The Christmas Mix for 2005 is done, and uploaded to the server for your listening enjoyment. In a certain way, I think I like this mix more than last year’s. The one from last year had a lot of stuff from previous Christmas mixes; it was good, I thought, but pretty easy to throw together.
This year’s wasn’t. Determined to maybe only repeat a handful of tunes from prior years, I had to listen to a lot of Christmas music. Much of it was cringe-ably bad. Some of it was inappropriate. For instance, it was during the sequencing that I thought I caught the use of the word “fucker” in Aimee Mann’s wonderful song, “I Was Thinking I Could Clean Up For Christmas”, and a lyric check proved my hearing to be spot-on. I have a nightmare of someone accidentally playing this mix in their car with their kids or in front of Grandma, and hearing this line way too clearly…so adios, Aimee.
Despite all the bad music I listened to, I’d do it again to find gems like The Green Pajamas’ “Carolers Song”, or Marah’s giddy, silly, drunkenly hilarious “Christmas With The Snow”. That latter song annoyed the crap out of me the first time I heard it…and then I realized I couldn’t get it out of my mind, and then while working busy shifts at work, I found that having that stupid, stupid, silly song going through my brain had the side-effect of dragging me kicking and screaming into a very good mood. I love that song.
So here it is. Bill O’Reilly lovers will have to forgive me, but this is *my* mix, and since it goes into my Christmas Cards, which go out to friends who are of Jewish, Buddhist, and Islamic faiths (as well as Christians and a few agnostics) the songs are pretty secular across the board. Deal with it.
Also, as always, this is one big mp3 file. The songs are all crossfaded, normalized for volume, and sequenced….so if you’re looking to file pirate, you’ll have to grab this music somewhere else, as the intro-outros on each song ruin the file for any purpose but the one it serves here.
Have a great holiday folks, no matter which one you celebrate!
1. Intro from Cicely, AK
2. “Let’s Boogey To The Elf Dance!” –Sufjan Stevens
3. “Frosty The Snowman” –Man Or Astroman
4. “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” –Death Cab For Cutie
5. “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” –Frank Sinatra
6. “Christmas Eve” –Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci
7. “Father Christmas” –The Kinks
8. “The Blunderbuss” –Brad Jones
9. “Christmas Is Coming” –Vince Guaraldi Trio
10. “Fox In The Snow” –Belle & Sebastian
11. “Last Christmas” –Fonda
12. “What Child Is This?” –Rev. Horton Heat
13. “The Christmas Song” –Nat King Cole
14. “The Caroler’s Song” –Green Pajamas
15. “Baby It’s Cold Outside” –Brian Setzer Orchestra with Ann-Margret
16. “Christmas Song” –Joy Zipper
17. “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” –Diana Krall
18. “Christmas With The Snow” –Marah (with guest vocalist Felicia Navidad)
19. “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” –Los Straitjackets
20. “White Christmas” –Otis Redding
21. “Santa’s Beard” –They Might Be Giants
22. “Bells On” –Sloan
23. “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” –Chris Isaak
24. “Fairytale Of New York” –The Pogues
25. Bill O’Reilly missed this episode of the Honeymooners
It is becoming a pressure thing.
Four years ago, rather than send out plain old ordinary Christmas Cards (ok, not necessarily ordinary–I went with the Addam’s Family Collection) I decided to record a CD of holiday favorites and sent them out. I added a few folks from some website forums I follow frequently as well. It was fun. It didn’t feel like it’d become a chore.
Three years ago, determined to actually get everyone on my Christmas Card list a copy, I sent them all out again. Well. You can imagine how the 10 or so folks who got a Christmas CD the year before reacted: “Dude–this is the same mix as last year!”
So. Last year. New mix entirely. Still hosting it for the time being here. I *really* like last year’s stuff. Really. Especially the intro and outro, since the Peanuts theme allows me to pretend that I’m ironic and deep, while hiding the fact of the matter, that I’m an utter sentimental dork who gets teary-eyed from nostalgia at the intro credits for “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer” every damn year.
And that brings us to this year. I had the last two days off from work, my last two days off before 9 days in a row in the holidays. (I predict that by my next day off, I’m gonna look like Herbert Lom at the end of a Pink Panther movie, straitjacket and all. ) I was thinking of using what spare time I could grab on my little “weekend” by doing a quick Holiday Mix CD for this year.
…and, determined to avoid repeats as much as possible, I ran smack into a wall. There’s a lot of Christmas-themed music out there by modern artists. The dirty dark secret of it all: most of it sucks.
A new holiday mix seemed like a chore the more and more I looked into it. Finally, late yesterday, I made the decision not to do a new one this year. Next year, maybe. This year? Nah. Too tough. Not fun.
So anyway. Tonight I finally found some free time and booted up a game of Civ 4. One of the coolest things about this game is that it lets you play music from your own .mp3′s. I set it to play in my music folder, and every game I play I hear stuff that I’d totally forgotten about, stuff I didn’t remember I had, you know how it goes.
And so tonight I’m playing and I hear the remarkable and strikingly beautiful song from the Walkmen, “Summer Stage”. (Think you haven’t heard the Walkmen? If you watch TV, you have; at least two of their songs have found their way into national ad campaigns.) Scrambling to remember the song (and I think it was in my music folder because Morton had suggested it for the July mix disc back when), I stumbled onto the fact that the Walkmen have a number of Christmas-possible songs for a mix. Huh.
Energized, I start doing some searching on that intarweb thing the kids talk so much about nowadays. I find some good stuff. Then I find some really good tunes. Then I find a couple of songs that stop me totally in my tracks and make me play them again and again. Then I find a few more. The songs I’d checked into from The Walkmen probably aren’t going to work in the context I want for my holiday mix, but that’s ok. I’m still totally digging them and in total rediscover mode (they really are Our U2.)
The upshot of all this? I suddenly find myself feeling like Uncle Ebeneezer waking up to find that the Prized Goose is still hanging in the window down the street. I’ve got at least 10-12 new tracks that are “definites” for Holiday Mix ’05, and that’s a good thing. There will always be some old favorites that appear perenially in the mix. Get used to it. For me it isn’t Christmas until Kirsty MacColl has called Shane MacGowan a scumbag, a maggot, and a cheap lousy faggot; “Fairytale of New York” is always gonna be on there, and that’s how it is. Anyway, just an update. I probably won’t get them out to those of you whom I exchange cards with for a while yet, but I’ll have a downloadable version up here soon, hopefully.
Hope you’re all in good cheer and happy and healthy!