Christmas Mix for YOU!

Happy Christmas!

I decided this year that I would make a special Christmas Mix for my friends. It's a compilation of songs that I have really enjoyed in 2010 (although some were released before then) and I hope you will enjoy them, too.

Please download it for free at the following link:
Download "Merry Christmas from Allie 2010"

Read on for the track list and reasons why I chose these songs...

1) White Winter Hymnal | Fleet Foxes

Last year, my friend Aimee sent a mix with a different song by Fleet Foxes that I really enjoyed (thanks, Aimee!). Oedipus also played this song on his 2009 Christmas Eve Broadcast on WFNX.  I knew I had to hear more! This band is pretty awesome.

2) I Wanna Kill | The Crocodiles
Thanks to my friend Brenden (thanks, Brenden!) for introducing me to the Crocodiles our of CA. This might be my favorite song from their album Summer of Hate (ok the song and album titles are misleading, trust me, it's a chill song).

3) How I Remember | David Bazan
I am a huge long time fan of Bazan's old band Pedro the Lion, so naturally, I love his solo stuff.

4) On the Table | A.C. Newman
I got this song at a music sharing party with two of my good friends earlier in the year (thanks, Erin and Kristina!). Full disclosure: It is a song from the OC Soundtrack. Hey... I heard they played good music on that show.

5) Happy Birthday/Come on Home | The Organ Beats
This is a track from The Organ Beats, out of Boston, whose lead singer was in the band Damone. I was listening to Damone CONSTANTLY in college, so when my friend Alex, who mixed this album, told me to check them out, I wasted no time (thanks, Alex!).

6) No Songs Is Good Songs | The Appreciation Post
I saw The Appreciation Post open for the Sheila Divine reunion show this summer at Landsdown Pub. Their enthusiasm was infectious. They opened with a cover of Tired of Sex by Weezer. They are one of my favorite new discoveries of 2010 and this song makes me melt every time I listen to it!

7) Over it Over Again | She & Him
Duo Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward are She and Him. You probably have a crush on Zooey Deschanel. Or M. Ward. Or both. This is from Volume Two. Here's hoping for many more volumes!

8) Love Me Still | The Grownup Noise
The Grownup Noise is an awesome local band who collaborates with Boston Handmade quite often and quite well. Super nice people and super great music!

9) Hallucinations | Raveonettes
This song came to me on a mix CD from another friend this year (thanks, Matt!). I know the Raveonettes have been around for *so long* but I guess I didn't really read the memo until this year - although the memo crossed my desk about a million times since the early aughts.

10) Monument | Mirah
One of my favorite singer/songwriters, Mirah just hits me every time, so I am hitting you with her, too. This is one of my faves from her but you really can't go wrong with Mirah.

11) Charlie Darwin | The Low Anthem
Another local band, out of RI, I heard about The Low Anthem in the summer 2009 from a girl who had a G tattooed to her arm in the Adobe Garamond font (thanks, Laura, wherever you are). Obviously, she had good taste, so I gave them a listen, and what do you know... they are pretty great.

12) Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) | Arcade Fire
Quite possibly my favorite track from 2010. I can't say that Arcade Fire's "The Suburbs" is anywhere near "Funeral" but I can say that this song might be the top played in my car on the way home from work this year.

13) Once in a Lifetime | Talking Heads
An oldie but goodie, this song is one of my all time favorites - dare I say top 10? - and it really helps put things in perspective and reminds you to live in the moment. We let too much pass us by, but we have just this one life... it puts me in check to just remember to not take small moments for granted.

14) Get Innocuous! | LCD Soundsystem
This song totally sneaks up on you. Seriously...

15) Stylo (Feat. Mos Def and Bobby Womack) | Gorillaz
This is the last song I really remember rocking out to in my 1992 Nissan Stanza before I traded it in for a "real" car last spring. I remember driving around an extra couple of blocks before picking up Erin and Alex for some random adventure (sorry if I was late, guys). This is the perfect song to listen to loudly in your car on a warm spring or summer day. Or any other time.

16) I Love N.Y.E. | Badly Drawn Boy
Closing it with a classic.

I hope you enjoy this mix, and let me know your thoughts!
Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to you all!!!

<3 Allison

ps - if you have made it this far.... a bonus video for you:

The Oedipus Christmas Eve Broadcast

Last year, WFNX Radio in Boston brought back a Christmas tradition - they broadcasted the long-running Christmas Eve show hosted by legendary radio personality and programmer Oedipus. It is a commercial free radio holiday extravaganza featuring Christmas music from around the world, new and old, drawn from many genres and heard virtually nowhere else. Before 2009, the special would broadcast on the now defunct WBCN, but WFNX jumped in to keep the dream alive!

This broadcast is really the highlight of my Christmas. OK... friends and family and togetherness is a big part of the holiday, as is partying for Jesus' birthday, but there is something about listening to The Oedipus Christmas Eve broadcast alone in a car or at home, unwinding from family craziness, that is really very calming. You can't help but feel nostalgic, thankful, and introspective.

The Oedipus Christmas Eve show will air without commercial interruption on Friday, December 24th, from 6pm until midnight. WFNX can be heard at 101.7 FM in Greater Boston, at 92.1 in New Hampshire, and streaming worldwide at

Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas!

Low Budget Christmas Gift (or fun new music for you)

Have someone you want to give something to for Christmas, but no $$ or idea what to give? Download this free EP from The Appreciation Post, burn it on a blank CD, maybe even print out a picture of the album cover and pass it along!

While you're at it, listen to this sweet and adorable song:

My First Christmas Tree

For the past few years, I have secretly wanted a kitschy fake white Christmas tree. Until this year, I haven't been in the right living space to make a legit tree happen. I decided to splurge (except, I only spent $25) on a 48" tall, fake, white, awesome Christmas tree for my living room.

Why a white Christmas tree? Well, I am going to have plenty of time to get a real tree later in life, so I am indulging in the frivolity and ridiculousness of the white Christmas tree while I can.
Here is a picture of my first Christmas tree in all its glory:

I got pretty amber lights for it, but Rookie Mistake #1 was that I bought them on green wire instead of white. Oh well. I also still need the right star for the top. I could not find one the other night when I was looking for the trimmings. But otherwise, I'm pretty excited!

Next feat: Start a lifetime collection of ornaments. While the matching ornament style is nice and uniform and orderly looking, I do love a haphazard Christmas tree with random ornaments that have been collected over the years.

What kind of Christmas tree do YOU love?

Operation C.U.P. (Citizens Using Pottery)

Operation C.U.P. (Citizens Using Pottery) is a movement my friend Arthur started last year with the idea of getting a handmade cup into the hands of people that wouldn't normally use a handmade cup. So it goes like this... buy a handmade cup or mug and gift it to someone close to you for the holidays. That's about it! Arthur's facebook page, Arthur Halvorsen Ceramics, is posting a daily link to a cup up until Christmas if you need some ideas or inspiration.
Here's my choice to fly us right into Hanukkah! I love this Paper Airplane Mug by Dirty Dishes Pottery. Something tells me I can get into Operation C.U.P.

Paper Airplane Mug by Dirty Dishes Pottery