The title of Slow Club's Xmas EP sums it all up for me: 'Christmas Thanks for Nothing'. A festival of consumerism and fake sentiment and bad TV in which very little of interest happens. And it blights the musical landscape too; so much so the only music happening by most accounts has been a mediocre 17 year old song beating a reality TV 'star' covering Miley Cyrus.
But wait. You don't have to look very far to find some decent festive music released by decent bands - and with a lot of it being given away for nothing.
So the three singles you should part money for are:
Slow Club 'Christmas Thanks For Nothing' [BUY]
Camera Obscura 'The Blizzard' [BUY]
The Brute Chorus '(This Christmas) Bury Me in Hawaii' [BUY]
Dean & Britta 'He's Coming Home' [FREE download]
The Joy Formidable 'My Beerdrunk Soul is Sadder Than a Hundred Dead Christmas Trees' [FREE download]
Kill It Kid 'Just Like Christmas' [FREE download]
Johnny Foreigner 'Winterval' [FREE download]
Slaraffenland 'Little Drummer Boy' [FREE download] courtesy of Hometapes
Amy Gore 'Dear Santa' [FREE download] courtesy of Bloodshot Records
The Silos '(Christmas Comes Once A Year) You Are Always In My Heart' [FREE download] courtesy of Bloodshot Records
Dex Romweber Duo "Dark Christmas" [FREE download] courtesy of Bloodshot Records
Kevin Devine 'Splitting Up Christmas' [FREE download] courtesy of Big Scary Monster Records
The Lost Cavalry 'Stop The Cavlary' [FREE download]
The 10p Mixes 'A Christmas Gift from..' [FREE download]
And finally via The Line of Best Fit I discovered this: "Oh! Canada has been working with a whole host of Canadian acts to bring you 25 (see what we did there?) tracks to celebrate the winter and the upcoming festive season: "Ho! Ho! Ho! Canada"'. Artists on this compilation include The Wilderness of Manitoba, The Acorn, Woodpigeon, Zumpano and Ohbijou.
Ho! Ho! Ho! Canada [FREE download but donations encouraged details here]
As well as donations where suggested make sure you save up some of your Xmas spends and gift tokens to support these artists and those releasing new music in 2010.
And that's as festive as I get. Bah humbug one and all.