I'm pleased to report that my 2014 holiday mix is now complete! That doesn't necessarily mean that I won't do a little more tinkering before posting it, but I'm pretty happy with the finished product as it now stands, so there probably won't be too many changes. This year's CD consists of 39 tracks and clocks in at just a few seconds under the 80-minute mark. The tracks cover the now-familiar spectrum, ranging from old to new, from serious to silly, and from sublime to something far worse than ridiculous.
As a reminder, I'm planning to post the entire mix on my holiday music website sometime on Thanksgiving morning, which is just two weeks from today. I like suspense, so I won't be sharing too much more about the contents until it's posted, but I'll be posting lots of colorful background on each track right here on this blog between Black Friday and Christmas Eve. Be sure to check back often during those several weeks to learn more about the tracks I've included.
Oh, what the heck . . . I never was much of a tease. Why not prime the pump a bit right now by sharing a sneak peek at what is currently my very favorite track on this year's CD: "Sha La Da La La (Christmas Time)," by (the) Sha La Das. This underhyped gem was released last December on Daptone Records, the same label that hosts Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, whose holiday masterpiece "Ain't No Chimneys in the Projects" appeared on my 2012 mix, Here Comes Santa Claus. I was introduced to this track last season by what has to be considered the world's preeminent holiday music blog, Stubby's House of Christmas. It was love at first listen, for this track has it all. Infused with the magical sound of early '70s R&B,it paints a vivid picture of Christmas in the urban Northeast and its sweet harmonies drip of holiday togetherness. What's more, the Sha La Das are a genuine family affair, as the group consists of Staten Island Dad Bill Schalda and his three sons: Paul, Will and Carmine. This track rates among my very favorite holiday tunes of all time -- actually, it's probably one of my favorites songs of any type. I hope you like it, too!
OK, no more news on my latest mix until Thanksgiving or thereabouts. But I'll likely be back before then with another holiday tidbit or two. My neighbor put a wreath on his door two nights ago, so I figure the holiday season has all but officially begun.