Merry Christmas. It’s that time again, time to spread a little holiday cheer (I’m even getting requests for this mix). Here’s my (anti) Christmas mix. A bunch of these songs are borderline sacrilegious and others are only just a little bitter (and who can blame them this time of year). There are some real gems in here though and I hope you enjoy them with your family sitting around the fire while decorating your tree.
P.S. Here’s the first new Christmas song from 2010 that is good enough to make this list. It comes from the new Christmas album from Cristabel and the Jons. “I’d Like You For Christmas” is an overlooked classic that this Knoxville based roots/swing band takes and makes their own. Preorder the new album here.
I’d Like You For Christmas
P.S. I’ll update this mix as new songs come in.
P.P.S. I know I should really have a link to a zip file but I don’t have the energy to do it. If you want to help and throw that together email me the link at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every year there is a new Christmas song that just knocks me down with it’s sincerity, its mixed feelings about this time of year, and the performances of the artist. This year is no exception and that song is “Christmas Song” by Adam Remnant of the band Southeast Engine. Its mixture of sad nostalgia, childish wonder and naivite, and the slight hope and “reprieve” that comes from more a adult version of the holiday. This song is part of a compilation called A Very Ohio Christmas put together by the guys at Each Note Secure and Donewaiting with the proceeds going to Gracehaven – “an organization that raises awareness about the issue of domestic minor sex trafficking and also seeks to provide shelter and rehabilitation to girls who have been victims of commercial sexual exploitation.” Featured on the disc are original Christmas songs by Megan Palmer, Moviola, You, You’re Awesome and many more. Buy it here via Bandcamp.
Here’s a cover of Robert Earl Keen’s “Merry Christmas from The Family” from the Nashville based band Lindley Ruth and Her Tipsy String Band (with Jordan Hull).
Merry Christmas From The Family (that morphs into “Blue Christmas” at the end)
I’m a big fan of Boston’s Caleb Groh. Whether it’s as a part of his lofi indie pop band Happiest Lion or his Christmas music project Caleb and the Caroling Caravan. So I was thrilled when he sent me a link to his new release – Vol. II of his Christmas music series. It’s available in its entirety on Bandcamp here. But for now check out his original “Christmas is Best” and the cover of the carol “I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day”.
Christmas Is Best
I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day
Here’s a little indie folk from Nashville via the band Haunting Party (essentially Nathanael Mehrens and Aimee Romero). I like the juxtaposition of vocals on “Baby It’s Cold Out There”. That and the fact that this song, in all it’s variations, has been stuck in my head for the last week makes this an easy pick. There are 5 more songs on their Christmas ep here via Bandcamp.
Baby It’s Cold Outside
I’ve written about Lisa Cerbone in the past (here). It seems she and I both have kids about the same age. I’m guessing her daughter had at least something to do with this song selection. Here’s “The Chipmunk Song” (or The Chipmunk Christmas song as it’s know in my house).
The Chipmunk Song
We’ve got an update with songs from two bands that are mining the same territory but searching for different minerals. The west coast folk collective Branches uses traditional Appalachian instruments in their brand of indie folk. You can hear tyhis more on their two eps but a slight presence is present in these two Chrtistmas songs as well (mandolin, banjo).
O Come All Ye Faithful
Travel By Sea play a sleepy version of americana with weepy pedal steel and drowsy Neil Young inclined vocals.
I’ll Be Home For Christmas
I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day
Pleased as punch to add this Memphis themed Christmas tune from Star And Micey.
You might think this is disingenuous but I’m also pleased as punch to offer up this Christmas song from American Gun (love the Social D undertones). This song and the compilation it comes from is available here via the record label Rose and Arrow.
Slowcoustic and the Yer Bird record label provided me with this gorgeous cover of “Let It Snow” by Greater Pacific. The band has an EP coming out at the end of January. For now enjoy this languid take on “Let It Snow”.
Let It Snow
Fuzzy garage rock Christmas song from Buffalo Killers.
Secret Santa – Buffalo Killers
Hard not to add the song “Whore For The Holidays” since I sometimes call this mix the anti-Christmas mix. This is a good slab of piano based pop from The Davenports (who I just wrote about here).
Whore For The Holidays – The Davenports
Here’s something I missed when it came out in 2009. Don’t blame me though as the artist is as obscure and, in parts, as talented as you can get. I’ve written about his oddball lofi folk before (he performs under the name Happiest Lion). Here he goes by Caleb and Caroling Caravan and his 2009 Christmas release is available here free.
Christmas Don’t Be Late
Thanks to Herohill for pointint us in the direction of the new Christmas song from OX. I had these guys play a house concert a couple of years back as they were driving through on the way to SXSW. Great guys – great band – great songs!
Xmas in the Jailhouse (via Herohill)
Here’s a reader’s suggestion of a little more sacrilegious Christmas music; this time from Las Vegas’ best and only Irish folk-punk-rock band. I can’t help but like the line “and Santa Claus and Jesus Christ can kiss my Irish ass”.
Whiskey Christmas – Darby O’Gill and the Little People
The Holidays Are Here (And We’re Still At War) – Brett Dennen
I Wanna Spend My Xmas Time With You – Phil Lee
Christmastime Blues – Jaimi Shuey (her 2007 debut release Wrong Girl is a must have!)
Bastard Brothers – Chip Taylor
All Alone For Christmas – Danny Barnes
Goodbye England (Covered In Snow) – Laura Marling
Christmas In Paradise – Mary Gauthier
Thanks for the Roses (Merry Christmas) – Antje Duvekot
She’s Underneath the Mistletoe – Antsy McClain
Here comes Christmas – Bill Kelly
Crazy Cool Christmas – Kermit Ruffins
Cold White Christmas – Casiotone For The Painfully Alone
Great Adventure – Dan Byrk
I Want a Hippopotomus For Christmas – Paul Vickers And Leg
Christmas Is Coming Soon – Blitzen Trapper
Christmas Doesn’t Have To Be So Bad – The Backsliders
Christmas Or Columbus (Andy Hong’s Kitchen) – Drew O’Doherty
Christmas Is For Losers – Mike Nicolai
Cosy Evenings – Dan Byrk
All I Ever Get for Christmas Is Blue – Over The Rhine
O Holy Night – Benji Cossa
Darling Christmas Is Coming – Over The Rhine
The Christmas Song – Nourallah Brothers
You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch – Asylum Street Spankers
Christmas At The Trailer Park – Antsy McClain
The Little Baby – Hefner
So this Is Christmas – ? (lost in the shuffle – extra points if you leave the answer in the comments)
Santa’s Hungover – Santa’s Hungover
Christmas In Vermont – Ed’s Redeeming Qualities
God Rest You Merry Gentlemen – Hoax Funeral
Be My Valentine On Christmas – Glenna Bell
The Christmas Song – Mark Jungers
Red Eyed Santa – Dick Smith
Gold Front Tooth – Dick Smith
That Was The Worst Christmas Ever – Sufjan Stevens
I Hate Fucking Christmas – The Rugburns (live)
Christmas Past – Mike Ireland and Holler
Christmas In London – Krista Detour
Christmas In Prison – Emmy the Great and Lightspeed Champion
Christmas In Prison Live – Will Kimbrough
Christmas In Prison – Cristabel and the Jons
Christmas Eve – Salim Nourallah
It Came Upon A Midnight Clear – Laura Gibson
It’s Almost Christmas – Chris Garneau
Just Like Christmas – Low
Christmas Card From A Hooker In Minneapolis – Neko Case
Christmas Island – Leon Redbone
X-Mas Song – Fireflies
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – Rose Polenzani
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – Hem
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause – John Prine
Merry Christmas From The Family – Robert Earl Keen
Merry Christmas From The Family – Jill Sobule
Christmas On Ward #7 – Chris Flew
Driving Home, Christmas Eve – Frontier Ruckus
Jewish For Christmas – Coconut and The Duke (from former blogger Duke Of Straw)
What Do You Give A Wookie For Christmas? -Savanteous Q Malmsteen
Christmas Vision – Beau Jennings
Murder By Mistletoe – The Felice Brothers
It Never Snows – The Parson Red Heads
Don’t Want Another Christmas Like Last Christmas – Gentleman Auction House
Christmas Time – The Krayolas With Augie Meyers
Christmas Song – Detroit Junior
It’s Christmas Time Again – Harley Poe
RockABilly Christmas – Michael Bishop
So Much Wine – The Handsome Family
I’m Grateful for Christmas This Year – Hayes Carll
River – Lex Land