The Roots – ‘The Christmas Song’

Dec 24th, 2010
| posted by: Jonno |

Guest post by Colin Ho.

Ah Christmas. For those who celebrate it (and those who don’t), it’s such a delightfully silly time of year. Indeed, when you’re not struggling to find parking and fighting through crowds of shoppers in suburban malls – you’re frantically operating in secrecy to wrap and procure material goods for your beloved and not-so-beloved relatives and friends.

As art imitates life, music also imitates the often shitty repetitiveness and flagrant money making/wasting of the holiday season. Bing Crosby and Mariah Carey are busy making a killing from (or at least in the case of Mssr. Crosby, a mountain of royalties for the composers of “Winter Wonderland”) all the while retail employees, especially those working in the menswear department of David Jones, are forced to endure the same tunes over and over again. While they are awesome pieces of music – especially the piano driven, catchy-as-hell shuffle of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas”, familiarity (or in this case, mind numbing repetition) breeds contempt.

Don’t get it twisted. At heart, I’m a romantic. I love Christmas. I dig my family. I dig my friends. So much so that when I got a call yesterday, I leapt to action and decided I gotta help a brother out who is in turn helping his brother who is currently in hospital (and I do hope you get well soon David). So you know what? Screw this Christmas hate – it isn’t about repetitive music or parking – as corny as this may sound (and trust me I’ve said it multiple times in my mind) it’s about being there for the people you care about.

While there’s only so much a post on a music blog can do I’d like make a suggestion to brighten up our collective Christmases – The Roots, who I do believe David is quite a big fan of. So this post is for you.

It’s understandable that the brothers have frequently, blogged about The Roots. If they weren’t the greatest hip-hop band in the world, I wouldn’t have so much gall to post about them a third time.

But having released not one, but TWO of the best albums of 2010 (take that Kanye!) they are also the house band for Late Nights with Jimmy Fallon (undoubtedly the best thing to happen to TV since late night Rage music video marathons) and in my admittedly unqualified opinion, they are truly the MVPs of what has been a truly great year for Hip-Hop.

On top of this holy grail of awesome, that they performed a classy rendition of Nat King Cole’s holiday tune on the Jimmy Fallon Show.

While I couldn’t get a hold of the mp3, if I was ever to find a performance that reflected both my hopes, dreams and renewed my faith in a holiday – this had to be it. Sincere, classy and backed by a Tuba-cranking backline – the Roots are an example of how Christmas music need not be shitty. It doesn’t need to be dipped in a fondant of sentimentalism, or get shrouded in a cloud of ghetto irony – Christmas is just about wishing well those who are the closest to you. It’s a simple song. At its core it’s about one thing, positive sentiment to those we love. Think about it, The Roots are a band that have been around for close to two decades, most bands, by that time, would be – by rights and cocaine and heroin and women and men and groupies and bus explosions -broken by now. And who could have thought? One of the most hardcore MCs and freestylers, BlackThought, could CROON!?

So in this case the people, unlike the songs of Bing et. al – we are the most familiar with (and I do believe, our family) aren’t contemptible – it’s a testament to us that we keep on fighting through shopping centres and crap parking and angst and masochism to make sure we don’t let each other down.

Anyway; to everyone reading this, whether you’re celebrating with family and friends, having a quiet one in, or a loud one out, or by the glow of an LCD screen or whatever you’re doing… regardless of religious persuasion, this is for you – from one human being to another.

Merry Christmas.

Tags: Bing Crosby, David Seidler, Jimmy Fallon, , , The Roots

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