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Christmas Day Stocking Stuffer edition

[Update: A few of the links referenced in this post no long work.  Namely, Aaron Schust and Chris Sligh's 4 Songs for Christmas, and the Joel Rakes and Sounds Familyre links.]

Well, it's Christmas Day now. This day always seems to come much more quickly than it ever should. I've listened to a ton of great Christmas music over the last six weeks or so, and I've tried my best to post about as much of it as I could; I hope you've enjoyed reading about it and listening to it as much as I've enjoyed listening to it and writing about it. Since this will likely be my last chance to post about Christmas music this year, I thought it might be nice to round up some of the music I've really enjoyed but haven't had a chance to post about yet. I won't go as in-depth about it as I normally do, but if you're looking for some last minute musical ideas for Christmas, feel free to pick and choose from the links below.

One of the first songs I ran across in my search for Christmas music this year was Sofia Talvik's 2007 single "Christmas", which, musically, is a rather pretty little song; lyrically, it is rather dark and disturbing and not typical Christmas fare at all. I won't spoil anything, but please consider yourself warned. Sofia has released another Christmas single this year entitled "A Carol for the Lonely", which is very beautiful. Though the single is free to download, she "[urges] you to use the money you would have spent on it on iTunes to help someone less fortunate."

From the Internet Archive comes a recording of "Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht" (better known to some as "Silent Night") from 1906. This is a beautiful instrumental version of the song, and I think the historical value of the recording alone makes it worth listening to.

Along similar lines is Voices of Christmas Past 1898 to 1922, a collection of Christmas skits and musical recordings from the early part of the 20th century. If you want an idea of what Christmas was like so long ago, this would be a great place to start.

Also from the Internet Archive comes Bela Fleck and the Flecktones' "Christmas Medley", which puts a cool jazzy spin on some well known Christmas songs.

From The Fa-la-lattes comes a pair of newly-recorded Christmas albums. Christmas on Public Property is a collection of public domain Christmas songs. I really like their rocking "Angels We Have Heard on High", their country-tinged "In the Bleak Midwinter", and their laid back "Lo, How a Rose Ere Blooming", which has some beautiful vocal harmonies. The other album, entitled (Your Christmas Here), consists of all original Christmas songs - thirteen of them. I don't know of too many Christmas albums with all original songs, so the ambition alone on this one makes it worth a listen. As a little bonus, both of the albums will fit nicely onto a single CD, should you decide to burn a copy.

Aaron Schust and Chris Sligh's 4 Songs for Christmas is a nice little EP with a great, rocking version of "O Come O Come Emmanuel" and a nice version of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas."

Brian C. Duyn's Home for Christmas is something that I downloaded last year and dismissed a little too prematurely as being cheesy. When I took another look at the web page this year, I had to laugh because even he admits that a lot of the tracks are cheesy, as he used karaoke style accompaniments. If you can get past that, you'll be treated to some outstanding singing on a good selection of both traditional and contemporary Christmas songs.

The White Christmas Album by The Sleeping Brothers has very little information about itself, but it's a pretty cool album nonetheless. "Fruitcake" is a fun, original song, and the cover of "Silver & Gold" should appeal to any fans of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer - I should know, as I've counted myself as one for most of my life. :)

Happy Birthday Jesus is a free compilation from the Christian electronica site Creuk Radio. It's a rather strange compilation, similar in spirit to the Electric Fantastic Christmas albums, but perhaps even weirder. My favourite track is Anguidara, Delta-s, Tranquil Chaos' industrial version of "Let it Snow", which has a bit of a Marilyn Manson sound to it.

And that's about it. Don't forget to check back with both Joel Rakes and Sounds Familyre for the remainder of their releases. Joel has posted a great version of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas", and his final song for this year will be released later today; the tracks for Sounds Familyre Vol. 2 have been released in batches of 2 or 3 tracks a day lately, so be sure to grab them while the download window is still open. I'll be back in a few more days to make another "Auld Lang Syne" post, so in the meantime I hope that you are enjoying your Christmas and that at least some of this music can play some small part in it. Merry Christmas, and happy listening!


1 comment:

Raymond Fujimoto said...

For centuries men have kept an appointment with Christmas. Christmas means fellowship, feasting, giving and receiving, a time of good cheer, home. ~W.J. Ronald Tucker