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Low's Alan Sparhawk shares his 10 favorite Christmas songs

Ho! Ho! ... Low?!

Ho! Ho! ... Low?! Zoran Orlic

‘Tis greater to give than receive, but why not do both at the same time? You’ll have the opportunity at Low’s Christmas show at First Avenue on Saturday night.

The Duluth-based trio will take the stage with a merry lineup of fellow musicians and friends -- including Hippo Campus and Gaelynn Lea -- to celebrate the season, with proceeds benefiting Second Harvest Heartland. While enjoying the holiday tunes, you can also get your Christmas shopping done. Vendors like Milkweed Books, Surly Fat Tire Bikes, Larissa Loden Jewelry, Frost River Reliable Softgoods, K'ul Chocolate, and Twin Spirits Distillery will have wares for sale.

In anticipation of the holidays, Low frontman Alan Sparhawk told us all about his favorite Christmas songs (in no particular order). Check out Low's new seasonal jam, "Some Hearts (At Christmas Time)," here

“This Christmas” by Donny Hathaway

"So soulful. Donny makes us look forward to Christmas, even through the hustle and bustle. Everything is going to be OK."

“Must be Santa” by Bob Dylan

"It’s completely surreal to hear that familiar distinctive voice shred through a childhood favorite. Even the video makes you want to party with your weird friends."

“Santa Claus, Go Straight to the Ghetto” by James Brown

"The Godfather of Soul, using the power of funk to remind Saint Nick of the children who are the most in need. There are tears in his eyes -- you know because he tells you in the song." 

“Someday at Christmas” by Stevie Wonder

"The melody to this song is as Christmas-y as snow and sleigh bells. Simple, chiming, descending. It’s endlessly hopeful, despite a world where men play 'with bombs like kids play with toys.' Few artists are as inspiring and pure."

“Wonderful Christmas Time” by Paul McCartney

"Echoing synths, jingle bells, and Paul’s eternally festive voice. What could go wrong?"

“Christmas Time is Here” by Vince Guaraldi Trio

"There’s a longing in this tune that resonates with most people. Not just nostalgic. Maybe there’s a more honest form of reflection that can be longing but hopeful."

“Happy Xmas (War is Over)” by John Lennon

"A Christmas song that questions religion, God, and capitalism?! How better to truly look at what we are doing and why? Fear is the real enemy, thus 'war is over if you want it.'"

“The Christmas Song” by Nat King Cole

"'Chestnuts roasting on an open fire...' So many amazing versions of this song, but Mr. Cole was the first, and later the definitive, artist to record it. So beautiful. Tone and phrasing.

“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” be Brenda Lee

"Maybe this gets played too much, but she really kills the vocal here, and the bold guitar part is as classic as 'Hound Dog' or 'Johnny B. Goode.'"

“O, Holy Night” by Adolphe Adam

"Last but not least, a beautiful one from the hymn book. We’ve been hearing it all our lives. Something about the 6/8 timing and soaring vocal. Sometimes feels like a Roy Orbison song. Think about it."

Low & Friends Christmas and Holiday Bazaar
With: Hippo Campus, Gaelynn Lea, Erik Berry, Ambassadors (Dalmar Yare, Holly Muñoz, Martin Dosh, Al Church), and DJ set by Claire de Lune of Tiny Deaths
When: 7 p.m. Sat., Dec. 17
Where: First Avenue
Tickets: $20-$25; more info here