‘Tis the Season: Reindeer Games, Porter and More

Christmas is only a week away, but the Christmas music keeps coming. Clint Maedgen and Helen Gillet have teamed up to record “Reindeer Games,” which you can hear and share on Facebook or download here. George Porter, Jr. released Christmas in New Orleans last year, but since we finally got a copy in the office today, we’ll pretend it’s a new release. It’s a funky, blues-oriented EP subtitled “A Tribute to My Mother,” and you can get it from Amazon.com.

It’s easy to treat Christmas music skeptically, but right now, Michael Buble’s Christmas tops Billboard‘s album charts with Justin Bieber’s Under the Mistletoe at number four and Jackie Evancho’s Heavenly Christmas at number 11. Andrea Bocelli’s My Christmas is at 16 and A Very She & Him Christmas is at 18 followed by Glee: The Music: The Christmas Album. Christmas music is good business for the recording industry and for radio despite many readers’ hostility for those that start playing it before Thanksgiving, but sales don’t necessarily help a song join the canon of Christmas classics.

Finally, last year I posted a downloadable mix of Louisiana Christmas music. This year’s mix is less Louisiana-centric, but for those whose holiday needs a soundtrack, here’s an alternative to Michael Buble, with swamp pop, calypso, funk, country, and Sonic Youth covering Martin Mull.

1. O Come All Ye Faithful – Julian Koster’s Singin Saw
2. Hey Guys! It’s Christmas Time – Sufjan Stevens
3. Happy Sound’s Christmas – Happy Sound
4. This Christmas Day – Don Rich
5. I’m Your Christmas Friend – James Brown
6. Black Christmas – The Harlem Children’s Chorus
7. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear – Lew Charles
8. Little Drummer Boy – Ellis Marsalis
9. Santa’s North Pole Band – Line Material
10. Run Rudolph Run – Keith Richards
11. Welcome Christmas – from How the Grinch Stole Christmas
12. The Christmas Song – Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66
13. Deck the Halls – Mirror Image
14. Love for Christmas – the Ebbonaires
15. Funky Funky Christmas – New Kids on the Block
16. It’s Christmas Every Day – Hank Thompson
17. Blue Christmas – Tommy Wills
18. Joy to the World – St. Amanita
19. I’ll Be Home for Christmas – Wayne King and His Orchestra
20. You’re All I Want for Christmas – Brook Benton
21. Good King Wenceslas – John Fahey
22. It Doesn’t Often Snow on Christmas – Pet Shop Boys
23. Marshmallow World – Darlene Love
24. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer – Andre Kostelanetz
25. (It’s a) Happy Holiday – The Shells
26. Be There for Christmas – Ledisi
27. Jingle Bells – Marcus Roberts
28. The Christmas Polka – Jim Reeves
29. Merry Christmas, Everybody – Stompin’ Tom Connors
30. I’ll Be Home for Christmas – Al Green
31. Santa Doesn’t Cop Out on Dope – Sonic Youth