Happy Thanksgiving from Internet Sensation (And Rapper?) Nicole Westbrook

Thumbnail image for Nicole Westbrook.JPG
She misses us you guys!
If you have the internet, by now you've likely heard the work of 12-year-old Nicole Westbrook, the former St. Louis-resident whose single "It's Thanksgiving" is ticking steadily toward 10 million views on YouTube. (If not, please catch up with the rest of the class here.)

She's been dubbed the new Rebecca Black, the much maligned teen behind "Friday," another song that went viral a year ago for being the "worst song ever."

But unlike Black, who laid low for months after the song earned her so much unwanted attention, Westbrook decided to own her infamy and hit the media circuit. She's performed on Good Morning America and Access Hollywood, and given several interviews.

We caught up with her by phone in her New York City hotel room just after she wrapped a segment for Anderson Cooper. As soon as we heard her voice, two things became clear right away. First, she is super, duper twelve. And second, man, for a tween, she seems to be in total control of her image. Click through for the conversation.

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Is South County Tween Nicole Westbrook the New Rebecca Black?

Nicole Westbrook turkey leg.JPG
This imagery is confusing.
Update: PETA, of which 90% is just a team dedicated to taking anything that trends on Twitter and figuring out how it can be protested (naked, ideally), has set its (humane) sights on our friend Nicole. They're going to deliver her a Tofurkey, which is a torture no human should endure. The full story (complete with alterante "It's Thanksgiving" lyrics) is on our sister blog, Gut Check.

Remember Rebecca Black? She is the California teenager whose parents paid for their daughter to perform a song called "Friday" in a now-infamous YouTube music video. Black became internet famous overnight, mostly because everyone agreed that it was the worst song they'd ever heard. Black says she cried a lot over this and was tormented to the point where she left her middle school. She even reportedly received death threats.

That has not deterred the folks behind Black's failsess/succailure from offering the same service to other families. Now, a girl from South County appears to be achieving the same result with a new single called "It's Thanksgiving."

See also:
-What do Rebecca Black, Kreayshawn and Tyler the Creator Have in Common
-Rebecca Black's "Friday" Embroiled In Viral Video Equivalent Of Label Dispute
-Haters Gon' Hate Archives

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Only You Can Prevent Christmas Music From Starting Early on KLOU

Categories: Holiday Jams

Rav Holly
So these crazy kids are putting out a Christmas album.
Ours is a country divided -- almost precisely in half, it turns out -- between head-in-the-clouds idealists and stick-in-the-mud realists. Of course, we are referring to people who love Christmas music and others who could never again hear a bell jingle, jangle, or rock, and it would still be too soon.

So KLOU (103.3 FM) is doing its part to make the whole "how soon is too soon for Christmas music" quandary a more democratic process: The station is letting the public decide via online poll when it will flip the switch and turn into a 24/7 winter wonderland.

See also:
-Farewell WSGX 100.3 FM, Gen X Radio, We Hardly Heard Ye
-Fudging The Numbers With Last.Fm
-Four Catholic Masses for Hearing Gorgeous Traditional Christmas Music in St. Louis

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RFT Music Presents the Worst Christmas Song of All Time

Categories: Holiday Jams

Linda Bennett with Ricky Nelson on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet in 1960, fifteen years before the atrocity that is "An Old Fashioned Christmas (Daddy's Home)."
Yesterday Jezebel anointed "The Christmas Shoes" the worst Christmas song of all time. We at RFT Music agree that this maudlin tale of a little boy who wants to buy his dying mom a pair of shoes so she'll look all classy when she meets Jesus in the Great Beyond and, in the process, teaches the song's narrator the True Meaning of Christmas is unspeakably awful.

But it has nothing -- we repeat nothing -- on "An Old-Fashioned Christmas (Daddy's Home)," a rare gem recorded by Linda Bennett in 1975. Brace yourself -- and maybe pour yourself a good stiff cup of egg nog -- and give it a listen.

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KEZK Wants You to (Oh-So-Softly) Rock This Holiday Season

Categories: Holiday Jams

A still from the "Last Christmas" video.
As of 5 p.m. Friday, November 12, KEZK (102.5 FM) has started programming Christmas/holiday music 24-7 on the terrestrial airwaves and online at KEZK.com. According to a press release, the station "will feature traditional songs from top artists like Bing Crosby, Elvis, Nat King Cole, Burl Ives, as well as contemporary Christmas favorites from Madonna, Paul McCartney, The Eagles, Elton John, Mannheim Steamroller and more." I gave the station a spin over the weekend in the car, and indeed, the soft-glow of sugarplums and weepy nostalgia was already in full effect. (So was the Mariah Carey, natch.) I even detected some slow-jam action within the Christmas song playlist -- although no Wham! yet. And by my book, it's not the holiday season until the first sign of "Last Christmas." Video below.

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A Very Bert Dax Christmas Returns in 2010 With a CD, Holiday Shows

Although it's still 70 degrees in St. Louis, it's already time to start thinking about the holidays. After a year off, the Matt Harnish-created A Very Bert Dax Christmas compilation is returning for 2010. A co-production with Pancake Productions, Volume 8 in the series is going to feature MISF, Glass Teeth, Trigger 5, Cassie Morgan, Popular Mechanics, Theodore, Union Electric, Beth Bombara, Humdrum, King Kong Magnetics and Johnny Vegas. Whew! To celebrate, BD and PP are having four release shows. Info below.

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Holiday Jam Countdown '09, All-Star Edition: Mariah Carey vs. Run-DMC vs. the Ramones vs. U2

The big guns come out on Christmas Eve. The classics. The canon. The pillars of seasonal cheer. Have a merry Christmas, if that's your thing. We're not going dark next week, so check back for fun stuff and interviews!

MP3: Mariah Carey, "All I Want for Christmas Is You"

MP3: The Ramones, "Merry Christmas (I Don't Want to Fight Tonight)"

MP3: U2, "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)"

MP3: Run-DMC, "Christmas in Hollis"

Holiday Jam Countdown '09: "Fairytale of New York" by Billy Bragg, The Pogues, Stars, Bob Schneider

"Fairytale of New York" by the Pogues (featuring Kirsty MacColl) is my favorite holiday tune, tied with "Christmas Wrapping." I think "Fairytale" encourages the highest-quality covers of any seasonal song too. Evidence below.

Billy Bragg and Florence and the Machine (via Slicing Up Eyeballs):

MP3: The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl, "A Fairytale of New York"

MP3: Stars, "A Fairytale of New York"

MP3: Bob Schneider, "A Fairytale of New York"

Holiday Jam Countdown '09: Several Goodwill-Spawning Versions of "Do They Know It's Christmas?"

Does anything scream "This Happened in the '80s" more than an All-Star Charity Single? (Yes. But for our purposes, no.) Cue "Do They Know It's Christmas"? -- alternate title in some circles: "Feed the World" -- the Bob Geldof-and-Midge-Ure-written benefit tune featuring English and Irish rockers.

The tune's been covered in a tongue-and-cheek and serious way since it was first recorded in 1984. Most recently, Canadian hardcore heroes Fucked Up recruited an all-star cast of collaborators -- RZA, Bob Mould, Tegan and Sara, Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend, et al -- and recorded a version of this song; proceeds from its sale go to three charities "working to bring to end to the epidemic of missing and murdered native women.". Air Supply also did a version of this song -- and even for them, it's saccharine.

But really, nothing compares to the original. Enjoy.

MP3: Band Aid, "Do They Know It's Christmas?"

MP3: Pete Yorn, "Do They Know It's Christmas?"

Holiday Jam Countdown '09: Several Versions of "Last Christmas"

Does this song even need an introduction? (Did George Michael frost his tips for most of the '80s?) The soft-glow of heartbreak and despair, crooned by Andrew Ridgely and Michael of Wham!, the dynamic '80s pop duo. "Schmaltzy" doesn't begin to describe this song -- but it doesn't matter!

MP3: Wham!, "Last Christmas"

The Canadian band Ohbijou recorded a fine version of the song this year. Head to its website to grab the tune and hear other lovely recordings.

MP3: Ohbijou, "Last Christmas"

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