Every year, we’re able to find at least one local Christmas album to keep us festive. But this year, two very different holiday albums emerged from the Lawrence scene, and they couldn’t be more different from each other.

A Light Goes On

A Light Goes On comes to us from local lovely Sam Billen. He recruited several of Lawrence and Kansas City’s finest musicians to create the merry music, including Ghosty, Katlyn Conroy and Josh Atkinson.
Baby It’s Cold Outside – Katlyn Conroy and Austen Malone by A Light Goes On
A Light Went On – Sam Billen by A Light Goes On
Billen is no stranger to the holiday spirit. He’s become well-known for putting together several Christmas projects over the last few years, but this time around he paired musicians with artists to release the joyous jubilee.
A Light Goes On is free and available to download here.
Here’s a video (directed by Elena Stephenson and edited by John Paul Giago) where you can watch Billen explain the entire project.


Holy Crassmas Batman

Across town, another group of musicians packed into a living room and got to work on their Christmas album. But this one didn’t have jolly little jingles, nor did it carry the chipper and lighthearted mirth that we heard from A Light Goes On. This album is about as far from peace on earth as you can get.
Through the haze of cigarette smoke, The Midnight Finger Collective recorded a raunchy EP full of Christmas gloom and doom. Bands involved with the project did away with traditional holiday music and instead opted for writing songs with despairing titles such as “Santa’s Slay” and “Shitting on Black Xmas.” It also features Ponyboy’s “I’m Gonna Kill Myself on Christmas,” which we highlighted in an article last week.
This album can also be downloaded for free.

So whatever mood you’re in this holiday season, Lawrence musicians have you covered. You can either go for the traditional glee with A Light Goes On or the holiday hootenanny from Holy Crassmas Batman. Pick your poison, drink it up, and have a very merry Christmas.



Fally Afani is an award-winning journalist with a career spanning more than 20 years in media. She has worked extensively in radio, television, newspapers, magazines, and more.

1 Comment

  • Griffin, December 22, 2011 @ 4:09 am

    Thanks for spreading the word! It was a lot of fun working on this record! Vol. 2 will be better next year!

Leave a Reply