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Having listened to dozens (probably more like 200) new holiday songs in putting together my ever-expanding Ultimate Guide to New Release Holiday Music & Movies this year, it's been hard to pick the definitive hit for 2018. That's until now, with the release of "All I Want for Christmas" by Lil Jon featuring Kool-Aid Man. Indeed, it's been a great year for holiday music, and while there's some great songs out there, this one is just an unexpected jam and it's been added to my Ultimate Christmas Spotify Playlist as well. Oh yeah! 

If you love holiday music like I do (and I make a list that's checked more than twice) and have an Amazon Echo device (something else that I love) at home, this is for you! SiriusXM wants to enliven your home with the perfect holiday music this season – FOR FREE. Now through December 25, anyone in the U.S. and Canada who is not a SiriusXM streaming subscriber (this includes those who are currently satellite radio-only subscribers) can tune in and listen free to SiriusXM’s suite of 15 commercial-free holiday channels on Amazon’s popular Echo smart speakers and other Alexa-enabled devices. No email, credit card or credentials are required - it's just FREE HOLIDAY MUSIC!

2018 has been a pretty good year for holiday music thus far, but one thing we haven't heard much of is stuff on the heavier, more bizarre side of the spectrum. That should change on December 7th when <PIG> mastermind RAYMOND WATTS and regular collaborator EDEN release BLACK MASS - what they're calling "an unholy trinity of festive filth" - covers of holiday classics by John Lennon, Elvis Presley and WHAM!

Watts said the following: "I wanted to pay homage to the great Christmas songs, have fun with them but also take a stand against the ever rising tide of toxic bigotry in this increasingly brutal world while remembering there is a better part of ourselves. 'Happy Christmas (War Is Over)' in particular represents this whatever your beliefs may or may not be. 'Last Christmas' while being a great song from the irreplaceable George Michael (who left us two years ago this Christmas) also represents the fleeting nature of 'the season of goodwill'. 'Blue Christmas' resonates with anyone who is separated from a loved one at this time of year, whatever the reason, war zone or weather (and who doesn't want a go at being the King?) To that end these songs stand as an honour guard from the Lord of Lard."

BLACK MASS will be available for free download via Bandcamp, though a minimum donation is appreciated, with all proceeds going to INTERNATIONAL RESCUE COMMITTEE.

<PIG> most recently lit up the internet this past summer with a cover of KC & The Sunshine Band's 1975 hit, "That's the Way (I Like It)" featuring Sasha Grey.

On November 20, Amazon will drop the curtain on Pete the Cat: A Groovy Kind of Christmas - an all-new animated holiday special (see the trailer here). Among the highlights are some new music by Dave Matthews and Jason Mraz, and today we've got your first-listen to a new song from the latter. "Givingest Time of the Year" is a new song from Pete the Cat and Jason Mraz, and you can check it out for a fresh bit of holiday cheer below!

Walk Off The Earth, the indie-pop band known for their chart topping originals and unique covers of current hits, have released the first single from their upcoming EP, Subscribe To The Holidays, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” performed by band members Sarah Blackwood and Gianni Luminati’s five year old son, Giorgio Michaels. Subscribe To The Holidays includes six holiday classics, re-imagined in Walk Off The Earth’s signature style.

There's a few artists whose concert films I always pick up, and Brian Setzer is one of those. While he's had several DVD and Blu-ray releases over the years, only a a handful have focused on The Brian Setzer Orchestra, and there hasn't been a holiday release since 2005's Christmas Extravaganza. That changes this season with the release of Christmas Rocks! Live, coming to Blu-ray on November 9, 2018 via Surfdog Records. See the trailer and full tracklisting below, and if you want more family entertainment for the holidays, check out The Rock Father's Ultimate Guide to New Release Holiday Music and Movies for 2018, a presentation of my Holiday Wish Guide™!

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