The K-Ticket Christmas Eve Music Playlist, With a Few Leftovers For the Morning
Many thanks for the kind notes and calls as we sailed past the midnight clear; always nice to hear from old faraway friends I've only met via the miracle of radio -- how utterly old-fashioned, which makes it that much more special. Thanks too to Mayor Mike Rawlings, who phoned in some well wishes for the year to come.
But if there's one reason to tune in for the 4-7 p.m. rebroadcast today -- after Mavs-Heat, such good timing -- it's the never-before-heard Slobberbone song Brent Best dispatched especially for this year's holiday spectacular. As I noted last night, "Gumdrop," which sounds far more polished than any mere demo, has all the things I look for in a Christmas song: sleigh bells, substance abuse, wailing guilt, begged-for redemption, last-minute absolution and a slow build to a roaring bonfire. As much a future classic as Diamond Rugs' "Christmas in a Chinese Restaurant."
As promised, last night's playlist follows. Merry Christmas to all -- you, especially.
The Jive Turkeys, "Get Down Santa"
Eux Autres, "Teenage Christmas" (Jacobites cover)
The Sonics, "Don't Believe in Christmas"
Freddie King, "Christmas Tears"
Idlewild, "Mistletoe and Wine" (cover of a hit for Cliff Richard)
Billy Joel, "Merry Little Christmas"
Brent Best, "Gumdrop" (Slobberbone demo, previously unreleased)
Dave Edmunds, "Run, Rudolph, Run"
Johnny Dollar, "Christmas in the Country" (vintage radio promo)
Dwight Yoakam, "Santa Can't Stay"
The Killers, "Don't Shoot Me Santa"
Julian Casablancas, "I Wish It Was Christmas Today" (yes, a cover of this song)
Dog is Dead, "Christmas Wrapping" (The Waitresses cover)
My Morning Jacket with The Head and the Heart, "When the Bells Start Ringing"
James Brown, "Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto" (remix)
Telekinesis, "Father Christmas" (Kinks cover)
Amos Milburn, "Let's Make Christmas Merry, Baby"
Diamond Rugs, "Christmas in a Chinese Restaurant"
Billy Bragg and Florence Welch, "Fairytale of New York"
Bob Marley and the Wailers, "White Christmas"
King Salami and the Cumberland 3, "Black Santa"
Run-DMC, "Christmas in Hollis"
Mike O'Neill, "Frosty the Gold Rush"
Willie Nelson and Norah Jones, "Baby, It''s Cold Outside"
Wilco and Billy Bragg, "Christ for President"
Paddy Roberts, "Merry Christmas, You Suckers"
Emmy the Great and Lightspeed Champion, "Christmas in Prison" (John Prine cover)
Lindley Ruth and Her Tipsy String Band, "Merry Christmas from the Family" (Robert Earl Keen cover)
The Decemberists, "Please Daddy (Don't Get Drunk for Christmas)" (John Denver cover)
Branches, "O Come All Ye Faithful"
Stephen Colbert and Elvis Costello, "There Are Worse Things to Believe In"
He's My Brother She's My Sister, "Merry Christmas Everybody" (Slade cover)
Soul Saints Orchestra, "Santa's Got a Bag of Soul"
Danny Balis, "Little Silver Cross"
Coldplay, "2000 Miles" (The Pretenders cover)
Damien Dempsey, "O Holy Night"
And, a few highly recommended songs that didn't make the nice list (this year):
The Salvation Alley String Band, "Pretty Paper" (Willie Nelson cover)
Julie Roberts, "Who Needs Mistletoe"
Dawes, "Christmastime is Here" (Vince Guaraldi cover) (here, with 21 other offerings)
Holmes, "There'll Be No Christmas Without You"
Mogwai, "Christmas Song" (here, plus 39 more!)
The Brood, "One Winter's Night"
Anya Marina, "I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas"