Amy Sussman/Getty Images
Jessica Shaw
December 25, 2011 AT 11:00 AM EST


Chances are if you’re a kid or have a kid or know a kid, you love Dan Zanes. And quite possibly,  if you’re reading this right now, you’re hanging out on Christmas Day trying to figure out what kind of holiday music to listen to that’s not on a lame loop at your local mall’s Crate and Barrel. Well, Dan Zanes can help. And considering he just released a new album of holiday music,  Christmas in Concord, the Grammy-winning musician knows what he’s talking about. “There’s a lot out there because it used to be part of the deal when you were a singer,” says Zanes. “I really like Christmas music. And a lot of them are really good songs, but they just don’t sound the same in July.” Here’s his advice on how to capitalize on your one day when you can justify morning-until-night Christmas songs:

1. “My favorite Christmas record is the Bob Dylan Christmas record [Christmas in the Heart]. I think it’s incredible. I think his singing is so good, the arrangements are so great. It’s a real celebration of Christmas and that’s part of why I decided to make Christmas music. I was inspired by the fresh sound.”

2. “Joan Osborne’s [Christmas Means Love] is really nice if you want a contemporary record. But I like it because she’s keeping tradition alive.”

3. “The Christmas music that came out of Memphis, in the ’60s when the R&B people did it, I love. Aretha Franklin did some really nice stuff.”

4. “You could check out the Louvin Brothers, who were precursors to the Everly Brothers.”

5. “It hasn’t happened yet, but the person I would really like to hear do a Christmas record would be Asa. I think she could do a really nice one.”

What do you say PopWatchers? Do you agree with Dan Zanes’ picks? What are your favorite songs to listen to today?

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