Hello readers, the few I have left 🙂 Just wanted to apologize for being so darn quiet for the past week. I’ve celebrated Christmas with my family, bought a car (always fun….), traveled 6.5 hours, hung out with my parents, sister, nephews and family, and played in the snow with my son. It has kept me from even looking at what came out from Dec. 24 until today. I’m going to be way, way behind. Hopefully everything doesn’t disappear over the next few days…
I write about this extremely niche subject all year long, with unexplainable bursts of content followed by weeks of radio silence, so check back in here and there and make me feel like folks are out there. It always feels better when someone actually stops by.
Happy New Year. Hope that this year is better than the last.
Greetings readers. Our dear blogger-friends Lieinthesound.de have a Christmas wish this season. For years they have been active refugee supporters, and have recently found themselves even more personally involved. I will let Brigitte and Christoph tell the story:
Late September 2016 whilst browsing through Facebook Brigitte found the urgent scream for help of a young African refugee. He had gotten his deportation note with a fix date, time and already booked flight. A year later he is still living in Berlin (Germany). It’s been quite a task but we managed to stop the deportation. Adam has grown to be family for us. We are still fighting to get him a full legal status. At the moment he only has a “ban of deportation” (German: Duldung). He’s not allowed to work nor go to school. He’s going to a school run by volunteers though. Adam is part of a group which is under special protection from the protestant church. This doesn’t keep him safe from harm but gives us hope and some support to build a future for him. At the moment we are paying for a room in a shared flat and there’s other expenses for things like meds, tickets for public transportation. We also help his mother and sister, who live in a refugee camp in Darfur (Sudan). Adam’s father died while fighting against the army of the dictator of Chad. Neither Adam nor his mother and sister can go back to Chad as their family is well known for being part of the political opposition.
This fall Adam introduced us to Ali + Fatima and their seven beautiful children. Their situation is difficult to say the least. We are still busy doing all the research to fully understand the legal aspects. At the moment they are put up in a refugee shelter outside of Berlin. The whole family of nine people has only two rooms. We are trying to find a flat for them. This means we have tons of appointments at different public offices, that’s why we need money to buy train tickets. We also need money to fund a good lawyer for them.
So, I just donated to help Adam, Ali + Fatima, so that they might have a better future for their families, themselves, and those yet to come. Brigitte and Christoph help light up your Christmas season every year, I hope if you find yourself with a couple of bucks, you’ll consider doing the same. Please help spread the word if you can. I’m sure there’s a tastemaker out there with more followers than all of our little Christmas blogs combined… I’m looking at you @awesomeperson.
This year’s mix began taking shape at the end of 2016, its direction was solidified the moment I heard Mac McCaughan’s “Happy New Year (Prince Can’t Die Again).” This year would have some four letter words, sexual situations, whatever might come, as I decided to allow myself this freedom every few years and not play it around my kid. I’ve done my best to remember to mark which songs have the fucks and the shits (hehe), but alas, I may have missed one; that oversight would certainly be classic me. As for the rest of the content, there are some angry songs, some sad songs, and some damn sweet songs, the highlight of the latter being Charlie’s Hand Movements’ “Until the 25th.” Damn, I love the ending to that song. Hopefully you’ll dig it, as this moment is really why I do this blog. I created Christmas Underground largely as a resource to keep track of my own search for music. By sharing, perhaps others would also share with me and not make it such a long, hard slog. I’ve met many wonderful people who have done just that – and I hope to hear from even more of you in the future. So, the blabbing is over, the listening begins.
Christmas A Go-Go is back! Stubby (out of semi-retirement) and I have been here, in varying levels of posting activity, waiting for the season and our favorite seasonal bloggers to figure out their passwords and start posting again. Of course Ernie has his Christmas in July, but beyond that mid-year burst of related content… it can get a little lonely around the Christmas tree. Christmas A Go-Go has been posting since 2006 – they have me beat by 6 years! – and routinely hips me to cool, mix-worthy tunes from around the world. If you have found my site, you likely know theirs… but just in case you hadn’t realized they were back… THEY ARE!
Merry Christmas everyone! I wish I had more time these past 48 hours to post… because so much great stuff has come out. I will catch up, I promise. I am somehow not burnt out this year. But what I most want to know is… what were your favorite songs this year?
This year’s mix is darker than most. But hey, this year has been darker than most. The normal mix of indiepop and indie rock is joined, for the first time, by chiptune. There’s also a healthy dose of alt.country and folk, as well as a dash of what some might consider R&B. Who knows what you’ll think of it… but I like it. Tweet me any questions at @Xmasunderground.
A few days later than my goal of December 1, but well worth the wait. The final piece of the puzzle was “Once a Year” by Sweden’s extraordinary Crying Day Care Choir. It ended up not being as dark as I originally feared, which I’m sure most of my listeners will appreciate. The UK weighs heavy on this mix, much more than in years past, unseating the usual Nordic state residency. I do hope you enjoy. Feel free to tweet me any questions: @Xmasunderground.
I am 95% decided that I’m going to kill my rating system. Unless people f*ing love it for some reason, the numbers are gone and I’m going to take an afternoon and erase them from every damn post. Thoughts?
I don’t believe I ever shared any pics of the box set that I made last year, so here they are! The box is (of course) an adaptation of a Belle & Sebastian release, specifically the Lazy Line Painter Jane singles box that they put out a number of years ago. B&S did alternate artwork for their box set, which shared a name with a single… and I did the same. Enjoy, and feel free to share your favorite cover art if you are so inclined (Facebook may be an easier place to do this).