I don’t blog here much these days, but I thought I would post a link to all of my Christmas Playlists over on 8tracks.com. I’ve used this site for some years to put up some of my mixes that I’ve put together over the years and be able to stream them from any device I’m on. I’ve put together quite a few Christmas mixes over the years, some admittedly better than others. the last few years I’ve put together a mix of modern songs (mostly) each year that fit on one CD, and I’ve posted them one song at a time for each of the days of December leading up to and including Christmas Day – entitled the 25 songs of Christmas.
25 Songs of Christmas
25 Songs of Christmas, Volume 2
25 Songs of Christmas, Volume 3
Christmas Romance (a mix to curl up next to someone on Christmas Eve)
TV Christmas (TV cartoons, mostly from the 70’s)
Croon & Swoon Christmas (mid-century crooners and swooners)
Modern Christmas (when you get sick of the crooners and swooners)
R & B Christmas, Country Christmas, Indie Christmas (three different genres of Christmas to mix it up)
70’s Christmas, 80’s Christmas (whichever decade of pop artists you prefer)
I have a bunch of old mixes from this blog and others up on 8tracks if you want to scan through them – my profile is HERE.
The members of the Rubberband have just put out a couple of new Christmas songs over on their website. You have to belong to the “Shupe Group”, but it’s basically just signing up for free emails, so if you’re a fan of the group you should get the emails anyway – they let you know of upcoming concerts and new music. They have a couple of concerts coming up as well. Shupe & the boys Christmas album, the Gift (which you can buy at their website) is one of my favorite albums of the season, not that it brings anything completely new to the table, but their bluegrass-y take on the classics is a bit more fresh than most albums that seem to just re-hash the same old Christmas songs, the same old way. I’ve included my favorite track from the album, which is a fun mix of a couple great old carols.
Santa Claus is Coming to Town|Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband
Away in a Manger|Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband
Bluegrass Christmas Mayhem (Jingle Bells/Deck The Halls)|Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband
Upcoming Concerts (2009):
Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center: December 15 7:30pm
UVU Ballroom: December 10 7:30 pm (discount for students)
both concerts feature Special Guest: Sam Payne
I really do enjoy making a good mix, and this time of year I enjoy putting together a mix of Holiday tunes that usually has some sort of theme. This year is a masculine version of my last years mix, which you can read about back HERE. I really should change the names of these mixes as they have no pirate themed Christmas music, sadly. Last year was inspired by the album Winter Songs, which features an all-female singer-songwriter collection of tunes for the season. This year I gather inspiration (and a couple of songs) from This Warm December: A Brushfire Holiday Vol. 1, which is sort of the (mostly) male version of “Winter Songs” from some of the fine folks over at Brushfire Records (Jack Johnson is the owner.) I have to say that I’ve borrowed a song or two from other music bloggers for this mix from their holiday mixes that have been posted the past few years. Christmas music for me is quite often the searching of albums and then discarding all but a couple and adding these new songs to the store of good ones gleaned. Hopefully this mix will be as some of the other mixes by better blogs than mine. I’ve posted the individual songs for a limited time, but I’ll try to leave the entire album up for a while longer. These songs have become some of my favorites over the past few Christmas seasons. This is sort of a mellow laid-back singer-songwriter take on the holidays, which is my favorite sort of vibe. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it. Happy Holidays.
Rock of Ages|Ben Kweller
Christmas TV|Slow Club
Are You Coming Over For Christmas?|Belle & Sebastian
Hey Parker, It’s Christmas|Ryan Adams
All I Want For Christmas|Matt Costa
Holiday Adam|The Promise Ring
Xmas Time Is Here Again|My Morning Jacket
Xmas Eve|The Damnwells
All I Want For Christmas Is Us|Jason Mraz (with Tristan Prettyman)
Christmas In The Room|Sufjan Stevens
When I Get Home For Christmas|Snow Patrol
Christmas Eve|Teenage Fanclub
Work On Christmas|Harvey Danger
Christmas Is Coming Soon|Blitzen Trapper
The Christmas Sound|The Swimmers
The Holidays Are Here (And We’re Still At War)|Brett Dennen
Here It Is Christmas Time|Old 97’s
Christmas Eve|Salim Nourallah
You can download the mix in its entirety HERE. (the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R)
Every year there seem to be more artists putting out a Christmas album. I hate to by cynical, but it just seems like most of these artists are just trying to cash in on the growing niche market of holiday music. I, for one, enjoy purchasing (at least) one new Christmas album each year, it’s sort of a tradition that I enjoy. It’s part of the holiday season for me to purchase one new Christmas album in the hopes of adding it to my collection of CD’s that get me in the mood for the season. This year is no exception. There are quite a few albums to choose from if you want an album released this year. Barry Manilow, Michael McDonald, Neil Diamond, Andrea Bocelli, Sugarland, Petula Clark, Sting, Wynton Marsalis, Olivia Newton-John, Tori Amos, David Archuleta, REO Speedwagon, Melissa Etheridge and even Bob Dylan have joined these ranks this year. I don’t know about you, but I really am not excited much by any of these. The Sting album is nice enough, but I’ve grown a little bored by Sting these days and the album only propels my boredom. Both the Bob Dylan and Tori Amos albums are sure to cheer the hearts of the fans of these two artists – and when I say fans, I mean the big-time fans that will buy any album by these two. I for one enjoy songs by these artists, but I really don’t think their personal styles fall into the realm of warm fuzzy holiday sounds to which I enjoy listening. Tori does have some nice songs on there, I’m just not sure they mix well with others in this genre. The new Bob Dylan Christmas album sounds at times like a Dylan impersonator is singing these songs. The Niel Diamond album is basically a greatest Christmas hits with a few new ones tacked on. Overall, despite the wide amount of holiday albums from which to choose, I’d say go out and buy an album you missed from the last few years, or a mix with a few artists on it that you really enjoy. Maybe I’m just becoming more of a grumpy old man, but there is lots of good holiday music out there, but choose wisely.
Holly, Ivy, and Rose|Tori Amos (with her daughter Natashya Hawley)
Christmas Blues|Bob Dylan
Gabriel’s Message (2009)|Sting
I’ve previously stated my enjoyment of the TV show Pushing Daisies. The quirky smart funny show that was canceled as shows like that usually do. The show follows a Pie-maker who re-animates the dead, but for only 60 seconds at a time – that is until he decides to allow his childhood flame to stay alive, in which case drama and hilarity ensue. His “dead” girlfriend decides to send pies to her aunts (who can’t know she’s alive for strange reasons) laced with mood enhancing drugs. The point for which I bring this up is that the pie she bakes is a Pear Gruyère, or rather a Pear pie with Gruyère integrated into the crust. The first time I heard mention of this pie I knew that I had to eat one. I googled it, and couldn’t find much, except a foodie blogger who baked just that and posted the recipe online. You can read more about her adventures and her recipe over HERE. I found the recipe easy to follow and incredibly delicious. The picture here is the very pie I made. I have to say that I had only made a couple of pies previously, which mostly entailed me dumping a can of something into a pie crust, so this was a bit of a stretch for my meager culinary skills.
I always seem to spend the day after Thanksgiving coming down off of a food high. Too much good food seems to have its repercussions on the next day. I really didn’t try to eat too much this year – pacing myself and not really overindulging. Still, I ate way too much. The day after Thanksgiving is also the first day allowable by law to play Christmas music, or at least it should be. I’m working on a couple of mixes to post very shortly, but I figured I should post links to the last few years for people that may have just tuned in, or just never downloaded them in the first place.
Happy Pirate Christmas Mix 2006
Blog post – HERE.
This was my first posted Christmas mix, and I make no excuses for its randomness, I revel in it. It’s mostly newer Christmas tunes, not so much with the traditional, but with a few covers here and there.
File link – HERE.
Christmas Mix 2007
Blog post – HERE.
This was an attempt at traditional Christmas fare – mostly crooners and Christmas belles that seem to evoke the classic feel of the festive season. Some of my favorites that get me feeling that old-fashioned Christmas-y feeling.
File link – HERE.
Christmas Mix 2007
Blog post – HERE.
This is probably my favorite mix of Christmas music so far. A bit of a feminine feel from the indie-folksters out there. I highly recommend it, especially for those out there that enjoy good Christmas music, but might be sick of Mssrs. Ives and Crosby as they make their way through the holiday season. This year I will probably post a companion to this mix by way of the male counterpoints to these fine ladies.
File link – HERE.
Here’s a bit of pie for your Thanksgiving weekend, hope it’s a good one.
Mama bake A Pie|Drive-By Truckers
We got about a foot of snow here today (definitely not the accompanying photo). Lots of shoveling walks and enjoying the fire indoors. I find that toward the beginning of December I enjoy the non-traditional/newer Christmas songs, the fun and the off the wall and even comedic sort, but the closer it gets to Christmas Eve and Day the more I want the classics, the traditional – or at least closer to that. Here are a few of my favorite versions of my favorite snowy Christmas classics.
White Christmas|Bing Crosby
Marshmallow World|Johnny Mathis
Purple Snowflakes|Marvin Gaye
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!|Lena Horne
OK, so probably any credit I have as a sharer of good music, especially Christmas music is going to be thrown out of the window with this post, but I suppose you can deal with a personal post now and again, if not we’ll hopefully see you again soon. Singing in Church today with the choir was sorta fun, not really fun, but sorta anyway. You can’t expect much from people that might have shown up only a few times to practice and some of which really don’t have much talent for learning songs that quickly, but it was nice anyway. It reminded me of the different choirs that I’ve been a part of and how much fun they are even when they are full of mostly stuffy people who think they’re great singers (some yes, some no), there’s always room for a few people to sit in the back and whistle bird parts to John Rutter pieces or making up and English translation to the Latin pieces that were more words about how hungry we were than a “literal translation” – those are the times I will remember with fondness. The songs were almost always a bit schmaltzy, but it was fun.
A few years back I digitally transferred the old cassettes from High School days and beyond so that I could go back and listen if the nostalgia starts prodding, and I usually once or twice during the holidays dust off the old digital files and give them a listen – you can listen if you dare.
Let This Christmas Day Begin|Timpview High School
O Magnum Mysterium|Timpview High School
Alleluia|Timpview High School
Candlelight Carol|Mormon Youth Chorus
Baby, What You Goin’ To Be|Mormon Youth Chorus