On December 10, 1993 I recorded Hearts of Space on Vermont Public Radio (I was living in Lebanon, NH at the time). The episode was called “A Simple Beauty” and was a winter-themed celtic music show featuring a lot of Clannad, Loreena McKinnitt, Enya, and such. I loved it. That tape became a mainstay for me. Every Christmas it found its way into heavy rotation. It’s perfect for night time sitting with the tree on and candles lit moods. I haven’t listened to it the last few years mainly due to having lost the tape. I found it the other day under a seat in the car and it’s suffered from too many hot days during the summer. It warbles now and sounds vaguely intoxicated. So, I located the playlist online and set about to get all of the music. I owned a lot of it already and was able to get most of the rest via iTunes and the last two from a used CD I found via Amazon.com. Now it’s on my iPod and thus the Bose Wave in the living room and sounds better than ever. Simple things like this just make me happy.
Going completely in the other direction in terms of holiday music is Santa’s Boots, an excellent collection of highly obscure Christmas music. Includes mostly radio or live recordings that were never released. I’ve been really enjoying this collection this holiday season. My favorite should come as no surprise to people who know me: Tom Waits singing Silent Night.
Finally, Aimee Mann released a Christmas album which is excellent. Her voice lends itself very nicely to the material and it made for a nice early Christmas present to Ann who’s a big fan.