Explaining Christmas to
someone who’s never heard of it is a strange proposition. As our guest and old
friend JD McPherson puts it, there’s a tree in your living room, a strange man’s
walking around your house at midnight eating cookies, and then you get clothes.
I imagine it’s an even
stranger proposition to write an album of modern Christmas originals. Christmas
means so many different things to so many people, and the differences matter:
Is your audience children or adults, religious or not? Are they jaded? Feeling
humorous? Maybe sentimental? You’ve got a lot of options.
JD McPherson, however,
is up for it, even if that means dragging a Christmas tree into a recording
studio in May. His 2018 album, Socks, is his take on the most wonderful time of the
year, and it’s equal parts earnest, loving, and irreverent. It’s a bit like the
NPR World Cafe conversation — where they
talk all things sweaters, socks, and the best Christmas gift he ever received.