Thursday, December 12, 2013

Favorite Holiday Tunes Playlist II

I have no business curating another holiday playlist with everything going on these days, but the idea came to me after reading in the December issue of Real Simple. Under party tips, it was suggested that hosts take advantage of streaming services for music and have a soundtrack randomly selected.  Of course, I'm all about the pick and choosing of tunes, then lovingly sequencing a playlist.  When I got out my Favorite Holiday Tunes Playlist from 2011 for background as the decorating began last weekend, it was like having a beloved old friend visit. So I took another look into my vast holiday music archives and put together another one.

Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips begins Favorite Holiday Tunes II, intoning that "Everything is going to work out just fine."  This is exactly what I need to hear and this time of year, entrusted as I am with the role of family traditions coordinator.  This is followed by two covers of songs from cherished holiday specials. 80s rockabilly master from the Stray Cats Brian Setzer intones "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" and Au Revoir Simone muster a laissez faire attitude for "Christmas" (as in the Peanuts gang type).  I also couldn't help including Fall Out Boy's raucous version from my Halloween obsession the Nightmare Before Christmas, "What's This?"

The rest is a mix and match of old and new, with two songs from the recent Starbucks compilation, Holidays Rule (2012) -- a powerhouse collabo with Rufus Wainwright and Sharon Van Etten in "Baby, It's Cold Outside," and The Shins taking on Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime."  There's a song by Fitz & The Tantrums that was offered as a free download last year, when they were still cranking out that awesome retro vibe that got them noticed in the music scene on the first place.  And I'll be forever thankful that someone came up with the idea of having Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders rock a holiday classic, "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." (She's my answer to the question, who would you sing like if you could sing like anyone?) Plus I'm not usually a fan of remixes, but YACHT took on the goofy tune with The B-52's Fred Schneider as The Superions, "Fruitcake," to cook up a match made in holiday heaven. I've concluded with two songs pointing us to the New Year, Death Cab for Cutie's contemplative "The New Year" and Dan Wilson's "What A Year For New Year" (a nod to witnessing this velvety smooth voice in concert back in November!)

Link to listen here, enjoy!

1. "A Change At Christmas (Say It Isn't So)" -- The Flaming Lips
2. "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" -- The Brian Setzer Orchestra
3. "Christmas" -- Au Revoir Simone
4. "Santa Stole My Lady" -- Fitz and & The Tantrums
5. "Let It Snow" -- Luscious Jackson
6. "Baby, It's Cold Outside" -- Rufus Wainwright featuring Sharon Van Etten
7. "Sleigh Ride" -- The Ventures
8. "The Christmas Song" -- The Raveonettes
9. "Christmas Time" -- Smashing Pumpkins 
10. "What's This?" -- Fall Out Boy
11. "Little Saint Nick" -- Sugar Ray
12. "Wonderful Christmastime" -- The Shins
13. "Please Come Home For Christmas" -- Pat Benatar
14. "Fruitcake (YACHT remix)" -- The Superions
15. "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" -- The Pretenders
16. "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" -- The Smithereens
17. "The New Year" -- Death Cab for Cutie
18. "What A Year For A New Year" -- Dan Wilson