OK, it’s down to the wire—NORAD is already tracking Santa Claus and his sleigh on his journey around the world, so we’ve just a few more precious hours to enjoy Christmas music until it’s all packed away for another year. I have a couple of new favorites to share with you this year. (If you’re looking for my 2012 out-of-the-mainstream shares, click here.)
British troubadour Nick Lowe says he wasn’t exactly filled with the holiday spirit when his label first approached him with the idea of recording a holiday record—but he gave it a second thought and the result is the utterly charming Quality Street–12 tracks that mix seasonal standards (each arranged with some kind of new twist) with clever originals like “Christmas At The Airport.” Any of us who’ve been thwarted by “Mother Nature” can empathize with this stranded traveler–though I don’t subscribe to his “don’t save me any turkey, I found a burger in a bin” school of staving off hunger.
Dr. Dog gave fans a nice gift this year–a four-song Christmas EP called “Oh My Christmas Tree.” Lead singer Scott McMicken says he wrote the songs last year and recorded them to give as gifts to family and friends. But the project turned out so well that he decided to share it with the world.
Eleven years after it first came out, Conor Oberst has re-issued the Bright Eyes
“A Christmas Album”–and there’s even a vinyl version pressed on 180gram white vinyl! In case you missed it the first time around, this is a collection of 11 seasonal standards, including “Silver Bells,” “Little Drummer Boy” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”
If you’re in the mood for more holiday tunes, I’ve got an hour of them on the 12/23 edition of Roots and Branches–you can find it here.