My annual Christmas Eve Broadcast takes place this year on RadioBDC, the Boston Globe internet station. From WBCN to WFNX and now to RadioBDC, the tradition continues from 6pm-Midnight.
Find it here: RadioBDC
This is the future.
I love this time of year and love the music that defines it. I was asked by a friend who is also addicted to Christmas music to write the liner notes for the CD that he sends out annually to a selective few. I share it with you now as it explains our addiction. We are hopeless and delirious and joyous:
We are a cult.
Although we are not specifically religious we are fanatics, with an avid devotion to our cause, peculiar rituals, odd practices, and our own idiosyncrasies. If you are reading this you are either a member of the cult or someone with whom we want to share our overwhelming passion. And we have no idea how many members from around the world are part of our cult as we operate only in small cadres, circulating our beliefs to a special few. In this specific case only 100.
We are the cult of the sound of Christmas, the purveyors of Christmas music.
Our goal is to impart the joy of great Christmas music and all of the love that it entails.
Throughout the year we scour used record stores, the internet and yard sales in search of this singular music and for songs worthy of being promulgated. With the blight of dreadful Christmas music (made more so in recent years by the web and home recording) we pride ourselves on presenting those songs that if heard one more time you would not kill the DJ but rather turn up the volume.
It is exceedingly difficult to write a good Christmas song, more so to write a classic. And only a few artists, like Saint Etienne and Sufjan Stevens, have written more than one. The song must convey the spirit of the season without being maudlin or overly sentimental. There are hundreds of new Christmas songs every year and we diligently listen to each and every one hoping to find the few diamonds amidst the detritus. And if an artist covers one of the classics, we are always looking for a unique interpretation.
Michael and I have never met in person, but as members of the cult we are brothers in arms. I have had the privilege of spreading the word for over 30 years via the radio and internet airwaves. He graciously credits me as an inspiration, but if this is so he has outdone his mentor. For 6 hours every Christmas Eve I have the benefit of playing the many precious Christmas songs from my collection, heard only once a year, coupled with the handful of new gems that I have discovered during the year. Michael, on the other hand, gives us 2, if not 3 CDs filled with unheard treasures. How he unearths so many hidden jewels is a yearly tour de force.
Why, you may ask, are we so obsessive? We have all been smitten in a moment in time by a sound, rhapsody or melody that is the joy of Christmas. Peace, love and understanding transmitted through song. Christmas is an ever evolving holiday with origins in the winter solstice. It is a time to bask in the warmth of loved ones, partaking in the bounty of our harvest as we settle in for long dark nights ahead. With this holiday we also bond with our neighbors through song for only together can we hope to survive as well as enrich our lives for another year. We of the cult know secretly in our hearts that there are many of us out there and our sincere desire is to unite this spirit not for a season but for four.
So whether you are dancing around the Christmas tree, wrapping presents beside the tree or making love under the tree, we are honoured to provide the soundtrack to your celebration. We feel your love and send you ours.