Stubbys House of Christmas       
 
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1.  It Never Snows (featuring Michele Khazak)
2.  Christmas Wrapping (featuring Shenandoah Davis)
3.  Thanks For Christmas
4.  Merry Christmas


In 2009, this Seattle based nine-piece Indie pop/rock group released a pleasant little holiday EP--"Exohxmas"--and, for 2010, they continued the tradition.  Unlike many movie franchises, the sequel was imminently more satisfying.  Both efforts have a decided charm about them, but "Exohxmas II" sounds better produced and less thrown together (it was recorded in under a week, so you know its good).  And the song selection, here, is brilliant.  Exohxo covers The Waitresses, XTC and INXS (a little known fan club single from 1984), topping it all off with an original selection that, somewhere down the road, ought to be covered by multitudes of artists--from jazz vocalists and American Idol wannabes to pop and rock bands seeking a pretty, mid-tempo ballad that hasn't been driven into the ground.  "It Never Snows" has the kind of haunting quality of some of the better rock-era Christmas songs ("I Believe In Father Christmas" comes to mind).  Certainly lesser songs have fared as well.  "When does hope become distraction?  When does joy become the rule?  So the year didn't turn out how you wanted.  Give it a week and you can start anew."   I even dig the cover art.  Pick up both Exohxo Christmas EPs free at Bandcamp.  And prepare for the 2011 edition: "Exohxmas III: The Wreath Of Khan".  Damn, that's going to be tough not to steal.

 
 
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Another concluded set, this one an Advent Calendar--so 24 days of goodies to explore.

Day 1 - Sleep Party People - Silent Night
Day 2 - Fru - White Christmas
Day 2 - Death By Unga Bunga - Something For Christmas
Day 3 - The Action Five - Runs Deep
Day 3 - Cocktail Slippers - It's Christmas
Day 4 - I See Horses - Last Christmas (I Shot You Down)
Day 5 - Your Headlights Are On - Leave The Light On
Day 5 - Bendik - Mitt Hjerte Alltid Vanker

Day 6 - DU - Deilig Er Jorden
Day 7 - You Wish - Run Away
Day 7 - HighasaKite - Snow Don't Fall
Day 8 - Cold Mailman - Ghost Of Christmas Past                                                    KALENDAR HOME
Day 8 - Bladed - Ode To Roy
Day 9 - Synkoke - Jolesong #1
Day 10 - The Beards - Den forste snoen pa Bakklandet
Day 10 - We Were Lightening - The Deserters
Day 11 - Mindflow - December
Day 11 - Diskotek - Let's Fall In Love On Christmas Eve
Day 12 - Philco Fiction - Charlie Likes To Dance
Day 13 - Haust - No Christmas
Day 14 - Iamsyencefiction & Leonberg - Ten Days Till Christmas
Day 14 - Nils Bech & Bendik Giske - Folkefrelsar
Day 15 - Ingvild Ostgard - Noel
Day 16 - Lucy Swann - Desemberbarn 
Day 16 - Fontan - December
Day 17 - Miksha - Scavengers Fall (a Christmas Carol)
Day 18 - The Switch - The Thought That Counts
Day 18 - Shooting Tsar - Calendar
Day 19 - Efterklang - 19 Alike (Glitterbug Remix)
Day 20 - DRM - Kan Du Se Mar Na
Day 20 - Gode Ord Dor Sist - Ut av Ulvetimen
Day 21 - Siri Nilsen - Walking In The Air
Day 21 - Einar Stray & Kakaogjengen - Nattasang for Nissunger
Day 22 - Husky Rescue - Far From The Storm
Day 23 - Park & Nernes - Do You Hear What I Hear?
Day 23 - Amiina - Thoka
Day 24 - Arne, Jonny & Stian feat. Xmas Superstars - Julesang/Xmas Song/Chanson de Noel

And here's a link to the 2009 archived Kalendar links.  I don't speak Norwegian, so download first and figure it all out later.

 
 
In England, Australia, Canada and some other countries, the 26th is "Boxing Day".  While experts may differ on the origins of "Boxing Day", I've always understood it (from afar) as a day of boxing up extra food and unwanted presents to give to those less fortunate.  My sense of the thing comes more from the song "Good King Wenceslas" than any actual experience or knowledge, but that makes sense to me.  Like everything else, Boxing Day is more of a bank holiday these days than anything else (which means it'll be celebrated on the 27th this year).  So I see not the slightest disrespect in using this holiday as a way of dropping a lot of free download links we've accumulated that, for one reason or another, I haven't gotten around to writing up.  These are all free and legal.  Some of these links will take you to mediafire and like spots, but I've tracked them back and they're all artist approved.  Some are new, some are from last year.  Some are good, some are bad.  Many I owe to the multitude of great Christmas web sites in our blog roll.  Yule have to investigate yourself.  But better I should give you the chance to do so while the links are still valid than wait so long that they've gone away.
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PONONKA - SEASONS GREETINGS
CALM PALM VAPOR - FELIZ NAVIDAD
KEVIN GARRETT - CHRISTMAS EP
CHASER - A VERY RECESSIVE CHRISTMAS
BROKEN FEATHER - CURE FOR CHRISTMAS
ACTION ITEM - NEW YORK CITY (IN THE WINTER TIME)
GET BACK LORETTA - POOR FOLKS CHRISTMAS
VARIOUS - A FAMILYRE CHRISTMAS VOLUME 3
CANDY CLAWS & FIREBREATHER - WARM FOREVER (all 8 of their Christmas songs, going back to 2007, in one download file)

That doesn't even empty out the queue, but it does alleviate the load a bit.  For me.  You all have fun with that.  I've got a couple of collections I still hope to talk about in some depth and we'll continue bringing you the free and legal free stuff as we find it--even in June or July.  But the 10-a-day postings are likely at an end until next season.  Happy Boxing Day!

 
 
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I'm telling you, this has been the best year for Americana Christmas music of any I can remember.  Here we have the extraordinary Giving Tree Band teaming up with the lovely Nellie McKay, who has successfully tried her hand and just about every musical genre in existence, not to mention the acting (I told you not to mention the acting).  The result is a pair of eclectic, relaxed, down home, beautiful Christmas tunes.  It's as if they're just hangin' with y'all on the front porch.  Oh, good, you brought your accordion.  It's especially nice to hear someone cover "The Christmas Waltz", which you rarely see covered either by indie artists or by folk artists.  Just use the widget above to claim your free music.

 
 
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1.  Mrs. Mistletoe - Adam Taylor
2.  Wake Up December - Talain Rayne (featuring Tirzah Lemmens)
3.  Born Of A Season - Birdie Busch
4.  Bright Lights Of Christmas - The Tell Alls
5.  Reindeer Game - Ben Arnold
6.  Christmas Cheer - The Roddies
7.  Home - Joshua Park
8.  Silent Tonight - Madi Diaz
9.  Song For Solstice - Hoots And Hellmouth
10. Christmas Through My Window - Hiding From Andy
11. Xmas Buddha - Andrew Lipke
12. I Got You For Christmas - Joe D'Amico
Bonus:  Bells - Atomic Square


THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

Told you we'd revisit this one when they wrapped it up.  And that's because, in the avalanche of free Christmas downloads, I tend to forget to go back to finish the collections and I thought you might have that same issue.  By my count, XPN and The Key have got their full 12 days in, and then some.   Download them all and make yourself a nice little "XPN 12 Days of Christmas 2010" CD-R.  There's a bit of everything here from some of Philly's finest--country, folk, rock, indie, pop, alt everything.  I'd tell you all about it, but they do a much better job of it.  Head over to the summary page and work your way down.  The download buttons are right below the play buttons.  And, as I recall, there's one more tune in the mix that's stream only, so we didn't include it in our playlist above.

 
 
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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.
 
 
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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.  
 
 
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1) Shout Out Louds - Spöken 
2) Thousands Millions - Tomorrow
3) The Ian Fays - Snow Globes
4) I Cani - Il pranzo di Santo Stefano
5) Parker Lewis & Matilda Berggren - All Alone on Christmas
6) Soda Fountain Rag - A December Night
7) Olympic Tiger - Gain Your Tears
8) Neverending Mojitos - Got Something For You 
9) Everybody Tesla - Mamma per Natale voglio la cassetta dei Sangue Misto


DOWNLOAD AT POLAROID

Polaroid is an Italian music blog.  And, generally, if you're doing an indie music blog and you're dealing with a lot of bands with no label behind them, they appreciate your help in getting their music out there for people to hear.  So you might get to know them fairly well.  Well enough to ask them to record a Christmas exclusively song for your blog even.  The proprietor of Polaroid has done just that for the last few years and it always ends up being one of the most interesting free and legal download collections of the Christmas season.  Not every song is a Christmas song, but most are.  The songs are diverse in both style and country of origin.  So there are  bound to be songs you like and songs you don't.  "A Polaroid For Christmas 2010" has got some good ones, though.  My favorites from this set are "Snow Globes" from the Ian Fays, "Gain Your Tears" from Olympic Tiger (not Christmas, I don't think), and the terrific Darlene Love cover.  And I always get a kick out of Soda Fountain Rag, who generally record an annual Christmas song whether anyone asks them to or not.  In fact, at least three of the Norwegian performer's previous holiday tracks are right there on Last FM's "featured tracks"--"Jullaten 2007", "The Christmas Where It Ends", and "Hang Your Stocking By The Fire".  In addition to the 9 tracks shown here, Polaroid has been adding a few bonus tracks.  So, if your zip file doesn't contain them, make sure to get "Raccoon Thief" by Last Europa Kiss and "Merry Christmas" by Young Wrists.
 
 
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Another MashUp, this one from ...And Sushi! Productions.  "The Christmas Carol Of Emmanuel" features contributions from Jars of Clay, Mannheim Steamroller and a whole bunch of other people.  Just hit the down arrow and this puppy is yours.  Or visit Mashup Citi from whence this comes which, by the way, you should do anyway.  Not everything there is to my taste, but there's lots that is--most of it free--and we are in the Christmas season.  I dunno, maybe someone out there was looking for a Porky Pig MashUp?  Well look no further.
 
 
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The Now Sound of Christmas
Let It Snow - Hermann Apple
Snow Flake - J.J. Barnes
Snowflakes & Frozen Lakes - Baby Pac Man
The Christmas Song (lp version) - Jimmy McGriff
Rock N Roll Christmas - Cordell Jackson
Flying Machine (for Christmas) - Flo Price
You Turn Me On (and Light Me Up) - Janette Eden
Little Pee Wee - Preston Penn
Santa (alt version) - Lightnin Hopkins
Jingle Bells (live) - Glen Glenn

Menehune Santa - Larry Rivera
Dasher - Harvie June Van
Bright Star Shining In The Sky - Amelia Ferencz
Christmastime (Is Here) - Cupid!
The Legend of the Monkey Santa Claus
Donner & Blitzen - Ambassador Record Corp Ensemble
Christmas Morning Blues - Sonny Boy Williamson I
Christmas Bells - Mary White
The Day That Santa Cried - Mary Denise Cawley
Christmas Time Again - Walter "Crybaby" Stone & the Tradewinds
...the Christmas Holidays Are Over.....and reprise

If obscurity's your thing, then have we got something for you.  If you aren't familiar with Andy Cirzan, that's kind of a shame since he's indicated that this, year 20, will likely be the last of his special home brews.  Essentially, this is a holiday mix disc, but not so fast.  People who specialize in collecting old and obscure Christmas platters look at Andy's discs and say "where does he find these things?"  Such collector's frequently remark that they own two or three of these platters; no one ever says "I've got them all."  More than that, Andy takes the "mix" in the mix disc seriously.  Andy's creations are the kind of theatre of the mind that hasn't been seen since video killed the radio star, and perhaps beyond.  At the end of an Andy Cirzan collection, you've been on a journey and you know it.  Andy's mixes are presented as LP sides, so, in essence, there are two continuous cuts.  Andy, aka DJ Lo-Fi, shares his creations and the stories behind them on Sound Opinions, a show on Chicago Public Radio station, WBEZ.  Then the mix is made available for free download until the first of the year, at which time it disappears.  So go get "Yowls And Yodels From The Yule Vortex", Andy's 20th and (probably) final voyage into holiday obscura, so that you too may wonder aloud "Where does he find these things?"

 

    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.

    Archives

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