The new weekly podcast tries to sort out the place of Christmas music in the culture by talking to the people who make it.
Earlier this month, My Spilt Milk launched a new podcast, “The 12 Songs of Christmas.” My Spilt Milk founder Alex Rawls has been writing about Christmas since 2004, when he wrote a cover story on it for Gambit with interviews with people as different as American Idol contestants, Trans-Siberian Orchestra founder Paul O’Neill, filmmaker/artist John Waters, and singers Banu Gibson and Judith Owen. Since then, he has interviewed musicians about Christmas music, talking to local musicians, indie artists, and even the legendary Johnny Mathis about how Christmas music fits into their careers and the marketplace, in the process trying to understand Christmas music as a phenomenon.
Since Labor Day, Rawls has been working on “12 Songs,” and the first five episodes are up, featuring Ben Schenck from Panorama Jazz Band, Michael Cerveris and Kimberly Kaye from Loose Cattle, singer/songwriter Robert Earl Keen, Chris McKhool of the Canadian progressive string band Sultans of String, and Scott Kelly from the prog-rock holiday band The Wizards of Winter. In recent episodes, Rawls also talked to New Orleans’ Boyfriend about The Carpenters and songwriter Jim McCormick about Faith Hill and The New Pornographers. Upcoming episodes will feature PJ Morton, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Delicate Steve, Los Straitjackets, and The Waitresses’ Chris Butler among others.
The first episodes are included below, but you can also subscribe whether fine podcasts are found—iTunes, Google Play, and Stitcher. “12 Songs” will also be available on Spotify and YouTube soon. You can follow "12 Songs" and Christmas music news at the podcast's Facebook page.
We’re very proud of “12 Songs” and hope you’ll add it to your podcast feed for the rest of this year and into next year. “12 Songs” will be weekly through Twelfth Night, at which point it will move to a once- or twice-a-month schedule. It will continue throughout the year because the conversations aren’t about getting listeners in the spirit of the season. At their best, they help us get a handle on what the season is and how popular music fits into it.