Xmas Music Too Soon (not actually)

Boy, would I like to be her Santa Claus.
Boy, would I like to be her Santa Claus.
So I’ve been doing a thing that, when it’s forced upon me, I detest.

I began listening to Christmas/holiday music the day after Halloween.

It drives me nuts that stores start Christmas on 1 November. There are logistical reasons for it, and I get that, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

(The logistical reasons, basically, amount to: customers expect Black Friday — the day after Thanksgiving — to be the kickoff of the Christmas season, and complain if the stores aren’t “festive” for the day. But, with Thanksgiving right before, and businesses to run, they simply cannot do the decorating and arranging and all that just the week of Black Friday, so they do it a few weeks in advance.)

It may seem strange, but this atheist, even though he’s prone to depression, loves Christmas. Adores it. That said, two months of the thing is entirely too much.

However, in this case I can’t complain. It’s all my fault. I don’t generally plan Writing Music Mondays more than a week in advance, but for NaNoWriMo, I selected everything for the month ahead of time so I would have less reason to procrastinate on actual writing. (Not that it’s worked, but that’s a different story.)

And once I had November taken care of, I thought, “Heck, why not try to find some appropriate Creative Commons holiday music?”

Apart from weeks where I’ve skipped posting all together, in 2015 I’ve done a very good job of sticking to my personal mission with Music Mondays. Every single piece of music I’ve posted has had a Free Culture license. Which means that not only can you download it and listen to it while writing (or whatever you wish to do) for free, you can also use it for any purpose you want. Put it in a Youtube video, use it in a soundtrack for your indie film, make a book soundtrack, record a cover version, use it as a sample in your rap masterpiece — anything. The licenses are already there, so you’re covered (as long as you abide them).

As December appeared on the horizon, I began to think that I was just going to have to give it up for the final month. It might seem a bit odd, but in my experience, virtually all Christmas music in the Creative Commons is not Free Culture. Yeah, the most giving season of the year, and even free-sharing artists tighten up. Weird, right?

But, between not having a wide selection left to choose from in my personal collection, and Jamendo betraying its users in its latest redesign (and possible death-throes), I went exploring. And found lots of possibilities.

The first two weeks are set, already, and are Free Culture. One is an artist who has been releasing music to the Commons since before Jamendo existed, and his earlier work is all Free Culture. His musicality is amazing, whether he’s creating techno or piano solo work, and this upcoming holiday album is all piano.

The second was an artist new to me, but the album I’m sharing was released four years ago, and I missed it somehow.

So I’ll be able to keep the Free Culture streak going for those two weeks, at the very least.

The third week, I have an album tentatively selected that has a Non-Commercial requirement, rendering it non-Free Culture, but it’s holiday jazz, so I’m leaning toward it, even if it’s not the best ever. (If you want the best ever, go get last year’s share, the non-Creative Commons Christmas with The Believers. I’m not joking. It’s that good.)

That leaves the week leading up to Christmas itself wide open. I might share somebody else’s collection of CC Christmas music (I have a few such collections bookmarked, but haven’t really explored them yet), or I might do up a holiday collection of my own, or I might find something else entirely that works perfectly. We’ll just have to wait and see how things shake out.

The Monday following Christmas might be non-holiday–related, or vaguely holiday–related, at this point I have no idea. That one I’m going to wait and see what mood hits me.

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