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Christmas/U.S. Girls

My favorite Christmas song this year is by U.S. Girls, the pseudonym for the Toronto-based American Meghan Remy.

“Santa Stay Home” perfectly reflects this year’s holiday.

BTW, tonight I continue with my annual show, Christmas Eve with Oedipus, 6 hours of non-traditional holiday music heard only once a year and centered on peace, love and understanding. Hear it on WGBH, 89.7 in Boston or

6 pm-Midnight

“Santa Stay Home”

Best Coast/Christmas

It’s coming on Christmas and we have a new Christmas song from L.A.’s Best Coast.

“Christmas and Everyday” was written for An American Girl Story – Maryellen 1955: Extraordinary Christmas, an upcoming Amazon Kids short film based on a character from the American Girl historical doll lineup.

Joyful power pop to put us in the mood.

Christmas Eve

My annual Christmas Eve Broadcast takes place this year on RadioBDC, the Boston Globe internet station. From WBCN to WFNX and now to RadioBDC, the tradition continues from 6pm-Midnight.

Find it here: RadioBDC

This is the future.

I love this time of year and love the music that defines it. I was asked by a friend who is also addicted to Christmas music to write the liner notes for the CD that he sends out annually to a selective few. I share it with you now as it explains our addiction. We are hopeless and delirious and joyous:

We are a cult.

Although we are not specifically religious we are fanatics, with an avid devotion to our cause, peculiar rituals, odd practices, and our own idiosyncrasies. If you are reading this you are either a member of the cult or someone with whom we want to share our overwhelming passion. And we have no idea how many members from around the world are part of our cult as we operate only in small cadres, circulating our beliefs to a special few. In this specific case only 100.

We are the cult of the sound of Christmas, the purveyors of Christmas music.

Our goal is to impart the joy of great Christmas music and all of the love that it entails.
Throughout the year we scour used record stores, the internet and yard sales in search of this singular music and for songs worthy of being promulgated. With the blight of dreadful Christmas music (made more so in recent years by the web and home recording) we pride ourselves on presenting those songs that if heard one more time you would not kill the DJ but rather turn up the volume.

It is exceedingly difficult to write a good Christmas song, more so to write a classic. And only a few artists, like Saint Etienne and Sufjan Stevens, have written more than one. The song must convey the spirit of the season without being maudlin or overly sentimental. There are hundreds of new Christmas songs every year and we diligently listen to each and every one hoping to find the few diamonds amidst the detritus. And if an artist covers one of the classics, we are always looking for a unique interpretation.

Michael and I have never met in person, but as members of the cult we are brothers in arms. I have had the privilege of spreading the word for over 30 years via the radio and internet airwaves. He graciously credits me as an inspiration, but if this is so he has outdone his mentor. For 6 hours every Christmas Eve I have the benefit of playing the many precious Christmas songs from my collection, heard only once a year, coupled with the handful of new gems that I have discovered during the year. Michael, on the other hand, gives us 2, if not 3 CDs filled with unheard treasures. How he unearths so many hidden jewels is a yearly tour de force.

Why, you may ask, are we so obsessive? We have all been smitten in a moment in time by a sound, rhapsody or melody that is the joy of Christmas. Peace, love and understanding transmitted through song. Christmas is an ever evolving holiday with origins in the winter solstice. It is a time to bask in the warmth of loved ones, partaking in the bounty of our harvest as we settle in for long dark nights ahead. With this holiday we also bond with our neighbors through song for only together can we hope to survive as well as enrich our lives for another year. We of the cult know secretly in our hearts that there are many of us out there and our sincere desire is to unite this spirit not for a season but for four.

So whether you are dancing around the Christmas tree, wrapping presents beside the tree or making love under the tree, we are honoured to provide the soundtrack to your celebration. We feel your love and send you ours.

Merry Christmas,


Crocodiles & Dum Dum Girls (Christmas)

Crocodiles from San Diego have teamed up with our fave Dum Dum Girls for a one-off Christmas song.

(No coincidence that Brandon Welchez of Crocodiles (and former Dum Dum member) is married to front woman Dee Dee of Dum Dum Girls.)

Just in time for the holidays the amusingly titled “Merry Christmas Baby (Please Don’t Die)”.

Sufjan Stevens (Christmas)

It is exceedingly difficult to write a good Christmas song, more so to write a classic. And only a few artists have written more than one.

Sufjan Stevens has to be the most prolific composer of contemporary Christmas Songs.

In 2006 he gave us an incredible 5 volumes of holiday songs.

He follows this year 5 additional albums!

“Christmas in the Room” is from Silver & Gold: Songs for Christmas, Vols. 6-10.

Saint Etienne

The English trio known as Saint Etienne (Sarah Cracknell, Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs) has been creating delicate alternative rhythmic music since 1990.

They also write an abundance of particularly good Christmas music, a most difficult feat.

Words and Music by Saint Etienne will be their first new album in over 7 years due in late May.

“Tonight” is the single.

Cristmas 2011-Jaggery

Jaggery is a quintet out of Boston with piano, viola, harp, contrabass, percussion and the striking ethereal voice of songwriter Mali Sastri coalescing into their own magical universe.

For Christmas they have created a most beautiful rendition of “Coventry Carol.”

From their website and Wikipedia, Jaggery informs:

The Coventry Carol is a Christmas carol dating from the 16th century. The carol was performed in Coventry in England as part of a mystery play called The Pageant of the Shearmen and Tailors. The play depicts the Christmas story from chapter two in the Gospel of Matthew. The carol refers to the Massacre of the Innocents, in which King Herod orders all male infants under the age of two in Bethlehem to be killed. The lyrics represent a mother’s lament for her doomed child. It is the only carol that has survived from this play.

“Coventry Carol” is available as a no-minimum pay-what-you-want download.

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Christmas 2011-Matthew Ryan

Matthew Ryan is a singer/songwriter who has been recording and performing since the late 90s with a discography that includes 14 albums.

His version of “Little Drummer Boy” is my favorite.

This year he has written such a simply yet delightful Christmas song.

“It’s Christmas Time!” is a free download as well.

“Little Drummer Boy”
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“It’s Christmas Time!”
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