Christmas Mixes (Streaming)

christmas-tree-2015I 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 ChristmasCountry ChristmasIndie Christmas (three different genres of Christmas to mix it up)

70’s Christmas80’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.

Merry Christmas.

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2009 Piratey Christmas

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
Gift X-Change|Calexico
Holiday Adam|The Promise Ring
X-mas Song|Fireflies
Xmas Time Is Here Again|My Morning Jacket
Christmastime|Nourallah Brothers
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
Christmas|Rogue Wave
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)

Thanksgiving Pie

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

Zooeys Mixtape

Over at Playlist.com you can listen to a mix compiled by the beautiful multi-talented actress/artist Zooey Deschanel back when she was in High School. You click HERE to both listen to the lovely mix and read what Zooey has to say about each song (showing off her great taste.) I’ve posted a few of my favorites, though I could have posted the entire thing, it’s packed with with mix-tape deep track goodness; Well, maybe they’re not all deep tracks, but you get the idea.

Coconut Grove|The Lovin’ Spoonful
The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise|Les Paul and Mary Ford
Hickory Wind|the Byrds
Dark End of the Street|The Flying Burrito Brothers
Friends of Mine|The Zombies

Summer Mix 2009

Summer Mixes. Aren’t they fun? I enjoy creating a great mix that you can listen to for the precise purpose behind the mix. It has been raining here quite a bit, especially for this time of year. This mix was sort of inspired by that late rainy evening drive in the summer, originally including the likes of “Pink Moon” by Nick Drake, that sort of vibe with a bit of road trip thrown in for good measure – or at least that’s what I was going for. Once the mix was organized I had about 2 discs worth of music, so then I edited out the songs older than the last few years (or so) to make it sound a bit fresher and came up with the finalized mix. Hopefully you too will enjoy the overall aesthetic – please let me know if you hate it or enjoy it or it just lands in the “meh” category.

01-Lisztomania|Phoenix
02-Monster Ballads|Josh Ritter
03-The Summer|Coconut Records
04-All Good Things|The Weepies
05-Summersong|The Decemberists
06-Two Weeks|Grizzly Bear
07-Golden Days|The Damnwells
08-Silver Lining|Rilo Kiley
09-Saturday Nite|Blitzen Trapper
10-Heart of Chambers|Beach House
11-Bag of Hammers|Thao with The Get Down Stay Down
12-The Sweetest Thing|Camera Obscura
13-Un-Named|Leona Naess
14-Oh No|Andrew Bird
15-Don’t Forget The Sun|The Explorer’s Club
16-Sunset Soon Forgotten|Iron & Wine
17-Rave On|M. Ward (Featuring Zooey Deschanel)
18-Old Enough|The Raconteurs
19-The Orchids|Califone
20-Golden|My Morning Jacket
21-Goodbye|The Swimmers

Download the Mix by clicking HERE

01. I’ve been enjoying this new album (Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix) by the French rockers Phoenix.
02. The sound of Idahoan Josh Ritter just sounds like summer at dusk on a dusty road.
03. This is from Jason Schwartzman’s second album (Davy) as solo project Coconut Records.
04. Just love the sound of this couple and their music.
05. Probably the only song I really can get into by this band, still great.
06. Probably came late to the Grizzly Bear party, but they are very good and I’m enjoying slowly absorbing their music.
07. the Damnwells are just a great solid band.
08. Ah, the lovely voice of Jenny Lewis.
09. Really digging their 2008 album Furr
10. Last year I listened to this album all summer long.
11. Fun song from this great album.
12. This Glasgow band is just a great blend of retro vibe and lo-fi sound.
13. This song is just great slow steady pop with a great thumping rhythm.
14. The first track from the newest Andrew Bird album, great whistling.
15. the group out of South Carolina are the reincarnation of the Beach Boys.
16. Samuel Beam is one of those guys that I could just sit and listen to all day long.
17. This track on M.’s new album features his fellow band member from She & Him covering the great Buddy Holly.
18. Supergroup or not, I love these guys.
19. Jury still out on this group, but not on this track.
20. My Morning Jacket has a great sound and with this song it just permeates in entirety.
21. Four-piece rock band from Philadelphia – Summery indie pop goodness.

Cool Wedding Mix

I have been a complete slacker on the blogging lately and I apologize, I thought today that maybe I should start a slacking blog, but then I’d probably never get around to that. I was putting together a mix of the songs that were used in the wedding I attended a couple weeks ago (my sister was putting together a wedding DVD as she was the photographer). Like I said before, the Bride picked some great songs and I figured I’d up a mix for the listeners at home. This is an abbreviated version of the mix, I truncated for the sake of time and I deleted down to only one song per artist to get it to fit on a normal length CD for your on-the-go needs. This mix is highly recommended and really was not picked by me at all, I just weeded out a few duplicate artists and a few R.E.M. and Cure songs. It was a fine mix before I ever got to it and I’m happy to listen to it. There are some fine tracks here that have lead to me listening to a couple new albums because of it.

Lion’s Mane|Iron & Wine
The Dress Looks Nice On You|Sufjan Stevens
I Thought I Saw Your Face Today|She & Him
Into Your Arms|The Lemonheads
Hoppípolla|Sigur Ros
Ageless Beauty|Stars
Our Way To Fall|Yo La Tengo
I Left Town|Julie Doiron
Bisbee Blue|Calexico
Queen of the Surface Streets|DeVotchKa
The Way I Am|Ingrid Michaelson
Here Comes the Sun Again|M. Ward
There’s Too Much Love|Belle & Sebastian
Scythian Empire|Andrew Bird
First Day of My Life|Bright Eyes
Passenger Seat|Death Cab For Cutie
New Slang|The Shins
Blue Turning Gray|Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Pictures of Houses|Tilly and The Wall
If I Think of Love|OP8
Slip Into Your Skin|Patrick Watson
Big Me (live)|Foo Fighters

Or Download the mix – HERE.

Obligatory Best of 2008

How does anyone ever come up with a list of favorites of anything? I’m probably the least decisive person on the planet or closer thereto, so that only compounds the issue. So, I really didn’t make a best of list, rather I made a best of Mix, of the stuff I kept on repeat throughout the year. Anyone who reads this blog knows that I’m (by far) no critic, rather a fan. There were quite a few good albums that came out in ’08, or at least there were some that I enjoyed. The albums that rose high on the iPod this year were these (in no particular order, ok it’s alpha by artist):

Way To Normal (Ben Folds)
Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings (Counting Crows)
Be OK (Ingrid Michaelson)
Sleep Through Static (Jack Johnson)
Simple Times (Joshua Radin)
Day & Age (the Killers)
Volume One (She & Him)
Vampire Weekend (Vampire Weekend)
Hideaway (the Weepies)
Weezer (Red Album) (Weezer)

The mix that ensued when I thought about coming up with a top-song list from last year was rather long and it took some whittling to get it down to a standard CD sized mix. The songs that were removed were not lesser songs, but they just didn’t make the mix. There are a few albums of last year that may have been overplayed by the radio, but seeing as I don’t listen to the radio, I think I’m far less affected by this, and I know there are quite a few people that will never listen to the Coldplay album again because of either this or the fact that it may be too boring/mainstream. I still enjoy it quite a lot.

You Don’t Know Me (with Regina Spektor)|Ben Folds
This might not be the best new Folds album, that seems to be a theme to this year for me – a few GREAT songs on a mediocre album (see also Coldplay & Weezer)
How I Could Just Kill A Man|Charlotte Sometimes
This song is just fun poppy goodness with a bit of a dark side.
Viva La Vida|Coldplay
If this song is so catchy why can’t I stop playing it?
You Can’t Count On Me|Counting Crows
Sounds like Adam and the boys are trying to turn a corner, but did they need to? I love this album, but as someone said recently it sounds like every album is trying to be as good as “August and Everything After”, but falling short.
Look No Further|Dido
Good song, good album, better than her sophomore, love her voice.
Red Tide|Foxboro Hot Tubs
This was a lot of fun, Green Day and a retro sound album all mixed into one.
Be OK|Ingrid Michaelson
I may be in love with Ingrid and her voice.
If I Had Eyes|Jack Johnson
Another album from Jack this year, a bit slowed down even for Jack, I really like slow, but he needs to mix it up just a bit more.
I’m Yours|Jason Mraz
This song got played a bit too much last summer, but I still enjoy it. Seems Mraz is growing and I like that.
It’s Amazing|Jem
I was really looking forward to the new Jem album, and this was really the only high point, sadly.
Free Fallin|John Mayer
As far as live albums go – I really dig Mayers, mixing up the styles of his songs and throwing in a few nice covers.
Sky (with Ingrid Michaelson)|Joshua Radin
Human|the Killers
This is a bit more dance than I want from an album, but it really does work well.
Crawl|Kings of Leon
I probably prefer their first album or two, but there are some solid songs here.
The Show|Lenka
Fun pop, lovely voice, throughout the album.
Carolina Drama|The Raconteurs
This was another nice album by the “super-group”, but again, could have used a little less filler.
You Are The Best Thing|Ray LaMontagne
I just enjoy the mans voice and the songs he sings.
Fall For You|Secondhand Serenade
Emo can be good, I do enjoy this album.
Sentimental Heart|She & Him
Probably my favorite new aritst, I’ve just enjoyed this album this year from start to finish – over and over.
A-Punk|Vampire Weekend
Another great new artist that I just can’t really get enough.
All Good Things|The Weepies
This album has possibly gotten the most play throughout the last few months.
Heart Songs|Weezer
I can not get enough of this song, ever. I love the first four songs on the album, they truly make the album. This is not up with the Blue or Green albums, but it did give us those great four songs, and for that I’m very grateful.

You can play the entire mix on your computer (stream it) by clicking – HERE