Stubbys House of Christmas       
1. By Divine Right: ‘Mall Santa’*
2. Paper Lions: ‘Jingle Bells’
3. The Mountains and The Trees: ‘My Favourite Sweater (Happy Holidays)’ *
4. Great Lake Swimmers: ‘Gonna Make It Through The Year’
5. Ox: ‘Xmas In the Jailhouse’
6. The Zolas: ‘Snow’
7. Baby Eagle: ‘Fearfully and Wonderfully’ *
8. Boxer The Horse: ‘Material Xmas’
9. Adaline & Frederick: ‘Let’s Stay Inside’
10. Sean Nicholas Savage: ‘Snowflake’
11. The Russian Futurists: ’100 Shopping Days Till Christmas’
12. Kashka (Kat Burns of Forest City Lovers): ‘Picture Books In Winter’ *
13. Nat Jay: ‘Green Trees, Red Hearts’
14. Hooded Fang: ‘Tundra Nights’ *
15. Teen Daze: ‘Medley In D (Holy Holy Holy/ Christmas at Sea/ Goodnight, Sleep Tight)’ *

                                                                                                                 DOWNLOAD AT TLOBF
1. Leif Vollebekk: ‘I’m Be Home For Christmas’ *
2. woodpigeon / Laura Leif: ‘Winter Song’ *
3. Snailhouse: ‘Believer’ *
4. Evening Hymns: ‘Just Like Christmas’ *
5. Ruth Minnikin: ‘Fur Elise’
6. Superfantastics: ‘Northern Lights’
7. Steve McKay: ‘Sounds Like Christmas’
8. The Weather Station: ‘In The Bleak Midwinter’ *
9. The Wilderness of Manitoba: ‘We Three Kings’ *
10. The Details: ‘Strings and Ribbons’
11. Artur Dyjecinski: ‘Christmas’ *
12. Basia Bulat: ‘You Are A Gift’
13. The Provincial Archive: ‘Coventry Carol’ *
14. Kris Ellestad: ‘Jeg Er Så Glad Hver Julekveld’ *
15. In-Flight Safety: ‘Fairytale of New York’

*Recorded especially for this collection

Alright, I'm officially throwing in the towel on this one.  I really wanted to give it a thorough listening to, maybe guide you through the good, the bad, and the ugly (if any).  But I haven't been able to find the time and, a week out from Christmas, I don't want you should miss out just because I don't prioritize my time well.  Maybe by next year, I'll have a complete run-down for you.  30 tracks of very diverse stuff, here, is about the best I can say.  I can say "Ho Ho Ho Deux" has been highly recommended to me by others.  That's got to count for something, right?  And, at the very least, you're going to want that Ox track, if you don't already have it.  Great Lake Swimmers and The Details are two bands I know and can certainly recommend.  And--holy crap, will you look at that.  Volume One is still up and available for free download.  25 more tracks on that one.  I ain't never gettin' outta here.  On that set, I recognize the Pointed Sticks track; you'll want to have that one, for sure.  Get the whole lot and listen when you can.  That's all I can say.
01. Creamy Creature - Molten Lava Electric Sea
02. So Quiet - End is Always Beginning
03. Be Brave Benjamin - Evergreen
04. The Last Dinosaur - Owls
05. Pequeña Fiera! - Fantasy (for Christmas Time)
06. Anímic - Epitafi
07. Frägil - 25 de Novembre
08. Pablie - Thanks to People Like
09. Chapi Chapo & Les Petites musiques de pluie - Little Hand in My Hand (with Boo Hoo)
10. International Karate - Russian Girls
11. Aitänna77 - Carbonilla
12. Green.Means.Love - To the North
13. Ann Deveria - En algún sitio
14. Little Lulis and Her Ferran Folky - Glory & Love
15. Hümo - Tres Minutos Eternidad
                                                          ERROR! LO FI RECORDINGS

A quick stop in 2008 and, as the title suggests, not all the songs here are Christmas songs.  But there's enough here to at least give it a listen through once, so long as you have any affinity whatsoever for Lo Fi Indie.  If not, move along, nothing to see here.  This is a free download compilation from Error! Lo Fi Recordings.  In fact, everything that this Spanish Indie label issues is available for free download.  That's kinda their thing and, yes, they're still releasing music today.  I recall Be Brave Benjamin was quite popular back in 08, but my taste runs more to Little Lulis and Her Ferran Folky; that one alone made the download worth it for me.  There are also some very atmospheric instrumentals, here, that I like.  Like Humo's "Tres Minutos Eternidad".  "This Is Not Only A Xmas Time Album" is still available for free download via its original post at the label's blog.  
When they first starting playing, in 1986, the members of the band were all under 18.  The lead vocalist was only 16.  Toad The Wet Sprocket were huge in college radio in the late 80s and 90s, but they enjoyed mainstream success as well, hitting the Top 40 three times between 1992 and 1994.  The members decided to pursue other projects as the millennium neared its conclusion.  This is not exactly a "hey, we're getting the band back together and taking it on the road" moment--TTWS has toured sporadically in the intervening years--but the group is back recording together again.  And this Christmas song is sort of their way of saying "Hello, again".  Yes, we missed you, too.  "It Doesn't Feel Like Christmas" is a cover of a Sam Phillips tune from her "Cold Dark Night" album, so you know its brilliant.  Get it free at Bandcamp.

1.  Christmas Is The Best
2.  Toyland
3.  Don't You Know Where Christmas Comes From?
4.  Angels We Have Heard On High
5.  Malady
6.  I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day
7.  Tinsel Vision
8.  Auld Lang Syne
9.  What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?


1.  Christmas Don't Be Late
2.  Hearthsong
3.  O Holy Night
4.  O! Mistletoe
5.  Little Drummer Boy
6.  Joy To The World
7.  Scarves Of Wool
8.  As The Deer
9.  Feliz Navidad


I can't even tell you how long I've had the bottom album--the one from 2009--on my bookmark list.  Probably since early November.  In the meantime, the group released a new set for 2010--the top album.  The group has a certain undeniable charm, I won't deny it.  How could I?  It's undeniable.  But I definitely preferred the first of these, the 2009 collection.  In any case, here's 18 free Indie Folk Christmas tunes for you from Caleb And The Caroling Caravan.  I'm sure you'll find your own favorites.  (My cat hates it, though, for whatever that's worth.)
1.  Silver Bells
2.  Merry Christmas Baby
3.  Blue Christmas

Following up their 2007 holiday EP (still available for free download), this vowel-challenged Alt Folk group has just issued "Xms EP 2".  A decent version of "Silver Bells", an interesting version of "Merry Christmas Baby" and "Blue Christmas" (blech).  Pick it up free on the Vandaveer web site.

1. Bannerman - Lost Christmas
2. Hold Dear – Anthem For An Orphan
3. The Crawley Christmas Singers – I Don’t Wanna Think About It
4. The Gladeyes – Carols and Parties
5. Dear Time's Waste – The Drink
6. Glass Owls - December
7. Bear Cat – This Christmas, All I Really Want Is To Love Somebody
8. Alaska – Oh Holy Night
9. Cool Rainbows – Grown Ups Christmas
10. Chelsea Jade & James Duncan – French Kissmas
11. Canadia – Apparently It's Christmas
12. The Bayonets – Winter Bells
13. Timothy Blackman – Christmas Bells
14. Luckless – Christmas Morning
15. Tono and the Finance Company - Orphans                                            DOWNLOAD AT LITTLE MONSTER
16. Great North – A Guiding Star
17. Jocee Tuck – Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree
18. Artisan Guns - This Year

While I've found myself occupied with "projects" and hurrying about, trying to finish up Christmas shopping and wrapping and shipping, there have been an awful lot of freebies that I've passed on posting because they've been posted elsewhere first.  Not that that bothers me at all.  I just feel like you're getting so little of my time and attention, these days, I at least owe it to you to find you something fresh.  It's not as if the stuff that's already been posted elsewhere requires any less exposition.  Always figured I could get to the other stuff tomorrow. And I just haven't.  So we need to clear some of that stuff out of the queue.  Let's start with this collection I first saw listed at Santas Working Overtime (you really can't get through the holidays without them).  "A Very Little Christmas" is an album from Little Monster Studio, a New Zealand based studio that, in his own words, "mostly exists to cater to Producer/Engineer Dave Parker's various recording projects."  Given that, this is quite an ambitious collection from Auckland.  Sadly for them, I get a little more jaded at this time of year, having listened to so much Christmas music.  I don't think I even heard the first 6 songs when I put this on.  The first song that caught my attention was Bear Cat's "This Christmas, All I Really Want Is To Love Somebody", which had a nice little vibe going on--sort of a cross between Western and Tropical or something--and the lyrics and chorus were neigh on irresistible.  Is there such a thing as Lo-Fi Wall of Sound?  OK.  Now you have my attention.  Show me something.  Alaska has the task of performing the album's one traditional carol, my personal favorite carol at that, "Oh Holy Night", and proves themselves up to the task.  Cool Rainbows gives us a delightful, sparkling "Grown Ups Christmas" which I guess I'd call Indie Pop (these labels, does anybody really know what they all mean?).  The song is as light as a morning flurry and I do worry that it's fate will be the same--not sure It'll stick with me.   There's a lot going on in Chelsea Jade and James Duncan's duet--a little psychedelia, a little shoegaze, a lot of heat.  Great song.  That one'll stick.  Best lyrics (and title), so far, from Canadia--"Apparently It's Christmas"--an energetic pop folk delight.  Alt-Country from Great North.   Artisan Guns close it out with a wonderful number of building intensity--it sounds like a finale.  You get the idea.  Some of this may be superfluous in your collection, but a lot of it is quite good.  This is quite a bit more relevant that your average indie collection, and, overall, much better recorded.  It's certainly one with enough diversity and promise that investigation is warranted.  You can download this in either 160k or 320k and a small handful of hardcopy CDs are available through New Zealand merchants, Amplifier and Marbecks.

1.  The Eyes, The Beard, The Nose, The Stomach, The Lungs
2.  Is Christmas Time Just A Dream

3.  To Get Away From Everything
4.  Christmas Is A-Lookin' Good
5.  Taste Like Candy
6.  Christmas Song

We told you about Indie Folker and his free album project way back when.  Well, he's completed his set, titled it "Monsters In The Christmas Album" and you can download it free from now to January 15.  What happens then, I don't know.

I haven't had a chance to listen to this straight through, but I sampled a bit.  I really dig whatever it is he has going on.  Call it Folk, or Alt Folk, or Indie Folk, or Anti-Folk.  All I know is he sounds to me a little like Bob Dylan and his approach to music is very much like I suspect Dylan's would have been had he been born in the 80s.  Nobody writes like Dylan.  Nobody.  But I dig this kid's sound.  I'd sign him to my label.  If I had one.

1.  Duke Robillard - Duke's Christmas
2.  Sara Petite - Souvenirs
3.  Scott Miller - Yes, Virginia
4.  Jeff Talmadge - In The Quiet Of Christmas
5.  Nu Blu - Christmas In Dixie
6.  The Wild Rumpus - Silent Night In The Bar
7.  Ian Tyson - Silver Bell
8.  Jack Tempchin - Christmas Calling
9.  Ox - Xmas In The Jailhouse
10. Boca Chica - Not On Christmas Eve
11. Shane Cooley - Window Shopping For A Long Lost Love
12. The Bengsons - Bells
13. Adam Mackintosh and The Last Dancers - It's Christmas
14. Brittany Allyn - Santa Claus Boogie
15. Gretchen Peters - Northern Lights
16. Jaimi Shuey - Christmastime Blues
17. The Porch Song Anthology - Christmas Is Cold                                        DOWNLOAD IT HERE
18. Lisa Redford - New Years Day                                              (scroll to the bottom of the Alternate Root page)
19. KAL - Jukebox Christmas
20. Dick Philpot - Jesus Lights
21. Brian Ashley Jones - Let's Get Blazed For The Holidays
22. George's Breakfast - Paper Airplane
23. Rich McCulley - Looks Like Christmas
24. Sarah Stanley - Happy New Year
25. Les Kerr (with The Jordinaires) - Christmas On The Coast
26. Robert Marr - Under The Mistletoe
27. Pat Bacon - Ho Ho Ho (No Dough)
28. Laetoli Steps - Christmas Tree
29. Little Green - Bells Are Ringing Their Last Call
30. Garrett Wall - How Christmas Was Meant To Be
31. Harlem Parlour Music Club - We Three Kings
32. The Irreconcilables - See Ya Santa
33. Patterson Barrett - Santa Claus On The Loose
34. Mike McGuire - The Streets Are Quiet On Christmas
35. Blues Guy Schwartz - Christmas On The Hiway
36. The Dave Edwards Band - It's Christmastime

Well, for whatever reason, Alternate Root ended the voting early and basically packaged up all 36 tunes for your holiday listening pleasure.  And, believe me, pleasure is the appropriate word.  This might be the best stuff you hear all holiday season.  And its free from Alternate Root.  Just go to this page, scroll down to the bottom, and click on the download link.  Or listen to the tracks in the player provided, if you prefer.  You'll see a few of the freebies we've already featured and a ton more that we haven't.  Alternate Root is all about the best in Roots music, Alt Folk, Alt Country, Alt Rock, Folk, Blues, Americana.  It's all in there.  Go to it!

We owe this tip to "smacque", that brave soul who previews all the Rhapsody adds to find the hidden gems.  Mentioned him in our Uncle Daddy preview.  This Alt Country, Alt Folk, piece of Americana is free at Bandcamp.  Shane Cooley hails from rural Virginia and he's worked hard for his chance.  "Window Shopping For A Long Lost Lover" is worth your time.  Tell 'em smacque sent you.  And, as a bonus, we've even got the video above.

1.  Another November At The Doctors
2.  A Mirror At Christmas

A bit of experimental fun for your Tuesday.  I suppose "A Mirror At Christmas" fits in the Alt Folk category, though there's a rock lean.  And a bit of a message about self examination (or at least that's what I got out of it; might've gotten something more if I hadn't been looking at my naval).  Not sure what to make of "Another November At The Doctors"--1:13 of very peaceful electronic wind chime music.  Interesting.  I'll have to revisit.  Anyway, it's free from Drunken Boat at Bandcamp.


    The FREE List

    Here we hope to direct you to some of the Christmas music on the web that can be yours absolutely free.  We will not direct you to mp3 or sharity sites, here, but only to artist sites, label sites, and other authorized and unquestionably legal locations.


    December 22-31, 2010
    December 15-21, 2010
    December 8-14, 2010
    December 1 -7, 2010
    November 2010
    October 2010


    A Cappella
    Adult Contemporary
    Alt Country
    Alternative Pop
    Alternative Rock
    Alt Folk
    Alt Rock
    Ambient Pop
    Ambient Rock
    Anti Folk
    Avant Garde
    Boogie Rock
    Boxing Day
    Brit Pop
    Chamber Pop
    Chill Out
    Christian Rock
    Cigar Box
    Classic Rock
    Contemporary Christian
    Contemporary Gospel
    Country Blues
    Country Rock
    Death Metal
    Dream Pop
    Easy Listening
    Electronic Pop
    Electro Pop
    Filth Pop
    Folk Jazz
    Folk Pop
    Folk Rock
    Fuzz Pop
    Garage Rock
    Girl Group
    Gospel Hip Hop
    Hard Core
    Hard Rock
    Hip Hop
    Hip Hop
    Indie Folk
    Indie Jazz Pop
    Indie Pop
    Indie Rock
    Indie Soul
    Industrial Rock
    Jazz Pop
    Label Compilation
    Label Sampler
    Lo Fi
    Mash Up
    Mix Tape
    Moto Drone
    Neo Folk
    Neo Soul
    Nerd Rock
    New Age
    New Wave
    Noise Rock
    Old Timey
    Orchestral Pop
    Orchestral Rock
    Pop Punk
    Pop Rock
    Post Grunge
    Post Punk
    Post Rock
    Power Pop
    Progressive Pop
    Progressive Rock
    Pub Rock
    Punk Metal
    Punk Pop
    Quirk Core
    Reggae Dub
    Retro Pop
    Sad Core
    Sci Fi
    Second Line
    Sloppy Pop
    Smooth Jazz
    Song Poem
    Sunshine Pop
    Thrash Metal
    Trip Hop
    Twee Pop
    Ultra Lounge
    Various Artists
    Vocal Jazz