Christmas from a music nerd’s perspective

From a music nerd’s perspective, Christmas is a mixed bag. Most people enjoy getting presents and spending time with their family, but there are also a couple of things about the holidays that are only tolerable with a lot of goodwill and alcohol (preferably hot wine).

 

Christmas music

Let’s face it: 99% of all Christmas music sucks. Most of it is cheesy, one-dimensional and you have heard it so often that you can sing along without even liking the song. “Last Christmas”, anyone?

There’s a simple test that proves this: Would you or anyone you know listen to Christmas music at any other time of the year? Probably not.

Would you listen to a song about summer holidays at another time of the year? Sure. Why not?

In my opinion, Christmas music is trying to be very emotional, very harmonic and get you in a certain, well-defined mood. This only works if you stick to a few tried-and-tested patterns, repeat them again and again and leave out anything that could be a distractor. That’s what makes Christmas music so effective – and so annoying.

I have to admit that there are a few songs and tracks that are not that bad. I compiled a few in my Christmas Beats mix, and I can also recommend the 70s disco themed mix by my DJ buddy Discotizer. There are also some nice Jazz recordings that I like listening to – but I wouldn’t listen to any of those at other times of the year.

 

Going out over Christmas

One might find it surprising, but there are actually quite a few electronic music parties over Christmas – at least here in Cologne. From Techno to Drum&Bass, there is quite a bit going on, and I can imagine that those parties will probably be good parties.

After all, Christmas isn’t a bad time for going out. Most people have time, maybe even some extra cash in their pockets and if you like going out during the rest of the year, why shouldn’t you like going out over Christmas?

I haven’t been clubbing too much over Christmas, but I have been going out to a bar a couple of times, and usually I met a couple of old friends that I don’t see a lot. That was really enjoyable and often better than sitting in front of the TV with my family.

 

The perfect present

Christmas is about presents, and for a music nerd, this is a great opportunity.

On my wish list, I had a bit of gear this year: A midi keyboard and a small drum pad that I can use for my own productions. Of course, I also like getting new music for Christmas – but most people in my family know me well enough that I am a bit special in this aspect.

However, I do like surprises, and I am actually happy if someone gives me music that he thinks I might like, even though I have never heard of it before.

This is also something that I like to do: Use Christmas as an opportunity to introduce people to new music by giving them a CD or DVD.

 

A few quiet days

Personally, I will use the next few days to chill and spend some time with my family. The last few weeks were a bit stressful, and I can really use a few quiet days.

 I would like to thank all readers, supporters and DJs who have contributed to Sweet Headache in any way! I wish you all happy holidays!

 

About marvis (209 Articles)
Marvis is the founder of Sweet Headache. He lives in Cologne (Germany) and has been a music nerd for a long, long time.

4 Comments on Christmas from a music nerd’s perspective

  1. Personally, I prefer Christmas music that’s not about Christmas (or intended to be Christmas music, for that matter). There’s certain tracks that work the same way, creating the same mood, without actually being cliché Christmas music.

  2. @Tim: Could you name some examples?

  3. Yes, I can, though these aren’t necessarily electronic:

    The Shins – Sleeping Lessons
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UoNtIkRm1HE

    Gorillaz – Empire Ants (Miami Horror Remix)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPcDSe_hSbY

    Thievery Corporation – Take My Soul
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LZn98rEfFc&feature=related

    Little Dragon – Twice
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yedD4JsZyT0

    Toro Y Moi – New Loved Ones
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMOcYZrM60A

    It’s all pretty moody, melancholic stuff, but then again, that’s just what suits me towards the end of the year – reflective music to look back at the last twelve months.

  4. @Tim: That’s some good stuff! Thanks for sharing! And I do see your point.

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