No lumps of coal: Listen to our merriest Christmas musicon December 19, 2012 @ 12:55 pm (Updated: 2:55 pm - 12/20/12 )
You can stream or podcast the show as you deck the halls, or check out some of the fun videos we grabbed for you in an eclectic fruitcake of seasonal fun.
Death Cab for Cutie- Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) Sure, it's been covered a million times. But Seattle's own Death Cab for Cutie and front man Ben Gibbard gives the timeless classic originally recorded for the classic Phil Spector Christmas album a unique twist in a way only they can. It's a dandy.
John Roderick and Jonathan Coulton - Christmas in Jail
Roderick, the inimitable Long Winters front man, and his frequent partner in crime Coulton come together this holiday for a rollicking collection of country tinged originals called One Christmas At a Time, paying homage to the original Atari 2600 and our favorite, Christmas in Jail
Pearl Jam - Let Me Sleep It's Christmas Time
This bongo infused original was the first fan-club-only Christmas single issued through the band's Ten Club in 1991. The dreamy acoustic tune has become a favorite for many over the years.
Harry Connick Jr. - Parade of the Wooden Soldiers
Chris is a sucker for Harry Connick Jr. in general, and his Christmas music in particular. The crooner has put out a few, some not as strong as the others. But Chris can't get enough of He's especially fond of the stellar "When My Heart Finds Christmas", especially Connick Jr.'s version of "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers."
The Pogues - Fairy Tale of New York
While Chris prefers the pure singers like Connick Jr., I tend to gravitate towards the more gravelly. And nothing warms my heart more than The Pogues and Kirsty McColl's Fairytale of New York. Though not widely played in the US, it's been the most popular Christmas song in the UK since it first debuted in the 80's. It's tough to choose whether to shed a tear or raise a glass when you hear their beautiful Irish lilts.
The Sonics - Santa Claus Tacoma's original garage rockers and the forefathers of grunge turned heads and dropped jaws with their rip roaring Santa Claus on the 1965 compilation Merry Christmas. Simple, dirty. You can't help but smile when you hear these Northwest treasures.
Sufjan Stevens - Silent Night
There's know doubt what Christmas means to singer/songwriter Sufjan Stevens. The indy icon is out with Silver & Gold, his second second five-disc box set of holiday music. It's got plenty of the classics reimagined, and showcases his beautiful and often haunting voice. Chris has been wrapping presents to the nearly three hours of music, with a particular fondness for some of the simpler songs with their beautiful vocal arrangement including Silent Night.
The Kinks - Father Christmas
Ray Davies and the Kinks sounded a pretty cynical note in their 1977 song about poverty and the commercialization of Christmas. But that's what makes Father Christmas, the tale of a department store Santa beaten up by kids who demand money instead of gifts, all the more impactful. It's a welcome counter to some of the seasonal saccharine.
Bob Dylan - It Must Be Santa
Who knew Bob Dylan could have so much fun. This polka-infused romp from his 2009 Christmas in the Heart is nothing short of hilarious and uplifting, and the video of a drunken party gone awry with a long haired Dylan bouncing through it is pure holiday magic. It's bizarre and completely unexpected, which makes it such a treat.
John Lennon - Happy Xmas (War is Over)
This classic tops my list as the greatest Christmas song of all time. John and Yoko's moving call for an end to the Vietnam war still resonates decades after its 1971 release, and remains one of the most beloved of all time. Although hardly a rare find, I couldn't help but include it in the show.
Vince Guaraldi - A Charlie Brown Christmas
Again, hardly an unconventional pick. But Chris and I both consider Vince Guaraldi's iconic 1965 soundtrack to the Charlie Brown Christmas special one of the best albums of all time, Christmas or otherwise. This timeless classic continues to inspire year after year. We both agreed it would be criminal to leave it off our list.
Inevitably, there are hundreds of other worthy contenders we didn't have time to include. Let's start a list in the comments below and share some more musical spirit.
Happy Holidays from all of us here at Seattle Sounds!
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