Wednesday, November 28, 2018

My Latest Holiday Mix -- "My Christmas Time Philosophy" -- Is Now Available

My 14th annual holiday mix CD is now ready and available for your listening pleasure on my Mark's Holiday Mix CDs website. It's titled My Christmas Time Philosophy, it contains 32 tracks and it runs for just under 80 minutes. If you've listened to any of my previous mixes you'll no doubt recognize a few old friends who've made this latest ride, including such unmistakable talents as Red Sovine, William Hung and Johnny "Bowtie" Barstow who are responsible for "That Night in Bethlehem," "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "Silent Night," respectively. (What, nothing by Wing this year?!)

Over the next six weeks or so I'm going to try to offer a little background on all 32 tracks, as has been our custom. This will include music from Blondie, the BoDeans, Dick Van Dyke and Jane Lynch, and The Weather Girls, so be sure to check back from time to time between now and New Year's Day. In the meantime you can download a copy of the complete track list and listen to the entire mix over at my holiday music website. Let's hope this will be a happy holiday season for all.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Let's Welcome the 2018 Holiday Season!

To paraphrase the late great Red Sovine, "Well, here it is Black Friday." Bad enough to be channeling poor ol' Red on the day after Thanksgiving, but my twisted little mind has to conjure up another holiday lyric fragment without missing a beat:
And what have you done?
Another year older,
and a new one just begun. 
Welcome, dear friends, to another holiday season – crazier and more frantic than ever, and playing out against the backdrop of a slow-moving coup being engineered by a frightening gang of selfish and brutish bigots with no appreciation of the values that made our country great. But, hey  – it's Christmas, and I'm going to try to keep the focus on that. All are welcome here, regardless of how misguided your politics may be.

The primary purpose of this blog is to offer a wee bit of background about the individual tracks I include in my annual holiday mix, a collection of songs and other noises that I've been assembling and mailing to family and friends dating back to at least 2005. In days of old I typically finished each year's project by mid-November and started distributing the finished CDs on Black Friday. Everything seems to take longer now – largely because I've got so much more to do these days. True confession:  I've barely started this year's mix, and I've yet to complete the blog notes for last year's mix. But we'll get there – honest. Things may not be awfully polished, and there's bound to be a little less of everything. But we can get by with less, and that just makes each contribution that much more valuable.

Let's start by setting the right mood. I ran across this video earlier this morning on the Huffington Post, and although it was only released this past Sunday, it's already been seen by nearly 200,000 viewers and touched people from across the globe. It's a short video by British filmmaker Phil Beastall in which a quiet single man counts down the days for the final installment of a very personal holiday tradition:

This is the spirit by which this blog rolls, and the crazier things get in today's real world. the tighter we'll cling to it. For those who may need or want an extra helping of holiday spirit, I direct you to the Religion pages of the Huffington Post, where you'll find a collection of holiday commercials, mostly British, that will repair whatever was lost or damages by your ill-advised Black Friday shopping run.

Watch this year's Huffington Post Holiday Ad Clip Collection