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About James Fishwick

I like food. Food tastes good.

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    December Playlist: Happy Birthday Baby Jesus, 2018

    Bonding time: the Nativity in Townsville. Jan Hynes, 2007.

    Bonding time: the Nativity in Townsville. Jan Hynes, 2007.

    My son got an Advent calendar from his grandparents that has Santa captaining Noah’s ark. Is this better or worse than the ones that just dispense chocolate? I am unsure.

    One thing to be sure of is that in 1962, Kim Fowley secured the copyright to an arrangement of the march from Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Nutcracker. The result is evergreen and to be trusted in, unlike Advent calendars.

    Enjoy the music! (And click here to listen to about 2/3 of it on Spotify)


    December Playlist: Happy Birthday Baby Jesus 2017

    Bringing out the Christmas trappings early actually felt like a necessity this year. Hope you dig the mix.

    You can find my other mixes on Enjoy!

    Summer Playlist

    December Playlist: Happy Birthday Baby Jesus 2016

    Don’t rat me out to the Advent police — here’s this year’s Xmas mix.

    Happy Birthday Baby Jesus 2015


    December Mix: Happy Birthday Baby Jesus 2014


    Growing up the son of a liturgical Episcopal priest, Christmas music was verboten in our house until after the 4th Sunday in Advent. So, it makes me nervous when Dave makes me post my Xmas mix right as December dawns… Anywho, Jing Jing A Ling! Let me know what rings your bell.


    December Playlist: Happy Birthday Baby Jesus 2013

    December Playlist: Happy Birthday Baby Jesus 2013

    Mockingbird is graciously hosting my Christmas mix again this year. 2013 reveals sort of a punker/”classic” indie lean, with plenty of originals alongside chestnuts roasted with new recipes.  Other genre excursions too, natch. Hope you find some new favorites to brighten your Advent and Christmas seasons. Love to hear what you’re diggin on.

    Lou Reed's Proper Place

    Lou Reed's Proper Place

    Two day’s after Lou Reed’s death, my dad sent me an email asking after his best songs, and his best album. In other words, “why should I care?” Before dutifully sending on YouTube links and “probably Transformer (although not my favorite),” I stewed for a bit. Since Reed was really a generation between us, at […]

    Through the Wire: A Reading From the Post-Punk Gospel

    Through the Wire: A Reading From the Post-Punk Gospel

    Wire’s initial three albums have long been favorites of mine, especially the first and the third. The debut album, Pink Flag, employed punk minimalism and acidity with a slyly absurd literal-ism, while completely throwing out punk’s reliance on traditional rock n’ roll song structure. It’s fast and fun and leaves you off kilter in a […]

    December Playlist: Happy Birthday Baby Jesus 2012

    ‘Tis (almost) the season, Mbirders,

    Dave has asked me to put up my annual Xmas mix again this year for your easy listening pleasure.

    Per usual, it showcases this years’ particular pop obsessions (Roxy Music, the Bee Gees, the Manics [although I left out the Dead!]), outre cover versions (Cee Lo, J Tull, Jon Anderson), and selections from my Christmas vault that I propose for canonization (Ed Gerhard, John Prine, Byron Lee). Now –  I submit to you this question: what makes the Glam and Power Pop sub-genres the ground most fertile for holiday originals.? Taste and see!

    1. Giddie Up - The Dumbells (aka Roxy Music) 
    2. Three Ships - Jon Anderson
    3. Please Come Home For Christmas - The Insight (featuring Johnny & Edgar Winter)
    4. Christmas Time In Motor City - Was (Not Was)
    5. Let’s Get It Together This Christmas - Harvey Averne Band
    6. Winter Wonderland - Byron Lee & The Dragonaires
    7. Mele Kalikimaka - Arthur Lyman
    8. Merry Christmas Baby - Dr. John
    9. Hey Santa Claus - The Moonglows
    10. The Wildest Christmas - The Boys Next Door
    11. Deck The Halls - Metal Mike, Alison & Julia 
    12. Merry Christmas Will Do - Material Issue
    13. Please Leave Me Home For Christmas - Imperial Drag
    14. Ghost of Christmas - Manic Street Preachers
    15. Christmas, Bring Us - The Grip Weeds
    16. Christmas Was Better In The 80s - The Futureheads
    17. White Christmas - The Wedding Present
    18. Christmas Spirit - The Wailers
    19. Christmas in Prison (Live) - John Prine
    20. Christmas '83 - Centro-matic
    21. Silver Bells - Arlo Guthrie & Ed Gerhard
    22. God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman - Jethro Tull
    23. Christmas Must Be Tonight - The Band
    24. Children Go Where I Send Thee - Odetta
    25. River - Cee Lo Green
    26. Thank You for Christmas - Bee Gees

    If you’d like to hear more selections, please check out my treasure trove of Christmas goodness on A Rather Lovely Thing, the Fishwick family blog. Adeste Fideles!

    Happy Birthday Baby Jesus: Mbird Edition

    Happy Birthday Baby Jesus: Mbird Edition

    Every year since 2005 I’ve done a Christmas compilation called “Happy Birthday Baby Jesus” (see our blog to check out years’ past). Dave was kind enough to let me surface from the code mines for a few hours to bring you a collection of some of my favorites from across the years. It wasn’t easy […]