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Yuletide Tunes

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Several holiday-themed CDs and DVDs come out this time of year and many of them shouldn't even be uncrated. Boxes unopened, they should be shipped immediately to the 99 cent bin at Wal-Mart. How many different ways can a singing starlet wax on the pa-rump-pa-pum-pums of "The Little Drummer Boy" or hit the falsettos of "Silent Night?" By the time Thanksgiving rolls around, many of us are in a constant state of irritation from the inundation of "Silver Bells" tinkling through grocery store PAs and on every street corner. But a few new releases are worth a watch or listen and might even make their way onto your gift-giving list ... or into your own CD player.

Stray Cat strutter Brian Setzer and the Brian Setzer Orchestra have released Christmas Rocks a best-of collection and The Ultimate Christmas Collection, which includes Christmas Rocks and the added bonus of a concert DVD.

Horns a blaring, Setzer and his orchestra give holiday classics a big band makeover. "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" is a groovy track; "White Christmas" channels crooner Crosby; in Setzer's hands, "Jingle Bells" bops; and "Jingle Bell Rock" rocks.

This collection of 20 tracks will make a good gift for that holiday lover on your list or will keep you hopping until the tree is trimmed.

—Amy Atkins

For more information, visit briansetzer.com.