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 V.22 No.50 | December 12 - 18, 2013 

Aural Fixation

Nihilist Noël

A bleak Xmas mixtape

Ryan Varsi
Every year, the onslaught of saccharine Christmas muzak seems to arrive earlier. I’m no grinch. Several festive comps and albums soundtrack my casa come mid-December: Blues, Blues Christmas; Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus; A John Waters Christmas; Where Will You Be Christmas Day?; ZE Records' A Christmas Record (and 2004’s reload); and John Fahey’s Christmas Guitar. As a seasonal antidote to Yule schlock, I prescribe a not-so-merry compilation. Old-school blues comprise the bulk of this playlist, but I also added a pinch of fire-and-brimstone, calypso and spoken word. Detox from sonic fruitcake overdose at or below.

1) Lil McClintock - “Don’t Think I’m Santa Claus”

2) Tampa Red - “Christmas and New Year’s Blues”

3) Bumble Bee Slim - “Christmas and No Santa Claus”

4) Harmon Ray - “Xmas Blues”

5) Victoria Spivey - “Christmas Morning Blues”

6) Bessie Smith - “At the Christmas Ball”

7) Lord Executor - “Seven Skeletons Found in the Yard”

8) William S. Burroughs - “The Junky’s Christmas”

9) Rev. J.M. Gates - “Death Might Be Your Santa Claus”


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