1. Ages - Born To Die For Our Synths
2. The Only Ghost In Town - Christmas Company
3. Joy Riding - Hail Mary
4. The Not Fur Longs - Let Me Get A Large Pizzelle (No Sausage, Olives or Onions)
5. Aspiga - I'll Make You Believe
6. Mark Martucci - Cut Your Own
7. The Classic Brown - Walmartiana
8. Bacio - My Mullet and My One Piece
9. By Surprise - Sleigh Across The Moon
10. It's A King Thing - Postcards From The Fridge
11. Endor Endor - City Sidewalks
It got started in Hollywood fashion (except it really did happen) when Jon Montague said, "Let's put on a Christmas show." Jon's idea was that friends and musicians would record Christmas songs (generally original). Then, at the Christmas show, the bands would perform and they'd give out CDs (originally cassettes) of the songs recorded. Any money raised would go to charity--specifically the Arbor Foundation, an organization that offers support to individuals with a particular kind of cancer (GIST). And it didn't take long for everyone to decide that the album should then be shared with the world digitally and for free.
Jon's gone, now, but the tradition lives on. Everybody pitches in. The studio, for example, donates the time for the recordings.
And this year's "Arbor Christmas, Volume 16" sounds, to my tired old ears, like probably the best one yet. If you've had even the slightest notion that there weren't as many great new Christmas songs this year as in past years (I don't but some do), this compilation is where they've all been hiding.
This record is a nearly perfect collection of Alt Rock of assorted styles. The important thing to note is that there isn't a single track that you want to skip out on. Just get the "name-your-price" download of "Arbor Christmas, Volume 16" (remember, whatever you decide to pay goes to charity, so think about tossing a coin in the kettle), drop the virtual needle on the first cut and let it play. Like me, it'll likely be after the third time straight through when you'll realize that you have other things that need doing (like sleep and work and getting that stupid bicycle assembled for Christmas morning). Personal favorites include Mark Martucci's "Cut Your Own" and the rousing closing instrumental, "City Sidewalks" by Endor Endor. But, honestly, there's not a bad cut on the whole freakin' thing. I could not be more serious. Then hang onto the link so you can go back and check out the earlier volumes (all 15 of them), if you don't already have them. Merry Christmas!