sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

December 9, 2016

virtual advent tour: day 9
posted by soe 5:00 am

Virtual Advent Tour logo
Welcome to Day 9 of the Virtual Advent Tour!

Christmas music is one of the most important parts of my holiday celebration. My parents have lots of Christmas albums, and Rudi and I do, too. (I’ll be honest; they’re mostly mine.) For years, my dad made Christmas mixes — first on tape and more recently on cd — and I’ve made my fair share, too. You can read about my process in an earlier Virtual Advent Tour post here.

Part of my weekend plan is to work on my Christmas mix, but in order to do that I like to review as much of the new holiday music as possible. If you follow mainstream music, you’ve probably heard She & Him have a new album out, as do Kacey Musgraves, Pentatonix, and Leslie Odom, Jr. (Aaron Burr from Hamilton). Instead of sharing their songs, which you’ve probably heard on the radio or tv or in the shops, I thought I’d share a half-dozen lesser-known 2016 Christmas tunes with you:

This is an album of electronica. I particularly like the third track, “Gungla the Snowman” by Nonsens:

I know nothing about Woodsy Pride other than that they’ve recorded a Christmas album. Their version of “Greensleeves” is a little dark and a little ponderous, but I like it:

I feel like Best Coast is on the cusp of hitting it big, but that they might still not be on everyone’s radar. Their singer, Bethany Cosentino, has a ’60s girl group sound.” They recorded “Christmas and Every Day” for an American Girl holiday movie streaming on Amazon:

You may be familiar with Low, who released their LP, Christmas, in 2009. (I really loved “Just like Christmas” off that album.) “Some Hearts (At Christmas Time)” is sad, but sometimes you just need sad and not everyone gets that.

Sloan has been around forever, or, at least since I was in high school. While they’re very popular in Canada, I don’t feel like they’re as well known south of the border. Here’s “December 25”:

Finally, here’s The Christmas EP from Mike the Prophet, which includes the fastest version of “Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming” I’ve ever heard:

Check back here tomorrow for the next stop on the Virtual Advent Tour. And if you’re interested in taking part in the tour, badges, details, and sign-up info can be found here. We’d love to have you participate.


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party, citrus, and just an appearance
posted by soe 1:28 am

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. Our Christmas party went well: no one showed up on time; people brought — and left — cookies; and folks seemed to have a good time. Plus, I had an enthusiastic young assistant helping me hang ornaments on the tree. She got the bottom edge of the tree thoroughly decorated!

2. The first clementines of the season are so sweet.

3. Rudi, who is an extrovert, has lots of friends, who are very kind and invite him to lots of events. I am an introvert and prefer only to attend parties where I already know the people. For this past week’s party, we agree that he’ll go by himself and I’ll swing by at the end and pick him up on my way home from the office. That way, I only had to stay for 15 minutes, but it didn’t seem rude my not joining him.

How about you? What’s been beautiful in your world lately?

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