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How does a tech site do a holiday show? That’s what we asked ourselves when our partners at KIRO Radio asked us if we could put together a special episode of our show to air during the holidays this year. We took it as a fun challenge, and you can hear the result above.

In the first segment, John and I share several apps that should be useful or fun around the holidays …

In the second segment (starting at 11:50), every holiday special needs a musical guest, right? In the spirit of a technology show, we tried to book a musician solely by using online tools, to see what happened. I put out requests on several sites, including some newer ones such as Zaarly where you can request or look for specific types of services. Neil Harris at Intently was very helpful, as well.

The Front: Tim Monaghan and Fred McLean in the KIRO Radio studios. (Erynn Rose photo)

But ultimately, it was good old-fashioned Craigslist that did the trick for us, connecting us with The Front, the acoustic guitar duo of Fred McLean and Tim Monaghan. You can hear their rendition of “Bells Will Be Ringing,” starting at 14:30 in the audio player above.

By the way, if you ever find yourself needing to book a musician online, Tim mentioned off air that they’ve had good success with the site Gig Salad, which is an online marketplace specifically for finding musicians and musical acts.

And in the final segment (19:20), John’s mom and dad, Roger and Sallie Cook, in town for the holidays, share their experiences and lessons learned from their first six months using iPhones and, in Sally’s case, an iPad, as well. Lots of good insights for other parents who might be getting their first smartphones for the holidays. Plus, John’s dad explains why he uses a stylus with his iPhone.

Finally, the Front returns to play us out with “Jingle Bell Rock.” Check them out on Facebook, and here’s a link to the app that Tim mentions, Chasing Santa. The background music in the app, “It’s Christmas,” was recorded by the band Ryebender, with Tim on vocals.

Listen to the show above or via this MP3. Happy Holidays from GeekWire!

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