Clearly, you're getting ready to head to the first night of The Great Cover-Up tonight, so here are some songs — selected by our music writers — to listen to as part of your pre-game, from Huntress, Slim Harpo and Lissy Trullie.
Huntress, "Eight of Swords"
This six-minute hard-edged power-metal track called "Eight of Swords" by female-fronted California band Huntress makes me want to spend the holidays on the couch re-reading old, tattered copies of Savage Sword of Conan. Or else to secure some fellow escapists for a long, bloody, old-school Dungeons & Dragons campaign.
Slim Harpo: the definitive swamp blues sharpie. Hugely influential on the early Rolling Stones, the man who handed Creedence Clearwater Revival their entire sound, clearly an icon for Tony Joe White and anyone with a tremolo or vibrato jones on the guitar. Show me a man with a better feel for the untouchable groove that splits the difference between blues, soul and rock & roll and I'll show you a twenty dollar bill. Seriously, I'd like to hear any more candidates.
Her self-titled album will be released in February, and if this song is representative of the whole package, it's safe to say the LP will appear on my 2012 Best-Of list. Channeling the husky-voiced Nico, this slow-burning moody track about the fragile nature of self esteem will set Trullie apart from her indie rock counterparts.