I have eclectic taste in music. I love opera, classical, and I am developing a love of jazz. Since Santa brought the turntable at Christmas, we have been making regular trips to the Record Exchange for vinyl. We’ve added Dave Brubeck, George Sheard, and Sonny Rollins to our collection. My absolute favorite music is from the 80s, the Smiths, New Order, The Cure, The Pixies, Elvis Costello. I think the best local radio today is WERS, Emerson College’s station, which is a great blend of those “oldies” and current artists like Santigold, or Hozier. But once a song I don’t like comes on I either shut it off or switch the station. That means in the car I end up mostly listening to sports, either sports talk radio, or the ball game.
My children’s musical tastes are very different than mine, and from each other, yet they are both having an enormous influence on me.
My daughter listens to hip hop mostly, some rap and pop. She has great taste in music. One of her first introductions for me was Childish Gambino. This is the name used by actor Donald Glover when he is making music. His rap is lyrical, his music almost ethereal at times. He also wrote the memorable line “don’t be mad ’cause I’m doing me better than you doing you.” She loves Drake, and Logic. Every time I hear an Azealia Banks song I say who is this I love it and when she answers I always cringe because Azealia Banks is well, cringeworthy. Rihanna’s “Love on the Brain” is jaw-droppingly soulful and powerful. We part ways at Beyonce. Just not my jam. I got into the mini convertible the other day, a rare occurrence as my daughter has absconded with it, and the radio was set to one of the stations she likes. I never even changed the station while I was out doing errands. Didn’t even turn the volume down.
My biggest problem with her music is that you just can’t sing along. Not that anyone wants to hear me sing, but I do love to belt out a tune. What with all the F-words and N-words, you cannot even get through a chorus! Never mind the hos and bitches and gats and glocks. I mean, it doesn’t have to be Raffi but honestly. I am 58-years old. It would be unseemly for me to even whisper most of these lyrics. And it would be downright embarrassing for my family if I were in the mini cooper with the top down singing at the top of my lungs.
My son makes his own music. I think he’s enormously talented and love his song “Cold Tea.” When I asked him why he chose that title, he told me about making a cup of tea, then working on music while it steeped, and getting so into the composing that when he finally remembered that he had made the tea it had long since gone cold. I had to explain to him what “cold tea” means to young people out after hours in Boston.
He leans to dubstep, drum and bass, house, and other similar EDM genres. He listens to really interesting artists. He has created playlists for me in Spotify that, when I listen through the Bose headphones that my friend Janet has loaned me (Thanks, Janet!) keep me incredibly focused on even the most mundane tasks, although anyone walking in to talk to me invariably scares the bejeebers out of me! I am almost in a trance. Try some Tep No, listen to Even If by Calibre. If you are on Spotify, look for the “For Mom <3” playlist. I would love to know what you think, what you are listening to these days, and who or what influences the music you listen to.