I like to listen to Christmas music on Christmas day. It’s not a particularly religious thing; the holiday just happens to come with a lot of truly wonderful music, that’s all. Ironically, most of the broadcast radio stations I usually tune into don’t do a very good job of responding to this need: themed shows off and on, but not much 24/7ish.
So off to the Internet I go, where I listen to various curated channels provided by the usual suspects. Here’s where you’ll find me.
Without any question, AccuRadio has the best Holiday channels lineup of any service I’ve found. Just about every Xmas sub genre has a curated channel: “Celtic Christmas”; a “Chestnuts Roasting” channel completely dedicated to the Mel Torme classic; a “Non-Standard” Christmas stream that includes some hilariously bah humbug tunes; a Holiday Broadway channel; a Holiday Rock channel (of course); and a “Wait, THEY Made a Christmas Record?” channel.
Accu Radio is probably where I’m going to keep my mobile devices running, but there’s also:
2. Slacker radio
Slacker radio is where I can find Mojo Nixon and the Toadliquors singing “Mr. Grinch.” You can locate Slacker radio Christmas channels in at least two places: at slacker.com, obviously, but I prefer music.aol.com, which has a host of curated channels powered by Slacker. The AOL channels include “Weird Holiday,” “Oldies Holiday” (Elvis, Beach Boys, etc), and “Navidad Latina.” Slacker itself has a Christmas Collection Channel filled with a nice but conventional lineup.
3. Live 365
Live 365 has a wide variety of indy streaming channels. Just plug “holiday” into the search engine and out they come. Most of the channels are pretty generic. You are liable to hear an advertisement selling you the latest version of the New Testament. But I recommend Radio Redwood City (“Music Best by Government Test”) which streams a nice blues themed Christmas channel.
Spotify has a host of interesting holiday channels, but, as with Live365, you have to know where to find them. First log in, then search for “holidays” or “Christmas” and a whole bunch of holiday oriented user playlists will come up. Pick one, click “Start Playlist Radio,” and the music will begin. If you don’t like anything you find, you can make your own. As I’m typing these words, I’m listening to “Christmas Classics,” a playlist produced by “Universal Music Enterprises,” whatever that is.
My old pal Turntable.fm has a variety of fun holiday rooms, but they’re off and on, depending on who is deejaying the room at the moment. The Christmas Time room offers a nice rocking experience, and you can add tunes to the queue yourself.
“Play any and all Christmas / Holiday music!” the room rules say. “Just try to keep it clean so everyone can enjoy the holiday tunes.”
There’s also good old Pandora, of course. I’m not terribly impressed with their channel lineup this year, but it’s a reliable source that will doubtless be streamed by millions of people on December 25. Happy holidays!
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