PBS Examines The History Of One Of History’s Greatest Songs In New Program

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

The holiday season is almost upon us yet again. That means that it won’t be long before audiences start to see the annual wave of holiday movies and tunes hit stores, theaters, radio stations, and television screens. For all of the movies, TV shows, and songs that are churned out each holiday season, few audiences knew the rich history of those offerings. This fall PBS will present the history of just one of those offerings when it releases the special holiday presentation The First Silent Night: The Christmas Carol That United The World.

The First Silent Night: The Christmas Carol That United The World will be released on Tuesday, November 3rd. It will be available exclusively on DVD. The program examines the roots of the beloved Christmas carol The Silent Night. Host Simon Callow (Amadeus, Four Weddings and A Funeral, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls) takes viewers to the Austrian village of Oberndorf and the city of Salzburg as he traces the song’s history. In his travels, Callow finds that those roots reach all the way back to a young pair of friends named Joseph Mohr and Franz Gruber, whose meeting in a poor country church would lead to the birth of the now world-renowned carol. Along with its central feature, the upcoming DVD will also feature more than forty-five minutes of bonus video content including various ‘Silent Night’ videos, separate examinations of Salzburg, and much more.

The First Silent Night: The Christmas Carol That United The World will be available Tuesday, November 3rd. It will be available exclusively on DVD and will retail for MSRP of $24.99 and can be ordered online direct from PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=69428296&cp=&sr=1&kw=the+first+silent+night&origkw=the+first+silent+night&parentPage=search. More information on this and other programs from PBS is available online now at:

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Have A Very Twisted Christmas With New Twisted Sister Live DVD, CD

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

Thanksgiving has come and gone once again.  And the annual shopping frenzy that is Black Friday is once again upon us.  That means stores have stocked their shelves with the annual load of holiday CD’s from around the world of popular music.  The problem with all those holiday albums is that so many of them sound the same.  However, there are the few diamonds in the rough that will make people stop and take notice.  One of those diamonds in the rough comes from one of the biggest bands of the 80’s hair metal scene.  That band is Twisted Sister. 

In 2006, Twisted Sister started a now long-running tradition of holding a live Christmas show in Las Vegas.  The band’s 2006 performance is available on CD right now.  And now, the band has also released both the CD and DVD portion of the band’s 2009 performance. Both the CD and DVD half of this show are excellent companion pieces to one another right from the show’s opening.  Those audiences who originally only had the audio recording of the band’s ’06 show were left to wonder exactly what was going on as the show kicked off, considering the music.  Now, those same audiences get to see “Santa Snider’s” elves getting everything set up and introducing the band members one at a time.  It all leads up to Snider himself being brought in on a sleigh pulled by a bevy of young women.  As soon as Snider gets out of the sleigh and it’s pulled off stage, he and his band mates immediately launch into ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.’  Anyone who has heard Snider’s album, Dee Does Broadway have something of an idea of what to expect in this collection of re-imagined holiday standards.

The band’s take on ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’, ‘Deck The Halls’, and ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’ are unlike anything that most audiences have ever heard in terms of holiday tunes.  To say that the band has amped them up wouldn’t properly do justice to the band’s performance.  It’s something that has to be seen and heard to be believed.  The band’s renditions of the classic carols aren’t all that the band tackles in this archived show.  It also handles a handful of its classic tunes, including ‘Shoot ‘Em Down’, ‘I Wanna Rock’ and the song that made the band famous, ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It.’  Snider notes as the show closes what Twisted Sister show would be complete without the song that brought this band to fame.

The show’s fan favorite closer isn’t the only high point of this live performance.  Fans will find the overall clam and camp of the entire show entertaining.  And the skit with “Satan Claus” is a laugh riot.  Along with poking fun at the band, there are little jabs at The Rolling Stones’ guitarist Keith Richards and the “Prince of Darkness” himself, Ozzy Osbourne.  They were of course just part of what made this skit funny.       This jolly man in red had a lot more than toys in his big bag.  Imagine Billy Bob Thornton from Bad Santa, only far cruder.  There you go.  Whether for that skit or the performance or the music itself, this CD and DVD set will leave any Twisted Sister fan to have a very Twisted Christmas.  Both the CD and DVD are available now in stores and online.  They can be ordered online direct via Eagle Rock Entertainment’s website at http://www.eagle-rock.com.

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