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I've complained in the past about the entertainment industry's stubborn resistance to release and promote original new holiday music to build on the relatively limited collection of beloved seasonal classics. Perhaps nowhere is the issue more dramatically illustrated than in the holiday sales and airplay charts published each December by Billboard magazine. Those charts have been essentially stagnant for years. In fact, the only significant new holiday song to hit it big in the past 30 years is Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You." 

What makes this especially sad is that there's no shortage of quality original Christmas songs being produced — they're just not getting played or promoted enough.

As further proof of my theory, I've put together a special extra collection called 21st Century Holiday Classics, which is available now. It includes 22 original holiday tunes released since the turn of the current century by a wide variety of fine musicians ranging from indie rock's The Killers to the legendary Carole King. I've featured most of these tracks on my previous annual mixes, and as a group they more than hold their own against such beloved but played-to-death classics as Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree and Feliz Navidad

The diverse collection opens with "The Season's Upon Us" by Boston's Celtic punk group the Dropkick Murphys, followed by the high-energy pop of "Wish List" by the Utah-based band Neon Trees. You'll hear such largely  undiscovered gems as "We're Going Caroling" by Dick Van Dyke and Glee's Jane Lynch, "A Christmas Song for You," by The Kik and "My Favourite Time of the Year," by the Flourin Street Band.

The mix also includes a pair of terrific original tracks I haven't featured previously:  "What's that Sound?" by J.D. McPherson and "Eight Candles" by the irrepressible Yo La Tengo.

Give this mix a spin when you can. I'll be surprised if you don't add at least a few of these recent treasures to your list of holiday favorites.

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Mark's Latest Special Extra Mix Features Original Tunes from the Past 25 Years  

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