Happy Birthday Baby Jesus 2016

12th HHBJ, 10th one that is “in print.” And now a dedicated URL. Cool beans.

Merry Christmas Everybody!

Happy Birthday Baby Jesus 2015


Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year to one and all.


Happy Birthday Baby Jesus 2014



Happy Birthday Baby Jesus 2013


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.

Happy Birthday Baby Jesus 2012

‘Tis (almost) the season, Friends,

Per usual, HBBJ 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!

Happy Birthday Baby Jesus 2011

Lots of instrumentals this year. In that vein, I’ll let the mix speak for itself. Enjoy! Merry Christmas.

Happy Birthday Baby Jesus 2010

Stephanie finds this mix my “coziest” yet. And its cold out there!

You’re going to need some of this:

Happy Birthday Baby Jesus 2009

Yes, Bing is back again this year.

Welcome to the long anticipated HBBJ 2009. One whole year in the making.

My favorite sad-sack 8 year-old and I share many of the same frustrations about Christmas. (As does Loudon Wainwright III.) Why the need to gorge ourselves on the “holiday season?” Why are we so hungry?


I, and the other James featured on this year’s mix, urge you not to sucumb to the easy, instant gratification of a prepackaged yule. Don’t settle for cheap sentimentality. What, at he heart of it, is so great about Christmas anyway? Do you really feel like it is worth it? Why or why not? Ponder. Enjoy the anticipation a few more days.

Yes, listen to that sweet tension in Steve Vai’s masterful interpretation of “Christmas Time Is Here.” Yes, it is upon us. But not quite yet. Savor. Already, but not yet.


Happy Birthday Baby Jesus 2008

For the past five or so years, I have been making an annual Christmas mix; the Happy Birthday Baby Jesus series. In preparation for this year’s, I thought I would put up years’ past’s (those I can still find anyway). Enjoy-this one is a personal favorite.


Happy Birthday Baby Jesus 2007

Although my computer is dying, I was able to resurrect another merry mix form the archives. Can you remember all the way back to 2007? What heady, care-free days those were! Ah.

Two notes: I realize that Bing Crosby is on all my mixes. I was going to say, “This isn’t your grandad’s Xmas mix” in my title, but… And “Purple Snowflakes” is perhaps not a holiday song exactly, nor does it make any sense, but there are no bad songs about purple weather and it is one of my favorite tunes to listen to when it is all cold-like outside. Love it.

As always, enjoy. More soon!