Welcome to Day 3 of the Twelve Tacoma Artist Gifts of Christmas! Here’s the background: Inspired by both the “Twelve Days of Christmas” song and fellow features writer Sue Kidd, who’s offering you her own “Twelve Tacoma Foodie Gifts of Christmas” on her TNT Diner blog, I’ve come up with 12 alternative gifts for Christmas: no partridges in pear trees, but something a lot more uniquely local.
So here’s Day 3 –
On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Three CDs, two baby heads, and a deck of Tacoma playing cards.
And not just any CDs, of course, but ones by Tacoma bands. Three local groups have released new recordings in the past year – Kareem Kandi, Goldfinch and the Midnight Salvage Co – all different enough to suit your most finicky musical friends.
Kareem Kandi is one of the regions best sax players and a great band leader to boot, plus teaching at SOTA and Pierce College. The Kareem Kandi Band plays the kind of smooth jazz you’ll want to listen to all holiday long, and their latest CD “See What I’m Sayin” (released April this year) features Kandi on sax, Rob Hutchinson on bass and Julian Macdonough on drums for an acoustic sound that goes from the laid-back “Love in all its forms” to the upfront “Hustlin’”. $8 online at kareemkandi.com
Goldfinch need no introduction: They’ve been heading up the Tacoma indie rock scene for years now with their raw sound and emotion. Headed up by Aaron Stevens on vocals and guitar, the lineup of Paul Hirschl on drums, Steve Norman on trumpet and slide guitar, Emily Ann Peterson on vocals and cello, Luke Stevens on guitar, keyboard and vocals and Mike Bergstrom on bass has just released “Faded Explanations” and it’s worth paying any price you care to name on goldfinchlovesme.com
Blending Americana with an indie-rock feel and a fascinatingly raw vocal sound, described as “whiskey-burning, heartland rock,” Midnight Salvage Company has been steadily building up a local following. Their CD “What You Hope For” goes from wistful violin to gritty guitar in every track. Around $10 on itunes.com and cdbaby.com. More info on midnightsalvageco.com