Long ago, when there was both money and time to do such things, Flagpole released a compilation of holiday/Christmas songs. Then they did it again. And once more for good measure. These precious tapes are hilarious time capsules from the early 90s, boasting line-ups of later legends including Vic Chesnutt, Widespread Panic, and Kevn Kinney. If you picked it up hoping for saccharine songs about love and the feeling of Christmas spirit, boy, did you have the wrong idea about Flagpole.
Now, there are ways of obtaining these old recordings, not that I’ll point them out to you directly (cough, cough). I’d recommend giving it a search though, as these are highly entertaining to sit through. I often wonder what modern day versions of these compilations would sound like. For a good while we had Athfest Compilation cds but I always felt like those were not the most representative of the scene that year. There’s a certain technical/mixing bar that you have to get to in order to make your stuff sound good enough to release and that’s a big ask for a lot of folk.
But I digress. I’m in a relentlessly Christmas kind of mood this year. The lights are up, my inflatable Snoopy and Woodstock on the doghouse is in the yard, and presents are finally getting wrapped. I needed SOMETHING to celebrate this year, even before the past month completely wrecked my world for a bit. So I thought I’d send y’all some holiday recommendations that *GASP* aren’t local for you to get your jingle jangle on. I came across most of these while looking for stuff to play on my RADIO SHOW.
First up is this lovely collection from Father/Daughter records entitled “Simply Having a Wonderful Compilation.” Pom-Pom Squad and KAINA are the highlights here but you’re in for a solidly jolly time with any of these tracks.
My lil’ Augusta born heart would be broken if I didn’t recommend to you all “It’s a Holiday Soul Party” by the late Sharon Jones. It’s the frikken DAP KINGS. Why would you NOT listen to this?!
Okay. Here’s your Athens-ish connection thanks to our good pals The Minus 5. Scott and crew, including one Mr. M. Mills, serve up a hell of a time in “Dear December.”
Need some appropriately winter/festive background music for your next RPG night on Zoom? Get frosty with “Winternight Fairytales” by RaevJager/Pabop.
And last, but not least, “A Blackwatch Christmas Vol VI” straight out of a Norman, Oklahoma car dealership. No, I’m not kidding. And yes, it is AMAZING. And there’s so many more!