There’s a lot more to holiday music than classic carols. Gini Mascorro knows this better than most. She’s the host of KXT Christmas Anthem, which airs tonight from 6 to 8 on KERA’s sister station, KXT 91.7. Gini’s been choosing offbeat tunes for a special Christmas show for six years, first on KERA and then, naturally, on KERA’s sister music station. Her playlist touches on all the emotions the holidays tap into, from joyful celebration to dread and melancholy. But even the songs with tough topics will get your toes tapping. We talked about how she puts her own twist on what’s become a two-hour holiday music tradition.
Listen to the story that aired on KERA FM:
A couple highlights from our conversation:
Gini’s thought more about holiday music than many of us. And here’s the quality that she says makes a great holiday song: “It’s sentimentality without irony. Overt cleverness will kill just about anything. People don’t really respond to it as positively as they do something that’s straight from the heart.”
“For a lot of people the holiday season is super-stressful. It’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year and all that. But, for a lot of people, it’s just the time for high anxiety and unmet expectations and just the blues in general. So for the times when you’re not feeling all that yuletide love, it’s nice to feel somewhat vindicated.”
We talked about and played selections from the Decemberists cover of John Denver’s “Please Daddy Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas” and Zhora’s cover of Wham’s “Last Christmas.” And then we wrapped it up with a little blast from Fort Worth’s Unlikely Candidates. Here’s some video goodness.