Monday, December 1, 2008

HO HO HO and Here We Go....

Here it is again, Christmastime. Seems hard to believe, how fast the year has gone by. But here we are, putting up trees, bustling through shopping malls, shoveling snow, writing letters to Santa, planning get togethers, singing Christmas carols.

Christmas carols. Aside from the fact that the local radio stations literally started playing Christmas music ON Halloween this year, I love Christmas music. I'm a fan. Dedicated. I have amassed a large collection of tunes throughout my 45 years, and I make a point of sharing my favorites with as many people as I can.

Back in the early 90's I started assembling a Christmas collection as a vocal Christmas card. I oftentimes included original productions as well. But culling the CD's, visiting the different record stores each Christmas season and picking out new titles to add to my collection has always been a treat. And, with music, a great deal of the joy is in being able to share it.

This year's theme will include birds. Hey, I'm Parakeetgirl; it figures, doesn't it? It's been a bit of a trick to find Christmas/holiday/winter songs that make reference to birds. Given that birds are a well referenced theme in Christmas cards, ornaments and decorations, you would think that songs featuring them would be plentiful. Not so. I've done my homework. I've scoured my CD's, gone through songbooks, visited many a website about birds, and have only come up with about a dozen. And that counts an original I'm producing this year with a friend of mine. That's okay, I'll fill in the disc with several new discoveries.

And speaking of's a new Christmas collection worth checking out - "The Hotel Cafe' presents...Winter Songs". It's got some brand-new holiday tunes, and very original productions of some tried and true favorites. The title track "Winter Song" by Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson is beautiful. "Frosty the Snowman" by Fiona Apple harkens to a bygone era. "The Heartache can Wait" by Brenda Carlile is haunting and melodic. Definitely worth a listen. A portion of the profits goes to Susan G. Komen for the Cure to fight breast cancer, so there's good will attached as well. Check it out here:

Over the years I've searched high and low for obscure Christmas tunes. My main complaint about holiday radio is that they play the same things over and over. When you're trying to fill 24 hours of air time, you'd think they would welcome something a little different. That said, there are a few artists I've never found Christmas/holiday tunes for. Wouldn't it be grand, or at least interesting to hear holiday music by: Bob Dylan, Bjork (the only piece I've found is instrumental, and amounts to the "sound of snowflakes" falling), Billie Holiday (something besides the classic "I've got my love to keep me warm"), Patti Griffin, Lucinda Williams, The Killers. There are more, but it's late and I'm starting to fade...more on this subject matter later. In the meantime...

I'll fade out...cue the jingle bells...

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