmas list, “Liquor in my Stocking,” The Fresh Prince of Brain Wizard offers us a spacey “Christmas In This Modern Age,” the Write Brothers Sonic Soul Consortium give us a mournful ballad with the mouthful of a title “A Misspent Mercury Tear and a Cold Obsidian Heart,” and Eric Padget wraps things up in a neat little package with “12 Drummers Drumming,” which is nearly 12 minutes of exactly that. Run over to Bandcamp and grab this.
Dec 20,2015 “All told, another great collection from the rainy city.”
Christmas Monkey On My Back – GMR Xmas 6, various artists (Green Monkey) By Rudolph on December 20, 2015 8:16 PM Xmasgremonk.jpg This Seattle indie label has been on the Christmas tip for years, as the number in the album title indicates. It’s also where the fabulous “No Lou This Christmas” by Tom Dyer originated a couple years ago, so expectations are a little higher for this label’s compilations. Burnseer gets the prize for political awareness with their “The Little Refugee Boy,” who in other Christmas seasons would be the drummer. “Here He Comes” by Cassandra Sky manages to evoke the middle-period Beach Boys even without the choral harmonies, Fur For Fairies goes all antique music on us with “Cherry Tree Carol,” Glamourpuss breaks out the toy piano to accent their lo-fi poppy “Christmas For Everyone,” Jeff Kelly digs out an ode for two teenage girlfriends circa “Christmas 1995,” Kat Dyer solos on “I Heard the Bells,” Pleasure Island features the surf guitar sound on the instrumental of “Merry Gentlemen,” God rest them, and Sheila Powers confesses “Santa Left Me (On Our Last Date)” in an original ballad. The Elf-Tones throw the garage door open so everyone can hear “I See Reindeer in the Clouds,” and then the Navins grab the instruments to rock out on “Jesus Under My Tree.” Tom Nook’s “Best Darn Christmas Ever” is fun, amateur thrash rock, Tom’s New Pagan Choraliers tell the story of “Little Blair’s Unpleasant Christmas,” Toxic Socket hammers out the bluesy “Santy Claws,” Zelda Starfire breaks out the ukelele to promise she’ll be home for Christmas “Next Year,” and 3 Ninjas get all profane about the holiday in “It’s an Agonizingly Slow Death,” retelling the “Wonderful Life” story in more depressing terms. Couldn’t get behind “A Saucy Holiday Indeed!” by The GMR Chamber Ensemble, though I predict somebody might roll this out during a wintertime Renaissance Faire. All told, another great collection from the rainy city. Get it from Bandcamp.
Jan 02,2015 “Totally enjoyable.”
“Tom Dyer – “Xmas – 30 Years in the Making”. I didn’t get a chance to write about this collection in depth this year, but I will make amends early next season. But, Tom Dyer’s collection of Christmas songs recorded here and there over 30 years is brilliant on the order of Substance W. “No Lou This Christmas” was recorded in 2013 as a tribute to Lou Reed, “Propane Santa” is one of the best true stories turned into song ever. Totally enjoyable.” der Bingle – Merry and Bright.
Jan 02,2015 a holly jolly collection all round.
“This accumulation of Christmas recordings, a compilation of original holiday-themed music Dyer’s done on an annual basis, is of the decidedly offbeat variety, but as songs like “No Lou This Xmas” and the reggae-worthy “Jingle Bell Ska” prove, this selection also works well as worthy collection of rockers. And while tracks like “It’s A White Mule Christmas,” “Propane Santa” and the Grinch-like “Christmas Time For Sailors” suggest Dyer’s got his tongue planted firmly in cheek, Xmas-30 Years in the Making is a holly jolly collection all round.” Lee Zimmerman – Blurt
Dec 23,2014 Dagger Sez Dump Perry Como – Get Tom Dyer!
Green Monkey head honcho Tom Dyer has been recording X-mas songs since 1983. A colleague of his recently pointed out that he had enough for a full album so here tis. It’ runs the gamut from in-joke sort of songs (opener “It’s Christmas (and I’m Jolly) to pretty, jangly pop tunes like “Propane Santa.” It runs in chronological order from the newest songs back to the oldies. Other heart-warming chestnuts include the bouncy “Jingle Bell Ska”, the Tom Waits-ish “Christmas Time for Sailors” and the jangly “It’s Snowing in Seattle” (featuring the Green Pajamas Jeff Kelly). I say retire the Perry Como Christmas record, bub, and try this one on for size. It fits perfectly (like that ugly sweater you’ve got on). – Dagger
Dec 22,2014 “Weirdest album this year, Tom Dyer from Seattle”
Ok – one more. Translated from Dutch. “Weirdest album this year, Tom Dyer from Seattle. He is a kind of outsider musician recording since 1983 Christmas songs . Fifteen of these are collected on the CD ‘ Xmas- 30 Years In The Making . It opens with a song in which a few choirs compete in “Ho Ho Ho ” sing. The next song sounds like the Velvet Undergound and therefore called ‘No Lou This Xmas . In ‘ Christmas Time For Sailors’ Tom Waits seems to sing along and ‘Peace’ is a guitar instrumental full of Christmas bells. On this album you will find only original tracks on ” Angels We Have Heard On High ” after a song from 1983 with nice analog organ.”
Dec 19,2014 Nice Review for Tom Dyer – Xmas in JP’s Music Blog!
“Beginning with the two-minute “It’s Christmas (And I’m Jolly),” Dyer gets you in the mood with his type of a gospel choir, belting out “Ho, Ho, Ho” and “Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas.” The album’s first single, “No Lou This Christmas” is a tribute to the late-Lou Reed as Dyer plugs in for this rocker. Dyer adds a nice, loose rhythm to “Jingle Bells Ska,” and turns “Peace On Earth” into a spaghetti western, before bringing out the kid in all of us with the fun vibe of “Hot Dog! It’s Christmas!” A great piece of holiday folk music is “Snowing In Seattle,” which sounds as if it was recorded right on the spot, in one take as Dyer was looking out the window.” JP’s Music Blog
Dec 18,2014 Mistletunes Thumbs Up!
Xmas — 30 Years in the Making, Tom Dyer (Green Monkey) By Rudolph on November 28, 2014 7:30 PM The creator of last year’s drop-the-mic classic “No Lou This Christmas” rolled up all of the Christmas tunes he’s recorded over the years since 1983 (hence the title) for a formal album in 2014 that yes, includes “Lou” and 14 other tunes from his fine, fine, supafine career. And Tom, who doubles as major domo of the Green Monkey label, is donating profits from this to MusicCares to boot. You’ve already been introduced to “Lou,” so we’ll move on to album opener “It’s Christmas (And I’m Jolly), a fun tune that manages to sound like music hall music and Wild Man Fischer at the same time. “Jingle Bell Ska” is exactly as advertised, “It’s a White Mule Christmas” is a folk blues stomp, “Christmas (It’s Around the Corner)” is a mellow piano-and-organ ode to anticipation, and “Propane Santa” is a slice-of-life story song about Santa buying, well, propane, performed as a duet with an unidentified female singer. “Christmas Time For Sailors” is an excellent holiday excuse to sing (talk) like a pirate, “Hot Dog! It’s Christmas” is another duet, this one celebrating the holiday to a bit of fake jazz backing, Dyer goes busking with “Because It’s Christmas” and “It’s Snowing in Seattle” liberates a few lines from the old favorite “Visit From St. Nicholas” for a localized tribute to the singer’s hometown. A bit of cracked country music, old school variety, is the setting for “The Christmas Rosie Came To Town,” and Dyer makes his own song called “Christmas Time Is Here,” with a strong harmonized chorus and hand claps carrying the rhythm. All the songs are originals except for Dyer’s own takes on “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and “Angels We Have Heard On High.” As you might expect from a 30-year spread of recordings, some things sound a bit more polished than others, and the whole thing has an indie rock vibe, but there’s plenty of rock and roll attitude here, a strong sense of humor and an affinity for the holiday that makes it a down-to-earth pleasure to listen to.
Dec 10,2014 Stubby’s Digs Dyer Xmas
OK, so not-so-quick note. Also meant to make a much bigger deal of the new Christmas CD from Tom Dyer, but I’ve just been otherwise occupied lately. Dyer is the man behind the always awesome Green Monkey Records (home of personal faves The Green Pajamas). Pretty much every year (except this one, we understand), Tom gives his friends and label mates a shout to say, “Hey, we’re doing another Christmas album; you wanna do something?” And, every year–on very short notice, mind you–he ends up with an amazing collection of holiday music from rock’s leading edge. And by leading edge, I mean the artists at Green Monkey are making music with the spirit and conviction of the original pioneers who practiced their trade in garages all across America, discovering sounds, chords and progressions both classic and new. Tom always tries to record a song of his own, of course, and time finally came to gather up his tuneage on one CD. Thus we can present to you “Xmas – 30 Years In The Making”. The album was actually released digitally at the tail end of last year, but I mean like waaay late. So, this year, Tom is not only getting it out there in time for people to find it, but on hard copy CD. Even if the rest of the album weren’t as good as it is, this CD marks the first ever hard copy appearance of “No Lou This Xmas”, last year’s runaway best new rock Christmas track. I’m telling you, fifty years from now, “No Lou This Xmas” is going to be recognized as the best original Christmas song from the early part of the century. You’ll find “Xmas – 30 Years In The Making” at Amazon and the usual online spots, but buy it direct from Green Monkey, why don’t you.
Dec 23,2013 Mistletunes digs Krampus!
By Rudolph on December 22, 2013 7:55 PM krampus.jpg This Seattle-based record label rounded up an elpee’s worth of toonz from its label artists and friends to benefit the charity MusiCares for 2013. This is the album that contains that fabulous tune “No Lou For Christmas” by Tom Dyer and His Queen’s Pajamas that I posted several days ago, a lovely tribute to the late Lou Reed that affectionately pilfers several Lou/Velvets riffs as well as “The Night Before Christmas.” Dyer returns later with “Christmas (It’s Just Around the Corner),” a poppier bit with female backing vocals. The OF goes kind of low-budget free-jazzy with its double cover of “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus/Snow Miser,” and AAIIEE provides the semi-title song, “Krampus Is an Evil Man,” in which the story of the malevolent Christmas being gets told in a garage-inspired manner. Opening tune “Here We Are (On Christmas Day)” is by the Elf-Tones, a shambling folk-pop performance with ensemble vocals. Henry Boy Jenkins goes semi-Beatlesque with the piano-led “Love For Christmas,” The Goblin Market breaks out the harmonium for “In the Bleak Midwinter,” Tom Nook goes all 1977 lo-fi for “One Last Christmas Eve,” Toxic Socket do a metal take on “The Greatest Toy in the World,” and the Deadlies go more 70s hard rock on “Winter Wonderland.” Three Ninjas & The Weird Old Tricks do a kind of Tom Waits arrangement on “Joy and Good Will,” Richard & Xander Stuverud break out the toy piano on the ballad “Christmas Tree,” Jason Rubin’s “Out On Your Motorcycle” is a nice way to see the Christmas lights, assuming it’s not too cold and you’ve got your leathers on, the Queen Annes do a slapdash “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday,” the Green Monkey Christmas Chorale do a slapdash-snarky choral arrangement of “It’s Christmas (And I’m Jolly),” and the King County Queens go all the way back to late 60s psychedelia to present “Drop the Silver Ball,” a slice-of-life tribute to New Year’s Day. Lots of good stuff on this album, grab it from Bandcamp.
Dec 22,2013 Lots of good stuff on this album, grab it from Bandcamp. Mistletunes
Green Monkey Records Presents Merry Krampus, various artists (Green Monkey) By Rudolph on December 22, 2013 7:55 PM No TrackBacks krampus.jpg This Seattle-based record label rounded up an elpee’s worth of toonz from its label artists and friends to benefit the charity MusiCares for 2013. This is the album that contains that fabulous tune “No Lou For Christmas” by Tom Dyer and His Queen’s Pajamas that I posted several days ago, a lovely tribute to the late Lou Reed that affectionately pilfers several Lou/Velvets riffs as well as “The Night Before Christmas.” Dyer returns later with “Christmas (It’s Just Around the Corner),” a poppier bit with female backing vocals. The OF goes kind of low-budget free-jazzy with its double cover of “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus/Snow Miser,” and AAIIEE provides the semi-title song, “Krampus Is an Evil Man,” in which the story of the malevolent Christmas being gets told in a garage-inspired manner. Opening tune “Here We Are (On Christmas Day)” is by the Elf-Tones, a shambling folk-pop performance with ensemble vocals. Henry Boy Jenkins goes semi-Beatlesque with the piano-led “Love For Christmas,” The Goblin Market breaks out the harmonium for “In the Bleak Midwinter,” Tom Nook goes all 1977 lo-fi for “One Last Christmas Eve,” Toxic Socket do a metal take on “The Greatest Toy in the World,” and the Deadlies go more 70s hard rock on “Winter Wonderland.” Three Ninjas & The Weird Old Tricks do a kind of Tom Waits arrangement on “Joy and Good Will,” Richard & Xander Stuverud break out the toy piano on the ballad “Christmas Tree,” Jason Rubin’s “Out On Your Motorcycle” is a nice way to see the Christmas lights, assuming it’s not too cold and you’ve got your leathers on, the Queen Annes do a slapdash “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday,” the Green Monkey Christmas Chorale do a slapdash-snarky choral arrangement of “It’s Christmas (And I’m Jolly),” and the King County Queens go all the way back to late 60s psychedelia to present “Drop the Silver Ball,” a slice-of-life tribute to New Year’s Day. Lots of good stuff on this album, grab it from Bandcamp.
Dec 16,2013 “There’s so much greatness in this collection, its hard to know where to begin.” Stubby’s House of Christmas
Dec 13,2013 “This collection of music is a raucous holiday treat that can be enjoyed with friends and family for years to come.” Leslie Snyder
Green Monkey Records Presents “Merry Krampus!” GMR Xmas #5 By Leslie Snyder The holiday season rolls on out of Seattle, Washington with a joyful CD from Green Monkey Records which was released in December 2013 called “Green Monkey Records Presents Merry Krampus! GMR Xmas #5.” This CD features sixteen raucous tracks about the most wonderful time of the year from various independent artists from the Pacific Northwest. This wonderful journey begins with the first track “Here we are (On Christmas Day)” which is sung by The Elftones. This track features soulful vocals and “breezy” keyboards, along with cool folk rock melodies. This track is a heartwarming tale about people enjoying the Christmas Day festivities. People are opening gifts and enjoying food with friends and family. Meanwhile, the wonderful journey continues with the sixth track “Love for Christmas” which is sung by Henry Boy Jenkins. This track features soft vocals and “airy” pop rock melodies. This track is a peaceful tale about a man telling people how much he enjoys Christmas. Finally, the wonderful journey ends with the eleventh track “Christmas (It’s around the Corner)” which is sung by Tom Dyer. This track features “gritty,” but soulful vocals and “rustic” blues rock melodies, along with a medieval sounding keyboard “fluttering” throughout the track. This track is a joyful tale about people preparing for the arrival of Christmas Day with a lot of love in their hearts. This joyful CD is called “Green Monkey Records Presents Merry Krampus! GMR Xmas #5.” This collection of music is a raucous holiday treat that can be enjoyed with friends and family for years to come.