Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Raising a Music Snob Comes Back To Haunt

During a "Fresh Air" interview last year, Nick Lowe made me laugh out loud with his observation of overreaching, hipster parents. I'm bungling the quote, but here's the gist of what he said: "You hear these people saying, 'My 1-year-old loves The Clash.' No, they don't!"

How about 8-year-olds?

I'm one of those parents who decided early on that I wasn't trading in my Beck CDs for Barney or Kidz Bop. If you're riding in a car that I paid for, I'm in charge of the playlist. The only problem is that my son is a bit of a tyrant when it comes to the iPod. And it's my fault, because I cultivated his music snobbery very early. With the exception of Dan Zanes and They Might Be Giants, he has never listened to "children's music" at home. I think he might turn out to be one of those guys who chooses girlfriends based on whether they like Sigur Ros or Al Green.

Even before I've cranked up the car, he's ready with his list of musical requests. And lately, there have been morning playlist skirmishes. I mean, I'm not friggin’ Rick Dees.

"Can you play that na-na-na-na song? I wanna hear that today." (That would be Beck's "E-Pro.")

"No, I want to hear something else." (Cues Nancy Sinatra.)

"This is boring!" (Pouts)

"Too bad."

"What about 'The Pretender?' Please?" (Whines)

"No. This is my car, not yours."

"You never let me do anything! It's not always about you."

"Be quiet so I can hear, thanks." (Defiantly turns up volume.)

I don't have this problem with my daughter, but that's because she doesn't care. Jon Brion? Fine. Outkast? Sure, whatever. Unfortunately, I think she's being influenced by her dad, whose tastes lean toward urban contemporary. Worse, he is fond of Nickelback. Do you see what I'm up against?

So while I admire my son's strong musical opinions, they're annoying. Which is something we have in common.

But at least he doesn't like Nickelback.


Sghoul said...

Beatings fix everything.

The Irredeemable Shag said...

Too funny! I've dealt with the car audio arguments myself. My eight year old doesn't really want anything playing through the stereo (unless it's his music) as it disrupts his play time. My daily tolerance for arguing determines whether he wins or not.

My two year old daughter is beginning to demand her music, which is primarily songs from the "Spider-Man and Friends" kids CD. So, it's kind of my fault. However, we have an arrangement. I get to listen to "Daddy's Show" for the first half of the trip, then she gets her turn. It works out pretty well.

The Irredeemable Shag

downtown guy said...

Just wait until he starts forming his musical opinions without your input. That's when things really get lively on the car rides.

EDP said...

LOL! "Daddy's Show?" I love it. And DG, you are so very correct. I know the day is coming where I'll be subjected to some punk/ska/hip-hop hybrid that makes my ears bleed.