December 20, 2007

Christmas mixery

Mmmmmm. Cookies. My 4-year-old and I baked those Rudolph cookies last weekend. There was sugar and M&Ms everywhere, and don’t even get me started on how hard it was to bite those pretzels into antler shapes. Unsanitary, but it gets the job done the only way I could figure out how. The end result was fantastic, and we’ve been delivering (what I now realize are little saliva-contaminated) batches to our good friends all week long.

While we baked, we listened to my new Christmas mix for 2007 that I’ve been tweaking and perfecting for weeks. I think I’m good now, and since I just realized that Christmas is in 5 days, we should hop to it. Let me just say that there is so much annoying Christmas music out there. Good heavens, no one should be allowed to cover Little Drummer Boy again, and nothing with synthesizers, ever.

These 20 tracks have passed my Grinchy muster, and all 20 of them are non-annoying — good Christmas listening that won’t bug the snot out of you.

The Christmas Song – The Raveonettes
Merry Xmas Everybody – R.E.M.
(2007 fan club single)
Father Christmas – The Kinks
Let It Snow – Magnet
Do You Hear What I Hear? – Third Day
(with the night wind talking to the little lamb, this song was a favorite as a kid)
Merry Christmas, Baby – Otis Redding
Christmas Song – Denison Witmer
Xmas Eve – The Damnwells
Hey Guys! It’s Christmas Time! (Sufjan cover) – Luke Flowers
Here It Is Christmas – The Old ’97s
(new song 2007)
Much Farther To Go – Rosie Thomas (w/ Sufjan)
Christmas Means Love – The Soul Stirrers
In The Bleak Mid-Winter – Sarah McLachlan
(from Wintersong)
That Was The Worst Christmas Ever! – Sufjan Stevens (still my favorite of his thousand Christmas songs)
It Feels Like Christmas – Al Green (and to hear it, by “Christmas” Al means “sex”)
Ding, Dong, Ding, Dong – George Harrison
Sing Mary Sing – Jennifer Knapp
O Holy Night – Tracy Chapman
Waking Up On Christmas Morning – The Smithereens
Christmas Message from Elvis / Silent Night – Elvis Presley


One note: Luke Flowers, who covered Sufjan up there in spot #9, is a talented local artist here in Colorado Springs. I saw him perform that song Tuesday night at a coffeehouse in my neighborhood, and he recorded the whole set. By the magic of the internet we can listen again and recreate that event. You can download the 12-song live Christmas album for free on his site: some lovely reworkings of traditional tunes, 4 Sufjan covers, and an original song about his Christmas pony that froze solid. Merry Christmas!


  • Hey thanks Erik,
    Did you ever stumble across the right labelling?

    heather — December 20, 2007 @ 11:56 am

  • merry xmas heather!! can you mail me some of those cookies? boy they look yummy!! ads (of the ‘thin blue flame’)

    Ads — December 20, 2007 @ 12:22 pm

  • cookies look good, mama. i’ll be over in one minute to try one. or two. or three.

    c — December 20, 2007 @ 2:39 pm

  • No “All Through the Year” by Bryan Adams or the rockinest (is that a word?)song “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” by the Boss?

    badlands23 — December 20, 2007 @ 5:25 pm

  • badlands, to tell you the truth, I could happily live the rest of my life without ever hearing that seasonal Springsteen confection ever again. but thanks for the suggestions! :)

    heather — December 20, 2007 @ 5:39 pm

  • Been having a kinda off-blue Christmas this year and this mix sure helped to spread some cheer. Thanks so much for the calorie-free Christmas treats!

    Ruralgurl — December 20, 2007 @ 8:28 pm

  • From your answer to Erik, I’m guessin’ you are looking for artist on the “Christmas Means Love” track. That was from The Soul Stirrers and was recorded in 1968, I believe, for the Chess comp “Christmas Dedication”. “Christmas Dedication” has never been released on CD, though several tracks (including “Christmas Means Love”) appear on “Have A Merry Chess Christmas”.

    Once upon a time, in the early 50s, Sam Cooke did sing with The Soul Stirrers, but he had passed away well before “Christmas Means Love” was recorded.

    Sam Cooke never recorded a fer real Christmas song, though you could always fall back on some of his early 50s gospel work with The Soul Stirrers. Usually, when Sam turns up on Christmas comps, it is singing “Any Day Now.”

    stubbysfears — December 21, 2007 @ 12:55 am

  • Heather,
    This doesn’t really have anything to do with your post. I just wanted to say thanks for keeping up such a fantastic site. Yours is the only music blog I read regularly anymore. I don’t know if it’s just because of how personal it is, or what, but there’s something that makes coming here not just enlightening, but also FUN. So thanks!
    PS I already loved Pearl Jam before I came here, but that love keeps growing every time you mention them (I think my favorite was the “Hawai’i ’78″ post and story).

    Nick — December 21, 2007 @ 3:05 am

  • Great mix especially Third Day and Jennifer Knapp. Both have been completely overlooked in other Christmas mixes. Have a great Christmas!

    Rollerpimp — December 21, 2007 @ 5:46 am

  • How is it an EP if it has 12 songs? That sounds like an LP to me!

    Anonymous — December 21, 2007 @ 7:27 am

  • yeah, I thought the same thing when I was typing the post, and I thought Luke called it an EP, which I also thought was strange. But he doesn’t. I made that up. It is indeed just a plain ole live album. Thanks for pointing that out.

    heather — December 21, 2007 @ 7:50 am

  • No problem. By the way, in my haste to nitpick in semantics, I totally neglected to say that I enjoy your blog and please keep it up forever! You have excellent taste.

    Anonymous — December 21, 2007 @ 8:24 am

  • I’m guessing you’ve yet to hear this years PJ single, including the most punk-rock, kick-ass version of Jingle Bells you’ve ever heard, courtesy of Mike McCready.

    Big Wave Rider — December 21, 2007 @ 8:41 am

  • No “Merry Xmas (War is Over)”?

    Anonymous — December 21, 2007 @ 9:04 am

  • Heather,

    Stubby answered your question from yesterday before I could get a chance. I knew the post-Sam Cooke Soul Stirrers recorded the song, but I wasn’t aware of the Chess compilations it appeared on.

    I’ve done extensive research on Sam both within the family and outside the family, but I have to tip my hat to Stubby for a piece of information I did not know. Thank, Stubbs!

    Erik Greene

    Erik Greene — December 21, 2007 @ 10:59 am

  • thanks to both of you guys for the info! I’ve updated the song and the post, the zip file still has incorrect tags for now.

    heather — December 21, 2007 @ 11:07 am

  • thanks for the timely christmas tunes. everyone loved the music at our party and taking the tunes with us for our drive up to Santa Barbara.

    Byron Stead — December 21, 2007 @ 5:53 pm

  • Did you see the Cracker Christmas tune?
    I know your a big fan-

    HappyParts — December 21, 2007 @ 11:18 pm

  • Once again, you stun me with your Christmas exuberance. Thanks. And, yes, that is Rosie with Sufjan – and let’s not forget Denison!

    HCJoel — December 22, 2007 @ 11:23 am

  • This is awesome!!

    Oh – Everyone should totally check out the John Waters Christmas album if you like good raunchy Christmas music. You will laugh your a** off!!

    Miss_Zabone — December 22, 2007 @ 11:19 pm

  • this is a great mix! thanks so much for including that jennifer knapp tune– she’s one of my favorites and i haven’t heard anything from her in forever.

    - allison

    allison — December 23, 2007 @ 10:17 am

  • From Holland, Europe I wish you and your love ones a great Christmas and a fine 2008.

    Thank you for sharing this special Christmas selection


    henkw — December 24, 2007 @ 3:45 am

  • Excellent Mix. Love the Denison Witmer tune. Merry Christmas!

    Eric — December 24, 2007 @ 8:46 pm

  • I just saw your posting for the christmas mixery and i have to say I found it great! I heard the song merry christmas baby but with Bruce Springsteen,it is on the A very special Christmas CD, the one you posted is also a great version.

    thanks for the music!

    Paulino — December 30, 2007 @ 2:06 pm

  • Heather,

    It’s almost time for some more Christmas goodness! Could you re-up some of the older mixes? Also, two suggestions: Jack White – “Christmas Time Will Soon Be Over” from the Cold Mountain soundtrack and Radiohead – “Winter Wonderland”

    Matt — December 3, 2008 @ 3:09 pm

  • figured i say thanks here tooooo! gooooooooooood stuffis
    have a nice holiday! and merry xmas!

    bort — December 11, 2009 @ 3:28 pm

  • [...] Stevens) Something new to our playlist this year: the Sufjan original is a grungy rocker, and the Luke Flowers indiefolk cover quite slow and mellow; The Standalone hew closer to the former, dropping the electric guitar for an [...]

    A Very Kidfolk Christmas Mix (A seasonal starter kit for hip moms and dads) — Cover Lay Down — November 25, 2011 @ 9:54 am

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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