Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sick of the Same Christmas Tunes? Here are Some Alternatives.

I’m seriously trying to embrace the holiday spirit this year and not be so Grinchy, even though I have zip, zippo, nada shopping done. One of the ways in which I’m trying to simply enjoy the Christmas season is by listening to music, but I’m kind of tired of the same old stuff I’ve been hearing for decades. I want something fresh. I mean, I love “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” as much as the next person, but it is so overplayed. I need to not hear it for about 10 years before it’ll get its luster back.

So I went on iTunes in search of some different or lesser played Christmas carols. Here are some of my favorites (which I’ll try not to overplay and thus, ruin them for myself):

“Cool Yule,” Louis Armstrong (Originally found this song while watching the movie Serendipity.)

“Silent Night,” Low (This is a plucky sounding version, just voices and guitar.)

“Silent Night,” Sara Ramirez (Ramirez -- Callie from Grey’s Anatomy -- sang this a cappella version of this on the ABC drama last year. It’s a spare, utterly moving rendition.)

“Christmas Wrapping,” The Waitresses (A rocking, fun alternative tune.)

“Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” Death Cab for Cutie (Though U2, whom I love, did the most famous version of this song, hearing Death Cab for Cutie cover it gave it a new lease on life.)

“Someday at Christmas,” Jack Johnson (The Hawaiian hipster’s politically tinged, pro-peace tune sayin’, “Hey man, can’t we all just get along?”)

“Maybe Next Year (X-Mas Song),” Meiko (This is a dark, snarky and slightly naughty song in the vein of “Santa Baby.”)

“Carol of the Bells,” American Boychoir (I don’t hear this on the radio as often as I think it should be played. It reminds me of that old West Wing episode when Josh was suffering from post-traumatic stress after President Bartlet was shot.)

“The First Snowflake,” The Boy Least Likely To (This is a lilting ode to the joys of snow.)

“Christmas Time is Here,” Ivy (A cover of the famous Christmas song, this version was made to sound as though you’re listening to it on an AM station on an old radio the size of a small bear.)

“Sleigh Ride,” Ella Fitzgerald (This uber-classy version reminds me of something I might hear playing at Roger Sterling’s place, very Mad Men.)

What are some of your favorite Christmas tunes that are off the beaten path and not played every 10 seconds on some radio station somewhere?

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