So, I have this teeny tiny OCD-type thing with playlists. My sister and probably all of my close friends might describe it more like a slightly insane need to meticulously create playlists for and then completely take charge of any and all situations where music might possibly be playing. Tomato, Tomahto. However you want to look at, one thing is for sure – I make spectacular playlists. Yes, sometimes that means I can spend between 4 hours and 4 days making said playlists, but for me, it’s worth it. Nothing ruins a good time quite like a badly curated iPod on shuffle or a crap Pandora channel left unattended. Don’t even get me started on what people do to jukeboxes at bars these days.
That being said, I thought this week I would both get in the holiday spirit and share some of my playlist expertise with you guys.
Everyone has their family holiday traditions and in my cross-cultural clan where we celebrate Hanukkah and Christmas (yes, double presents absolutely rules) that means my Mom makes the latkes and decorates the tree like it’s sitting front and center at a Restoration Hardware, my Dad makes something unbelievably delicious to eat on Xmas Eve, my Sister pours the wine and I am in charge of the music (natch). Last year I spent probably 8 hours cultivating what I like to call the “Ultimate Alternative Holiday Mix” and man, was it worth the effort. I mean, no offense to Mariah or Bublé or the people that buy their Christmas albums every year but I wanted to put together a playlist that would attempt to highlight the non-traditional side of holiday tunes. Sure, I have a mix that is all about Bing Crosby and Dean Martin, but sometimes those songs feel played out and you long to hear Xmas jams and New Year’s themed songs by way of The Ramones, Kurtis Blow and The Walkmen, right?
Well, look no further, friends, because here it is. Write it down, email it to yourself, take a picture with your phone…just make sure you get thee to iTunes or Amazon or however you might buy (wink wink) your music and download these essential tracks. In truth, my actual playlist turned out to be 97 songs and over five hours long…not exactly the best thing for a succinct blog post. What I’ve culled from that ultimate-ultimate list for you instead are, in my humble opinion, the 30 stand-out must-have songs to get your holiday in full swing this weekend. Soon, you too could be impressing co-workers by DJing your office party or enthralling guests with your alterna-cool ways at your white elephant shindig. Let me know if I’ve missed any good ones…although I would be surprised (and slightly shamed) at my oversight, I would still love to be able to add to this list for future holiday enjoyment.
Whatever you celebrate and wherever you might be celebrating it this year, I hope it’s a rockin’ good time.
Happy Holidays, Gigglers!
Jennie’s Ultimate Alternative Holiday Mix
1. Xmas Cake – Rilo Kiley
2. Spotlight On Christmas – Rufus Wainwright
3. Auld Lang Syne – Dropkick Murphys
4. Twelve Days of Christmas – Relient K
5. The New Year – Death Cab For Cutie
6. We Wish You a Merry Christmas – Weezer
7. Christmas – Rogue Wave
8. Christmas Rappin’ – Kurtis Blow
9. Thank God It’s Christmas – Queen
10. Jingle Bell Rock – Hall and Oates
11. Christmas All Over Again – Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
12. Merry Christmas I Don’t Want To Fight – The Ramones
13. Just Like Christmas – Low
14. Donna and Blitzen – Badly Drawn Boy
15. I Wish It Was Christmas Today – Julian Casablancas
16. New Years Eve – The Walkmen
17. Christmas Wrapping – The Waitresses
18. Holiday – Vampire Weekend
19. Hanukkah Blessings – Barenaked Ladies
20. Let Me Sleep (It’s Christmas Time) – Pearl Jam
21. Father Christmas – The Kinks
22. Christmas Is Going to the Dogs – Eels
23. Last Christmas – Jimmy Eat World
24. Back Door Santa – JET
25. Fairytale of New York – The Pogues & Kristy MacColl
26. Feast of Lights – They Might Be Giants
27. Christmas Reggae – Bob Marley
28. The Little Drum Machine Boy – Beck
29. One Big Holiday – My Morning Jacket
30. Don’t Shoot Me Santa – The Killers