For 5 years now, Paulie has been doing Merry Christmas mixtapes. However, in a world of poseur Chirstmas music, Paul is an auteur. As our newly appointed Assistant World Music Director, I decided to review his 'album'.

"I decided to start making it as gift for people, mainly for friends," said Lamontagne. "I usually just troll around the internet on various blogs or random searches, writing 'my favorite band' and 'Christmas' and seeing what I come up with, its just fishing. I was bummed I couldn't find anything by Kraftwerk."

From the get go, it can be noted pop culture muscles are being flexed, and there is certainly some digging our curator has done. XTC's selection off their single for Viz Comics was released under the name Johnny Japes and His Jesticles. Partridge croons over his classic acoustic guitar and exciting drum work, complete with bells and regal synth-horn. Never ruling out the present times, Daniel Johnston, Snowden, The Walkmen, Of Montreal, Julian Casablancas and Deerhoof make up the indie-cred battalion and each put their own spin on it. God I LOVE Of Montreal...and The Walkmen know how to party. Iowa's Pines take a spooky look at Silver Bells and Little Bright Star is taken to the wall-of-sound Motown world by The Supremes. The Monkees seem to sound more like Left Banke or The Zombies on the eerie Rui Chui. An exciting waypoint emerges in Bjork's first band, The Sugarcubes, and Jesus and Mary Chain sweltering through Christmas Eve, which maybe the coolest standalone track on the album. Listen the Snow is Falling by Galaxie 500 is a contemplative naturalist look penned by Yoko Ono. Having grown up in Cambridge, 500 is no stranger to the weather and feeling of NE and songs like Snowstorm, Blue Thunder, and Strange tell us this.

The highlight of the album by far for me is Hark! The Herald Angels sing by everyone's favorite ramshackle punkers The Fall. Hot off one of their many Peel Sessions, they do not abandon smart, catchy guitar lines and sneering fuck-off lyrics. Don't be deterred: you can get swinging with Chet Baker AND Stan Getz in a collaboration entitled West Coast Live released in '97. Interestingly enough, Christmas seems a time for everyone to feel good, less perhaps Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine's Lonely This Christmas and maybe Kevin Barnes and Co. singing for animals, but they always sound so happy. Maybe he and Ray Davies could hold each other, as long as Les Carter brought some money and didn't talk about those little rich boys.

"For the last 4 years I've thought 'I won't do one this year, I'm out of Christmas songs' but it always ends up being better than the last one," says Lamontagne.


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