I started making these goofy holiday-themed mixtapes in 2006, inspired by the yule-mixologist Andy Cirzan‘s annual appearances on the great WBEZ radio show and podcast Sound Opinions. I was honored to interview Andy for a Washington Post piece about my mixtape several years later, and to appear with him on a Minnesota Public Radio segment that I’m glad to tell you did not involve Garrison Keillor in any way.
So I’ve been collecting and compiling weird old Christmas-themed recordings for a long time now, but I didn’t buy a turntable until the latter part of 2016. I’d refused to even entertain the possibility of joining the vinyl resurgence, because I knew my discipline would crumble and I’d feel compelled to drain my banking account re-buying dozens of my favorite albums in the most expensive, space-consuming, fragile, and heavy music-distribution format ever conceived, with the possible exception of the wax cylinder. Which is exactly what happened. I have four working turntables in my apartment at this moment. Four. If I had any reasonable estimate of how many LPs there are, I would be too embarrassed to share that number with you.
Side B of my 2015 yulemix, The Christmas Force Awakens — Yuletunes Eclectice & Inexplicable Perfect X: Final Sequence, is posted. (Both sides are posted together on this page.)
There are always a couple of outtakes, but this one had more than a few. Cutting the mashup of The Pretenders’ “2000 Miles” and Chrissie Hynde’s controversial October 2015 Morning Edition interview about her new memoir was a hard call, but the right one. Cutting the mashup of John Williams “Imperial Death March” from The Empire Strikes Back and “The Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy” from The Nutcracker was probably insane; we’ll never see this level of Star Wars fever again in my lifetime. The others may surface if I can summon the resolve to do this for an eleventh time.
May your days be shiny and chrome, and may the Christmas Force be with you. Merry Christmas.
Hark! The tenth installment in my indefatigable Christmas mixtape series, entitled The Force Awakens — Yuletunes Eclectic & Inexplicable Perfect X: Final Sequence, is upon us. Side A is, anyway. Side B shall appear like the clanky ghost of Jacob Marley upon Ebeneezer Scrooge’s doorstep in one week’s time.
In the unlucky event your computer or personal electronic device is not equipped with a tape deck, you can stream Side A below. May your days be shiny and chrome, and may the Christmas Force be with you. Continue reading
Posted in Christmas, music
Tagged Christmas, Harrison Ford, James Brown, Johnny Cash, Miles Davis, mixtapes, Neko Case, Nick Lowe, Star Wars, yulejams, yulemixes, yuletunes
I don’t have a Christmas tree in my apartment yet. My friends haven’t seen me in weeks. My editors are all ready to fire me. I’ve been avoiding mirrors, but I assume I look like Ted Kaczynski.
It’s all for a noble cause: Every November & early December I fall into a four-to-six week time warp attempting to create the funniest and most reverent, most entertaining and most beguiling Christmas mixtape possible. (You may have read the essay I wrote about this project recently in the Washington Post. If you haven’t, please do.)
It is my great pleasure to unveil now for your hall-decking enjoyment entry No. 007 in my Yuletunes Eclectic & Inexplicable series. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the future of Christmas merry-making enforcement, Stay Hungry to Feed the World. In keeping with the perpetually inflating ethos of this project, it’s the longest one yet. When it comes to Christmas, less is less. And more? Is just the most. (Hear the mix after the jump.) Continue reading
Yippe kai yay, Christmas lovers! My sixth annual audio Christmas card has arrived to illuminate and/or obfuscate your yule! At two hour-long sides, the first of which you can hear right now, this is the longest yulemix ever. Remember those 120-minute blank cassettes introduced in the twilight of the analog era that allowed you to record more music at lesser quality and were highly prone to breakage? Continue reading
I’ve been making and giving away bizarro holiday mixtapes in lieu of greeting cards since 2006. I spend a lot, a crazy amount of time assembling and editing these — with October almost half gone, it’s nearly time for me to get started on this year’s edition already. The truth is I’m more delighted by these than I’ve ever been by any piece of my own writing.
I wanted to have the good ones available on my site, so here’s 2009’s entry, That Means Christmas to Some People — Yule-Tunes Eclectic and Inexplicable IV: The Quest for Peace. Continue reading