Monday, December 31, 2007

Sound Of My Mind

Here is my 25 song playlist of my favorite songs of 2007, which I call "Sound Of My Mind". The mix title comes from the Shake Some Action! song "Sound Of Your Mind" (the first song selected for the playlist). Songs were added and dropped over the course of the year, and this is a snapshot as of 12/31/2007.  It really did all year to compile.

All the songs start with the letter S, which started out as a coincidence, but then I decided to only include songs that started with S. This left out a lot of my favorite albums of the year (Spoon, Springsteen, Rogue Wave, New Pornographers) that didn't have songs that started with S, but I usually don't have a lot of overlap between "favorite albums" and "favorite songs" every year.

I chose 25 songs so everything would fit in a 5x5 iTunes mosaic collage like the one below. To print the cover from iTunes, just do a File->Print with a theme of "Mosaic".  It's available as a two part download, but it's only 79 minutes long so it burns easily on a CDR. The 18 tracks available on emusic are also included on an emusic mix, for subscribers who want to hear more. 

Not to blow my own horn, but I've listened to all these songs a bunch of times and they're all really good, so everyone should find something to enjoy here.  I've included artist and youtube/mp3 song links in the tracklist. And away we go!

1. Sound of Summer - Art Brut
2. Sunday Sounds - Apples In Stereo
3. Staring At The Sun - Anton Barbeau
4. So It Goes - The Broken West
5. Somebody Changed - The Clientele
6. She Called Up - Crowded House
7. She Can Do What She Wants - Field Music
8. Strapped for Cash - Fountains of Wayne
9. She Knows - The Holy Fields
10. Shim Sham - Imperial Teen
11. Shadowplay - The Killers
12. Sons Of Cain - Ted Leo / Pharmacists
13. Stuck In The Middle - Mika
14. Start A War - The National
15. Ships - New Ruins
16. She's A Rejecter - Of Montreal
17. Send Me A Letter - The Pearlfishers
18. Sunsets - The Primary 5
19. She's Going Down - The Red Button
20. She's So Lovely - Scouting For Girls
21. Sound Of Your Mind - Shake Some Action!
22. Spilt Needles - The Shins
23. See Me In My Dreams - Silver Sun
24. Sudden Crown Drop - Mitch Easter
25. Steven - Voxtrot

Download: Part1, Part2

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Patriot Games

Last night the New England Patriots beat the NY Giants 38-35 to wrap up the first 16-0 regular season in NFL history.

I was torn about the Pats pursuit of an unbeaten season. On one hand, I usually cheer for athletes and teams going after all-time records, New England is a fun football team to watch, and I'm glad someone finally shut up the 1972 Dolphins. On the other hand, New England has had enough sports success this year (the Red Sox, the Celtics, the BC Eagles, even the Revolution made it to the MLS Cup finals), so it would be nice for the area and their insufferable fans to finally get a dose of humility. There are few things worse that Boston sports fans when their teams are doing well, and one of them is Boston sports fans when their teams aren't doing well.

The Patriots still need to win three more games (two playoff games and the Super Bowl) to go through the entire year undefeated. They could still get knocked off in the postseason, because the AFC isn't a cakewalk this year, but they look pretty invincible, so it's going to take a top effort for someone to beat them. Still there's a big difference between 16-0 and 19-0.

The Pats took the lead last night on a touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Randy Moss that set single season records for both of them. It was Brady's 50th TD pass (breaking Peyton Manning's record of 49) and Moss's 23rd TD catch (breaking Jerry Rice's record of 22). I don't have strong feelings one way or the other about Brady breaking Manning's record, but Randy Moss having the single season TD catch record is Just Wrong!

Jerry Rice had his 22 catches in 12 games during the strike-shortened 1987 season, and would have had 30 if he'd played those four extra games since he was averaging two TDs a game. Jerry Rice is the greatest wide receiver in the history of the NFL, and Moss isn't worthy to lick the sweat off Rice's headband. I was hoping that Brady would throw his record breaking TD pass to someone else. Randy Moss is having a really good year, and 23 touchdowns is an accomplishment in any number of games, but this more or less proves that he was dogging it during his two years with the Raiders. The great Jerry Rice never dogged it!

Last night's game was supposed to be on the NFL network, but the league caved in at the last moment and allowed it to be simulcast on two networks (NBC and CBS). Earlier this year, the NFL scheduled some top-level games to be on their NFL network, hoping to strong-arm cable systems to include the channel in their basic package. They then started this propaganda campaign to rally fans against "Big Cable" when it was "Big Football" that took the games off free broadcast television in the first place, hoping to fatten their own revenues. I don't get the NFL network on my cable, and probably wouldn't pay extra for it, so it was nice to have this game on free TV, the way God and Pete Rozelle intended it to be.

So far I'm getting clobbered in my college bowl picks. The lower-end bowls are a total crapshoot, and my time-tested strategy of picking against teams from "Big" conferences (Big 10, Big 12, Big East) hasn't worked out this year. I'm picking at 50% so far, which is no better than flipping the proverbial coin. Hopefully my picks will get better as the bowl season progresses.

Coming Tomorrow: The year in music and my long awaited Best of 2007 mix.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

2007: The Year In Film

My five favorite movies of 2007.

1. Once
2. Knocked Up
3. Control
4. I'm Not There
5. The Simpsons Movie

These were the only five movies I saw this year.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Shake Some Action

One of my best Christmas gifts this year was John Borack's book "Shake Some Action: Ultimate Guide to Cultural Leanings of Glorious Nation of Powerpopistan" recently published by the Powerpopistan propaganda ministry at Not Lame.

In the book, Borack and fellow Powerpopistanis like David Bash (War Minister for Overthrow of International Pop), Bruce Bodeen (Health Minister in charge of Insanity through the Greatness of Powerpop) , and Anna Borg (Token Female Minister to Balance the Boys Club) explain the benefits of their most glorious nation. One necessary trait for spreading the gospel of the B bands (Beatles, Beach Boys, Badfinger, Big Star) is having a last name that begins with the letter B, the most sacred of letters in Powerpopistan.

The central point of the book is made up of Borack's list of the 200 Most Glorious Albums of Powerpopistan. Here is the top Twenty.

1 - Raspberries - Starting Over
2 - Big Star - #1 Record/Radio City
3 - Shoes - Present Tense/Tongue Twister
4 - Cheap Trick - In Color
5 - 20/20 - 20/20/Look Out!
6 - Chris Von Sneidern - Big White Lies
7 - Tommy Keene - Songs From The Film
8 - The Orange Humble Band - Assorted Creams
9 - Adam Schmitt - World So Bright
10 - The Beat - The Beat
11 - DM3 - Road To Rome
12 - The Toms - The Toms
13 - Badfinger - Wish You Were Here
14 - Matthew Sweet - Girlfriend
15 - The Someloves - Something or Other
16 - Game Theory - Big Shot Chronicles
17 - Nick Lowe - 16 All-Time Lowes
18 - Marshall Crenshaw - Marshall Crenshaw
19 - Material Issue - Freak City Soundtrack
20 - Fountains of Wayne - Welcome Interstate Managers

Firstly, it is nice to see Game Theory getting some love in Powerpopistan (the Loud Family also made the top 200). Nextly, the proliferation of compilations (16 All-Time Lowes) and two-fers (#1 Record/Radio City) could be seen as an act of aggression against those who pedantically define albums as "Long-playing studio recordings which are not compilations". My main beef is that the album for which the book is named did not manage to crack the top twenty (SSA came in at #23). Still, I own all of these recordings and they are all worth owning. Except maybe Material Issue. Jim Ellison was a martyr to the Powerpopistan cause, but that record should be much lower on the list, if it should be there at all.

We will end with six different versions of that glorious Powerpopistan anthem about the shaking of some action, so that we may all bust out at full speed. I think that this is all we'll need to make it alright.

1. The Flamin' Groovies - Shake Some Action
2. The Rubinoos - Shake Some Action
3. Tommy Keene - Shake Some Action
4. Cracker - Shake Some Action
5. Jamie Clarke - Shake Some Action
6. Mood Six - Shake Some Action

Thursday, December 27, 2007

December Deadshares

Most of the Christmas songs I blogged about this month were uploaded to divshare, a company that apparently put their domain for sale awhile ago. I'm not sure how long these songs will be available, so grab 'em while they are. Here are the 24 songs (not counting the Anton Barbeau and Pledge Drive songs from their sites) ordered by popularity (number of times downloaded).
  1. Regular Einstein - 2000 Years Ago
  2. The dB's - Home For the Holidays
  3. Fleming & John - Winter Wonderland/Misty Mountain Hop
  4. Mr. Pathetic - You're All I Want For Christmas
  5. Bradley Skaught - Silver Bells
  6. Culturcide - Santa Claus Was My Lover
  7. E - Everything's Gonna Be Cool This Christmas
  8. Oy Vey City Rollers - Chanukah Nights
  9. Beach Boys - Little Saint Nick (alt)
  10. Wonderful World of Joey - What Sweet Child Of Mine Is This?
  11. Game Theory - Child's Christmas Saving The Whales
  12. Hip Replacements - Christmas is a Special Time Of Year
  13. John Wesley Harding - Talking Christmas Goodwill Blues
  14. The Kinks - Father Christmas
  15. Long Ryders - Christmas in New Zealand
  16. The Ventures - Sleigh Ride
  17. Ilene Weiss - His Initials
  18. NRBQ - Christmas Wish
  19. Shakin' Stevens - Merry Christmas Everyone
  20. Paul Kelly - How To Make Gravy
  21. They Might Be Giants - Santa Claus
  22. XTC - Always Winter But Never Christmas
  23. Yo La Tengo - It's Christmas Time
  24. Zed Leppo - Led Bells
More Holiday leftovers:
-Stereogum has a new Christmas song by Belle & Sebastian.
-And another big batch of free mp3s here.
-This song from Blitzen Trapper is also really good.
-Sufjan Stevens has two Christmas songs for download from Asthmatic Kitty.
-Stew's "It's Christmas Again" is available from his site this month.
-Two holiday tunes by Testa Rosa and the New Pornographers posted to the Architectural Dance Society on Christmas Day.
-This year's U.K. Christmas #1 "When You Believe" by Leon Jackson. From the X-Factor TV show (the European version of American Idol, which was a U.S. copy of Pop Idol).
-The U.S. Christmas #1 is "No One" by Alicia Keys. Only slightly better, but ..USA! USA!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The last day of Hot Roxmas

For the 26th (and final) day of Hot Roxmas, here's "Yuletide Zeppelin" by mojochronic. Led Zeppelin mashed up for the holidays.

This is available for download, with many other holiday mashups, on djBC's Santastic III compilation. There's also a sequel mix "Yuletide Zeppelin II" available as a bonus track, with the same treatment to other/different Zeppelin songs. A few other Santastic III mashups are worth a download for some holiday fun, like "Velvet Santa" (Jackson 5's "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" meets VU's "Waiting For the Man"), "You Shook Me All Noel" (AC/DC meets Xmas), and "Safety Bells" ("Carol Of The Bells" meets "Safety Dance").

For those who enjoy this sort of thing, there are two earlier volumes of Santastic mash-ups, Santastic: Holiday Boots 4 Your Stockings and Santastic II: Clausome, in a similar vein. They're kind of hit and miss, but worth a few megabytes of storage. I think the Zeppelin Xmas thing was done earlier and more economically in this piece by the mysterious Zed Leppo. "Led Bells" is "Yuletide Zeppelin" whittled down to a radio-friendly two minutes.

Zed Leppo - Led Bells

And with that, my work here is done! I hope you've all enjoyed the days of Hot Roxmas as much as I've enjoyed sharing them. Back to regular non-holiday programming tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The twenty-fifth day of Hot Roxmas

Today is Christmas Day, the 25th of December, so I hope everyone is having a Merry one wherever they are. It's also the 25th day of Hot Roxmas, corresponding to the 25th letter of the alphabet, which is Y. Back in 2002, Yo La Tengo put out a three-song Christmas EP through their fanclub and website. All three songs were covers, with each member of the band taking a turn at lead vocals.

None of the songs are well known and they range from fun (Jan Terri's "Rock & Roll Santa" sung by Georgia) to strange (Ira's take on "Santa Claus Goes Modern" from the American Song-Poem Christmas). The pick of the three, and only song I've managed to include on a Christmas mix is Sun Ra's "It's Christmas Time", which was a non-hit for his doo wop group the Qualities in 1956 . It has lead vocals by James McNew, who doesn't sing very often for YLT, and it's a really nice performance. I also included the original version on last year's mix.

It's Christmas time, It's Christmas time
Let's all bring good cheer
To all our friends and neighbors
Both far away and near
Far away and near

Yo La Tengo - It's Christmas Time

Monday, December 24, 2007

The twenty-fourth day of Hot Roxmas

For the Twenty-fourth day of Hot Roxmas, here's a Partridge in a pear tree. From a November 10 1983 Virgin Records Press Release.

Virgin enters into the festive spirit with this seasonal offering, "Thanks for Christmas" by The Three Wise Men. The song was penned by well-known writing team Kaspar/Melchior/Balthazar, the Far East's answer to Holland/Dozier/Holland. Production was by The Three Wise Men and the Good Lord himself.

Not surprisingly, the release hits the decks shrouded in mystery, intrigue and much speculation. The ‘What's On In Bethlehem’-style sleeve may well proclaim ‘The Three Wise Men’, but this non-de-plume cunningly conceals the identity of one of Virgin's top pop groups! Not that we're telling you which band. Could it be Culture Club, Human League, Heaven 17, China Crisis or even Slapp Happy? Over to you! Just good clean Virgin fun to keep you guessing right into the New Year. It's certainly countdown to Christmas party time. Cheers!

Virgin tried to keep the identity of the "Three Wise Men" a secret, but anyone who heard more than a few seconds of the song could easily identify who they were. "Thanks For Christmas" and its B-side "Countdown to Christmas Party Time" were later reissued on 1990's Rag & Bone Buffet compilation (under the pseudonym XTC), and has appeared on a few Christmas compilations. "Thanks" was covered by Darlene Love on her recent Christmas album It's Christmas, Of Course, but the original version is not currently in-print anywhere, at least legally. Here are the A and B sides of the single courtest of the Riverfront Times (which doesn't seem to allow deep-linking.. grab them from the link above).

Three Wise Men (aka XTC)
Thanks For Christmas / Countdown to Christmas Party Time

That Riverfront Times blog entry has another famous "lost" Christmas song, Squeeze's "Christmas Day". "Countdown to Christmas" joins "Listen, the Snow Is Falling" (Yoko's b-side to "Happy Xmas (War is Over)") and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reggae" (Macca's b-side to "Wonderful Christmastime") in the parade of lesser-known B-sides.

XTC has another Christmas rarity "Always Winter But Never Christmas", an Andy Partridge demo from the B-side of the "Peter Pumpkinhead" single. Here's that one.

XTC - Always Winter But Never Christmas

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The twenty-third day of Hot Roxmas

The 23rd day of Hot Roxmas is also the first and only day of Festivus, so now it's time for the airing of grievances. "I got a lot of problems with you people!" Not with "you people", but with some other people. People who write and record Long Christmas Songs. There is No Reason why a Christmas single should be five minutes or more. If your Christmas single is getting too long, it's time to cut a few verses. Here are some of the main offenders.

1. The Waitresses - Christmas Wrapping (5:31)
2. Band Aid - Do They Know It's Christmas (4:31)
3. Wham! - Last Christmas (4:37)
4. Wizzard - I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday (4:50)

I've considered all these songs (well, some of them) for my holiday mixes over the years, but haven't included any of them. Because they are too long. When you want to cram 25-30 songs on an 80 minute CDR, the five minute songs are always the ones that don't make it.

There's a blog dedicated to documenting all the known versions of "Last Christmas". They have 314 versions, or 22 hours, 14 minutes, and 36 seconds worth of "Last Christmas". Almost enough for "24 Hours of 'Last Christmas'" with no duplicates.

What I do like is Christmas parodies. Especially lounge parodies of metal and grunge songs. That's perpetually funny! Like Wonderful World Of Joey's "What Sweet Child Of Mine Is This?" Greensleeves meets GnR. This came out nearly ten years ago (same year as the Seinfeld "Festivus" episode), and will remain novel and timely until Chinese Democracy is released. Possibly the greatest Christmas parody ever (besides "Xmas Rhapsody"), and it's less than four minutes long.

Wonderful World Of Joey - What Sweet Child Of Mine Is This?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The twenty-second day of Hot Roxmas

Working through the alphabet, the next letter would be U, but I did two S songs, so I'm skipping to V, so I can wrap all 26 days by Boxing Day.

The Ventures were just inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, along with Madonna, John (Cougar) Mellencamp, Leonard Cohen and the Dave Clark Five. I'm not going to debate the merits of these acts individually, but that's going to be one heck of a post-ceremony jam session!If the DC5 are in the hall, then the Hollies and the Zombies have to be a lock. And if JCM is in, then Graham Parker has to be a lock. And if Madonna is in, then .. I'm sorry but the whole concept of the "Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame" is nothing but a silly joke!

But anyone who says the Ventures don't belong doesn't know what they're talking about. A 50 year career with more than 90 million records sold. The most influential instrumental band of the rock era. The best thing about being an instrumental band, sales-wise, is that your records become popular all over the world -- "Walk, Don't Run" rocks in every language!

The Ventures 1965 Christmas album is one of their most popular ones, probably a big part of the 90 million records they've sold. Their arrangement of "Sleigh Ride" still gets mall and radio airplay during the festive season, and the song fits the Ventures sound really well. Most of the songs on the Los Straitjackets Christmas album (including "Sleigh Ride") were cribbed note-for-note from the Ventures arrangements. When you're doing rock/surf instrumental versions of Christmas songs, there's only one way to play them correctly. I can already hear those guitars jingling and ring-ting-tingling too, so it's time go on a two minute and twenty second sleigh ride!

The Ventures - Sleigh Ride

Friday, December 21, 2007

The twenty-first day of Hot Roxmas

TMBG released their Holidayland ep in 2001 with five holiday songs they'd previously released: "Santa's Beard" from 1988's Lincoln album, Mono Puff's "Careless Santa", "O Tannenbaum" from a 1993 ep, and a couple of songs from emusic's TMBG Unlimited service ("Santa Claus" and "Feast of Lights").

I've managed to include all these TMBG songs on Christmas mixes over the years, but "Santa Claus" is my favorite of the batch. It's a song originally done by the Sonics in 1966 (the original version is here) that TMBG covered in their first TMBG Unlimited ep in early 2001. It was probably the rarest song on Holidayland, and the only one that isn't on any other albums.

The Sonics were from Tacoma, WA (hometown of Bing Crosby and yesterday's artist), and were performing rocking Christmas originals like "Santa Claus" and "Don't Believe In Christmas" long before it was fashionable. These two songs were released on Etiquette's 1966 Merry Christmas compilation along with other holiday songs by the Sonics labelmates (and fellow Tacomans) the Wailers and the Galaxies . That album, as well as Christmas albums by the Ventures and Paul Revere & the Raiders, made the Pacific Northwest the rock 'n' roll holiday hub of the mid-1960s.

They Might Be Giants - Santa Claus

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The twentieth day of Hot Roxmas

When I originally plotted my course for the days of Hot Roxmas, I had this week slated for "holiday songs by people I know": Doubtful Palace followed by Regular Einstein followed by. Shakin' Stevens, who I don't actually know, even though I'm sure he's a pretty nice guy.

Now back to "songs by people I know". Shaky Steve's position in the sequence was originally supposed to include a spare solo version of "Silver Bells" that Bradley Skaught recorded many years ago, and I included 1997 Christmas mix. I didn't get the artistic clearance to repost that recording here in time for yesterday, but Bradley offered to record a new version, and sent it out late last night, just in time for the 20th day of Hot Roxmas.

Here's B's new and improved "Silver Bells (2007)", a wonderful song that is sadly underexposed as Christmas songs go. This version features his wife on backing vocals, so it's kind of like the retake of "It Gives Me Chills" from Game Theory's Distortion of Glory cd (or the What If It Works? version of "Total Mass Destruction". I think that's more apt!).

Many thanks to Bradley for another "song on demand". All I want for 2008 is a new Bye Bye Blackbirds album. And maybe another BBBs show with Scott Miller -- the B&G wedding show at the Plough was my favorite concert of 2007. By far!

Bradley Skaught - Silver Bells (2007)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The nineteenth day of Hot Roxmas

Dan Fogelberg's "Same Old Lang Syne" is apparently played "a zillion times" every year during the holiday season, but I don't remember hearing it before this week. I was living overseas during the early 1980s, so I missed out on lots of U.S. radio hits during that time. But I was exposed to lots of international holiday hits that were completely unknown over here. Songs like this one.

That's "Merry Christmas Everyone" by Shakin' Stevens, Britain's Christmas #1 from 1985. I always confuse this song with Slade's "Merry Christmas Everybody", Britain's Christmas #1 from 1973 (covered by R.E.M. in 2007). Their titles are quite similar, and that Slade song also isn't that well known over here. At least Slade themselves are well known in the US (from "Run Runaway" or their Quiet Riot songs). Most Americans think Shakin' Stevens is either the guy who replaced Casey Kasem on American Top 40 or that guy who's doing an album for each of the 50 states. In the UK and Europe, "Shaky" is an institution the top selling male UK singles artist of the 1980s, according to wikipedia, with 33 top 40 singles and one Christmas #1. He's way more famous than Sufjan. Or "Surfin' Stevens" as I used to call him.

Anyone who's seen the movie Love Actually should understand the importance of having a "Christmas Number One" in the UK. It's taken really seriously! The Pogues' "Fairytale of New York" (featuring Kirsty MacColl) was just reissued as a single, with hopes that it would be the Christmas #1. "Fairytale" lost out to the Pet Shop Boys 20 years ago, and faces tough competition this year from (faux Kirsty) Katie Melua and X-Factor winner Leon Jackson, among others.

The latest UK singles chart has Katie at #1, "Fairytale of New York" at #8, and lots of holiday chestnuts in the lower reaches of the top 40. Slade's "Merry Christmas Everybody" and Shaky's "Merry Christmas Everyone" are side by side at 22 and 23, and Wizzard's "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday" (which lost the Xmas #1 to Slade in 1973) even higher at #16.

Why the UK singles charts are infinitely cooler than Billboard's Hot 100 -- Roy Wood has a UK top twenty hit in 2007!

Shakin' Stevens - Merry Christmas Everyone (link removed)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The eighteenth day of Hot Roxmas

Biblical scholars have always argued about the actual date that Jesus was born. Popular myth puts his birth on December 25th in the year 1 C.E., which is obviously not true if the gospels are based on fact (shepherds tending their flock). The December date was just the church co-opting the pagan holiday of Saturnalia.

The year of Jesus birth was determined by Dionysius Exiguus in the 5th century CE, based on his 30th year corresponding to the 15th year of Tiberius reign. This would put Jesus' birth in the 28th year of Augustus reign, so Dionysius Exiguus declared that year (754 AUC) as 1 AD. But Luke also claims that Jesus was born during the reign of King Herod, who died in 750AUC. Which puts his birth at 3BC. And he was likely born during the harvest, since Mary came to the Temple for purification 40 days after his birth, according to Luke. Scholars estimate his exact birthdate as September 11, 3 BC.

2000 years later, Regular Einstein, a band from New York with a web site, wrote a song called "2000 Years Ago", about the birth of Jesus. This song appeared to me in a cassette that Ms. Einstein sent me in the year 1998. The first part of the cassette is a live performance by Regular Einstein, which the writing on the tape shows as happening 2/11/98. Two studio demos, "2000 Years Ago" and "Cages" were added to fill the blank space at the end of the cassette. These demos are likely from that same late 20th century time period corresponding to the second presidential term of W.J. Clinton.

I enjoyed the live performance, but was completely smitten by the demos, especially "2000 Years Ago" and asked Ms. E if I could include it on my 1998 Christmas mix. It isn't a Christmas song per se, but it references he whose birth is celebrated at Christmas, so I think it's seasonally appropriate. And if Jesus was born on 9/11/3BC, then his true 2000th birthday was in 1998CE, so the song was also historically appropriate. Plus it rocks!

Even though Jesus really was born 2000 years before "2000 Years Ago", the song didn't make the cut on the next Regular Einstein album, and the album wasn't even "released", so it ended up as an outtake from an album that never came out. One of many lost songs from the late 20th century, here it is as a 21st century mp3. Thanks be to Paula for letting me re-share it. Her solo album is now on emusic, and someday Regular Einstein will earn their rightful place on the digital frontier.

Regular Einstein - 2000 Years Ago

Monday, December 17, 2007

The seventeenth day of Hot Roqmas

This list of Christmas songs has been working through the alphabet as the days of December go by. Today is the letter Q, which is a tough for any alphabetical mix, especially a Christmas one. I put "It's Christmas Time" by the Qualities (Sun Ra's mid 50s doo-wop group) on last year's mix, and there's always Queen's "Thank God, It's Christmas", but for the most part, Q artists don't do Xmas.

Which is forcing me to do a bit of stretching. Tim Walters (through his various guises as Circular Firing Squad, Conjure Wife, Damnation Army, Mercaptan, Pledge Drive, Shalmaneser, and SLAW) has been a fixture on my Christmas mixes for almost as long as I've been doing them. After I put out a call for original holiday tunes in late 1999, he sent me a CD-R with seven original Christmas tracks, corresponding to the years 1993-1999 on this list. Since then, I've included a bunch of tracks by Tim and his corporate cohorts on my annual Christmas mixes. They're the one responsible for "Chanukah Nights", "Grinch Grinch Baby", "The Christmas Rush", the Perry Como-Black Sabbath "God Rest" mashup, and many others.

The crown jewel in the Doubtful Palace holiday lineup is 2003's "Christmas Rhapsody". For anyone who hasn't heard this or doesn't remember it, this is "Bohemian Rhapsody" dressed up in holiday style, so it's appropriate for the letter Q and the 17th day, and should be in heavy radio rotation during the holidays. I included it on my 2004 holiday mix (it was released too late for my 2003 mix, and didn't match the theme), and here's the mp3 from

Pledge Drive - Christmas Rhapsody

If you like this, there are fourteen more years of holiday tracks (some of them are not "songs" in the traditional sense) available for download here. Keep the link bookmarked for next year!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The sixteenth day of Hot Roxmas

A few days after "Christmas In New Zealand", it's time for Christmas in the island continent to the west. It's Paul Kelly, with his Australian holiday favorite "How To Make Gravy".

It's the story of an inmate calling home a few days before Christmas. He's a little sad that he's going to miss holidays with the family, and worried about who's going to make the damn gravy. Here's the secret recipe that he gives for them to follow.

Who's gonna make the gravy now?
I bet it won't taste the same
Just add flour, salt, a little red wine
And don't forget a dollop of tomato sauce
For sweetness and that extra tang

They're making a "Christmas roast" in the song, so maybe the recipe is different, but you should never ever need to add salt to turkey gravy. Ideal turkey roasting with moist meat and crispy skin needs a dry rub. The perfect rub is five parts Lawry's seasoned salt, one part pepper, and one part dried herbs (the four mentioned in that Simon & Garfunkel song)

This keeps the moisture inside the bird but the drippings end up tasting like the Dead Sea, so making the gravy becomes a constant struggle to reduce the saltiness. There's no need to add salt, but adding red wine and a dollop of tomato sauce does a great job of keeping the salt in check, as well as adding sweetness and that extra tang.

Paul Kelly - How To Make Gravy

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The fifteenth day of Hot Roxmas

Problem: There aren't enough Chanukah songs this time of year.
There aren't enough Bay City Rollers covers, any time of year.

Solution: Chanukah Nights by The Oy Vey City Rollers

Friday, December 14, 2007

The fourteenth day of Hot Roxmas

NRBQ's "Christmas Wish" started its life as a 1980 single (b/w "Jolly Old St. Nicholas"). In 1986, the band spotlighted it again on an eight track fan club EP called Christmas Wish. In 1997, this EP was reissued on CD with a few bonus tracks, and a few months ago, it was reissued again with eleven bonus tracks (19 in all). The latest version is Christmas Wish (Deluxe Edition), but through all these reissues, the highlight is still its title track, the 1980 "Christmas Wish" single.

I've been a huge fan of the Q since I saw them open for R.E.M. in late 1989. It was a few days after the Loma Prieta quake, and they opened their set with "Shake, Rattle, and Roll". That performance at Shoreline in Mountain View was captured by the closed circuit cameras at the venue (so folks on the lawn and at the concession stands can still watch the show), and came out a few years ago on DVD, so I can relive that concert experience whenever I want.

"Christmas Wish" has been on a few holiday compilations and was covered by Darlene Love this year on her new most excellent Christmas album, so it's not totally obscure, but still not as well known as it should be. It was included on one of my earlier Christmas mix tapes (1997), and here it is again on the fourteenth day of Hot Roxmas, in the time of the year when all good things come true.

NRBQ - Christmas Wish

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Exhuming Cody McKay

"I have, in my hand, a list of no fewer than 53 baseball players listed on the Mitchell Report as purchasers of Performance Enhancing Substances."

Most of them former players, but there are a handful of notables, such as

Roger Clemens
Andy Pettitte
Eric Gagne
Matt Herges
David Justice
Paul Lo Duca
Miguel Tejada (not Miggy!)
Jack Cust (say it ain't so!)

And a few notables not listed like all three guys who hit 60+ home runs over the last ten years (Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire). This must mean that those guys are completely clean and Barry's federal indictment is unfounded. But Clemens, Pettitte, LoDoucha, and a parade of lesser knowns, are going down. All in all, $20 million well spent for Major League Baseball. Heckuva job, Selig!

The 12XUth day of Hot Roxmas

Sometimes people ask me why that Monkey Typing Pool dude hasn't recorded any Christmas songs. I don't know, I guess he just hates the holidays.

When he posted a new non-Xmas tune yesterday, I just had to call him on his holiday hating ways, so he followed up today with his cover of the Wire holiday favorite "12 Xmas U" (from their rarer than rare Christmas album My God, You're So Gifted).

Here it is, straight off the ... wire.

Monkey Typing Pool - 12 Xmas U

I don't know if "Monkey Typing Pool" should come before or after "Mr. Pathetic" in my list of holiday songs (is Mr. alphabetized as "Mister" or as its abbreviation "Mr"?), but it's so obvious (ha) that "12 Xmas U" should have been posted on yesterday's twelfth day of Hot Roxmas.
I should have known better.

The thirteenth day of Hot Roxmas

I was thinking of posting "On The Thirteenth Day" by the Monochrome Set for the thirteenth day of Hot Roxmas, since it's both numerically and alphabetically appropriate, plus I was able to pass it off as a Christmas song last year on my 2006 "Snowflake Schema" mix, but I decided to go with another holiday song on request from the old days.

Shortly after I put out a general call for original Christmas songs in late 1999, Mr. Pathetic sent me a URL to an mp of "You're All I Want For Christmas". My first thought upon receiving it (after "this is pretty cool") is "how the hell do I get this mp3 on my mix tape?". I was aware of mp3s back then, and knew how to play them on the computer, but didn't have a clue how to transfer them from computer to auxiliary audio. I didn't have a CD burner, so the only option was to plug a line out into the speaker jack and try to record it that way. Whatever I tried didn't work, so I think I ended up asking Mr. P for a CD-R or tape of the song. Just a reminder of how far technology has progressed over the last eight years. Nowadays mp3s are second nature to everyone -- even my dad knows what to do with them!

Here is that same mp3 that Mr. Pathetic sent out eight years ago, transferred from my old computer to my current one, but still as pristine as it ever was. A very cool song that I'm pleased to share with everyone. Puffball spores exploding on a bed of burning wreaths.

Mr. Pathetic - You're All I Want For Christmas

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The twelfth day of Hot Roxmas

There aren't that many holiday songs about the Antipodean Christmas experience. South of the equator, Christmas comes in the Summertime, so there isn't any snow or chestnuts roasting on an open fire, and it's a long haul for Santa's sleigh from the North Pole, but they still try to maintain Northern Hemisphere Christmas traditions. I spent a few Christmases in the tropics, and there are few things more incongruous than looking at Christmas trees and fake snow when it's 85 degrees outside.

Who would be more qualified to explore a Kiwi Christmas than an American roots rock band based in the UK. The Long Ryders were somehow lumped in with the L.A. paisley underground scene, but they were closer to what would later be called "alt-country". "Christmas in New Zealand" was a flexi that the Ryders recorded in 1985 (hence the references to "feed the world" and Samantha Fox coloring books) and sold at shows. My favorite part of the song is the "Jingle Bells" piano fill at about 1:50 that morphs in to "In the Doledrums" by the Chills (notable Kiwi band of that era).

This has got to be the definitive NZ Christmas song, at least until the inevitable holiday offering by New Zealand's fourth most popular guitar-based comedy folk duo.

The Long Ryders - Christmas in New Zealand

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The eleventh day of Hot Roxmas

For the eleventh day, I'm torn between two longtime favorites that are both celebrating decimal anniversaries (multiples of ten) this year. So I'm throwing the final decision to You the people in a blog poll. A "Tuesday tube off", if you will, but that sounds kind of kinky.

Which is only appropriate, because in this corner, from 1977, we have "Father Christmas" by the Kinks. One of their best songs ever, Christmas or otherwise. Don't judge a song by the quality of its video.

And in this corner, from 1987, we have Kirsty MacColl & the Pogues with "Fairytale of New York". The song is usually listed with the Pogues as the primary artist (since it was on their album), but can you imagine this song without Kirsty? The Pogues are still performing it without her, but there isn't much point.

Update: The poll is now closed.
And the runaway winner, with a tally of 7 votes to 1 is.

The Kinks - Father Christmas

Thanks to all the voters. I think the one vote for "Fairytale of New York" was mine (the one I used to test the web poll) so actual voters went for "Father Christmas" by a 7-0 margin.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The tenth day of Hot Roxmas

"Talking Christmas Goodwill Blues" is on God Made Me Do It: The Christmas EP, John Wesley Harding's first release for Sire Records in late 1989. It's a Christmas song in the Guthrie/early Dylan "talking blues" style, about the exact opposite of what was popular in 1989. His given name was Wesley Harding Stace (or Wes, as he's called in the first verse), and he adapted John Wesley Harding as a stage name from the 1967 Bob Dylan album.

Working in an early-Dylan style with a Dylanesque stage name gave JWH two strikes out of the box for many people, but the undeniable charm of the song won over most of the gangsta folk haters. The first time I heard the song was when he played it live in a promo appearance on SF's Live 105 a few days before Christmas 1989. I was driving down to my dad's house in Southern California, and was stuck in holiday traffic the edge of Live 105's signal range south of San Jose. I was won over from the opening stanza: "Christmas comes but once a year/364 days to get your ass in gear. He's a sucker, he's a fool/The man who don't revere the yule".

I remembered hoping the traffic wouldn't clear up so I didn't lose the signal before the song ended. It didn't, and Wes followed "Talking Christmas" up with a version of Depeche Mode's (brand new) "Personal Jesus" as (quoting) "Johnny Cash would do it". I was sure Wes would be banned from Live 105 forever for dissing the Mode, but the worked amazingly well in that style. Twelve years later, Johnny Cash actually did cover "Personal Jesus", on one of those Rick Rubin albums. That radio appearance was like a holiday visit from Nostradamus!

John Wesley Harding - Talking Christmas Goodwill Blues

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The ninth day of Hot Roxmas

From the Gospel According to St. Luke, Chapter 1, verses 26-35
(King James version, 1611)

And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth. To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, "Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women." And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, "Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus." Then said Mary unto the angel, "How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?" And the angel answered and said unto her, "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God."

From the liner notes to Weiss Christmas 1997.

Ilene Weiss has long been recognized for her uncanny ability to create and perform songs that convey her unique perspective on the state of the universe. With "Weiss Christmas," she turns her attention toward everything associated with Christmas.
One of Ilene Weiss's unique perspectives on the state of the universe is a story of the time between the immaculate conception and the virgin birth from Mary's point of view. I found Weiss Christmas in the Rasputin cheap bin, and "His Initials" was the song that stood out. I included it on my 2004 holiday mix "Smells Like Christmas Spirit", so it's about due for its triennial revival. This song is in the pole position (the first song you hear when you enter) on Ilene's myspace site this month.

Ilene Weiss - His Initials

Saturday, December 8, 2007

The eighth day of Hot Roxmas

The Hip Replacements is the nom du rock of occasional reader/commenter dgstan (some of you might also remember him as Nyquil Driver). The picture above is another band called "The Replacements", who this song "Christmas Is A Special Time Of Year" reminds me of. It sounds like one of their early tunes like "Treatment Bound", or maybe another song that didn't make the cut at the 'mats Hootenanny.

The first sounds you hear on the mp3 are a snippet of those other Replacements doing "White Christmas", because this recording was pulled directly from my 1999 epic holiday mix "When You Stop Believing in Santa Claus, You Start Receiving Clothes For Christmas", and is the first a series of Holiday Songs By People I Know. Christmas is that special time of year when we should all buy ourselves little gifts, in multiples of six.

The Hip Replacements - Christmas Is A Special Time Of Year

Friday, December 7, 2007

The seventh day of Hot Roxmas

Someone recently described Game Theory's "A Child's Christmas Saving The Whales" from their 1989 True Gamesters holiday tape as "an extremely silly rock opera". I don't think that's fair description of it. Maybe if it were an elaborate story about a Puerto Rican juvenile delinquent named Rael, who had to face a series of bizarre creatures and dangers in the New York City underground in order to rescue his brother, who turns out to be a manifestation of himself, then it would be an extremely silly rock opera. As an eight minute narrative about a little kid in Marin county finding the true meaning of Christmas after being saved from a whaling ship by rock superstar Stick, "A Child's Christmas Saving The Whales" is more like a skit.

The title comes from Dylan Thomas, by way of John Cale (I heard a version of Cale's "Child's Christmas in Wales" sung by Nico on KFJC the other day.. has anyone heard hat?) and features Michael Quercio as Denise (the boy), Gil Ray as Denise's dad, True Gamester Emily (who had a last name too, but I don't remember it) as Denise's mom, and Scott Miller as the narrator. Gil has a new blog, which I've added to my blogroll. His comment from last Friday's entry on Lolita Nation is one of the highlights of my blogging career. It's like getting a comment from Phil Collins on a post about The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. Each generation has it's favorite bald drummer, and Gil Ray is ours.

When this tape was issued, I was, by most accounts, a Game Theory fan. I knew about the Quercio/Becker version of the band, and had seen them play a few times in late 1989, but was completely unaware of the True Gamesters. I didn't hear "A Child's Christmas Saving The Whales" until a few years later at the dawn of the internet age, thanks to the generosity of the same guy who called it an extremely silly rock opera.

"A Child's Christmas" was later made available for download from the Loud Family web site, so everyone who ever had an interest in hearing the skit has probably already heard it, but here it is again. The file, which was either downloaded from or digitized by me, is encoded at 96kbps, a lower bit rate than I'd choose now, but it works fine for something that's more than eight minutes long and "pert near spoken word", as my grandpa used to say.

Game Theory - A Child's Christmas Saving The Whales
(from the 1989 True Gamesters Christmas tape)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

iPod xMas

Breaking into the days of Christmas postings to let everyone know that "iPod xMas", my 2007 Holiday mix mp3 playlist is ready for downloading and listening.

Here is the cover (L-click to enlarge, R-click to save, etc..).

And here's the track list. After messing around with songs this week, I came up with a playlist that was exactly 80 minutes long (80:00). I'm not sure that will fit on a physical CD, but it's like getting a Rubik's Cube exactly right.

01. The Mighty Echoes - Happy Xmas (War is Over)
02. Brian Wilson - Christmasey
03. The Bobs - Christmas In L.A.
04. Frank Lee Sprague - Christmas Time
05. Starbelly - Dear Mother Chistmas
06. Eugene Edwards - Dear Mom and Dad
07. Robin Gibb - Good King Wenceslas
08. Apples In Stereo - Holiday Mood
09. Margo Guryan - I Don't Intend To Spend Christmas Without You
10. Hello Saferide - iPod Xmas
11. Joe Algieri - Computer Xmas
12. The Joseph and Mary Chain - Twelve Days Of Christmas
13. Casper and the Cookies - Kiss Me Beneath the Christmas Tree
14. Ted Leo / Pharmacists - Annunciation Day / Born on Christmas Day
15. Lore Sjoberg - Nine Inch Noels
16. Aimee Mann - Christmastime
17. Mercaptan - Joy To The World
18. The Minus 5 - Your Christmas Whiskey
19. Screaming Santas - Let's Get High For Christmas
20. Peter And The Test Tube Babies - I'm Getting Pissed For Christmas
21. Redd Kross - Super Sunny Christmas
22. The Singles - Baby It's Christmas
23. The Smithereens - Christmas Time All Over The World
24. Stratocruiser - Last Christmas Girl
25. The Band - Christmas Must Be Tonight
26. Tralala - Everybody Christmastime
27. The Swimmers - The Christmas Sound
28. The Raveonettes - The Christmas Song
29. Richard Cheese - Christmas In Las Vegas

Random errata:
- There's a yousendit download link in the first comment. It's one ZIP file with 29 mp3s and a text file with this track listing. When I tried to load these files back into iTunes, it loaded them out of sequence. The official sequence of these tracks is listed above and on the cover. I updated all the track numbers on the ID tags, but there's probably another tweak that needs to happen so they fall in sequence.

- The title is "iPod xMas" in intentional mixed case. It comes from the Hello Saferide song, which has F words in it, so parents and prudes be advised. There aren't any other bad words here ("pissed" is what people on the other side call "drunk") but there might enough implied drug and alcohol use in a few tracks to warrant a Tipper Gore PMRC warning of some kind.

- The download file is just under 100mb, so it takes a while to download, but saves postage and physical materials, so we're saving the environment. The download will expire 7 days from yesterday (12/12) or 100 downloads, whichever comes first. I don't have 100 readers, so I'm betting on the former. If anyone wants a physical CD, drop me a line and I'll mail you one. Is it possible to fit exactly 80 minutes of music on an 80 minute CDR?

- Feel free to leave comments and (constructive) feedback here. I've unlocked comments, so it shouldn't even require a captcha.

The sixth day of Hot Roxmas

I've never knowingly heard any other songs by Fleming & John, but this inspired blend of the words to "Winter Wonderland" to the tune of Led Zeppelin's "Misty Mountain Hop" is one of my "all time favorite holiday classics" as Fleming says in the intro. Many others have tried to mix holiday and Zeppelin, but F&J's is the top of the misty mountain. Over the hills where the spirits fly. The quote from "Black Dog" at the end: "Hey, hey, Rudolph with your nose so bright" would have been great if it segued into an alternate holiday version of LZIV.

After I heard this song, my head kept hearing a version of "Christmas Time Is Here" sung to the tune of "Shake Some Action". By a band called the Flamin' Guaraldis (get it?). It could have a youtube video with Peanuts kids dancing around to "Shake Some Christmas" or "Christmas Action" or whatever you want to call it. Sounds like a recipe for pure holiday gold to me.

Fleming & John - Winter Wonderland/Misty Mountain Hop

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The fifth day of Hot Roxmas

There are two versions of "Everything's Gonna Be Cool This Christmas", a full band version by the eels and a solo version by E. This is the latter, which is also the former, chronologically speaking. I think it's appropriate that the entry for the letter E should be a man called E singing a song that starts with the letter E.

"Everything's Gonna Be Cool This Christmas" has always been one of my favorite holiday songs, and also one of my favorite E/eels songs. I like the reassurance and hopefulness: yes, last Christmas did suck eggs, but everything's gonna be cool this Christmas! And the final verse is nothing short of inspiring, getting right to the crux of what's most important this time of year.

As days go by the more we need friends
And the harder they are to find
If I could have a friend like you all my life
Well I guess I'd be doin' just fine

E - Everything's Gonna Be Cool This Christmas

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The fourth day of Hot Roxmas

My goal is to post nothing this entire month except posts called "the Xth day of Hot Roxmas" with a holiday song included for each day of the alphabet. There are 31 days in December and 26 letters in the alphabet, so this means there will be five days off, so the Xth day eventually won't correspond with December Xth, and I can post twice in a day to get back on track if I get too far behind. It's a lot more flexible than NaBloPoMo.

This is the fourth day, and the letter D. The dB's are no strangers to Christmas music, with a few songs on the 1985 Christmas Time EP. This song wasn't on the original EP or the 1993 CD, but is on the 2006 Christmas Time Again reissue (available on emusic). Emusic doesn't list the artists, but the compilation includes the original Stamey/dB's EP with extra songs by Marshall Crenshaw ("Lonely Christmas"), Don Dixon ("Christmas is Saturday"), and many more.

"Home For The Holidays" (a Peter Holsapple original, not the "there's no place like home for the holidays" song made famous by Perry Como) first came out on a 1987 IRS label promo, then on the Different Kind Of Christmas compilation in the early 90s. It's always been one of my favorites, right up there with Chris Stamey's "Christmas Time", and I put it on one of my earlier Christmas mixes (1998, I think). Twenty years after this song came out, we're still waiting for new material from the dB's. Could 2008 be their year?

The dB's - Home For the Holidays
(mp3 from divshare)

Monday, December 3, 2007

The third day of Hot Roxmas

The one song from my holiday compilations that's got the most feedback is Culturcide's "Santa Claus Was My Lover". Culturcide were/are an experimental noise band from Houston, famous for singing their own satirical lyrics over other people's songs without permission. Usually by just singing over the record. This has gained them a cult following as well as some legal issues over the years.

"Santa Claus Was My Lover" grafts their holiday themed lyrics to the music from a well known early 80s hit by a man with one glove. There isn't a lot of info on this single (label or release date), and I acquired the song on a mix from someone. I later found a Culturcide cd (similarly bereft of label or release info) with "Santa Claus", its B-side "Depressed Christmas", and some of their other creations like "We're An Industrial Band" and "California Punks".

"Santa Claus Was My Lover" is one of a kind weirdness even for Culturcide. This tale of a romantic encounter with St. Nick sung over an MJ song ("I can handle the beard, but the reindeer was too weird") should be required listening for everyone each December.

Culturcide - Santa Claus Was My Lover
(mp3 from divshare)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The second day of Hot Roxmas

Way up north where the air gets cold there's a tale about Christmas that you've all been told.. and told, and told again. The Beach Boys' "Little Saint Nick" is one of those songs that gets played nonstop during the holiday season: in the grocery store, at the mall, you name it.

"LSN" is kind of innocuous and somewhat likeable in that early Beach Boys way, and not as annoying as the Chipmunks song or "Grandma Got Run Over", but it's still one of those Christmas songs that tends to grate after a month of heavy rotation. Even the most battle-hardened Beach Boys fanatic might be tempted to take a hostage after weeks of that "run run reindeer" refrain. Aaah, "it don't miss no one"!

The original "Little Saint Nick" has been so pervasive and ubiquitous this time of year that it's lost its novelty (a Christmas song, by the Beach Boys, in their own style.. we get it!). This is why I've become so fond of the alternate version from the Beach Boys 1998 Ultimate Christmas album, which has the words to "Little Saint Nick" sung to the backing track of another Beach Boys song ("Drive-In") in what could have been one of the first "mash-ups". It's a novelty that will remain novel for a long time, from the same minds that created "Our Favorite Recording Sessions", "Bull Session with Big Daddy", and the Beach Boys Party album. It's surprising how well "Little Saint Nick" fits the melody of "Drive In". Almost like it was meant to be there.

The Beach Boys - Little Saint Nick (alternate version)
(from divshare - don't try to right click)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

The first day of Hot Roxmas

With all the fun I had with November's National Blog Posting Month, here's the deal for December. I'm going to try to post a Christmas song (or link to same) every day on average for this entire month. In order to keep it to a manageable size, I'm going to post the songs alphabetically by artist, one for each letter. I'm hoping for an Advent calendar in alphabetical order.

I've been collecting Christmas music for ages, so I've got buckets of it. I've also been doing holiday mixes for the last few years, so I'm trying not to post songs here from my recent mixes. However, for the first few years series, I did three or four mixes on tape (as was the custom at the time) . Nobody listens to cassettes anymore, so I feel confident digging into mixes from the tape years for lost songs. Like this one.

Anton Barbeau's "Xmas Song" was the leadoff song from my 1997 collection "Guess It Just Wouldn't Be Christmas", which was named after a Loud Family song that wasn't included in the collection. At that time, Anton had only released this song on his 1995 "Sula's Revenge" tape, so it wasn't well known outside his coeterie of fantonatics. It was reissued in 2001 on the Antology 2: The Golden Boot CD on 125 Records (now available for just $3 from them. what a deal!) and as a free download from Anton's website, so the song isn't that rare anymore, but still not as well known as it should be, and I can't think of a better way to kick off a month of Christmas songs.

If anyone has requests for other songs, for this or my 2007 holiday mix (which I'm still working on) leave them in the comments, or email me at sholteblah-at-gmail-dot-com.

Anton Barbeau - Xmas Song (from

(For those who are curious, I'm sorting in iTunes default order where individuals sort by first name, so Anton comes under A. You got a problem with that?)