Philly Local Philes: Ages’ “Merried With Children (What To Expect When You’re Expecting Christmas)”

AgesDave Downham sure is one Christmas lovin’ guy. His band with long-time South Jersey friend Jeff Blatcher, Ages, has spun its jovial indie-pop stylings into numerous original holiday tunes over the years, appearing on practically every Arbor Records Christmas Compilation—often twice. Not familiar with Arbor House? Each year the local label/collective/scene, centered around Gradwell House Recording Studios (where Downham works), puts out a free downloadable collection of seasonal tunes by local faves like The Atomic Square, It’s A King Thing, and By Surprise. This year’s comp is the 11th in the series; the jangley whirlwind linked below, “Merried With Children (What To Expect When You’re Expecting Christmas),” appeared on the 2009 comp, while Ages’ “Frankinsence Of Style” (also from the series) was spotlighted in Helen Leicht’s 12 Days Of Christmas in 2008. Downham’s old band The Secession Movement also contributed to the earliest installments (his other old band, Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start, apparently, was not as seasonally affected). If you’re feeling particularly festive this holiday weekend, download all 11 Arbor Christmas comps to soundtrack your gatherings. For added fun and mischief, down some eggnog every time one of Downham’s songs plays—though be forewarned, that might be dangerous.