These 12 Mixtapes of Christmas have got nothing to do with Randophonic’s other 12 Mixtapes of Christmas from two years ago, or even with Christmas (beyond being a gift to you). And they’re not actually mix tapes, or CDs for that matter – just mixes, each 49-minutes long, one posted to Randophonic’s Mixcloud for each day of Twelvetide (aka the Twelve Days of Christmas).
There’s no particular genre, no particular theme or agenda being pursued, beyond all selections coming from Randophonic’s ever expanding collection of used vinyl, which continues to simultaneously draw us back and propel us forward (sonically speaking) — music and noise and whatever else the world famous Randophonic Jukebox deems (or perhaps dreams) necessary toward our long term goal of solving all the world’s problems.
Bottom line: it’s five hundred eighty-eight minutes of music covering all manner of ground, from Roy Orbison to Curtis Mayfield to Can, Bob Dylan, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, Kraftwerk, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and beyond (and that’s just from the first mix) — anything and everything, as long as it’s good.
“Delaney and Bonnie (Bramlett) and Friends (Joe Cocker, Leon Russell, Duane Allman, among others) cut loose with exactly the kind of raw, unpolished sort of stuff you needed after a decade like the 1960s – so many young minds burned, souls stretched thin. Not that I was on that particular track myself at the time. I wasn’t even twelve yet. But I’d get there eventually, crashlanding from my own weird and wild early adult adventures, and then somebody put on precisely the right album.” (Philip Random)
Randophonic’s first ever attempt at a proper Christmas show aired December 20th on CiTR.FM.101.9.
Here it is in two Mixcloud streams.
Plus a very special Movie of the Week — Monty Python’s Pleasures of the Dance.
The podcast of the full program is available for download here …
A special program in which we look back with fondness at cherished memories of Christmases past. Try to anyway, as it turns out the Jukebox is still stuck in minimum 49-percent prog-rock mode after the previous week’s 1974 blowout.
Which isn’t to say there aren’t plenty of highlights, seasonal and otherwise.
Sorry about that. The rest are guaranteed highlights, presented more or less in the order they were broadcast.
Van Der Graaf Generator – theme one
Written by George Martin for some TV show or other. Reimagined for drums, keyboards and various horns by Van Der Graaf Generator at their 70s freakout peak.
Manfred Mann’s Earth Band – Joybringer
Ripping off Gustav Holst, and owning it.
Jethro Tull – King Henry’s Madrigal
They don’t say which King Henry, though this strikes us as decidedly Shakespearean. Which raises the question. Where the hell are all the rocked up Shakespearean Christmas carols?
The Clash – if music could talk …
… then we truly would have peace on earth.
Delaney + Bonnie – where the soul never dies
What it’s really all about.
Beatles – Christmas time + The Word
The word is love. The time is now.
Emerson Lake + Palmer – Jerusalem
An interpretation of William Blake’s cosmic musing on Britain’s industrial revolution (those dark Satanic mills) and Jesus Christ himself taking a little walk ‘cross England’s green and pleasant. ELP at their least annoying.
Waterboys – December + Spirit
December even mentions the Christ child, but it’s not so much a Christmas song as a meditation on the gloomiest time of year, and how we always seem to find the light to see our way through, which seems to be what spirit’s all about.
Van Morrison – St. Dominic’s Preview
A song about many things, most of them indecipherable, but there is homesickness at the root of it. You think Buffalo’s a long way away? Try Belfast.
Manfred Mann’s Earth Band – father of night, father of day
In which the Earth Band manage in ten minutes what Bob Dylan’s original accomplished in less than two. And yet, we’re pretty damned sure that the good Lord has love enough for both.