FEATURE ‌ X-Approved X-mas 

Local X presents its first-ever holiday compilation

click to enlarge A bit too much nog, perhaps? The Local X crew get into the spirit
  • A bit too much nog, perhaps? The Local X crew get into the spirit

"Local Xmas CD Release Party"
w/ Handgun Sonata, Fire Apes, The Tens, The Soul Mites, Belligerent, Moonless Moth, The Diesel Brothers, and guests
Sat. Dec. 9
7 p.m.
$10 (includes copy of CD)
Music Farm
32 Ann St.

In celebration of the holidays, 98X radio gal Amy Hutto and the seriously wild and crazy crew of "Local X" (Toker, Krazy Kev, Holly, and other loudmouthed smartasses) host the first annual "Local Xmas CD Release Party."

"This has been a project we've talked about since the beginning of the year," says Hutto. "I've always had a great relationship with Fusion 5 Studios. Those guys do beautiful work. This actually kinda started out as a joke ... 'Hey, let's get some local bands to do some Christmas music!' Things really fell into place, fortunately."

A Very Merry Local X-Mas, Volume 1 features renditions of holiday classics and original pieces by punk/emo/metal band Handgun Sonata, power-pop four-piece The Fire Apes, proggy rock duo The Tens (with a guest vocal performance from former quench singer Kally Knight), Carolina soul/rock act The Soul Mites, hardcore metal group Belligerent, alt-rockers Moonless Moth, rock duo The Diesel Brothers, and punk/pop band Steve Hit Mike.

Hutto pitched the idea to audio engineers Jordan Herschaft and Jeff Leonard of Fusion 5 Studios several months ago. They thought it had great potential — not just for the radio station's weekly local show, but for the studio, the bands involved, and the scene itself.

"Fusion 5 have been great to work with," Hutto says. "They sponsor the show every week. Jeff and Jordan put a ton of hard work into this in their spare time. They recorded one song per band for free over the period of a couple of months. It was hard to decide who the bands were going to be on it, partly because of all the lineup changes and breakups that happen. We want to try and do this every year. We've already received some positive feedback and requests from listeners."

Curiously, the comp kicks off and ends with covers of "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)," a song written by John Lennon and Yoko Ono and recorded in 1971 with the help of studio producer Phil Spector and the Harlem Community Choir. Handgun Sonata's version detours into wildly different "metal" territories while The Soul Mites version keeps it pretty tight and faithful.

The Tens' version of "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" — originally sung by deep voiced vocalist Thule Ravenscroft (better known as the voice of "Tony the Tiger") — is swingin' and dynamic, with convincing stuff from guest singer Kally Knight. The Diesel Brothers go all '80s metal (with a drum machine and two electric guitars) on the funny "How the Bitch Stole Christmas." Belligerent croak their way through "Grandma Got Run Over By My Tour Bus" (based roughly on the hit by Elmo and Patsy Shropshire). Moonless Moth's chunky "Jingle Bells" clocks in at under two minutes. Steve Hit Mike's "What Happened to Santa?" is a rock anthem original, while The Fire Apes' polished version of Wham!'s "Last Christmas" is tight and melodic.

"The experience was valuable in that it showed us how much is actually involved in recorded and releasing an album," Hutto adds. "It can be very difficult, so we appreciate what bands go through even more now."

The all-ages CD release party kicks up at the Music Farm at 7 p.m. on Sat. Dec. 9. The $10 cover includes a free copy of the compilation disc. A portion of the proceeds will go to help the Lowcountry Food Bank.

" We'll have lots of other giveaways on site, as well as the Lowcountry Food Bank on hand," says Hutto. "They always need some extra help this time of year, so this is for a great cause. We encourage everyone to come out to the show and be supportive."

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