Holiday treasures Christmas STUBBY'S STOCKING STUFFERS 2019

STUBBY'S STOCKING STUFFERS 2019


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Why, Stubby, why?  Because he must (bonus points if you remember the movie “because he must” comes from).

In perfect honesty, I enjoy doing the Stubby’s collections more than just about anything I do.  They’re fun, they’re a challenge, they’re unexpected (even when you’re expecting them), they’re different than pretty much anything else that’s out there, and I actually feel like I do them pretty well.  I do regular Christmas comps and the Stubby’s comps are a completely different trip.  All of the music, as you know, is culled from the downloads that artists and labels (and other free and legal sources) offer for free.  You never know what’s coming, what isn’t, or when.  Oh, sure, Sofia Talvik is pretty reliable for a great free Christmas tune and I rely on the annual collection from Polaroid.  But, for instance, of the 46 artists on this years collection, there are only 14 I’d even heard of before this year.  First, you’ve got to collect the stuff–hours and hours of it–then whittle it down to a couple hours of the most worthy.  And, unless you’ve tried it, you really have no idea what is required to take that much music you’ve never heard before from artists you’ve never even heard of before–with different styles, sounds, volumes, recording quality, etc., etc., etc.–and weave it all into something that sounds like a coherent whole.  It’s a skill, I tellz ya.  Yeah, a pretty stupid and useless skill, but it’s all I got.  And I look at that kid in The Sixth Sense who sees dead people and figure I got the better deal.  Anyway, on to business.


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First up, Stubby’s House of Christmas is still officially closed.  So we need a new title.  Thus Stubby’s Stocking Stuffers!  Works for me.  All of our usual rules apply–including the rule that says I get to break the rules–except for one.  It used to be that the music had to come from our posts during the year.  No posts, so that one is out.  The music doesn’t have to be from 2019, but I don’t think there’s anything on here that I didn’t first discover within the last year and a couple of months.  I shy away from artists I consider to be big names/major label types.  Any kind of music goes, though I felt there was less genre diversity among the free stuff this year.  There’s only one Jazz track on the set and that one is from 2015.  I still think there’s quite a diversity of sound.

​Everything has been fully and properly tagged (I hope) and rolled up into a zip file that also includes all of the artwork you’ll need to create your own little musical souvenir of the 2019 Christmas season.  Click on any of the artwork in this post and you’ll find yourself at the place where the download link is.  And that download link is active from right now until Midnight January 6 (“Little Christmas”).  I say Midnight, but it’s usually 2 or 3 a.m. EST.  Once it’s gone, it’s gone.  Not like Stubby’s, itself, which somehow seems to keep popping up no matter how dead its supposed to be.  No, no.  Once that link is deactivated, Stubby’s Stocking Stuffers 2019 will never return.


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A couple of things about the music.  You know that, most years, we would be fortunate enough to have a Stubby’s House Exclusive–a song that was free nowhere else on the web, just on the Stubby’s collection.  Well, Stubby’s is closed, so that seems unlikely.  But wait.  Hang on a second.  I do believe we have one.  You may recall that my farewell post featured the song “The Little Things” by Athena Sorensen & The Merry Shout.  One of the people behind Mosaic Rain Recordings and co-writer of the song, Tre Carn, sent me a link earlier this month to a download of that song “to share with your followers”.  Yep, I’m calling it.  We’ve got ourselves a Stubby’s Exclusive!  Yay!

You should know that all of the songs in the track list below are linked up to the source of the free download (artist names are linked to their websites or Facebook pages, if they have any).  And I promise you that I do cut the fades and the held notes at the end to make the collection tighter.  So do yourself a favor and make sure to download “The Little Things” from the link provided below, so you get the pure uncut unadulterated real thing (cuz you ain’t gettin’ it anywhere else for free…probably).

The other thing you need to know is that there is one song on this year’s collection that comes with a PARENTAL ADVISORY.  We’ve spoken about Still A Great Night (Alex Feder), so you should know about his, um, frequent use of profanity.  You should also know that I consider his Christmas music to be among the most original and brilliant and powerful being written today.  “Still A Great Future” contains two uses of the “F” word and some other adult themes.  But, hey, some assembly required.  If such a thing bothers you, or if you have youngins in your household, just leave the song out when you put the mix together.  It’s that simple.  If you like, tack a different song onto the end in its place.  Entirely your call.  But I like the song and I like where I put it and feel it fits the subtext of the set (and when I say “subtext”, I’m quite certain I’m not nearly as clever as I like to think I am, so that subtext is probably pretty surface apparent).

This year, Hanukkah and Christmas overlap.  There’s less free Hanukkah music available, sadly, but we’ve got one mini-set of Hanukkah tunes and one more to grow on on Stubby’s Stocking Stuffers 2019.  Mazel Tov!  (I’m gonna miss our annual Eight Nights of Hanukkah celebration.  *sigh*)


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​Stubby, shut up already.  Getting there.  I always like to tell you who almost made the cut.  The last song physically cut from the collection was “All Of Us On Christmas” by Paper Scissors, which I described somewhere as Simon & Garfunkel doing the vocals for “Incense & Peppermints”.  Also…Vista Blue provided another exceptional EP this year (grab it now), but I just couldn’t get them to fit (in terms of flow) between any two other songs.  I did try.  There’s one spot where you’d be certain they’d fit, musically.  I thought so too.  They didn’t.  And the Paste Holiday Sampler arrived just after I’d finalized the playlist.  Otherwise, I’m pretty sure I’d have at least tried to shoehorn Letters To Cleo in.  This year’s “no kidding’, I guess he really did like that” track is “Christmas Time” by Wesly Thomas.  I think it’s really pretty.  It would be impossible for me to pick a favorite, this year.  I think all of this music is really great.  Even the stuff you’ll hate, I love.

As usual, I struggled to get the volumes to match up.  The first five songs on the second disc weren’t even on the same continents.  After running out of hair to rip from my skull, I eventually threw up my hands and declared “close enough”.  

And thanks to Christmas A Go Go, Christmas Underground and Mistletunes for keeping the fires going.  I mean it when I say I couldn’t have done this without you.

We’ll toss a video of “The Little Things” between the two CD playlists below and add a bonus stream at the end…a newly recorded Ska cover of “White Christmas” by our friends The Fayetteville Ska Alliance.  it’s not on the collection, but it’s awesome.  Alright, cats and kittens.  Keeping in mind that the link will vanish like Marley’s Ghost at Midnight January 6th, start your downloads.  And keep riding.  For the love of God, never stop riding.


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