Christmas songs can be a tough sell. Classics have been covered ad nauseam and new songs are often too contrived. But every once in a while, one makes it to that happy place between the two. Boise's The Very Most gave the kids' holiday pageant staple "Away In a Manger" a kicky little facelift, bumped up the tempo and lent it an island feel with a ukulele. They enlisted local filmmaker Tyler T. Williams to create a clever video to go along with it. (Williams has made a couple of videos for locals Low-fi as well). Very Most frontman Jeremy Jensen plays a beleaguered mall Santa forced to listen as 20-something brats (the other members of the band) tell him what's on their wish lists: Jack Daniels, cigars, Skittles, video games. Poor Santa pays the price when they discover boxes full of gift certificates instead.
With my heart in my toes, I bring bad news: The Feb. 8 Boise stop for Metal underdogs Anvil is canceled. After the release of the rock doc Anvil, The Story of Anvil, the band started closing in on the fame and success that escaped them for decades. Apparently, scheduling conflicts are to blame for the Boise bypass. Though it's bad enough they won't be playing here, the worst part is that now I can't buy the Anvil VIP concert package: $50 for two tickets to the show, a copy of the DVD, a meet-and-greet with the band and ... an Anvil fanny pack. Sob. Alice In Chains now has the Knitting Factory's Feb. 8 slot, and while that's a good alternative, their VIP package will cost you nearly a Ben Franklin. And it probably doesn't come with a '90s fashion accessory.
Local record label 1332 Records released a CD that people outside of Boise are paying attention to. 1332 co-owner Levi Poppke said the new release, Hymns for Heretics, by Austin, Texas-based Black Eyed Vermillion is selling well across the country and he's even had an overseas order or two. BEV's Gary Lindsey may be best known as the Assjack screamer--Assjack is Hank Williams III's side project--and you'll recognize his frog-stuck-in-his-larynx, growly vocals. It ain't exactly easy listening, but this kind of freight train punk bluegrass metal isn't supposed to be. Lindsey's voice comes over a little grating at first, but the bluesy guitar and "Hate and Whiskey" lyrics will keep you listening and, by the end of the 14-track release, you may be singing along from the back of your throat, too.