Offbeat Holiday Music

a1023094489_2On Friday at Rockwood Music Hall Delcan Bennet played a new single, “Father Christmas Knows,” that comes from the perspective of the black sheep of the family, the one too often left out of the celebrations. The song has bells and is dark, but optimistic at the same time.

Now I have to admit, I have warm and fuzzy feelings toward Christmas, and I like Christmas music, especially the traditional stuff.

51JuYeufw+LI’m a sucker for choral music, traditional carols, and almost anything written between the 1930s and the 1950s. Just a few of my favorite more traditional Christmas albums are “Ella Wishes You A Swinging Christmas,” Perry Como’s “Season’s Greetings,” and Annie Lennox’s “A Christmas Cornucopia.”

I tend to get annoyed by anything strike me as too formulaic or falsely sentimentality, and especially by anything that purports to tell everyone everywhere what the holidays should be about. At least since 1984 we’ve been reminded every year by the Band Aid single, that “there won’t be snow in Africa this Christmastime!”

That’s why I also like songs like Bennett’s Father Christmas Knows so much.  The Paste Magazine Holiday Sampler provides an enjoyable and interesting mix. You can both the 2013 and 2012 samplers free at NoiseTrade! Some other’s in the vein that I really enjoy are below.

UPDATE: December 11, 2013 9:59 am. Just a little while ago the great John Prine himself tweeted a link to a story aboutAmos Lee covering his song, “Christmas in Prison.”” There’s a video!

What are some of your favorites, traditional or otherwise?

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