Mitchell Kezin is a self-described Canadian "gentle giant, crate-digger, and filmmaker" whose award-winning film, Jingle Bell Rocks! toured the international festival circuit in 2014, including The Beefeater IN-EDIT Music Documentary Film Festival held in Barcelona, Spain. Jingle Bell Rocks! was then, acquired by Brooklyn-based Oscilloscope Labs—founded by the late, great Beastie Boy Adam "MCA" Yauch—and released theatrically in over 50 cities across the USA and can now be found on Amazon Prime, iTunes, VUDU, and like-minded streaming services and on DVD through Oscilloscope. Mitchell's current film, BUT FOR NOW: The Music & Mojo of Bob Dorough about the Bebop/Jazz legend and Schoolhouse Rock! creator is currently in-production.
Jingle Bell Rocks! thoroughly examines the slightly obsessive habits and tendencies of avid Christmas CD, vinyl record, and cassette tape collectors. Jingle Bell Rocks! follows Mitchell Kezin, as he seeks out the 12 best, most original, alternative, and under-appreciated Christmas songs ever recorded; with Mitchell as our titular merry misfit, his film seeks out to find the SOUL of Christmas music and features interviews with Joseph "Rev Run" Simmons of Run-D.M.C. The Flaming Lips' charismatic frontman Wayne Coyne, cult film director and Alt. Christmas music enthusiast John Waters, "Blue Xmas" vocalist Bob Dorough, and self-declared "Calypso King of The World," The Mighty Sparrow.
Throughout the film, additional screen-stealing voices include former Def Jam director of publicity Bill Adler, DJ and musicologist Dr. Demento, Soul legend Clarence Carter, and many more merry misfits, who confront the Christmas music mainstream, re-inventing the seasonal soundtrack for the 21st Century. I've been personally speaking with Mitchell Kezin (@mabooshi) via Twitter, over the course of the last week or so, after he asked me for suggestions on seasonally-appropriate "Alt. Hanukkah" songs; I then, asked Mitchell if he might be interested in compiling one of his infamous mitchell's merrymixes AKA merrymixes, which he's been assembling and gift-giving since about 1990, for publication right here on The Witzard.
Mitchell Kezin's custom-made Mitchell's 'SOUL SISTA' Holiday Mix for The Witzard features 16 strategically organized tracks-worth of Hanukkah songs, festive holiday ditties, and a gaggle of Alt. Christmas classics. It spotlights obscure selections from the likes of Alex Boye' feat. Genesis Choir, Barenaked Ladies, Donnie Iris & The Cruisers, AKIM & The Teddy Vann Production Company, The Soul-Saints Orchestra AKA The Poets of Rhythm, and The Mighty Sparrow, as well as a previously unreleased live Hanukkah recording from El Vez "The Thin Brown Duke." Lastly, a very special shout-out goes to The Ologist AKA JD at Common Good Records for graciously sequencing Mitchell's 'SOUL SISTA' Holiday Mix for The Witzard into one continuous, cohesive track at the very last-minute!
Mitchell's 'SOUL SISTA' Holiday Mix for The Witzard
01. "Soul Santa" - Brook Benton
02. "The Little Drummer Boy" - The Soulful Strings
03. "Christmas Is" (2006 Digital Re-master) - Lou Rawls
04. "Little Drummer Boy" (African Tribal Version) - Alex Boye' feat. Genesis Choir
05. "We Free Kings" - Roland Kirk
06. "Monologue/Dreidel Song" - El Vez LIVE from The Triple Door
* previously unreleased recording from Jingle Bell Rocks!
07. "Santa's Got a Bag of Soul" - The Soul-Saints Orchestra
08. "Little Miss Super Fly" - AKIM & The Teddy Vann Production Company
09. "Alleluyah Sasa (He Is Born)" - Donnie Iris & The Cruisers
10. "Hanukkah O' Hanukkah" (LIVE) - Barenaked Ladies
11. "Hanukkah Homeboy" - Doc Mo She
12. "Christmas Time Again" - Reuben Anderson
13. "How Can Santa Come to Puerto Rico?" - Ricky Vera with Steve Allen
14. "Post Card to Sparrow" - The Mighty Sparrow
15. "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town" - Bobby Timmons
16. "Happy New Year" - Mabel Mafuqa