One of my annual Holiday traditions is adding to an already unwieldy collection of Christmas music. And, when you end up with a whole bunch of Christmas songs sitting on your computer, you’re kinda forced to do something with them. So here’s a 2014 Christmas mix, with the title straight stolen from the best actual Christmas album ever.
This one’s of the non-traditional variety, featuring songs compiled over the last, I don’t know, five years. Maybe I’ll put together a more traditional companion disc as well.
1. “It’s Christmas Time” – Yo La Tengo
A reminder near the end of the year that I probably should’ve listened to more Yo La Tengo during the year.
2. “Christmas Reindeer” – The Knife
Let’s just dispense with the weird early. This is a very easy song to hate. I happen to like it.
3. “White Havoc” – Deer Tick
Love all things Deer Tick around here. This is the first of two tracks on this mix from the latest Converse collection.
4. “Please Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas)” – The Decemberists
The Decemberists covering just about the saddest thing you could ever imagine, originally written by John Denver. It’s quite the juxtaposition.
5. “In the Cold, Cold Night” – Tracey Thorn
Not a Christmas song, but it works just as well.
6. “I Wish It Was Christmas Today” – Julian Casablancas
Yes, that’s the lead singer from the Strokes and yes this is a song from an SNL skit.
7. “Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis” – Neko Case
Also not a Christmas song per se, but it is Neko Case covering Tom Waits and I’m always in on that.
8. “On Christmas” – Dum Dum Girls
Track two from that Converse compilation. A little synth-pop under your tree.
9. “Holiday Road” – Matt Pond PA
Vacation. That is all.
10. “Please Come Home for Christmas” – My Morning Jacket
Jim James’ voice is well-suited for this classic.
11. “Christmas Cake” – Rilo Kiley
Reminds me to go listen to The Execution of All Things again, which, random fact, I once used as a title for a Nebraska football story about a Huskers’ press conference.
12. “Christmas Tree on Fire” – Holly Golightly
Been listening to this one for ages and it’s become something of a household favorite.
13. “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want” – Slow Moving Millie
A Smiths cover that might seem like a pretty crappy Christmas message, but you have to see the context in which it was presented. (Seriously, you have to.) These “adverts” from British retailer John Lewis are quite the thing over there it appears. Here’s this year’s, which people also seem to love. (Music in that one’s “Real Love” by Tom Odell.)
14. “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday” – Nick Lowe
Lowe’s holiday album Quality Street was released last year and I wish I could listen to it every day. It’s not good holiday music, but good music, period. This is a Wizzard cover, I believe, and, while I like the version below better, you definitely want to check out the original just for spectacle of it.
15. “Last Christmas” – The xx
Plenty of Wham! covers out there, but this is the best one. Take that, Jimmy Eat World.
16. “2,000 Miles” – Mark Kozelek
Been a minute since I’d listened to any Kozelek, but always liked him and this is a great song by the Pretenders.