I've always said, one of the remarkable things about the world wide web is that it allows freaks to find one another. Of course, that kind of freedom can lead to bad things. Who wants pedophiliacs or terrorists to form online communities (which they do...)? In my case, though, it's allowed me to fly my freak flag and connect with other people who love Christmas music as much as I do - sometimes more.
These links (most of them blogs rather than formal websites) will connect you to a network of music lovers who tirelessly, obsessively explore this weird, wonderful, surprisingly vast field of study. They continually prove me wrong when I think I've heard everything there is to hear. Visit a few and perhaps you, like me, will exclaim, "I am not alone!" Broken links? Something missing? Drop me a line...
The Big Three
In part, FaLaLaLaLa (dot com) is a blog like the ones listed below. What sets it apart is their forum, a.k.a. The Fireside. That's where obsessives like me swap stories, spread news, debate the merit of obscure records, and - most importantly - trade MP3 files of rare, out-of-print goodies. ("A Year Without FaLaLaLaLa" has been declared. The future of the website is uncertain, but the forum is still active.) [www.falalalala.com]
Before the advent of the blogosphere, this nicely written website was my first indication that other people like me even existed. He's not as compulsive as I am (lucky guy), but he's a lot more focused on the stuff that got me into this mess in the first place - rock 'n' roll Christmas music. [www.mistletunes.com]
I find myself losing patience these days with the ever-burgeoning glut of Christmas music. Thank goodness there are people like Jim who seem to possess a bottomless pit of attention. A lot of good, obscure music gets by me. Less so at Christmas Underground, with their admirably skewed aesthetic. [www.christmasunderground.com]
Most of the chatter on the web seems to revolve around Christmas music that, while often not very hip, is pretty cool - obscure, odd, weird, and fascinating. These blogs seek out - and often share - these treasures. Most of them peak around the holiday season, but some post new material all year 'round.
Bells Will Be Ringing!
This blog and it's, companion - Mark's Holiday Mix CD's - are, in some ways, the websites I'd like to have. Except I'm too obsessive. And Compulsive. Sorry about that. Anyway, I know you'll get a kick out of Mark's posts and - if you act quickly - his annual holiday mixes. [bellsrringing.blogspot.com]
Christmas a Go Go
This blog claims to spotlight "the funniest, sweetest, and best Christmas songs ever," but that mission statement has encompassed artists like Shonen Knife, Clarence Carter, and Pizzicato 5, as well as, ahem, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme. [christmasagogo.blogspot.com]
This impressively long web page claims to list "the all-time best rock and roll Christmas carols." It can be a bit overwhelming (hint: just keep scrolling, it's alphabetical by artist), but, well, from one obsessive/compulsive to another - congratulations! [sites.google.com/site/christmassacre09]
Trumpeted as "a caboodle of cool Christmas songs," Elves Bells lives up to it's billing.
Mostly, they're posting videos and other webby freebies - but curating the internet is a job that's open to everyone willing to wade into the morass. [elvesbells.blogspot.com]
Self-described "Christmas music geek" DJ El Toro posts all kinds of fascinating stuff - most of it about music, some it about knitting (and sex), and all of it pretty darn hip. [festivefanzine.blogspot.com]
Free Christmas Music
The masthead claims, "The best free, legally downloadable Christmas music on the web!" Well, there's a reason why some of this is free, but don't let that stop you. Also maintains a similarly named website. [freechristmasmusic.blogspot.com]
Greg's Swank Pad Lounge
Without explicitly saying so, self-confessed Christmas fanatic Greg Steele has built a blog nearly exclusively about vintage Christmas music - though he's not scared of the new stuff. He posts at least once or twice a year, most notably with his annual mixes on Soundcloud. [gregslounge.blogspot.com]
Lovingly restoring lost vinyl treasures for the digital age since 2006. No rock, no soul – just the smooth sounds of the season (and some kiddie tracks, too). [hif-fi-holiday.blogspot.com]
Merry & Bright
Follow the exploits of Der Bingle as he explores Christmas, holidays, books, music, and other mental ephemera. Also an active member of www.falalalala.com. [merryandbright.blogspot.com]
Santas Working Overtime
In 2007, the blogger behind Senses Working Overtime (and several others) dove headlong into the deep end with this all-Christmas, all-the-time forum. [santasworkingovertime.blogspot.com]
Snowflake Christmas Singles
This is both an amazing blog about Christmas singles and a label.
They release several eclectic holiday pop singles every year - vinyl sold through through Big Cartel, downloads through Amazon and iTunes. [snowflakes-christmas-singles.blogspot.com]
Stubby's House Of Christmas
He loves Christmas, music, and cats. What more do you need to know? Seriously, Stubby is a major music fiend, a good friend of this website, and a major contributor over at www.falalalala.com. Technically speaking, he's a blogger, but he posts with such fervor and frequency that he's become a primary destination for me and, I suspect, many other enthusiasts. [www.stubbyschristmas.com]
Sort of a blog, kind of a website, not really a corporation. Jeffco shares some really fun stuff about Christmas music (including dozens of wacky downloads) and the holidays in general. After all, their company (sic) slogan is "We're Fun People." [www.jeffco.ca/christmas]
Jingle Bell Rocks!
Not a website, but a movie. Canadian director Mitchell Kezin created a documentary about (gulp!) Christmas music and the geeks who collect it. The film is a hoot, as it features such
notable holiday enthusiasts as El Vez, Dr. Demento, and Andy Cirzan - though, I hasten to add, not me. [www.jinglebellrocks.com]
Merry Christmas Baby [www.ne.jp/asahi/mcb/shiga]
Christmas Song Box [homepage1.nifty.com/ChristmasBox]
In many ways, these Japanese fansites are the equal of "the big three" listed above. The only problem is, they are of very limited use to people (like me) who don't speak Japanese... Loads of pictures, though the quality is inconsistent.
The Punk Rock Advent Calendar
Musician Jimmy Severe and his band the Blue Christmas Boys share a tasty musical morsel every day during December. You even get rapped on the knuckles when you open the doors too soon! [punk-christmas.com.gridhosted.co.uk]
The Yule Log
Not so much a blog, or any normal thing, the Yule Log is a place for legendary Christmas fanatic Lawrence "Chip" Arcuri to perpetuate his happy, hypermelodious vision of the holiday - and promote the annual TV broadcast that lends the site its name. There's also a message board that includes his crowning achievement, his Top 500 Christmas Albums. [www.theyulelog.com]
I swear to God
there's an angle here I'm missing, but this website appears to offer free Christmas music to all comers - no advertising, no gimmicks - though you'll need to create an account to make your own playlist from thousands of songs and share it via all the usual social suspects (Twitter, Facebook). Could, in fact, there be a Santa Claus? [www.yuleplay.com]
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