Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Time - The 2010 Holiday Compilation

Compiling this year's Christmas comp was like writing a play. It had a time limit (80 minutes), a format restriction (25 songs) and a theme(drinking). Like a play, I knew exactly what I wanted it to sound like. And like a play, it had ideas of its own about what it wanted to sound like. So the 12/3 first draft list of bar songs and singalongs slowly became the 12/14 list you see below, with nary a bar song or a singalong in it. Not any of the original singalongs, anyway. There are definitely a few numbers below that I have been singing to myself as I brave the February cold that's covered New York these past few days.

So this is the music mix that worked its way out through me, rather than the mix I originally wanted to make. It's constructed the usual way my mixes are--starting out fast and loud, slowing down in the middle, and then rising back up to fast and loud again at the end. That particular construction is, for me, as formal as a sonnet. But this one feels different somehow. Even the fast and loud stuff has a rueful edge, and as for the midsection, it's epitomized by the refrain from Winter's Song, which has haunted me since I first heard it: "Is love alive? Is love alive? Is love alive?" Sadly, it's not a rhetorical question. It's a question we have to answer every day of our lives. The best way we can answer it is by doing something to embody that answer--to say "Yes" with an affirming act--as many times as it takes until, in our daily lives, that question does become rhetorical. Me, I like to think that one of the surest ways to do that is, to paraphrase Dickens, by honoring the spirit of Christmas in our hearts and trying to keep it all the year.

Here endeth the sermon and beginneth the psalms. Or in this case, the carols. This year's set list:

1 Christmas Time - The BoDeans
2 Wild-Eyed Christmas Night - 38 Special
3 Jingle My Bells - The Tractors
4 Jingle Bells - The Puppini Sisters
5 You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch - Whirling Dervishes
6 Merry Christmas Baby - The Smithereens
7 Merry Christmas Loopy Lu - The Kaisers
8 O Come All Ye Faithful Surfer Girls - The Chevelles
9 Le Cantique de Noël - Royskopp
10 All I Want for Christmas (Is New Year’s Eve) - Hurts
11 Northern Star - Dave Doobinin
12 Winter Song - Sarah Bartielles and Ingrid Michaelson
13 All That I Want - The Weepies
14 Get Down For The Holidays - Jenny O
15 Christmas Isn’t Christmas - the boy least likely to
16 All I Want is Truth (for Christmas) - The Mynabirds
17 Unwrap Me - Saint Etienne
18 Walnuts and Rice - Kevin Briody
19 Talking Christmas Goodwill Blues - John Wesley Harding
20 Holiday Road - Matt Pond PA
21 Spotlight on Christmas - Rufus Wainwright
22 Mrs. Claus Ain’t Got Nothin’ On Me - Little Jackie
23 Merry Christmas, Baby - The Bellrays
24 Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) - Slow Club
25 PP Haine - France de Griessen

Here's the download link for a zip file of all the songs:

Christmas Time - The 2010 Holiday Compilation

You can find last year's comp, with song-by-song downloads, here:

Santa Claus Needs Some Lovin'

And as a holiday bonus, here's a link to a zip file of the first comp I did in 2001:

Merry Christmas, everybody.


Candy said...

Thanks. Gathering listening material for my 20 hour drive down to Bama, This will be a groovy addition.

Florrigan said...

Thanks Matthew! Merry Christmas!