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Ask A Failed Musician: Should You Really Make That Christmas Album?

Why can't you be more like your older brother, Sufjan?
Why can't you be more like your older brother, Sufjan?

Welcome to Ask a Failed Musician, in which I help struggling musicians make sense of their careers and even offer some advice. Whether or not it will work, who knows? It obviously didn't work for me. But then again, I was on Kimmel once, so there's that.


Dear Failed Musician,

Should I make a Christmas record?

Yuletired in Yuma

You know Yuletired, I used to think that Christmas records were stupid, a waste of money for something that would only be relevant for a month out of the year. But even more than that, I didn't think you could be taken seriously as an artist rehashing those tired, silly songs. I had more important artistic endeavors to worry about, and look at me now!
You, however, can't afford to think like that. You still have a shot at this thing, which is why I'm telling you to make a Christmas record. I don't care if you don't observe Christmas. Make a Christmas record anyway. It couldn't be easier. All the songs you need are already there and they belong to the public domain, so you don't have to pay anybody anything. If you want to get creative, write an original song or two as an added bonus.

Here's what happens: You book a short run of recording time at a studio (preferably a cheap one), or just do it yourself, and quickly throw together some arrangements of Christmas songs. After all, Christmas music is supposed to be whimsical, so you can just have a free-for-all. Ideally, you'll release it digitally before Thanksgiving (better get to work), and by Christmas, you'll have enough money to get your dad a giant green grill that comes in the shape of an egg.

The best part is, it's not just relevant for one month out of the year. You can get a good two or three Christmases out of one Christmas record. And if, for some reason, you get a hit out of it, it's the gift that keeps on giving every year.

Just look at David Bowie. Look at Sufjan Stevens. Look at Mariah Carey. All of them famous because of Christmas music.

Write to Ask a Failed Musician here. Ask anything you like. I will do my best to help you not fail also.

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