December 12, 2010

Fuel/Friends 2010 Mix for a Wintry December

Christmas Mix 2010

Despite a somewhat peculiar lack of snow so far this December, I went ahead tonight and made myself a White Russian and felt very mysterious (like the kind of girl who makes herself White Russians on a quiet Sunday evening) and sifted through my favorite seasonal music by the twinkling tree for this year’s Christmasy/wintry mix.

As I say every year, and as we are reminded in every lonely drugstore and crowded mall, there is a colossal amount of craptastic holiday music that should never be played again, ever. Synthesizers, no. Chipmunks, no. Every year I wonder if I will be able to find enough good new songs to use for a complete mix of meaningful, pensive, spirited Christmas music. Every year find that with some searching and selective culling, I can.

This year’s mix ranges from the brand-new to quite-old melodies, but all are road tested by yours truly, and I hope they add a pleasing lilt to your holiday celebrations. Last month marked five years of Fuel/Friends, and this is a little year-end gift to you all. Thank you for reading and listening.

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Wheat
(new 2010 Christmas single)

It’s Christmas – Coconut Records (oh, Jason, I’ve missed ye)

You Are A Gift – Basia Bulat (from this free holiday sampler)

Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – R.E.M. (new 2010 Christmas single)

Snow Day – Matt Pond PA (Winter Songs EP)

It Doesn’t Feel Like Christmas (Sam Phillips) – Toad The Wet Sprocket (new for 2010!)

I Heard The Bells On Christmas – Pedro The Lion

O Holy Night – Benji Cossa (from this album)

White Christmas – Otis Redding

Listening to Otis Redding At Home During Christmas – Okkervil River

Just Like Christmas (Low) – Fanfarlo (from the 2009 NPR Tiny Desk Concert)

River (Joni Mitchell) – Rosie Thomas (also this might be my favorite winter song of hers, ever)

Happy Christmas (War is Over) – Teitur (Scandinavian singer covered Lennon last week for a Christmas youtube delight)

Tiny Tree Christmas – Guster (from that Target comp)

Snow Will Fall Tonight – Peter Bradley Adams (eastmountainsouth singer’s new song)

Christmas Is Coming Soon – Blitzen Trapper

The Snow Angel and The Icicle Sword – Ian McGlynn (fundraiser for ill Baby Jaq)

A Long December (Counting Crows) – John Craigie (free covers album)

It Came Upon A Midnight Clear – Laura Gibson

Only At Christmas Time – Sufjan Stevens

Fairytale of New York (Pogues) – Matthew And The Atlas (new for 2010!)

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – David Bazan
(live on Daytrotter)

Wanting And Regret – Jason Anderson (I love this part)

Winter Song – The Head and The Heart

I’ll Be Home for Christmas – Leif Vollebekk

Gonna Make It Through The Year – Great Lake Swimmers

This Will Be Our Year (Zombies) – The Mynabirds w/ J. Tom Hnatow (2010 Christmas single)

Auld Lang Syne – Kate & James Taylor (from this comp)

Silent Night – My Morning Jacket (live on WFPK)


PS – Hey, the last three years’ mixes are still online!

[top photo from Paris, via this blog]


  • Merry Christmas, Heather. I look forward to playing this mix tonight and throughout the rest of the Christmas season. Thanks for keeping us abreast of all the great music that is out there.

    Mike — December 13, 2010 @ 2:31 pm

  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by robert bruns, Eversilences. Eversilences said: Fuel/Friends 2010 Mix for a Wintry December: Despite a somewhat peculiar lack of snow so far this… (fuelfriends) [...]

    Tweets that mention Fuel/Friends 2010 Mix for a Wintry December | Fuel/Friends Music Blog -- — December 13, 2010 @ 2:49 pm

  • YAY! Have been playing the ’09 mix on repeat. New tunes!!

    Mark — December 13, 2010 @ 3:19 pm

  • Lovely mix! I’m definately going to use this to soundtrack my present wrapping next week!

    I also made a wintery one:

    Liam — December 13, 2010 @ 3:21 pm

  • Thank you, Heather. I love your holiday mixes. I’m passing this on to my friends. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    Matt — December 13, 2010 @ 3:25 pm

  • Thanks forth great seasonal mix!!,

    Sean Roper — December 13, 2010 @ 3:42 pm

  • Fantastic, thanks a lot, Heather!
    Nice to see Okkervil River on the list,I miss them as well as Jason S. “Coconut Records”, ha.

    I think you should have a listen to this great Canadian folk-roots trio called “The Good Lovelies” they put out a wonderful christmas album last year (and their first album is absolutely wonderful too btw) lovely voices!(The song “another year to wait” from their chistmas album is on their myspace I love it.
    Merry christmas to you :)

    Smady — December 13, 2010 @ 4:05 pm

  • Not a bad selection at all, but I’m a little disappointed that you didn’t include any hits from “the h is O featuring “Special” Guests.” The passion in the voices of the singers made me stop and truly consider the plight of Rudolph this year; and that is what Christmas is truly all about (that, and Jesus, but let’s not forget the Plight of Rudolph)

    M. Quizzle — December 13, 2010 @ 4:22 pm

  • mr. quizzle, how right you are. so so right, and now i feel woeful, neglectful, and repentant. i will add it onto my own “special” mix, and hold Rudolph in my heart all the year through.

    browneheather — December 13, 2010 @ 4:25 pm

  • [...] Fuel Friends back this year with another mix of awesomeness by [...]

    Gyozamonsta’s 4th Annual Free Holiday Music Roundup « …feet up on table, drink in hand… — December 13, 2010 @ 4:55 pm

  • As usual, you put together a great, eclectic mix! Thanks for sharing!

    Stephanie — December 13, 2010 @ 5:23 pm

  • There is nothing better during the Christmas season than hearing ‘White Christmas’ sung by Otis Redding. It is the music equivalent of getting the family together, watching Christmas movies, eating good food, laughing and opening presents.

    Adam — December 13, 2010 @ 5:49 pm

  • Yeah!

    Happy Christmas!

    Alanna — December 13, 2010 @ 5:49 pm

  • It is rare to see Fairytale of New York covered as the original is so defined by the Pogues. So I was not expecting much from that one. But Matthew and the Atlas do a decent job, and it’s interesting to hear another version.

    Jeff — December 13, 2010 @ 7:25 pm

  • This is fantastic. Thanks for doing this.

    I’d like to return the gift. I have a few holiday mixes from the past few years up here:

    Maybe something would be there that you’d enjoy. They don’t hold a candle to yours, though. Thank you so much.

    Happy holidays to you.

    Tom — December 13, 2010 @ 8:08 pm

  • [...] have yourself a merry little christmas. Need some modern Christmas/winter music to add to your rotation? Heather Browne has done it again. Dowload a kickass 28-song mix (fer FREE!) here. [...]

    have yourself a merry little christmas. | six words to change the world. — December 13, 2010 @ 8:10 pm

  • thanks heather! downloading now. very excited to burn this to cd and listen to it while cleaning my house. i’m also excited to see your best of 2010. i’ve had a busy year so i haven’t been able to spend as much time hunting down great music. i’m counting on you to tell me all the songs and bands i need to hunt down. just think, without your blog, i might not have known mumford & sons during my musical drought of 2010. good luck finding me something wonderful for 2011! (no pressure. if worst comes to worse, i’ve got a josh ritter bootleg that might hold me through the year.)

    ryan — December 14, 2010 @ 8:33 am

  • Awesome! I can’t wait to check out Matthew And The Atlas covering the Pogues classic. Is this an official release or a live cover? I’d listen myself, but 3/4 of the internet is blocked here at work.

    Gachevsky — December 14, 2010 @ 10:04 am

  • gachevsky, it was posted on their facebook last week…

    browneheather — December 14, 2010 @ 10:11 am

  • Great work. Thanks very much

    Ronan — December 14, 2010 @ 12:35 pm

  • bazan! so happy he made the list. that daytrotter session is wicked.

    Tyler — December 14, 2010 @ 3:31 pm

  • Best early birthday present. After a crappy day upon seeing this, everything is all good! Thanks Heather!

    Frankel — December 14, 2010 @ 3:40 pm

  • Ha – I was coming to your site to find the link to last year’s mix for a friend who loves the Felice Brothers song on it, and there’s this year’s mix on the front page! Thanks! (=

    Faith — December 14, 2010 @ 3:40 pm

  • How excited were you about getting a Toad xmas song?! When i got the email from Glen Phillips’ mailing list about a Toad Christmas song, I couldn’t believe it. After a few listens, I really really like it. It just puts me in a time machine and sends me back to the 90s.

    Eightiesologist — December 14, 2010 @ 5:19 pm

  • Yeah! New Christmas music! Better than socks!

    My favorite Christmas song might be Robert Earl Keen’s “Merry Christmas from the Family”, although Judy Garland’s “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” always makes me verklempt in a good way, so it’s a toss up.

    Merry Christmas!!!

    Anne V.

    Anne V. — December 14, 2010 @ 5:48 pm

  • Thanks for doing this every year, Heather – I get more excited waiting for your Christmas mix than I do waiting for Santa. And this one’s my favorite yet. Thank you!!

    Anna J — December 15, 2010 @ 9:23 am

  • Thanks for mentioning Peter Bradley Adams free Holiday song, Heather. What you’re doing to support quality music is much appreciated by us at Mishara Music.

    Linda B — December 15, 2010 @ 6:06 pm

  • Love the mix! Otis Redding is classic.

    Pete — December 15, 2010 @ 6:13 pm

  • Hey Heather – was wondering, what do you think of the new R.E.M. song?

    fjdelgado — December 16, 2010 @ 12:42 am

  • [...] Download This: Fuel/Friends Mix For A Wintry December [...]

    Hidden Track » Bloggy Goodness: Gorillaz Free Xmas Album — December 16, 2010 @ 6:12 am

  • [...] Download This: Fuel/Friends Mix For A Wintry December [...]

    Bloggy Goodness: Gorillaz Free Xmas Album | — December 16, 2010 @ 8:38 am

  • Wow that’s an outstanding list Heather – Thanks! I’m definitely going to check out your previous mixes too. Today we’ve been listening to a four disc vinyl set that my grandfather-in-law gave us a couple years ago (with several Glenn Miller numbers actually). And I’ve delightedly found myself humming Frosty The Snowman several times over the past couple weeks. Anyway, thanks again. Hope you’re having an excellent December.

    Dustin Edge — December 16, 2010 @ 11:15 am

  • Dang, this really is some fine stuff. I love you Heather.

    GeneReno — December 17, 2010 @ 8:58 am

  • Hello Heather, I’m a frequent viewer of the site, first time commenter (lol)…

    Anyways, I am really enjoying this mix for sure, but have you heard Mayer Hawthorne’s incredible version of “Christmas Time is Here”?…if not check it out, def gives you that classic warm & toasty Christmasy feeling.

    Keep doing what your doing classy lady…cheers.

    Mark Twain Fame (MTF) — December 17, 2010 @ 9:11 am

  • Have you heard Fitz and the Tantrums’ Santa Stole My Lady? Super cool!

    Thanks for the tunes! Party at my house on Thursday night if you’re around…

    JJ — December 17, 2010 @ 3:18 pm

  • Heather,

    Thanks for this swell mix. My wife is a christmas music junkie so she was pleased to hear me playing this the other day. I also want to thank you for introducing me to so much terrific music. I used to be much more in tune before I had kids, so I don’t get inundated the way I did before. We make a holiday mix for friends each year and this year two songs you introduced me to (Coco et Co and Down in the Valley by Head and the Heart) made our cut. I expect these tunes (and hopefully the others) will bring much joy to our friends and family.

    Jim D

    Jim Doherty — December 18, 2010 @ 6:40 pm

  • Really great mix. Loved the Otis Redding especially (go figure. I’m a Memphis girl who sure loves the STAX legacy). Happy Holidays to my favorite music blog!!

    Barbara — December 19, 2010 @ 12:46 am

  • Had a swell noel afternoon listening to this and doing the tree – another peerless selection of Christmas spirit grooves.

    russell — December 19, 2010 @ 12:10 pm

  • [...] listened to Christmas carols – modern and traditional [...]

    Christmas-ing « Off We Go — December 21, 2010 @ 8:11 am

  • I have been downloading your mixes for the last four years. They are always such a great collection of tunes. The Toad The Wet Sprocket find was a great surprise this year. Thanks for the effort and the curation. Merry Christmas!

    Todd — December 24, 2010 @ 12:04 am

  • [...] Laura Gibson – “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear” (Fuel/Friend 2010 Mix for a Wintry December) [...]

    Christmas Mix 2010 « The Muse In Music — December 24, 2010 @ 2:44 pm

Comments RSS

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Subscribe to this tasty feed.
I tweet things. It's amazing.

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.

View all Interviews → View all Shows I've Seen →