Monday, November 25, 2013

Day 25: Kids & Their Music

My parents were big music lovers.  From day one, I was exposed to many types of music on a daily basis.  My dad's favorites were Rick Nelson, Emmylou Harris, and most especially, The Beach Boys.  He also loved Linda Ronstadt, Gram Parsons, Buddy Holly, Judy Collins, The Band, and of course, The Beatles and The Stones.  When I was a child his record collection was enormous.  Now it is surpassed only by his CD collection.  He tells me that he doesn't envy the task I have before me when he dies.

Music was a constant in my early life.  My dad was always playing something on his stereo, and when I was seven, I got my own.  That was a very exciting Christmas.  For the first few years that I owned it, most of the music was in line with my parents' tastes.  There were a few exceptions- Abba, The BeeGee's, Shaun Cassidy- but I also had my fair share of Beach Boys, Beatles, and Buddy Holly.

In the first weeks of sixth grade, I can remember overhearing a conversation in my social studies class.  One of the kids, who, for whatever reason, looked like he knew what he was talking about, was discussing the release of Rush's newest album, Moving Pictures.  And he was raving about the first single, Limelight.  I'd never heard of Rush before, but I knew that I had to get the album.  He made it sound too fantastic.

And it was.  Not just because the music was good, but also because it wasn't music introduced to me by my parents.  It was introduced to me-indirectly- by one of the cool kids at school.  I loved Moving Pictures.  There was a time when I could not only sing all the lyrics, but I could have told you how long each song was too.  I studied the hell out of that album cover.  It was a gateway.  I'd go on to do that with many other albums through middle school and high school as well.


When The Boy was younger we used to listen to several things that he liked out of our CD collection.  Gorillaz, Fatboy Slim, Beck.  But his favorite for a while was The Beastie Boys.  They're one of my favorites, so I was very happy to share in that with him.

Last year he came home talking about Thrift Shop by Macklemore & Lewis.  We listened to it online, and then a few more songs by them too.  We ended up buying the CD.  It's really pretty great.  Despite the profanity, I actually think it's a good CD for The Boy to listen to.  Lots of positive messages about tolerance, overcoming adversity, pursuing your dreams.  Honestly, I hope he's hearing all of that too.

One day a few weeks ago he declared that Macklemore & Lewis were better than The Beastie Boys.  I couldn't believe it.  How could I have gone so wrong? I thought.  A few hours later though I realized, he needs them to be better than The Beastie Boys.  As much as he likes The Beastie Boys, Macklemore & Lewis are his.  We all listen to them, but he brought them home.  He discovered them.  As hard as it is to believe, The Beastie Boys have become his 'parents' music'.  It's pretty cool to watch him discovering his own music and owning it.  I can't wait to see what he brings home next.

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