Another pandemic Christmas and my fifth annual Christmas mixtape!
Or a Youtube Music playlist if that works better for you… Note the first track is missing since it doesn’t appear to exist on the Internet anymore.
We went a little jazzy this year. A little mellow. It’s been an eventful year, but right now I’m happy to stay home and make some cocoa and listen to some music. Liner notes after the jump.
Daniel Johnson – Christmas Music
This came from a Christmas compilation I downloaded from the MP3 blog (remember MP3 blogs?) La Blogotheque sometime in the early 2000s. I’ve gone back to that well a few times for these mixtapes, and I’m a bit surprised I hadn’t used this one before, since it speaks to the ethos of this project.
Lady Be Good – Welcome Christmas
I found this jazzy cover after someone on Twitter reminded me this song exists and I wanted it on the ‘tape.
Daði Freyr – Something Magical
If Daði wants to put out a new Christmas track every year, I want to put it on the album. The video is something else:
Tokyo Elvis & GameChops – Toy Day (From ‘Animal Crossing’)
Merry Toy Day, everybody! Yes, I’m still playing Animal Crossing.
David Neerman – Christmas or Apocalypse (feat. Krystle Warren, Lansiné Kouyaté)
There is beauty still…
The Sauter-Finegan Orchestra – Midnight Sleighride
For some reason this is used in a montage scene in Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs (not a Christmas movie). When I heard it I was like “wait, I’ve heard this before. Wait, isn’t this a Christmas thing?” And here we are.
Oliver Schroer – Here We Come A’wassailing
Oliver Schroer was one of Ellen’s teachers and mentors. His fiddle work is as haunting as it is joyful. And I’ve always loved Here We Come A’wassailing.
Coeur de pirate – Noël sous les tropiques
From the album “Chansons tristes pour Noël,” Coeur de pirate (a frequent host on La Voix, Quebec’s version of The Voice) takes an old French lounge classic and makes it her own.
Earth, Wind & Fire – December (Based on ‘September’)
I really think it ought to be the 24th night of December, but I’m not going to argue with Earth, Wind & Fire.
Jacky Terrasson – Adeste Fideles Little Drummer Boy
There’s very little of either O Come All Ye Faithful or Little Drummer Boy (thankfully, maybe, for some) here, but I feel its a nice jazzy little palate cleanser.
Schott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox – Last Christmas (feat. Cristina Gatti, Sara Niemietz & Ariana Savalas)
I realized I’d never given Last Christmas any love on the mixtape, and that omission has now been rectified. And Postmodern Jukebox is great. I can’t embed the video, but it’s worth checking out.
Patty Gurdy – The Yule Fiddler (Christmas Time Is Coming ‘Round Today)
I think my friend Matt recommended this track last year. I do occasionally take requests, although you might have to wait a year or two…
Feist – Please Be Patient
The return of A Colbert Christmas!
I never actually watched it, but I’m a big fan of the album, which calls back to variety show-style Christmas specials of the sort we don’t see anymore.
Scott Helman – Coming Home (For Christmas)
A lovely track that makes me sad for another year away from family.
Martin Sasse – Still Still Still
I’ve been looking for a nice verson of Still Still Still, a kids church choir classic.
Charles Cornell – Chipmunk Song but you went to jazz school
And let me assure you, Charles Cornell went to jazz school.
The Gypsy Hombres – Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer
A great minor key hot jazz Rudolph that reminds me of some of the swing stuff I was into in the 90s.
Pomplamoose – Always in the Season
I think I realized last year that I’ve never had Pomplamoose on the mixtape, so that’s something we needed to fix. Great song. And man, this is early Pomplamoose:
Billy Paul Williams – The Holly And The Ivy
Downtempo Christmas chillout tracks are definitely my jam, and The Holly and the Ivy doesn’t get nearly enough love.
Daniela Andrade – Christmas Time Is Here
It is my unwavering conviction that the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack is the greatest Christmas album ever made, but you’ve heard it a billion times. I’m always on the lookout for good covers and remixes.
And she sings it to her dog in the video.
Suresh Singaratnam – A Canadian Christmas
Is it a bit schmaltzy? Yes. Do I literally cry every time I hear it? Also yes. Presented here is the 2020 version of this song, which, of course, means people on the Internet contributing their parts from their own webcams. It’s lovely. And there’s a brief Brittlestar cameo.
This is the original version, which I think makes the lyrics clearer and I love the french horn photobomb, but I didn’t think worked as well on the mixtape.
The Go-Go’s – I’m Gonna Spend My Christmas with a Dalek
I don’t usually like hidden tracks, but the credits bit at the end of the previous presented an opportunity to take advantage of being too lazy to edit tracks.
Recorded at the height of Dalekmania in 1964, probably before Dalek Invasion of Earth started airing, they could maybe be forgiven for not realizing that Daleks were not-even-thinly veiled Nazi allegories.