Mixtape #3 – Merry Christmas Edition!

It’s Christmas Eve Day, a normal day for many people, but the beginning of Christmas for my family.  We’ve got around 15 people coming over tonight for dinner and game night around the Christmas tree.  We’ve got a rotation of great, classic Christmas music that has played pretty much non-stop from Thanksgiving until December 26th for the last 20+ years.  And I love it, don’t get me wrong.  But there is good Christmas music being made these days!  Here’s a sampling of my favorite, new and old:

Let’s start this mixtape off with a bang.  Julian Casablancas of The Strokes, released a great solo album a couple months ago called Phrazes for the Young (check out “11th Dimension”), and the last song on it was the rollicking Christmas track, “I Wish It Was Christmas Today.”  Leave it to Casablancas to modernize the Christmas spirit with a whole bunch of electric guitar and synth.  Julian Casablancas – I Wish It Was Christmas Today:

This next track is the title song off of Seattle-based, Harvey Danger’s 2004 LP, Sometimes You Have to Work on Christmas (Sometimes).  It’s a less glorified, slightly depressed version of Christmas, but still energetic and catchy.  Harvey Danger – Sometimes You Have to Work on Christmas (Sometimes):

Alright, let’s take it back.  Both to classic music and the homeland, Ireland.  Back in 1945, some guys I’ve never heard of wrote the Irish Christmas Song, “Christmas in Killarney.”  Bing Crosby made it a classic on his 1945 album, White Christmas.  It isn’t one of the songs on rotation in our house, but it’s the most played Christmas song in my iTunes.  Bing Crosby – Christmas in Killarney:

There are a lot of artists that reinterpret old Christmas songs, but most of them aren’t that original.  Sufjan Stevens is an artist renown for his originality, as well as his prolific discography, and he doesn’t disappoint on his multiple Christmas albums.  While it’s all worth listening too, “Joy to the World!” is one of the best songs on Songs for Christmas, Vol. IV – Joy. Sufjan Stevens – Joy to the World!

Alright, I’ve got to go, we’ve got people showing up at the door.  I’ve just got one last track to close out this post.  For me, the quintessential Christmas song is “The Xmas Song,” sung by Nat “King” Cole, perhaps the greatest singer of his generation.  It just doesn’t get any better.  Nat “King” Cole – The Xmas Song:

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