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!



Protecting Your Rights on the Internet
Tel 44-(0)208-323 8013
Fax 44-(0)208-323 8080


Hi TMoC / TTK,

On behalf of Exile Productions and Exile Publishing, we would kindly ask you not to post pirate copies of Van Morrison tracks on your blog.

We do appreciate that you are a fan of / are promoting Van, but Exile would greatly appreciate your co-operation in removing your links to the pirate file in question.

Thank you for respecting the artist's and labels' wishes and, if you want good quality, non-pirated, preview tracks from Van's new album - "Keep It Simple" - full versions of "That's Entrainment" and "Behind The Ritual" (along with album track samplers) are available for you to link to on Lost Highway's web-site at http://www.losthighwayrecords.com .

Up-to-the-minute info on Keep It Simple and Van’s 2008 shows is, of course, also available on www.vanmorrison.com and www.myspace.com/vanmorrison and, for a limited period, you can still hear Van's exclusive BBC concert at http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/aod/radio2_aod.shtml?radio2/r2_vanmorrison and you can also see his BBC sessions at http://www.bbc.co.uk/musictv/vanmorrison/video/ .

As you will appreciate, this e-mail is written on a without prejudice basis and, as such, all of our clients' accumulated, worldwide rights and remedies remain strictly reserved : please excuse this required formality.

With Thanks & Regards,


David Federman said...

"Pretty Boy Floyd" is a Woody Guthrie Song recorded by him in 1940 and perhaps other times. I think your regulars would enjoy his recording, also. I've been using it on Christmas mixes for years.