For the past three years I’ve been involved in an annual effort to get local members of a growing Michigan(ish) music community to record Christmas songs. Getting 20 plus part-time music-makers to agree to contribute a Christmas song is one thing, collecting the song in order to meet a deadline is another entirely.
It is in the interest of encouraging everyone to contribute that we stress a Lo-Fi friendly policy. We typically set a deadline around the beginning of December and keep pushing it back as we try to gather everyone’s submissions to burn a master. Once this is done, we put together a few hundred hand-packaged CD’s and distribute them.
Over the course of three CD’s we’ve collected 63 original and traditional holiday songs with production ranging from Parsons to Barlow, all of which are available for download in a variety of formats (mp3 / zip / torrent) here. This year, I play on these songs and recorded the basic tracks for this one.
Over time, this compilation has become an excuse for people to write and record in groups independent of their ‘normal’ band situations. This inevitably leads to a slew of pseudonyms and joke songs, which punctuate the more somber/sincere offerings nicely and keep the mood ‘balanced.’
It’s worth noting that we used a wiki to organize this year’s efforts. Everything (With a few exceptions) went smoothly, and we finished up about 2 weeks earlier than last year. Imagine that! Wiki + Musicians = Productivity!
Also still available is my Christmas Mix from last year. I haven’t stumbled across enough new christmas music to justify a new installment, so I defer to last year’s page, which I am very glad I left up.