Before his provider basically forced him to switch a few months ago, my Bolivian father-in-law had a dumb phone, which meant he was the target of incessant robocalls … and, y’all, he answered them all. He began to respond in Quechua (his native tongue) or pretend to be a despot. At some point, he got my adorable kid in on the game and she'd yell whatever she wanted. We're not quite sure what phrase got lost in translation, but during one such robocall, she exclaimed:
And then hung up. Now that's just what anyone in our family yells for seemingly no reason at all.
Anyway, I love Christmas music: the schmoozy, the goofy, the earnest, the traditional, the irreverent, the absolutely tweaked. (Shameless plug: I produced Last Winter We Didn't Sing, a drone-y/bummer-filled holiday compilation way back in 2008; I basically made the Christmas album I wanted in the world.) Last year I DJ'd eight hours of holiday tunes for NPR Music, so consider this the followup, mixing old faves and new discoveries, generally of an unconventional variety — hey, this is Viking's Choice — but also just some pretty window dressing. —Lars Gotrich
Stream the Viking's Choice playlist via BNDCMPR. Tracklist below:
Laura Cannell & Andre Bosman, "The Coventry Carol"
Heikki Ruokangas & Simo Laihonen, "Joulupuu on rakennettu"
Kadhja Bonet, "Little Christmas Tree"
The Qualities, "It's Christmas Time"
Kiki & Herb, "Frosty the Snowman"
Chubby and the Gang, "Violent Night (A Christmas Tale)"
Liz Durette, "The Hobgoblin of Joy"
Binaural Space, "We Three Kings"
Hallelujahs, "Christmas out of season"
Swansea Sound, "Happy Christmas to Me"
Soul-Junk, "Glory to God in the Highest, Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men"
Cookin Soul, "Xmas in the City"
Soul Saints Orchestra, "Santa's Got a Bag of Soul"
Aaron Cartier (feat. Baby Izo), "Wishlist"
Finn, "Dreams of Santa Anne"
Ronnie Martin, "Another Wintertime"
The Westerlies, "A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28: There is no rose"
Julie Byrne, "Holiday"
Fuubutsushi, "Shepherd's Stroll"
The Dream Scene, "Winter Wonderland"
Julian Koster, "O' Come All Ye Faithful"
Alton Ellis, "Praise Jah It's Christmas"
Noël Akchoté, "All I Want for Christmas is You"
Beau Jennings, "The Christmas Light"
Rowan Morrison, "In the Bleak Midwinter"
HESITATION, "Away in a Manger"
Low, "Silent Night"
Scott Tuma, "Mr. Beautiful Head"
Elisapie (feat. Beatrice Deer), "Qanniuguma"
Lil McClintock, "Don't Think I'm Santa Claus"
Alice Bag, "Los Peces en el Rio"
Boyracer, "What Kind of Christmas Do You Want?"
Tiger Village, "Biblically Accurate Seraphim in the Upper Register of the Audible Spectrum"
Jonwayne, "The Christmas Song pt. I & II"
Pepper Mill Rondo, "It's Christmas Time"
Ian Iversen, "Santa"
Roman Coppola & Alessandro Casella, "Little Drummer Boy"
Santa Sabbath, "Children of the Sleigh"
Strong Bad, "Seasonal Sweaters"
Tom Rankin & Dan Zimmerman, "Santa Claus is Comin' "
William Tyler, "Jesus Christ"
Nonarchy, "Pavlov's Christmas"
Psychic Ills, "Run Rudolph Run"
Plinth, "St. Lucia's Day (Parts 1 to 3)"
One Eyed Ancestor, "River"
Jean Ritchie, "Cherry Tree Carol"
Parenthetical Girls, "Christmas Past"
Bipolar Explorer, "Mille Agnes Divins"
The Furrow Collective, "The Wexford Lullaby"
Don Peris (The Innocence Mission), "What Child is This?"
Oneida, "In the Court of the Christmas King"
Tess Wiley, "Es ist ein Ros entsprungen"
Bethan, "O Come, O Come Emmanuel"
This Ascension, "Carol of the Bells"
Los Bitchos, "Tipp Tapp"
Cath and Phil Tyler, "O Sight of Anguish (Occam's Carol)"
Saw Black, "Once a Year"
Pawlo Humeniuk, "Dance Under the Willows (Tanec Pid Werbamy)"
Mimi Roman, "Snow Blossom"
Nightshift, "Peace on Earth, Baby (Tender Reveal Party)"