For 27 years now, Jon Solomon has hosted a 24-hour Christmas radio show on WPRB, an independent radio station in Princeton, NJ. Steering clear of the obvious shlock that dominates the airwaves, his show unearths obscure, distorted, cracked, and often touching tributes to the holiday season. If your idea of Christmas music involves parodies of the classics played in the style of The Misfits, Jon’s show is a gift. (You can see the playlist for the most recent marathon here.)
I’m fortunate to have known Jon for many years, and have watched his show become a community affair, increasingly featuring exclusive songs and spoken word pieces contributed by friends and other members of the listening audience. During the run-up to this year’s show, I discovered Mark Davis’s Attention Kmart Shoppers, a collection of tapes he packed away while working for the retailer. One particular tape that aired in December 1990 seemed particularly appropriate for the season, and I suggested to Jon that he might want to excerpt it on his show. He countered by challenging me to make a piece of music out of it, and this is the result.