Graphic by Rachael Novak
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About a year ago, Scene pal D.X. Ferris sent me his annual DXmas holiday compilation, and I had the idea to post it on the blog. Not too long after that, the idea started to kick around in my head that perhaps it might be fun to post a weekly mix, submitted by fans. And at the end of 2009, here we are with quite a few mixes shared throughout the year, from many different zip codes, each one an interesting peek inside of another fan's musical library. I'd call it a success - I've yet to get a mix that I would categorize as "awful," and I guess it stands to reason that if you're reading this blog, our musical taste is probably somewhat similar.
Kudos to all of you for a job well done....and if you're sitting on your mix out there, now would be a great time to send that sucker in!
Now, onto this week's mix: This week's mix is the first of two holiday mixes, and appropriately, this week's mix comes again from Ferris - we've officially come full circle, I guess.
P.S. - Buy Ferris's Slayer book and get in touch with him, and he'll send ya free stuff. Details here.
About Today's Mix:
Welcome to DXmas 2009. Aside from the Samhain season, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.
This year’s mix is entitled “DXmas XI: A Black and White Christmas.” (download) It cycles through a little bit of something for everybody, from yuletide classics to some tracks you’re probably not expecting. Fiona Apple to Springsteen, Cyndi Lauper to John Legend, Trailer Park Boys to Michael Jackson. RIP, MJ. Come back next year if you’re looking for metal.
The cover art is a picture of Archie the Snowman. The giant snowman took greeted kids and took their Christmas-gift requests at Akron, OH’s Chapel Hill Mall from 1969 through 2003. He’d talk to kids, loom over them, and scare the bejeezus outta the little tykes. But he’s remembered fondly.
2003 was Archie’s last year of active duty; he hasn’t been seen since, and we fear the worst. I never met Archie. Author David Giffels wrote a couple great pieces about him. I don’t know who took the picture, but I got it from www.wonderfulwonderblog.blogspot.com, which is a must-visit site if you’re into fall holidays and monsters. Dude also makes some truly great Xmas mixes. Stop by and check it out.
As my tradition, I’ve made a few versions of my annual Xmas mix.
The Family Version is much shorter, and edited to remove explicit language and spoilers about Santa Claus.
The other three versions are all pretty much the same, with some minor differences. For the most part, they’re not too offensive.
Plain Version (download) is the most straight-ahead one, and it doesn’t take you too far off the path to Christmas Town.
Celtic Version has a little extra dash of Irish for my Celtic cousins out there.
Alt-Rock Version has an added dollop of ‘90s alt-rock -- an extra song to underscore the seasonal wishes of friendship, love, and peace on earth.
If you can, try to take a listen before you look at the track lists. In this age of spoilers, a good mixtape is the one of the few truly surprising media experiences you can still get.
So, without looking, how do you know if you should you download it? Here’s a few words about the track list.
It starts off with some holiday standards, as performed by pop names of today and yesteryear.
Then you get some newer Xmastime tunes, some with a TV connection.
Next, you have a few songs that aren’t explicitly about Christmas, but have a holiday flavor -- one was written about December, one has sleigh bells, etc.
After those, a few mashups. Then an upswing of brash tunes, rawkus (sic) attitude, and couple-few mother jokes and F-bombs.
Then it goes down a couple notches, gets mellow, and ends with a faith-themed bang.
A couple of the tracks are long and meandering, but give ‘em a try. Put in on, drift off, and see if it doesn’t feel like Festivus.
I think every mix has room for song or two that does not, technically, belong there – but FEELS right. So give it a chance, and hopefully it’ll add a few tunes to your Holiday canon.
Thanks for listening. Have a great season.
And remember: Unless you’re a head of state, on a day-to-day basis, there’s nothing better you can do to promote peace on earth than driving carefully and courteously. Give a courtesy wave, let trucks into your lane, and get the fuck out of the passing lane.
-- Ferris, Dec. 2009
ps. Sorry about the half-assed artwork; I don’t have InDesign on my home computer.
Editor's note: I've got the other three versions referenced above, and I plan to post 'em - the only problem is that I seem to have misplaced them Enjoy the "plain" version, and keep an eye peeled for the other three flavors, hopefully before the end of the week.