Yes, for the second year running, all proceeds from the sale of A Very Standard Christmas will be donated to FACE, or the Foundation against Companion-Animal Euthanasia. As you may well know, FACE runs the Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Clinic of Indianapolis, which offers dirt-cheap vaccinations, wellness care and spay/neuter services to ensure that all those bundles of joy make it through these chilly months.
So I make a shameless plug. Because it’s for the animals. The album is available for free audition, and a name-your-own-price donation option will buy just about any type of digital version of the album. All those donating over $8 will have the option of getting a limited-edition cassette version of the album delivered to their door.
And while it would seem weird to formally review the compilation, I will single out some of my favorite tracks. Marla Hansen, whose “Tall Trees,” kicks off the comp, has been largely silent in a solo context since her 2007 EP Wedding Day came out on Standard, although she’s been backing up other musicians in the indie-pop world in the meantime (My Brightest Diamond, Sufjan Stevens, Jens Lekman, others). So it’s nice to hear her back in action, pizzicato-ing away on a gentle but buoyant track about picking out a tree and puzzling over where a relationship is headed. Also good to hear that she’s working on a full-length.
And then I was most tickled by the Dead Beats’ “Coming for Christmas,” a short double entendre-driven tune that opens with an intentionally-smarmy John Kill directing a “special Christmas message” to all the “ladies out there.” The Innocent Boys’ drunk rockabilly Santa is kind of charming too.
A few folks on the comp are performing for free at the Very Standard Christmas Party Thursday night at Locals Only. Well, for free only if you don’t feel inclined to donate. To help the kitties. And the puppies. (www.standard.nuvo.net)