I'm watching Blakely's boutique again today (I'd take this as a compliment, but I didn't work on Weds.) and I decided to play only holiday music. I began with spinning the OC's Chrismukkah record, one of the goodies the kind, kind Molly B sent me this week. Once that was done, I turned to Real Rhapsody which has an impressive offering of holiday tunes.

The best holiday record I've found so far is Jose Feliciano's Feliz Navidad. If you have Rhapsody, you can listen here. Feliciano is a genius. He's a master of guitar, and his voice is unique, powerful, gentle and heartbreaking all at once. Despite being born blind, he became a groundbreaking international crossover success over his decades of music-making. He was kind of a heartthrob back in the day too. His cover of "California Dreamin" will hook you.

Since everyone's gone mad for Best Of lists, here's my...
Top Five Gift Mixes of 2004:
** "Left Outside by Josef" : This cleverly titled mix includes artists that Josef sees as outsiders, including 13th Floor Elevators, Fugazi and the mysterious Jandek. Given that Jandek is from Texas and has been called "the longest-running, weirdest, loneliest enigma in popular music," it's entirely appropriate that Josef turned me onto him.
** "Krissy's Portable Roller Rink" by Nyla: The concept makes this one a winner from the getgo, but tracks by Heart, Girlschool and Olivia Newton-John proved to be most excellent for skating.
** Mix by JD: Balm for the broken heart.
** Ashod's mix: Indie rock love songs by a bunch of bands that I should have already known but mostly hadn't heard before.
** Rough mix by Jason: Frustratingly, this came without a tracklisting, but the blue CD case and shiny green ribbon made up for it.

What's better than getting a mix CD from a friend? One of my New Year's resolutions is to make more gift mixes for my favorite people.

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