Christmas Music 24/7!

OK, This is usually (always) reviews of Movies, I have a degree in film, not music. But I love music in general and especially Christmas Music. My favorite thing about Thanksgiving is that it marks the beginning of a month straight of Christmas Music. (What other time of year can you stop by the Mall and hear a Hymn playing over the speakers.) So, with the title of my blog being vague enough to be inclusive, I ask the question….


What Should I Listen To This Christmas
Season?

On the first day of Christmas my true love played for me a Sufjan Stevens box set of Cd’s

Sufjan Stevens is amazing. There are shades of 70’s rock, well done emo, a lot of folk, banjo, accordion, and honky tonk piano thrown in for good measure. This box set has 5 CDs that he recorded over 6 years as presents for friends. It includes renditions of traditional carols, hymns that once you hear them seem to fit the season, and original songs. “Come on lets boogie to the elf dance” is one of the most fun things you can listen to. While talking about traditional American Christmas, including lines like “K mart is closed and so is the bakery, everyone’s home watching tv, it smoothly transitions into a second half that takes it’s lyrics from Away in A Manger.” This box set covers everything I think of Christmas* (including a healthy view of Santa)
.

Free MP3s:

That Was the Worst Christmas Ever

Sister Winter

http://xmas.asthmatickitty.com/

On the Second day of Christmas my true love played for me Joy Electric

>

Joy Electric is a rock band that only uses a mono synth keyboard layered on multiple tracks, with no loops or computers. The result is fun and well constructed music. On the “Magic of Christmas” album it all fits together nicely. The beats and the bloops and tweets go great with songs like “Hear we go a wassailing” and “Frosty the Snow Man.” This is almost a kids album for adults. Ronnie Martin’s voice can be a bit weird, but I think on this album it’s the most accessible it has been. Winter Wonderland is a stand out track. The only problem here is a couple of the songs are too short. You get it to them and know there is another verse but…

On the Third day of Christmas my true love played for me Terry Scott Taylor

Here is a man who was at the forefront of Christian Rock in the 70’s. His collection of originals, “Songs for the Days After Christmas” mostly centered around the idea of keeping your focus on Jesus and the irony of loosing that in a holiday based on celebrating him. This acoustic/rock album is great music. The lyrics are mostly deep and thought inspiring, with enough levity to keep it from being a downer. The title track will have you move from knowing giggles to a thoughtful sigh

.
(Lost Dogs – “We Like To Have Christmas”

includes several tracks originally featured on Terry Taylor’s “Songs For The Day After Christmas”, now re-imagined and re-recorded by the Lost Dogs)

On the Fourth day of Christmas my true love played for me Happy Christmas Vol 2

This album is mostly traditional Christmas songs done in non-traditional ways by some great alternative rock and electronica bands. Pop/punk MxPx opens with a whimper, but Sixpence None the Richer doing a very detailed arrangement of “…Mr. Grinch” is worth the album and there are still 13 more songs that are wonderful. This is mostly loud and full with a lot of songs on the Heavy/Subdued roller coaster. It closes with the Lost Dogs doing a folk version of the Chipmunks Christmas song that includes a very funny skit about over produced music.

On the Fifth day of Christmas my true love played for me Relient K

I had their first Christmas album “Deck The Halls, Hurt Your Hand” when it came out. Now their second, “Let It Snow Baby… Let It Reindeer” 8 new songs and a bunch of the old one. This is fun and happy pop-punk. There are a few songs that are thoughtful piano. “I Celebrate the Day” is a moving look at our attitude toward the birth of Christ. “Santa Claus is Thumbing To Town” is very very funny. These are worth it just for a full on guitar version of “The Hallelujah Chorus”.

On the Sixth day of Christmas my true love played for me Vince Guaraldi Trio

They did the sound track to all the Charlie Brown specials and movies but the Christmas Special is just that. Jazz music for the masses it may be, but it is great to listen too. Having actual kids do the voices was also a fun move all around. This is the sound of Christmas. (And what music collection is complete without a copy of the theme song “Linus and Lucy”)

On the Seventh day of Christmas my true love played for me Happy Christmas from Bec Records

This was the first of the Happy Christmas series. Heaven’s Got a Baby is a lovely song amids the power cords, but the loud one’s are what it’s about. It’s heavy with ska, punk, techno, and a bit of experimental stuff to make it even more interesting. There is also
Vol 3 that is good and a
Vol 4 that is new Emo.

On the Eighth day of Christmas my true love played for me Glen Miller Orchestra

>

Glen Miller was amazing and developed a sound all his own. (You can see that summed up in “the Glen Miller Story” with Jimmy Stewart.) Glen was no longer with us when this was recorded, but his band is true to his style and sound, which goes very well with Christmas. These are all standards and have some great medleys, some about Santa, a lot about Jesus and a few from the Nutcracker. This is a three disc box set so you get a lot of music for your money.

On the Ninth day of Christmas my true love played for me Lost and Found Christmas Album

This band is a lot of fun. There are two guys who play the piano and the guitar (usual as if they were both in the percussion section.) They have odd voices and their songs seem like they were once “Camp Song Composers”, who have matured. All this combines to be very fun and deep. Most of the songs are Christmas hymns with a few originals that are great.

On the Tenth day of Christmas my true love played for me The Ultimate Lounge Christmas

John Jonethis is a lounge singer with a great voice and a flair for arranging. His first album was “Lounge Freak” which took top Christian rock song and converted them quite successfully. Here he does Christmas standards which seem to be a shorter road to lounge. This is not the most wildly radical idea for an album, but he does it with such style. He moves something that could have been generic, to a great listen.

On the Eleventh day of Christmas my true love played for me I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas

(If you are trying to sing this review, you have to say hippopotamus for
Christmas as if it’s one word with two syllables.)

This is just a great song. It’s from the 40’s and written by the same man who penned “Do Your Ears Hang Low.” His young daughter provided the vocals. This song has the fun and magical feeling of the season in it. It is about presents but not about greed, just the silly wonderfulness of childhood. You can actually down load the song for free at
http://www.mediafire.com/?5nzymwjy2j4

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love played for Me, Kenny Rogers (seriously)

You will not find a Christmas version of “The Gambler” here. (Though that might be cool.) This is mostly an adult contemporary album, but it’s still very good. It almost has the feel of the music in the mall when you suddenly notice “Hey, this one is pretty good.” The songs range from soft to powerful and even an acapella song with “Glad.” Most of the songs are original and deep. A cover of  “Mary Did You Know?” kicks it off with Wynonna Judd backing up and it finishes with a great montage called “The Chosen One” This has kids singing questions about Christmas and Kenny answering with recited scripture (inspired by Linus?) and then Carols that celebrate that aspect of the Christmas story. The arrangements are all unique enough to be cool, but still very traditional. Still my favorite song is a ballad that tells the invented story of a solder who fought hard all his life, though he was never sure of anything, until now, when he gives his medal and his heart to a baby king.

Ok….

You got to know when to rap them,

Know when to pack them,

Know when to go up the chimney

and Know when to run

You never eat your cookies

while your sitting at the table

There’ll be time enough for eatin’

when the del’v’rin’s done.

Merry
Christ
mas

from Q&E

*If the thing they are watching on TV is The Charlie Brown Christmas Special.

 

PS

Keep in mind, I wrote this and still have not heard Sixpence None The Richer’s new Album The Dawn of Grace, which I am very much looking forward to!

 

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3 Responses to “Christmas Music 24/7!”

  1. Abby Says:

    Missing from your Christmas music collection: “Mary’s Boy Child” by Boney M – one of the best Christmas songs ever!

  2. A little more Christmas Music « Questionentertainment’s Weblog Says:

    […] if you have missed it: Here is my origonal Christmas Music 24/7! Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)CHRISTMAS MUSIC!!!WoW Moviewatch: the Bells of […]

  3. Download Yourself a Merry Little Christmas « Questionentertainment’s Weblog Says:

    […] Christmas Music 24/7!  Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)> familyre christmas – free christmas music […]

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