It’s the hap, happiest season of all! We’re back for a another Christmas mixtape. This will be my sixth. You can listen to all the mixtapes over at my Mixcloud.
You can also find it up on YouTube Music, although you’ll be missing a couple tracks.
Give it a listen! I do this because it’s fun for me and the last couple years, Ellen and I have kind of worked on our own mixtapes together. I like finding stuff that speaks to me and isn’t the sort of thing you’re likely to find playing in the mall. Track list with liner notes and music videos where available under the cut.
Brittlestar – Put On Another Christmas Song (feat. Emma Rudy)
I had this on the provisional 2022 list from last year when the original version was released. But just as I’m getting this mixtape up, he drops a new version with Emma Rudy.
Jack Johnson – Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
I just like the twist at the end, tbh. I think Rudolph was originally conceived as a positive message for children. Accepting difference and all that. But, despite evidence to the contrary, I like to think we’ve made some progress in that direction since Rudolph saved Christmas for the first time.
kennedi – Christmas Morning
Dipping back into the soundtrack to Happiest Season, the Netflix lesbian Hallmark movie-a-like I first pulled from in 2020. I like the cheery, bubbly mid-centuriness of it.
I haven’t actually watched the movie, but I do really like the soundtrack.
Loona – Hijo de la Luna
My friend Stela gave me this CD a while ago. She was playing it in her car and it started playing Bailando, which had occasionally surfaced in my consciousness since the early 90s when I’d heard an Amiga mod version as part of a floppy disk megademo. I didn’t know who did it or what it was called (except “Bailando” gets repeasted over and over), but apparently it was a big deal over in Europe.
Anyway, Stela gave me the CD, and it also has a couple vaguely Christmasy songs on it. Of the two, this one is decidedly less Christmasy lyrics-wise, being a tragic Romani legend featuring femicide and child abandomnent. But it sounds nicer.
Skydiggers – Good King Wenceslas
I like a good Wenceslas. Mark my footsteps good my page. Tread thou in them boldly.
Boyz II Men – Snow White (Keisuke Kuwata Cover)
In another 2020 callback, this is the promised cover of Shiroi Koibitotachi. Love the popped P. I think this is hilarious, although I’m not sure I want to see anyone’s tears fall from the sky and turn into “white love.”
Pomplamoose – Charlie Brown Christmas Mashup
Pomplamoose is back! I love the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack. It’s amazing. But it’s also everywhere. All the time. I think this medley does a nice job of doing something new with it while also being very faithful to it. The dreamy Linus and Lucy bridge gives me goosebumps.
Ilaria Graziano – CHRisTmas in the SiLenT ForeSt
Yoko Kanno Christmas music! Sort of! This feels very at home on the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex soundtrack, but it’s from OST3, which I never had. Is it very Christmasy? No. But it’s explicitly Christmas and this may be the only chance I get to put Yoko Kanno on the mixtape since you heathens didn’t like the Netflix Cowboy Bebop so we’ll never get a Netflix Cowboy Bebop Christmas special.
Carly Rae Jepsen – It’s Not Christmas Till Somebody Cries
Who among us hasn’t “ruined Christmas” in one way or another?
Jon Blair – Behind the Music—The Grinch Sessions
Behind the Music takes on that quintessential Christmas classic, You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.
Shaggy – Christmas With Friends (feat. Gene Noble)
I really miss Christmas with friends.
Jazz Emu – True Meaning of the Season
It’s true. I feel like we, as a society, aren’t doing enough to keep the severed horse head in Christmas.
Lindsey Stirling – Joy To The World
There’s a lot of Lindsey Stirling on Christmas. I’m kind of surprised it took me this long to get some on the mixtape. Lindsey Stirling is something of an Internet icon and, for that reason, merits mixtape consideration.
Phoebe Bridgers – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
I really like this song. And I especially like versions with the original “muddle through” lyrics.
If you weren’t aware, Frank Sinatra wanted to record this song and asked the lyrics be changed. “The name of my album is A Jolly Christmas,” he told the writer, “Do you think you could jolly up that line for me?” And so we got “hang a shining star upon the highest bough,” which is a bit of a non-sequitur. Even so, it became the official lyric and it’s what you’ll find in nearly all recordings.
We can have a little melancholy on Christmas.
Shonen Knife – Sweet Christmas (Acoustic Version)
Yeah, we have Christmas cakes over here, but Christmas cakes are a whole thing in Japan. And Shonen Knife is great. This acoustic version is more my vibe, but here’s the original version music video:
Allo Darlin’ – Space Christmas
Charming little bit of ukulele improv. At least I think it’s improv. It goes places. And who doesn’t want their first Christmas together to be in space?
Chris Pine – Spidey-Bells (A Hero’s Lament)
Ah, Into the Spiderverse. It’s an off-hand joke in the movie and they drop the full version in the end credits. And then they released the whole A Very Spidey Christmas album. Beautiful.
Kalina & Kiana Campion – Miraculous Ladybug (Christmas Theme Version)
I should write a blog post about my love of Miraculous Ladybug. (I should write a lot of blog posts, honestly…). They did a musical Christmas episode. And release the soundtrack. This is the opening. I just think it’s super-fun.
The Linda Lindas – Groovy Xmas
The Linda Lindas, a teenage riot grrl band, went viral in 2021 with their LA Public Library performance of their song Racist, Sexist Boy. They’ve been going gangbusters since, and have this year released a Christmas single.
Kat Robichaud – The Star Wars Holiday Special (feat. Brendan Getzell)
I have seen bits of the Star Wars Holiday Special, and I feel like I’ve seen enough. If you haven’t seen it, this is all you need to get fully up to speed and perhaps assuage any curiosity you might have had. It’s for the best.
Here’s an extended cabaret version:
Christina Aguilera – The Christmas Song (Holiday Remix)
This year’s mix tape is decidedly short on dance remixes. So here’s Christina Aguilera bringing back the party from her 2000 Christmas album.
Boris – Last Christmas
I stumbled on this one last year on BoingBoing and stuck it in the provisional playlist for 2022. Experimental noise rock is not really my thing, but it’s grown on me quite a bit. Last Christmas is… not a good song. I like the synthpoppiness of the original, but not enough to get over how creepy it is.
This version leans into the creepy. The discomfort. All without nearly all of the lyrics. It’s simultaneously spare and overwhelming. For some reason, it felt like a good ending to the mixtape.
Doja Cat – christmas
Secret track! Sort of.
Doja Cat posted this on Twitter on Halloween, in the midst of Elon Musk’s blue check rollout. I don’t actually follow Doja Cat on Twitter, but this little improvisation was brought to my attention through this exchange:
Oh, how we laughed.