I love Christmas music. If my partner would permit such madness, I’d listen to it all year round, and the original version of ZE Records’ A Christmas Record is in my all-time Top Ten, regardless of the season. However, while walking around downtown Seattle yesterday with a friend who was feeling glum, the sound of carols dogging our every footstep, I was honestly able to appreciate why some people cringe at the very suggestion of cuing up “Oh Come, All Ye Faithful” or “Sleigh Ride.” There is a lot of Christmas music out there, and much of it—particularly the variety piped into big public spaces—is treacly, sentimental sap.
At KEXP, our commitment to bringing our supporters “music that matters” doesn’t take a holiday. Ever. Tonight in the Roadhouse, Greg Vandy will be celebrating with his “Very Vintage Christmas” set of old school holiday rarities (and, we hope, the annual airing of Lord Buckley’s “The Nazz”). Nor will Christmas Day be an exception. Rumor has it Kid Hops is programming some special seasonal fare for Positive Vibrations in the morning, and late Saturday the Sonic Reducer crew—who already scored major points with Santa by having “holiday-core” combo play live last week (see video below)—are putting together a not-so-silent-night of punk rock seasonal fare.
And at the heart of the day? My buddy Hans, one of the newest on-air hosts in the KEXP stable, and I will be playing carefully chosen holiday fare from noon to 6 PM as part of the annual KEXP “Christmas Cavalcade.” I know Hans has been brainstorming brief thematic sets, everything from “Simply Having a Scottish Christmastime” to “Christmas In Jail.” For myself... well, what I know (and love... and loathe) about Christmas music could fill a whole blog. And it does. If you’d like to get a better idea of what you can expect from my half of the Cavalcade, please visit my Christmas blog, FESTIVE!, the online extension of a Christmas fanzine I started way back in 1996.
I hope you’ll take some time to make KEXP part of your celebration Christmas Day, wherever you are and whatever you may be doing (see also: The Long Winters’ “Christmas With You Is the Best”). Hans and I are thrilled to be spending Christmas on KEXP, and we hope we’ll make your day more special—and help you forget that tiresome dreck they pump out of the speakers while you wait in line to see Santa at the local department store.
DJ El Toro hosts the variety mix show on Wednesday nights from 9 PM to 1 AM on KEXP 90.3 FM Seattle and kexp.org. His weekly rant, “Weird At My School,” appears infrequently on the KEXP Blog. Please follow DJ El Toro (aka Kurt B. Reighley) on Twitter and/or Tumblr!