For the past three years, I have worked to compile a mix of Christmas/holiday music that celebrates the season, but is performed by current indie bands. It's not because I dislike the old standards of the season... I just choose to not take the holidays quite as seriously as my local all-Christmas-all-the-time radio station might.
In 2007, the mix kicked off with The Dandy Warhols' psychedelic take on "The Little Drummer Boy," segued right into Save Ferris' Judaic send-up of "Christmas Wrapping" and, if I can say so myself, killed for 30+ minutes. It included the modern classic Barenaked Ladies/Sarah McLachlan "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" and more.
Last year, I felt I upped the ante with 40 minutes of spirited tunes. Ringing in with The Raveonette's "Christmas Song" and rolling right through to Coldplay's lovely cover of "2,000 Miles."
This year, it was a harder task. The simple fact of the matter is that there is a finite number of indie/alternative Christmas songs. There are fewer yet Hanukkah songs, which is a damn shame. Still, with about six weeks of searching and playing with a mix (and an assist from a Zooey Deschanel song located last night), I think I've got it.
So, dear readers, here's the playlist of the season for me (and with two previous collections, I've got about 90 minute sof totally tolerable holiday fare):
1) Pearl Jam - "Someday at Christmas"
2) Zooey Deschanel (with Leon Redbone) - "Baby, It's Cold Outside"
3) Jack Johnson - "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"
4) The Bird and the Bee - "Carol of the Bells"
5) My Morning Jacket - "Santa Claus is Back in Town"
6) The Yeah Yeah Yeahs - "All I Want for Christmas"
7) Bright Eyes - "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"
8) Oscar the Grouch - "I Hate Christmas"
9) Phantom Planet - "Winter Wonderland"
10) The Raveonettes - "Come On Santa"
11) Jimmy Eat World - "Last Christmas"
12) Coldplay - "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christas"
13) Jack White - "Christmastime Will Soon Be Over"