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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Mom, do you have my Bright Eyes CD again???

By Norah Wilson

One of the pros (and cons) of having a teenager is being exposed to new music. Emo, screamo, metal, indie rock, ska punk, hardcore punk, reggae, you name it. I've heard it all through the walls of my office as I try to write. I can’t say I like it all, but I will admit to raiding my kids’ CD collections occasionally, particularly my daughter’s. Through her, I discovered the fabulously talented and tragic Elliott Smith, the quirky Modest Mouse and Bright Eyes (the band fronted by the brilliant Conor Oburst), which are now firmly ensconced in my favorites. And while I may not steal her Death Cab for Cutie, Sublime, Interpol, The Used or My Chemical Romance, I know who they are when I hear them, and I don’t hate it when I discover them in the CD player in my car.

But this music exchange is a two-way street. I’ve turned my kids onto Warren Zevon (RIP, Warren), Wilco, Soul Asylum, Radiohead, John Hiatt, and more. If I want to hear my Lemonheads CD, I head for my daughter’s bedroom to dig it out of her collection. Zevon tends to be camped out in the basement with my son. Heck, I was the one who made them listen to (and eventually love) Everlast, since, oddly, neither of them would give a rap artist a chance.

But what I can’t figure out is why this taste transference hasn’t happened between the kids and their father. Okay, maybe I can figure it out. His tastes run more to country (and not the fabulously popular kind; we’re talking Iris Dement, not Faith Hill), big band, Texas swing, classic rock (I think the last rock song he liked was penned by The Who, recognized by my kids as the theme music to CSI). So for the most part, they don’t like his music and he flat out hates theirs.
One of the reasons, I think, is that I’ve always done more of the chauffeuring duty to get the kids here or there, so we had more time to imprint our music on each other.

But I think perhaps the bigger reason is that some people never learn to like music that comes along after their heyday. We’re indelibly marked by the music that made up the soundtrack of our own teenage years, and some of us never get beyond that.

Okay, so which camp do you fall into? Are you receptive to new music, or did they quit making good music when you turned 20? And if you are in the receptive camp, did you ever get turned on to a great new artist by your kids? Inquiring minds want to know.

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At 8:06 PM, Blogger bridget said...

I love music of any kind, as long as it's good! I know that sounds facile's true.

At 9:51 AM, Blogger Trish Milburn aka Tricia Mills said...

My parents and I fall more into the camp of we can't stand each other's music. The only rock they would like is the occasional Elvis.

I grew up in the '80s, so it was big-hair band time. I still like to listen to some of that music plus some of the earlier stuff like Duran Duran, but I also like a lot of the modern stuff too -- particularly if I get away from the Top 40 pop (though some of that is fine too). Some of my favorite current bands are European -- Dutch bands Within Temptation and Delain and Italian band Lacuna Coil. I discover lots of bands and songs on YouTube when people use them as background music for their fan vids. Others I've found through hearing a song in a movie trailer or on a soundtrack. That latter bit is how I found Lacuna Coil. They were on the Underworld: Evolution soundtrack -- along with My Chemical Romance, by the way.

At 8:13 PM, Blogger Norah Wilson said...

Trish! I checked out the Lacuna Coil band, and it's great! Off to check out the others. I guess I don't view enough You-Tube to really find new bands there, but I do pay very close attention to the music in movies and TV shows. For instance, the theme song from "Rescue Me" is "C'mon, C'mon", which led me to check out The Von Bondies, an indie garage rock band.

At 12:19 PM, Blogger Esri Rose said...

Since I don't have children, I find most of my new music through YouTube, movie soundtracks, and surfing It doesn't happen often enough for me.

I think there are certain elements that appeal to me no matter what era a song is from. Nat King Cole and Elvis Costello both have great voices. The Who and OK GO both have wonderful lyrics and rhythm, as do Cole Porter and Verdi.

I'll have to check out some of the bands you and Trish mention here.

At 10:45 AM, Blogger MaryF said...

You wrote: But I think perhaps the bigger reason is that some people never learn to like music that comes along after their heyday. We’re indelibly marked by the music that made up the soundtrack of our own teenage years, and some of us never get beyond that.

We were talking about this VERY thing last week. My stepdad ONLY listens to 70s music, Mom likes music older than that, my baby brother mostly likes old music.

I tend to fall into the same camp, though. I mostly have music from the 80s and early 90s on my iPod, though I have Within Temptation and Evanescence as well. (Thanks, Trish!)

My son likes older music, like Flaming Lips and Lou Reed, but also adores Wilco. He has more his father's taste, fortunately for him!


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