2 Days Until Hanukkah

Every day until December 25, I’m writing about holiday music in my personal collection – but that doesn’t always mean Christmas tunes. Hanukkah starts at sundown Thursday, so let’s dig out the 2005 record from The LeeVees, “Hanukkah Rocks.”

Like The Ramones, every band member’s last name is LeeVee, but not really. Adam LeeVee is Adam Gardner from Guster and David LeeVee is Dave Schneider of The Zambonis, a band that writes and performs only songs about ice hockey. The tunes on “Hanukkah Rocks” are more about the cultural aspects of The Festival of Lights than the purely religious – “Latke Clan,” “Gelt Melts,” “At the Timeshare,” “Nun, Gimmel, Heh, Shin…” Here’s the video for “How Do You Spell Channukkahh?”

You could buy the CD of “Hanukkah Rocks,” but Bandcamp has a digital download for just $7 and you get a twenty-second instrumental that I don’t have. Adam and Dan say they wrote all the songs in about ten days on the road – except for the last full song, “Holiday.” That one is “a crappy song the record company made us add last minute. They said we needed 10 songs so, we got drunk, wrote it and recorded it in about 20 minutes.”

The LeeVees pretty much accomplished what they hoped to back in 2005. They tour most Decembers, but the only other music they’ve released is a 2015 digital single for Amazon Music with Matisyahu, “Outside of December.” It’s a little more inspirational than “Hanukkah Rocks.” Probably Matisyahu rubbing off? Here it is live.