I'm an only child. Indeed, the only offspring on one whole side of my family. Needless to say, this meant that Christmas was a holiday that was kind to me while growing up. But even looking beyond the consumptive orgy that went with it, Christmas was a favorite time of mine. The ritualistic nature of the holiday, the anticipation, the changing seasons, all of these things held my imagination as a child, creating warm associations that still tug mercilessly at me every December.
My family had a few old Christmas tapes that my father had made years before I was born for winter drives from Chicago to New Jersey with my mother to visit his family. They were mixtures of hymns, secular standards and a few (relatively) newer holiday pop songs. The juxtaposition of old and new along with the pacing and selection that is a feature of any good mix lent the tapes a timeless quality. Those tapes were Christmas to me as a child.
Of course holiday music was a staple throughout December in my house, so over the years I've accumulated more than my fair share of Christmas songs. Everything from the Rat Pack to Vince Guiaraldi to newer indie Christmas albums were in heavy rotation. Also popular were weird novelty Christmas collections such as Dr. Demento's amazing collection of satire and holiday humor or the goofy camp of Christmas Party With Eddie G. With this background I decided last year to try to make an updated "classic" Christmas mix that would hold up as well as the ones I remember listening to on Maxell cassettes as a kid. With a little help from Robbie Fulks, I think I suceeded.
So get excited, because I gotta say that this mix has it all: love, peace, depression, joy, greed, heartbreak and religion. It goes from Chicago to Galway by way of Stockholm, Mexico and Hollis. Because the best things come it twos it has two versions of White Christmas, two different songs called Merry Christmas Baby and two Beach Boys Christmas songs that aren't "Little Saint Nick." Like any good Christmas celebration there’s a senile old man, juvenile crime, dancing and drunks, zoo animals and aliens and probably a well-intentioned moral or something in there that will be forgotten the next day in the rush to New Year’s. There's even a few songs you won't find anywhere else on the internet.
Windy City Christmas Holiday (Download As A .rar)
1. Happy Xmas (War Is Over) - John Lennon Buy Power To The People
2. Merry Twist-Mas - The Marcels
3. It's Christmas! Let's Be Glad - Sufjan Stevens Buy Songs For Christmas
4. Spotlight On Christmas - Rufus Wainwright
5. Merry Old Philosopher #1 Buy Christmas Party With Eddie G.
6. Merry Christmas, Baby - The Beach Boys Buy Christmas With The Beach Boys
7. Windy City Christmas Holiday - Robbie Fulks
8. White Christmas - The Drifters Buy Christmas With The Drifters
9. I Want An Alien For Christmas - Fountains Of Wayne Buy Out-Of-State Plates
10. Merry Old Philosopher #2
11. Father Christmas - The Kinks Buy Come Dancing With The Kinks
12. Christmas at the Zoo - The Flaming Lips Buy Clouds Taste Metallic
13. Just Like Christmas - Low Buy Christmas [EP]
14. Donde Esta Santa Claus - Augie Rios
15. Christmas In Hollis - Run-D.M.C. Buy A Very Special Christmas
16. Fairytale Of New York - The Pogues Buy If Should Fall From Grace Of God
17. White Christmas - Stiff Little Fingers Buy Anthology
18. What Will Santa Claus Say When He Finds Everybody Swinging? - Louis Prima
19. Merry Old Philosopher #3
20. Christmas Time Is Here [Vocal Version] - Vince Guiraldi Trio Buy A Charlie Brown Christmas
21. Linus And Lucy - Wee B. Toys
22. It's Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) - Death Cab For Cutie
23. Merry Christmas Baby [Otis Redding] [Live] - Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band
24. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - Diana Krall Buy Christmas Songs
25. Christmas Day - The Beach Boys
26. What Are You Doing New Years Eve? - Nancy Wilson