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An Xmas You’ll Always Remember

11 Dec

Here’s something you may not know about me: I absolutely love Christmas music.

Seriously.

There’s just something about it that I can’t get enough of.

The jingle-jangley tuneage permeates the malls and dominates the radio waves from Thanksgiving to December 25, and it just makes me feel so festive — and yes, I’m Jewish!

To spread that joy, I’ve been making a mix of holiday music every year since 2000, and those who’ve been listening have told me that A Very Marty Xmas just makes the holiday for them.

They say it’s as much a tradition to listen to my mixes as it is to trim the tree or party down or bake cookies (no kidding) — which, of course, is partly why I’ve kept this fun annual project going for almost a decade, and why I’ve amassed a collection of Christmas music that’s larger than any Jew should have. Continue reading

Say It Ain’t So

18 Nov

My friends, as I survey my collection of unused holiday tunes, I’m very quickly coming to the realization that there may not be a Very Marty Christmas 2008. I spent some time this past weekend re-listening to last year’s mix and congratulating myself once again on what a great, fun compilation it was. (Really. At various times, I found myself saying out loud, to no one but myself, how great an album it was.) Heck, I even made two CDs — the second being my best-of collection. So how could I possibly top those this year?

Before anyone blames this on the economy or laziness or anything else, know this much: I’m trying. But of all the new holiday music I’m listening to — Sheryl Crow, Kristin Chenoweth, the Brushfire collection, Brian McKnight, Ledisi, and even Neil Sedaka — very little of it is any good. Of course, I love the new Harry Connick Jr. holiday album, but I can’t really make a CD of only Harry Connick tunes. That wouldn’t be very cool — or legal. And I really don’t want to make a subpar CD of leftovers that didn’t make it onto previous year’s mixes (like Dido’s “Christmas Day,” a perennial also-ran, or Darlene Love’s now-three-year-old “Christmastime for the Jews“).

Really, I’m just not as excited about making a mix this year like I was last year. So maybe the best thing for me to do is go out on top and leave folks wanting more. After all, last year’s mix was really good. Like, instant-classic good. Maybe by next year I’ll have enough material to compile a really good and worthy ninth (!!) Very Marty Christmas CD. And, maybe I’ll rally and find enough for a good CD this year. You never know what can happen around holiday time. Stay tuned.

But It Is a Classic

22 Dec

Jeeeez. A whole article about Christmas CDs and not one mention of A Very Marty Xmas 2007 being an instant classic. That doesn’t seem right.

It’s Xmas All Over Again

10 Dec

Every year without fail, someone who receives my annual Very Marty Xmas mix says to me, “Hey, where’s [fill in the blank]?”

That blank can be filled by your choice of Bruce Springsteen’s “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” or Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas” or the Waitresses’ “Christmas Wrapping” or any other favorite tune.

And the simple answer is always that all those classics had already appeared on my mix, back in 2000 or 2001.

In 2005, I toyed with the idea of creating a “best of the box” mix of my favorite tunes, ones that had previously appeared on my mixes, but this year I actually compiled one. Continue reading

Sure Does Feel Like Xmas Time

10 Dec

As the great John Lennon once sang, “And so this is Christmas.” At long last — and ahead of schedule — here is the track listing for A Very Marty Xmas 2007. I spent a bit of time revisiting my older mixes this year, and after re-listening to last year’s mix, I decided to err on the side of festivity and jolly-tude when deciding what to include on the ’07 edition. As a result, some folks (like Harry Connick Jr.) had to take a year off. But I think this is a mix that will definitely stand the test of time, just like 2004 and 2005’s have. And I love some of the new stuff I discovered, like Mindy Smith’s “Santa Will Find You,” a hopeful tune that’ll appeal to kids of all ages. And of course, how great is this live version of Darlene Love doing “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” on The Late Show with David Letterman? So anyway, without further ado, here we go:

KT Tunstall — Sleigh Ride
Kay Starr — (Everybody’s Waitin’ For) The Man with the Bag
Johnny Mercer with the Pied Pipers — Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town (Q-Burns Abstract Message Remix)
The Pogues with Kirsty MacColl — Fairytale of New York
Hello Saferide — iPod Xmas
Pearl Jam — Someday at Christmas
Peggy Lee — Happy Holiday
Darlene Love — Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) (live on The Late Show with David Letterman)
Clyde McPhatter & The Drifters — White Christmas
Colbie Caillat — Mistletoe
Carnie and Wendy Wilson — Hey Santa
Mindy Smith — Santa Will Find You
Guster — Donde Esta Santa Claus?
Eels — Everything’s Gonna Be Cool This Christmas
Bon Jovi — I Wish Everyday Could Be Like Christmas
Heritage Hall Jazz Band with Gregg Stafford — Silver Bells
The Chipmunks (with David Seville) — We Wish You a Merry Christmas
The LeeVees — How Do You Spell Chunnukkahh?
James Taylor — Jingle Bells
Brian Wilson — Deck the Halls
Mighty Mighty Bosstones — Xmas Time (It Sure Doesn’t Feel Like It)
Teddy Geiger — All I Want for Christmas Is You
Fiona Apple — Frosty the Snowman
Rufus Wainwright — What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?

Good stuff. Copies are still on their way to some of my readers, but if you’d like to compile your own copy of this mix, most of these tracks can be found by going to the Hype Machine. And don’t you fret: I still have hundreds more tracks in my collection that have yet to appear on a mix, so yes, Virginia, there will be a Very Marty Xmas 2008. Stay tuned. Until then, happy holidays everybody!

Xmas Is Coming

8 Dec

On Monday you’ll find out what’s on this year’s A Very Marty Xmas CD. Ooooh, I can’t wait to share it with y’all. But until then, I’m still trying to figure out if it’s possible to copy a CD on a Mac without using iTunes. But that’s my problem, not yours (unless, of course, you have a solution for me and then I’d be more than happy to hear it). Thanks!

It’s Done. Already.

2 Dec

In one week you will know what made the cut for A Very Marty Xmas 2007. For now, I just thought I’d hype up the mix a little. I’m real happy with the finished product and can’t wait for you all to hear it. Now, if only I could figure out how to make multiple copies on my Mac without using iTunes. Anybody know?