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Your Not-Holiday-Music Playlist

The holidays are in full swing: time for family, lots of cookies, and lethargy—not a live show. Luckily, there’s a lot to look forward to come the new year. Here, a sampling of what’s to come plus a couple of gems, just for kicks.  

 Wham!

 Sinkane

 “Last Christmas” by Wham! (Slugabed remix)
I promise, this is the only holiday song. It’s hard to improve on a classic and for the traditionalists in the crowd, this may not be your cup of tea. But it does make for a good party song, and an even better break from the monotonous track loop playing in department stores.

Livewire” by Sambada
The smooth jazz from this Santa Cruz-based nine person jam band make for perfect background noise at your next holiday party. Close your eyes and you might mistake your living room for a Brazilian beach. See them live at the Independent this Friday.

Jeepers Creepers” by Sinkane
A mixture of the free jazz and shoegazer genres, the Sudanese native now based out of Ohio got his start at the drummer of Of Montreal, and is now a favorite from the Noise Pop festival lineup. “Jeepers Creepers” draws more on 70s funk with a slice of 60s surf, and with Sinkane’s silky voice it’s almost hypnotic. Check him out Friday March 1 or Sunday March 3 as the opener for Toro Y Moi.

Same Love” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Not exactly a holiday jingle, but Macklemore’s ballad for gay rights is heart warming, and this is the season to spread the love.

Breakers” by Local Natives
The L.A. quartet is set to release their latest EP Hummingbird come January 29, but until then you can enjoy their single—accompanied by a inventive if not bizarre music video—and catch them at the Fox in Oakland the day after their release. 

Away for the Weekend” by Social Studies
Off their recently released sophomore album, Developer, this anthem begins with heavy percussion and a bouncing baseline, followed by Natalia Rogovin’s powerful vocals and exploding into a syncopated chorus that’ll make you want to hop in the car and get out of town.

Sweater Weather” by The Neighbourhood
The California pop rock band just released their second EP, Thank You, but “Sweater Weather”, with its syncopated drums and a subtle guitar that lets the lead vocals shine, allowing the words to carry the song forward, is a personal favorite. The band will be in the Bay Area come late February as the opening act for Robert De Long at the Rickshaw.