Annotated track list TK, but like James Brown says early in the set, Don’t Be Hungry — the latest and longest installment in my Yuletunes Eclectic & Inexplicable series is live for your hall-decking pleasure now.
I’ve recontextualized a handful of old favorite tunes and clips from prior sets, but despite its formidable length — a few minutes longer than Die Hard, but still a few minutes shorter than The Avengers — the overwhelming majority of this one is stuff I’ve never compiled before. And as usual, I’ve already got a stockingload of outtakes I’ll be mulling over again for possible inclusion next year. It was agony to lose the “Cowboy Santa Suite” from Side B, but take it from a guy who spends a lot of time seeing theatre: Act Two cannot be longer than Act One; that’s just a gross violation of the social contract of art-making. Try it and the audience will turn on you.
My only real goal this year was to keep the mix short and tight. An hour seemed reasonable. Hey, Peace on Earth sounds reasonable, too. May this keep you in good company on your long road trips and flights and sleepless nights.
Thanks as always to the great Andy Cirzan for stirring my interest in “holiday obscura” with his annual appearances on the great WBEZ radio show and podcast Sound Opinions.
FURTHER READING: My 2012 Washington Post essay about my annual yulemix project. My Post piece from a few weeks ago about Nick Lowe‘s terrific new Christmas album, Quality Street. And my Slate essay from last week that ponders why it’s been a generation since we admitted a new song into the classic yule-pop canon. That last one got me invited on CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper last week! They haven’t posted video of the segment, unfortunately — I put on a sport jacket and combed my hair and everything — but you can read a transcript here if you want.