Doing it Right

Buddy: The best way to spread Christmas Cheer, is singing loud for all to hear.

Elf (2003)

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This is the definitive version. Don't let Arthur Fiedler fool you. I know that in the past, I’ve railed on about Christmas music, specifically the fact that when it comes time for radio stations to begin their All Christmas All The Time programming, they ordinarily have ridiculously small playlists which have no sense of history whatsoever. “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey gets played hourly, while Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride” goes ignored. It’s not that I don’t like the Mariah Carey song, but when there are so many versions of a relatively small pool of songs out there, it gets old in a big hurry. Hey, ten bucks is ten bucks. Worse yet is the Straight No Chaser version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas”, because there’s just no way that that song isn’t tedious. Even the parody versions are just painful after the second go-round (Bob & Doug McKenzie notwithstanding).

At any rate, I was given a tip by a friend on Facebook that a station in Colorado was playing ACATT and that I might want to tune in via their Internet stream. I was reluctant, but since I was baking cookies and wanted to hear some Christmas music, I figured “why not?”

Holy cow, this station is actually good at All Christmas All The Time. The station in question is KTRR-FM, billing itself on the air as “Tri-102.5”, and they actually do ACATT right. This is their non-Christmas artwork. Out of season they're a "Light Rock" station, much like the Baltimore ACATT station is. Except, Baltimore's Christmas station sucks. I don’t know who the Program Director is there, but my hat is off to that person. It’s got a mix of the modern and the traditional, the old artists and the new, the familiar recordings and a few that might be new to some people; it was incredibly cool. I was able to listen for literally hours without getting bored. If I had anything to complain about, it would be that pretty much all of the songs I heard were “modern” Christmas songs; there wasn’t an awful lot of the more traditional Christmas carols going on. What’s the difference? Carols are more overtly religious. Tri-102.5 doesn’t avoid them but they appear to prefer songs about Christmas. In the long run it’s no harm, no foul.

So I strongly suggest that you tune in, especially on the weekends when that Fabulous Deejay, Keith Allen, is on the air. Call him at 1-800-964-1025 and request something cool for your Yuletide celebration. Chances are, he’ll be able to play it. And tell him I said Hi.