Right about now is when the amount of yuletide spirit filling the airwaves can make just about every day feel like Christmas, which must be a delight to at least a substantial part of the population. But it can also be more than enough to make you want to rage against the manger scene, and with every posi Christmas song it’s fun to take refuge in the odd, nasty, and rebellious music made by folks who put this holiday in their crosshairs. Thank goodness for local rapper Nick Jr., who is readying a full-length called Cancel Christmas; from the sound of the two songs he’s released thus far, “Scrooge” and “Grinch Freestyle,” I imagine it’ll be much more of a playful affair than a lump of coal.
To be honest I was initially taken by the album art for “Scrooge,” which is an unvarnished twist on the usual jolly images of Santa that Andrew Barber at Fake Shore Drive accurately described as “Christmas on Death Row.” I hate to sound like a vinyl junkie, but that image sure would look great as an LP cover, the kind of thing I’d pick up immediately regardless of the fact that I don’t celebrate Christmas. And it’s the kind of image that’s got me eager to hear the rest of Nick Jr.’s project: “Scrooge” and “Grinch Freestyle” aren’t bad introductions, but both are a tad too short to do anything but sketch out the basic premise. If the rest of Cancel Christmas resembles “Grinch Freestyle,” which includes a sample of “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” and a fine layer of crackling drums, it’ll synch up with the holiday’s themes pretty well.
If you want to avoid thinking about Christmas for at least a bit I’d suggest reading my B Side feature for the week, in which I revisit a local Hanukkah hip-hop song that came out 25 years ago. For those of you who want to embrace Christmas music in full force head to Logan Arcade tonight as Jam Productions’ John Soss and Andy Cirzan will spin obscure yuletide music all night (I hope “This Christmas (Rap)” is on the list). Cirzan is one of the record collectors featured in Jingle Bell Rocks!, a newish documentary about, yes, Christmas music that opens at the Vic on Friday.