Mix Tape: 24 Reasons Christmas Music Doesn't Have to Suck

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2 Dic 2010, 0:45

I made this playlist (80 minutes) last Christmas, and put it on CD for loved ones as a Christmas gift. Each CD included the following letter and a copy of the playlist (see below). If you're interested in a copy, let me know. 'Tis the season...

December 16, 2009

Each December, I seem to hear it more than the year previous: “Man, I hate Christmas music!”. Although it pains me to hear it, the increasingly popular opinion is not without good reason. Over the past three decades, holiday music has become such a commercialized bastardization of itself, it's hard to hear a festive standard without images of GAP commercials dancing through my head. And in fact, there is scientific evidence to back up this anti-caroling sentiment! It's a proven fact that 90% of holiday music is pure tripe. But isn't that true of any musical genre? And yet, in spite of the crap that's out there, there's a lot more to Christmas music than Mariah's whistle register and Kenny G's jheri curl.

Doesn't anyone remember the true meaning of Christmas (carols)? Perhaps there are still some edible traces in this great cultural fruit log. Before falling victim to the “I hate Christmas music” trap, consider the following: do you hate David Bowie? What about Otis Redding, or Aretha Franklin? And how could anyone actively dislike Johnny Fucking Cash? It's easy to forget that there are plenty of Christmas gems out there, some of them recorded by the best musical artists of the 20th century. The fact is that there is plenty of good cheer to be had in the 'Holiday' music section: you just have to look for it.

With that in mind, I give to you this gift: 24 Reasons Christmas Music Doesn't Have to Suck. Inspired by my not-so-secret belief that holiday music is TOTALLY AWESOME, I have hand-selected two dozen songs that represent some of the best in yuletide cheer. Besides the musical legends listed above, I've made sure to round out the selection to include holiday standards young and old, meek and the bold. From Nat King Cole to Run-D.M.C., the Beach Boys to the Ramones, this is a collection that spans decades and genres alike. I even made sure to include a couple (family-friendly) metal jams, because let's face it: the word 'Santa' is only one anagram away from unholy awesomeness. Jingle bells...brutal.

Speaking of families, this entire cd is appropriate for office parties, opening presents, mistletoe make-out sessions or any other festivities you might engage in. If you happen to get lucky by the yule log, just make sure you give credit where credit is due. Santa doesn't just stuff any boy and girl's stockings with these mixtapes, you know.

On a more serious note, I hope that this Christmas gift serves as a small token of my appreciation for your friendship this year. If you received this package by mail, there is a good chance I did not get to see you in 2009, but know that you are never far from my thoughts. No matter where you are this season, I hope you surround yourself with those most important to you, and take the opportunity to tell them what they mean to you. The holidays are one of the few times where the distractions of life dim and the light of family and friends lightens our minds and warms our hearts.

That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

Love,

John

P.S. Keep tha change, ya filthy animal.

24 Reasons Christmas Music Doesn't Have to Suck

1.“White Christmas” - The Drifters
2.“The Christmas Song” - Nat King Cole
3.“Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” - The Four Seasons
4.“Christmas In Hollis” - Run DMC
5.“Merry Christmas Baby” - Otis Redding
6.“Winter Wonderland” - Aretha Franklin
7.“Santa Baby” - Eartha Kitt
8.“Baby, It's Cold Outside” - Dean Martin
9.“Little Drummer Boy (Peace On Earth)” - Bing Crosby and David Bowie
10.“You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” - Thurl Ravenscroft
11.“Christmas With The Devil” - Spinal Tap
12.“Run Rudolph Run” - Chuck Berry
13.“Mistletoe” - The Jesus Lizard
14.“Father Christmas” - The Kinks
15.“Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree” - Brenda Lee
16.“Jingle Bell Rock” - Bobby Helms
17.“Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight)” - The Ramones
18.“Sleigh Ride” - The Ventures
19.“Little Saint Nick” - The Beach Boys
20.“Feliz Navidad” - José Montserrate Feliciano
21.“Joy to the World” - Johnny Cash
22.“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” - The Peanuts Kids' Choir
23.“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” - Mr. Hankey
24.“Christmas Eve, Parts I, II, And III (Alt. Version)” - Old Man Gloom

...and a happy new year.

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