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Welcome to Hip Christmas! Welcome To Hip Christmas! I think you'll enjoy my dysfunctionally vast web archive dedicated to holiday music that rocks, rolls, swings, and twangs. If you do, please support me by shopping at Amazon, iTunes, and Sheet Music Plus! Regardless, the best of the season to you - no matter what month it is! [about me]
What's New? What's New In 2015? I've made my list - but I haven't checked it twice. Still, it's a rough draft of every hip, semi-hip, or strangely interesting Christmas release this year - so far. My favorites include new music by Sharon Jones and Brian Setzer, plus reissues from Lynn Anderson, Glen Campbell, the Three Suns, and the Soulful Strings. [gimme gimme gimme]
A Christmas Gift For You! A Christmas Gift For You. For a brief time, I'm offering free MP3's of a five treasures from my voluminous collection - songs I love (or love to hate) and that I'm confident you can't find easily at any store. This year, we celebrate criminal justice reform with five songs about Christmas in prison, including rare treats by Leroy Carr, the Youngsters, the Swallows, Dale Watson, and Willie Nelson. [download now]
Christmas Jukebox the Christmas Jukebox. My online Christmas music player is bulging with over 350 songs - and counting! Now you can listen to the music I write about - the coolest, weirdest, and loudest holiday tunes ever. All while enjoying my inimitable prose.... [press play]
Mailbag Mailbag. Despite the fact that I all but tell them not to (no, really), artists send me CD's, MP3's, and more, asking me to trumpet their music on my website. Simply put, I can't keep up. Rather than have them completely waste their time and money, I throw the more substantial submissions on this page and let fate take its course. Hey, it's better than a lump of coal! [open the bag]
Nick Lowe and Los Straitjackets A Quality Holiday. Nick Lowe and Los Straitjackets have dropped a suprise "live" album from last year's "Quality Holiday Revue" featuring songs from their collective holiday recordings. Confusingly, it's available in separate MP3 and vinyl listings at Amazon and on CD at Yep Roc. [pure pop]
Indie For The Holidays Indie For The Holidays. Amazon's at it again (cf. last year's All Is Bright) with a whole playlist of new (or new-ish) music for download - or streaming if you're an Amazon Prime member. Highlights include tracks by the LeeVees, Robert Pollard, Lisa Loeb, and Reverend Horton Heat. [play me]
Dollyrots Run For Your Life, Rudolph. After releasing a cumulative holiday EP last year, Los Angeles pop punk duo The Dollyrots have come up with an even louder, faster Christmas single. It's available at NoiseTrade, Bandcamp, or the band's website - where much fab gear can be purchased. [go get it]
Mailbag Welcome to the 21st Century. Hey, I'm on the Facebook! That didn't take long.... Next, I'm going to upgrade my pager! Anyway, like me, follow me, leave angry comments about Obama, whatever - just please share my scintillating and witty click bait. [call to action]
XO For The Holidays Hugs and Kisses For Xmas. For the eighth straight year, our friends at XO Publicity have compiled a free sampler of hip tunes - XO For The Holidays, Volume 8. What's more, you can still pick up Volume 1 , Volume 2 , Volume 3, Volume 4, Volume 5, Volume 6, and Volume 7 - gratis, as usual. [download now]
Joe Bonamassa NoiseTrade Soundcloud Festive Freebies. A lot of Christmas music is free these days, though most websites offer the chance to "name your price" or "tip" - and you should. My favorites so far this year are The Dollyrots and Sofia Talvik, both of whom have made a tradition out their (very, very different) annual Christmas singles. More to come...
Gene Autry Oops. Do you know how it feels when they tell you that God is dead and you're adopted? I do. Recently, I discovered that most of what I thought I knew about Gene Autry's tangled Christmas catalog was wrong. So, I've re-built my discography and re-written my review. [giddy-up]
Top 100 Christmas Songs Top 100 Christmas Songs. Countdown to Christmas Day with these always wonderful, frequently crazy songs - from Phil Spector's celebrated Wall Of Sound to obscure punk, country, and rhythm & blues. [read more]
Cashing In On Christmas

Still Cashing In On Christmas. After six volumes, I think we get the schtick. Nevertheless, this series of hardcore punk and oi is always amusing - and loud. Last year's volume is still available, only on "yellow snow" or "black coal" vinyl - but you get a free download upon purchase. [cash in]

Top 20 Christmas Albums Top 20 Christmas Albums. Actually, 40 - I started unwrapping presents and just couldn't stop! Anyway, who said Christmas music has to be boring? Not me! These sterling platters will put you in the Christmas spirit faster than you can say, "Go Cat Go!" [read more]
Carly Jamison

I'm Not Ambitious, I'm Hyperactive. Not content with simply releasing one Christmas single, NYC DIY singer, songwriter, and rocker Carly Jamison decided she'd release four: The Happiest Christmas Tree, I'm Getting A Ukulele For Christmas, Oh No Santa Claus, and It Feels Like Christmas Every Single Day, which is a fully realized version of a demo-quality track she offered last year. Anyway, against all odds, all four singles are pretty great! [count 'em]

Weezer Best Single Ever? In 2000, emo/alt-rockers Weezer released a two-song promo called simply Christmas CD. The first track, "Christmas Celebration" is off-the-charts brilliant (see Top 100 Songs), and the second track, "Christmas Song," is pretty great, too. Both have proven scarce over the years, but the band has quietly released it this year on iTunes. [ka-ching]
Wreckless Eric Wreckless Eric Is On Fire. New wave hero and old school eccentric Wreckless Eric has a new song, "Christmas On The M62," out on Fire Records. He recorded the jaundiced carol with Outside World and partner-in-crime Amy Rigby, and it's a split single with Sterling Roswell, whose "It's A Rockin' Good Christmas" lives up to its title. Stream on Soundcloud or buy on Amazon. [whole wonderful world]
Paste Yum, Paste! Oh-so-hip steampunk rag Paste is back with their 2014 Holiday Sampler, for download through Noisetrade. This year's sampler is highlighted by Over The Rhine, The Oh Hellos, James Apollo, and Swear And Shake (read more). But, be sure to leave a tip, Ebeneezer. [sticky stuff]
Joe Bonamassa Bonamassa Means Christmas (Again). For the second year in a row, modern blues artist Joe Bonamassa is offering a free song on his website: Lonesome Christmas, originally recorded by Lowell Fulson in 1951. This year, Joe's making a donation to music education with every free download - whatta deal! [go for it]
Roger McGuinn There Is A Season. Byrd-meister Roger McGuinn has been releasing free Christmas songs nearly every year since 1995 through his website, The Folk Den - carols, hymns, and other songs consistent with his long-standing crusade for folk music. This year he offers The Cherry Tree Carol - and all previous tracks are available in the archives. [folk you]
Naughty List Kris Kringle, OK! Hard as it may be to conceptualize, there's a Volkswagon dealership that wants to make Norman, Oklahoma the indie Christmas music capital of the world. With the support of Fowler VW, Blackwatch Studios has now released their fourth Christmas compilation, The Naughty List - and all four are free on Bandcamp. (There's even an early, fifth volume, also free....) [download sooner]
The Ultimate Holiday Soundtrack Free - and worth every Cent! One of my truisms these days is that "music is worthless." Of course, music means a lot to me. But most CD's sell for a pennies, and a lot of music is just given away. Case in point: HGTV has teamed up with NoiseTrade to offer The Ultimate Holiday Soundtrack, 30 tracks from top indie artists such as Over The Rhine - and they aren't even asking for a tip. [twist my arm]
coal Stuff This. As the coolest record company in the world, Norton Records wants you to take your iPod shove it up your Krampus. Logically, then, most of their long string of rockin' Christmas singles have never been available in any digital format. This year's offering, "Stuffin Her Stockin'" by one-man-band Bloodshot Bill, is no exception - vinyl only, please. [buy now]
Noise To The World Noise To The World. The Converse sneaker company is giving away some new holiday music as part of their Rubber Tracks series, including tracks from indie faves Deer Tick and Dum Dum Girls. While you're there, pick up last year's playlist, as well, featuring Austin rockers Roxy Roca. [get noisy]
Santastic Merry Christmash. DJ BC and crew have unreleashed the ninth installment Santastic, their annual free Christmas mash-up. All the former volumes are available, including my favorite, Menorah Mashups, for the inner Jew in all of us. Mostly, these goodies are free - but a donation will be greatly appreciated. Now dance, Sugar Plum Fairy, dance! [do the mash]
A Very Special Christmas A Really Very Special Christmas. After nearly 30 years of increasingly awful sequels, it's easy to forget what a big deal A Very Special Christmas was back in 1987. It spawned a few hip holiday classics (most notably Run-DMC's "Christmas In Hollis"), but its biggest impact came in the slew of Christmas releases that followed in its wake - and continues unabated to this day. Learn more in Billboard or read my review of the whole, chequered series. [more, please]
Jews For Jesus Jews For Jesus. A surprising number of popular Jewish entertainers have recorded Christmas albums and songs. From Irving Berlin to Beck, we've got the shmutz on this strange phenomena. Plus, Jews we wish would record a Christmas record - and Jews we hope do not! [read more]
Horny Holidays Horny Holidays. Some people love to bask in the warm glow of friends and family during the holiday season. Others feel like starting a family (or something to that effect) at Christmas time. Read about the 20 naughtiest songs in the history of the holiday. You'll never look at a candy cane quite the same. [read more]
Season For Stalkers 'Tis The Season For Stalkers. In the 50's and 60's, a number of Christmas songs were recorded about the two most popular artists in rock history - Elvis Presley and the Beatles. Read about this strange and obscure - and obsessive - phenomenon. [read more]
Christmas In Vietnam Christmas In Vietnam. Most holiday music is escapist. Who, after all, wants to think about death and mayhem during the season of hope? Nevertheless, the Vietnam war intruded into this idyllic genre during the turbulent 60's, and we examine six songs that looked at Christmas through the eyes of soldiers and their families. [read more]
Wish List My Wish List. It wouldn't be a record collector's website unless I published my wish list - Christmas songs I'm still hunting down, and songs for which I'd happily barter from my relatively vast treasure chest. If you have a copy of any of these rare goodies, let's talk! [read more]
Spin Humbug Hit Parade. If the annual deluge of holiday music hokum is driving you to suicide-by-fruitcake, Spin Magazine has 25 of the weirdest, darkest, most awesome ought-a-be classics you'll never hear in a mall this season. [read more] Top 40 Christmas Oldies Songs. The web is crammed with blogs and tweets, obscuring the fact that experts might know more than know-it-alls armed with a quick wit and a laptop. To me, that's sad, and this rock solid list from shows why. [read more]
Spinner 12 Worst/Best Songs of Christmas. I enjoyed this list from Spinner Magazine so much that I just had to share it. I am proud to say I own all 12 best songs of Christmas - and all but one of the worst! [read more]
Indie Rock Cafe The 12 Plays Of Christmas. The Indie Rock Cafe has published an amazing set of holiday playlists ranging from a handful of classics to an endless supply of genuinely obscure bands sure to thrill the kiddies and stump obsessive collectors. [listen & download]

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