Various Artists

The Tarquin Records All Star Holiday Extravaganza

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On The Tarquin Records All Star Holiday Extravaganza, a diverse group of indie musicians are assembled to sing about a variety of holidays, including Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Groundhog Day. The disc starts off with "Santa Was Seen Flying Through Soviet Air Space" by the Philistines Jr. The song is reminiscent of Bone Machine-era Tom Waits. That song is followed by the first of five songs by the Happiest Guys in the World, whose music is, not surprisingly, festive and jovial. The disc showcases some of Tarquin Records' bands, including the Happiest Guys in the World, the Zambonis, and the Philistines Jr. Highlights include the surf rock of the Defenders on "Sleighride," two renditions of "The Christmas Song" by the Mommyheads, Brian Dewan's "R2D2, We Wish You a Merry Christmas," and the Mill Valley Taters' rollicking rendition of "Jingle Bells." Franklin Bruno of Nothing Painted Blue and the Extra Glens interjects with the jazzy "Invisible Mistletoe," while the Swirlies check in on the lo-fi and joyful "Christmas in Kenmore Square." The disc ends with the "We Are the World"-like "Do They Know It's Christmas" by the Tarquin Records All Stars.