I don’t really like Christmas music; I don’t know many people who do. So when my former teacher Jay Varner started putting up his holiday mixes at his shared blog Talus or Scree, I was skeptical. Was this just another variation on Now That’s What I Call Christmas!, the irritating 2 disc set of every Christmas song that’s played on mainstream radio? I took a risk and downloaded the first playlist. Nope, this was a totally different experience. I was hooked!
I don’t want to spoil the discovery if you decide to click over & see what songs are there. But the thing that I loved about the mixes is that I hadn’t heard a majority of the songs! That’s part of the charm of Jay’s mixes and it turns out I’m not the only one craving something other than the millionth rendition of “Santa Baby.” The Financial Times included Jay & his podcasting partner Patrick Culliton in a recent article about neglected holiday hits.
So, in these last few days before Christmas, treat yourself to a few of songs from Jay Varner’s Merrymaking Mix 2012. I particularly like Disc 3, which is full of sad country & folk songs about the darker side to the holidays. But then what do you expect from a girl who watches Eastern Promises while trimming the tree?