Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Christmas for the Outcasts Part 1
One of the benefits of my menial office job is the privilege to get to sit there all day long and listen to music on my MP3 player. Every day. As a result, I expose myself to a great deal of music, podcasts, other downloaded fun off the Internet.
And as a result, I listen to a lot of music that is not Christmas music. I guess I've trained my ears to pick up on certain things in music that I would have other wise overlooked, such as hints of Christmas themes/references in songs. And, much to my surprise, there are Christmas songs hidden in plain sight on regular albums by mainstream artists. Songs that will likely never see the light of day on compilations that feature Bing Crosby and Burl Ives, that is for certain, and unlikely to show up on play lists of radio stations devoted to playing Christmas music during the holiday season.
It occurred to me that others might get a kick out of my finds. So this month I am going to to be sharing tracks I selected for a compilation called "Christmas for the Outcasts." This is Christmas music so far off the beaten path of Christmas music that I seriously doubt this is the stuff people think of first when you say you like Christmas music.
And there might be some debate on a few of my choices, but I think you will enjoy them. If you are the type of person who is reading a Christmas music blog in the middle of spring...yeah, I think you might enjoy these tracks.
1. Van Morrison-Glad Tidings
I know, I know...you are thinking, Van Morrison has never put out a Christmas song! But consider the lyrics starting out the song... " And they'll lay you down low in the easy/And the lips that you kiss will say Christmas./And the miles that you traveled the distance." The lips say Christmas, so it's a Christmas song! From the CD Moondance.
2. The Byrds-Pretty Boy Floyd
I recently listened to Sweetheart of the Rodeo for the first time in my life. I know, I know...I often wonder why I waited so long as well. So imagine my surprise when, after searching and searching for Christmas music from the 60s by bands like the Byrds, this came around on my MP3 player! The song is about an outlaw in Oklahoma who is committing crimes on Christmas. I know it's not Suzy Snowflake or Frosty the Snowman, but it IS a Christmas song!
3. Iron and Wine-Sodom, South Georgia
Papa dies at Christmas. Not a happy Christmas song, but certainly not something you are going to hear your local Christmas music station play immediately after Jingle Bells! From their CD Our Endless Numbered Days.
4. Felice Brothers-Roll On Arte
Felice Brothers is perhaps one of my most favorite finds this year. I came across them completely by chance, by doing a search online for songs with "mistletoe" in the name while searching for some Christmas music (and that song I found will be shared later.) I got their CDs because I loved their sound, and imagine my surprise when I found a handful of tracks that were Christmas related. This is one of a few that will turn up on this compilation. From their CD Tonight at the Arizona.
5. Brazzaville-Christmas in E.C.
About a couple's Christmas vacation that is destroyed when they discover heroine. I told you this was Christmas For the Outcasts! From their CD Welcome...To Brazzaville.
This is only the beginning...I have 22 tracks in total to share with you over the next month!
Thanks for listening!