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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Setlist by DJ Monomaniac

I am in White Stripes withdrawal. Right now, the White Stripes are musica non grata with O, though not too long ago, they were the only band he ever wanted to hear. We’d get in the car and as soon as his car seat was buckled he’d exclaim “I want to listen to the White Stripes!” Luckily, the Old Man and I like the band a lot, so it wasn’t a problem. At first. After awhile, though, enough was enough. “How about Sebadoh?” We’d suggest cheerfully, over his tears of protest. “How about Jonathan Richman?” “How about Teagan and Sara?” “How about Modest Mouse. You used to love Modest Mouse!” How about any fucking thing but the fucking White Stripes?

When O’s obsession’s shifted from the White Stripes to Wilco, we were pleased. And we’ve had a good long run with Wilco. For awhile, we enjoyed indulging in the monomania with O. Wilco has a bunch of good records, and then there’s the new live double album. A lot of material to work though. But inevitably, we got sick of Wilco, too. Not O. Now we’re back to suggesting every other CD in our collection, over O’s whimpering. “Remember the Beatles? You really like the Beatles! How about Joni? How about Sleater Kinney? How about quitting whining and listening to something besides Wilco!

It’s not altogether dire, since any hip hop that O. is already familiar with seems to get a free pass most of the time. The Beastie Boys are always fine with him. Common or Kanye West he will cheerfully listen to, noting that they are “from Chicago” (like Wilco!) But if we want to listen to rock, we’d better make it Wilco or face the wrath of the three-year-old.

But really, I should count myself lucky. My kid is obsessed to the point of parental saturation with music I like. When O. was but a bump a friend gave us some excellent counsel: “No kids' music, man. There’s no reason for it. Play ‘em real music; they’ll dig it.” Thank God we followed that advice. Imagine if it was Raffi.


Blogger Feral Mom said...

Is there any way you could convince O. to listen to Uncle Tupelo? How old school is your preschooler?

3:39 PM  
Blogger E. said...

Excellent suggestion, Feral Mom! I don't know whether the fact that O. thinks Wilco is a person would get in the way of that. (O. laughs every once in awhile while listening in the car: "Mama, Wilco is singin' about chewing gum!")

So, an update: O. comes up to me when I get home from school and says "Mama, I like more music than Wilco!" And I'm thinking Does this kid have ESP?, and I say "Oh yeah?" And he says "Yeah, I like Jonathan and Bright Eyes and Tegan & Sara and Beck and Prince!" I was astonished at the coincidence, until I asked the Old Man and found out that he and O. had a conversation about this post (something along the lines of "Mama's telling everyone you only like Wilco").

So apparently O. is feeling a little defensive about this! Hilarious. So then the Old Man and I are like "Well, let's listen to something now." And we listen to the New Pornographers excellent Twin Cinema for the first time in months.

I think we've made a breakthrough as a family. See? If you have an issue, blog about it and maybe it'll get better...

8:57 PM  
Blogger Orange said...

And then the lad will request New Pornographers by front of his grandparents. Excellent!

9:17 PM  
Blogger E. said...

Yeah, some bands with perfectly kid-friendly music have less-than-kid-friendly names. The New Pornographers, of course, Death Cab for Cutie. (We just call them "Cutie.")

Listening to the New Pornographers did prompt O. a few months back to ask me "What's a pornographer?" I paused, thought, replied "It's a person who takes pictures some people don't like."

9:26 AM  
Blogger Feral Mom said...

Are you calling my mom a pornographer?

7:17 PM  
Blogger E. said...

I can't define your mom, but I know her when I see her.

8:17 PM  
Blogger Esereth said...

Every band I recognized you write I liked, but that was only three. (Who are these "Beatles"?) So now I have new bands to try.

Some kid's music though....great stuff. I went through a full chorus of KnickKnack Patty Whack in the car today, all the way up to ten. It's a brain soother. But so is "Hotel Yorba."

9:23 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

awww... I remember both the White Stripes and the Modest Mouse phases with O. What you need is an artist for him to obsess about that has a really enormous catalogue - like, say, Dylan. That way you've got more to get through before you become mind-numbingly bored with them. Glad to hear he's willing to listen to New Pornographers, though.

5:48 AM  
Blogger E. said...

We also need to teach O. the concept of "side project." That would create all sorts of possibilities.

It's true that not all kids' music is bad. They Might Be Giants have some great stuff for kids. I also sort of consider the Beatles kids' music, given that they were my favorite band when I was five. Jonathan Richman is kids' music for adults (and kids).

6:01 PM  
Blogger jpn said...

Hey, don't forget Woody Guthrie. His music for kids is great, and often conveys such an amazingly simple and clear picture of his love for his children that it sometimes makes me weep...

6:58 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Plus Billy Bragg did some great things WITH wilco - that could spice it up...

7:35 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

Yep, and Hoo-Doo Voo-Doo from the Billy Bragg/Wilco album is a great kids song.

9:30 PM  

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