Musical Confessions

So posting every dang day in November is hard. It forces me to concentrate on my commute. I hate to concentrate on my commute. Especially my morning commute. That is supposed to be 35-minutes of coffee-drinking and rocking out to get ready for a big day of herding cats. Or teaching middle school. Same difference.

Anyway. Driving and thinking. Driving and listening to music and thinking.

Today I started thinking about what I listen to and I realized something: I’m a music snob who maybe deserves to have her music snob card revoked.

First, let me share my presets with you. I have Sirus XM because I am in my car a lot and my husband loves me. So this is what I have: Pop2K (Pop music from the 2000’s), Faction (Punk, older rap, and some harder rock), Pearl Jam Radio (self-explanatory), Classic Rewind (classic rock from the 80’s), Backspin (rap/hip hop from the 80’s and 90’s), and Lithium (90’s grunge and alternative).

I also listen to more Kidz Bop than I care to admit. But here I am admitting stuff, so you know.  Perhaps that is it’s own confession.

You should know I also openly mock people who enjoy country music (because OMG it’s so whiny) and hair bands (not all of them, but if you try to convince me that Slayer or Winger are quality musicians, I will dismiss you from ever talking to me about music again).

With all that noted, here is where I fail at music snobbery…

I hate Rush. I am well aware that people who love rock music think this band is HUGE. Getty Lee’s voice makes me want to scratch my own ears off. I simply cannot change the channel fast enough. My soul erodes a little every time a note of their work reaches my ears.

I hate Coldplay. I don’t care how attractive (or not) Chris Martin is, he sounds like a whiny cat.

And while we are on the subject of whiny music, Radiohead actually makes me think death would be a better option than having Radiohead be the last music on earth. I blame “OK Computer”. One of my roommates in college played “Karma Police” so much I started to think that was what hell actually sounded like. As in hell wasn’t a place, but a sound that you lived in and Thom York’s voice whining was that sound.

I have bought albums strictly for the radio song, and then listened to just that song (or songs). I know. This is like the cardinal sin for music snobs. In fact, to show what a damn hypocrite I am, I have gone to concerts and mocked the people who only knew the radio songs. Granted, I have never gone to see a band based only on radio songs, but I have bought CDs for that reason. Oh? You want an example? How about every Madonna album ever. Except for her recent ones because yuck (<–probably another reason I’m getting kicked out of Music Snob Club).

I don’t get why people like Adele. There. I said it. Her song, “Hello”? More like hell no. I couldn’t even listen to the whole thing. As Cortney said, I kept wanting to finish it with “…is it me you’re looking for?”

I really, really love “Tubthumping” by Chumbawamba. As in I crank it up and holler-sing along. Every time. Ever since the song was released in the 90’s. Even when everyone I knew was saying, “that is the most annoying effing song I have ever heard.” I was secretly adding it to my I Will Love You Forever list of songs.

Do you know what the funniest (or maybe most terrifying) thing about writing all these down? Someone, maybe even you, will get incredibly offended that I hate something you love. Music is weird that way. As Madonna says (and I’m clearly paraphrasing here), it can bring the people together. But it can also rip people apart.

Case in point: I never got so many people riled up as I did the year I live-Facebooked the MTV video awards and announced that I think Brittany Spears is not an icon because it mostly sounds like she is singing underwater in a baby voice.

People were UP. IN. ARMS.

The great thing is, I don’t care. I’m not trying to change your opinions; I’m just admitting mine–my less popular ones.

So now I want to hear your less-than-popular music confessions. Unless they are that you hate Pearl Jam.

Then we can no longer be friends.

Kidding.

(no, I’m not.)

Rocking Through Spring Break

I was not looking forward to spring break. Not even a little bit. In fact, I watched the days tick down on the calendar with a sense of doom.

Alice was only a month old and we hadn’t yet found our “groove”. Spring break meant throwing both boys into the mix. I wasn’t too worried about Eddie, but Charlie is sort of a live wire.  He likes to do what he wants to do how he wants to do it when he wants to do it…usually when my hands are full of baby.

Therefore I planned to have Charlie in daycare three of the six week days.

I know, I’m a wimp.

The other days I quickly realized he (and Eddie, really) needs direction with what to do and since the weather was cold and rainy all week, “what to do” had to be indoor activities.

We played with play dough and did water paints and coloring books. We cleaned up the playroom and ate lots of cheese sandwiches (Charlie’s favorite lunch). And we did it to music!

2015-04-15 08.22.34

This is where I admit that despite my music snobbery, our family is crazy for Kidz Bop. We have Kidz Bop 24, 25, 27, and now 28. Seriously, my  younger self would be shocked to learn that when I hit my mid-30’s, I would be Ok with (fine, I would even LIKE) to sing Shake it Off at the top of my lungs with the Kidz Bop group.

Here is the thing: I’m really not a giant fan of pop music, but Kidz Bop tends to choose the few songs I do like..or at least the songs that are serious ear worms. For instance, we found ourselves jamming to lyrically appropriate (if not hilarious to those of us who know the real lyrics) versions of Fancy, Shake it Off, and All About that Base on Kidz Bop 27.  My boys’ favorite song on KB 28 is Uptown Funk which they call Hot Pants. If you know the song, you can probably figure out where they got that from.

We mostly listen to our Kidz Bop CDs in the car. Over spring break, Eddie and I went to see a movie together, and we had about a 30-minute drive to get to the theater. You better believe we were jamming out to some Steal My Girl  and Lips are Movin’.

2015-04-15 08.22.41

And while I would ALWAYS rather be listening to the Pearl Jam channel on satellite radio, I would much rather have the kids request a Kidz Bop album than something with Wheels on the Bus on it.

So Spring Break was still a challenge since I’m not used to three kids just yet, but we at least had fun and danced our way through it.

*************

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. Kidz Bop sends me CDs and the boys and I listen to them. All opinions are our own.

Hey, Mr. DJ

Music is kind of a big deal in our family. I don’t know if I have mentioned that before.

Eddie is a music fanatic.

From in the womb I could feel him come to life whenever the bass was pounding in my car.

Charlie is not far behind his brother.  Whenever we have music on, Charlie laughs and claps as Eddie dances and performs.  It is amazing.

For Christmas, Eddie was given a small, toy keyboard by my parents and a V-Tech tablet from us.  The tablet has a music app which he loves.  Of course, all the music sounds like it came out of a techno club and that we should all automatically be waving glow sticks around when Eddie turns it up.  His favorite setting on the keyboard are all the beats.  And by “beats” I mean a variation of the bump sound from those glow stick clubs.

He even found these glasses from Halloween that he INSISTED went with playing his keyboard.  Whatever, dude.

2012-12-26 10.29.47

One day, he realized he could combine the pre-recorded “tunes” on the tablet with the “beats” on the keyboard.

Yes, the pants are on backward and the shirt is tucked in. He pees by himself now, remember?

Yes, the pants are on backward and the shirt is tucked in. He pees by himself now, remember?

He set up  his own little “music station” next to my chair and for no less than 10 minutes worked quite seriously to figure out the perfect song he wanted to create for me and his baby brother.

Oh, and it wouldn’t be complete with a costume.

He did this on his own with zero input from me.

2012-12-27 15.47.20

Anyone need a DJ for their next Par-Tay?  I think 3 and a half is old enough to get a job and start bringing some cash flow into this house, right?

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Did I mention he also dances?  Because he so does.

“Mom. I am a dancing robot. yookit.”

Friends, I couldn’t make this up if I tried.  I didn’t have the heart to tell him this dance had already been invented.  He was just so into it.

As you can see, Eddie doesn’t really differentiate between music styles.  He loves it all.  Rap (he LOVES the Beastie Boys), rock (He can name many a Beatles and Pearl Jam tune just by hearing it on the radio), pop (the boy is gaga for Gaga), church tunes (he asks my mom to turn on music so he can sing and dance), and kid music.

If a show has a song, it’s his favorite show.

Which means he LOVES the Disney Channel.  I mean, it’s like LAW that if you are going to be a Disney character, you will have a song or 700, right?

And Eddie loves it all. From princess to pirates and all the walking, talking animals saving sea creatures and counting to 10 in between, Eddie knows all their songs.

And guess what…he wants YOU to have some new music to jam to!

Eddie and I have the opportunity to give SIX lucky winners brand new, not even out yet Disney CDs!

First, I have three copies of the Sofia the First Soundtrack to give away. This CD isn’t set for release  until February 12, 2013, but YOU could win a copy NOW!

sofia

Here’s a peek at the track list:

1. Sofia the First Main Title Theme – Sofia

2. Anything – Sofia

3. Princess Things – Cast

4. Make Some Noise – The Trolls and Sofia

5. Cedric the Great – Cedric

6.Royal Fun – Sofia

7. Perfect Slumber Party – Amber and Sofia

8. All You Need – Sofia and Vivian

9. Blue Ribbon Bunny – Clover

10.I Belong – Sofia

11. The Goldenwing Circus – Cast

Bonus Tracks

 12. True Sisters – Sofia and Cinderella

13. Rise and Shine – Sofia

Secondly I have three copies of Choo Choo Soul: Disney Favorites to give away as well!  This one won’t be released until January 29, 2013, but again, I get to give away copies now!

choochoo

Genevieve and DC give you these famous Disney songs:

1. “Hakuna Matata”

2. “Under the Sea”

3. “The Bare Necessities”

4. “Give a Little Whistle”

5. “When Will My Life Begin”

6. “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”

7. “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes”

8. “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah

9. “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo”

10. “Let’s Go Fly a Kite”

11. “Be Our Guest”

12. “When You Wish Upon a Star”

So you want to win?  Great!  Follow the directions in the Rafflecopter Widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this giveaway other than to jam to some sweet music.  Winners will be chosen at random after the contest closes on Sunday, January 27.  Winners and prizes will be randomly paired.

music makes the people come together

Music is important in our family.

Before any vows were exchanged or eggs fertilized, Cort and I had music.

Even before any kisses were shared or hands were held, we had music.

All the way back in high school we went to our first concerts.  Mine was Aerosmith.  Cort can’t remember his.

Many, MANY of our concert experiences overlapped.

Back before mp3’s and concert downloads, he and I and our friends would kill a whole Saturday afternoon in pursuit of that elusive Pearl Jam concert that we KNEW was on bootleg somewhere, but hadn’t seen it yet.  And yes, we were fully prepared to drop $50 or more on that burned disc with the crappy album “art”…because we didn’t know what burned discs were yet.

I remember lying on the floor at my friends house with all of us on couches and chairs and the floor with the newest album, concert, rarities album that someone found pumping through the speakers.  No one saying a word.  Just listening and absorbing.

I’ve often joked that I could turn this blog into one where I write every post based on lyrics or rhythms from songs.

When I first found out I was pregnant in 2007, I was scared and nervous and unprepared.

But as it sunk in, I had a feeling it was a girl (I have no idea why) and I slowly began to plan how she would be my little Punk Rocker.

As I blasted my music in my car, I wondered if she, even so very small, could feel or hear it.

And when that pregnancy ended, I turned to music to express my feelings.  To feel my feelings.

When I was pregnant with Eddie, I knew that his whole first year would be rock star themed.

Rockin’ in the free world.

rock n roll ain’t noise pollution

I wear my stunna glasses at night

And much to mine and Cort’s delight, this kid has loved music since day one.

I’m not just bragging or exaggerating when I say he had rhythm far before most kids have a sense of a beat.  He was very small when Cort noticed that when he was bumping rap in his truck, Eddie was nodding along on the beat.

The kid danced to commercials and kid shows alike, moving up and down to the rhythm and clapping his hands along with the music.

He could do the hot dog dance the same time he learned to stand on his  own.

And now?  He hears a song twice and he has the words (that he can understand) memorized and a head bop to go with it.

We have to be seriously aware of what we play in the car these days because Eddie picks up on all of it.

I mentioned last week that I cannot stand to listen to kid music. Even though we have satellite radio complete with kid-friendly stations, I won’t do it.  I just can’t.

And besides, Eddie loves “Brass Monkey” and “Poker Face”.

What?

A couple weeks ago at daycare they were doing a song activity.  Renae had all the kids sitting on the floor for Circle Time talking about favorite songs.  Songs like “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” “The ABC’s”, “Jesus Loves Me.” When she came to Eddie, she didn’t even finish the question, “Eddie what is your favor–” And he sat straight up and announced, “PEARL JAM!”

That’s my boy, yo.  THAT’S MY BOY!

Recently I made a “Eddie Friendly Rock Mix” for the car since it’s hard for me to find appropriate stuff in the car since none of the channels I listen to bleep the bad words.

One of the songs I put on the mix that Eddie has fallen right in love with is “Clint Eastwood” by Gorilaz.  He calls it his sunshine song.

If you know this song, you know it’s super catchy.

It also says the “f” word 3 times.

Oops.  I forgot about that when I put it on there.  But I like to think we sing other words loudly enough over the f words to make up for it.

I hope.

Today he discovered “Stacy’s Mom” by Fountains of Wayne.

As he was falling asleep tonight he was singing, “Stacy mom got going on,” on repeat.

I think my job is done here.

A side note…did you all ever see that movie Almost Famous?

I’m convinced I will be the mom dropping Eddie off at a concert someday yelling, “DON’T DO DRUGS!” out of the car window.

my generation?

I have a wandering minstrel in my first hour.

For the past two years, I have watched this kid walk the halls between classes with his guitar strumming made-up tunes, current tunes, and riffs from my own teenage years.

This fall he wandered into my class and sat in the front row.

He is a junior who was born the same year I was a junior in high school….1995.

We talk music a lot because he enjoys the bands from my teen years.  For awhile he and his friends would jam out some Weezer tunes in the hall after school.  They congregated quite a crowd.*

He (and quite a few others at this point) and I discuss concerts since they are at the age that I was when I started my mad concert-going years.  We talk about who is coming to our city and how I can’t go because I am all pregnant and tired and responsibly an adult now.  And then I hope they go so they can report back.

Today he asked me how the band Bush was when I saw them in concert.

In 1996.

Most kids in my first hour were only barely a year old when I was at that concert.  Bush with openers Goo Goo Dolls and No Doubt.  And yes, that was when the Gavin and Gwen romance began.  I went to the show on that fated tour.

At the end of the hour, he proceeded to play “Glycerine” for a group of students and I couldn’t help sing along as I entered in my attendance and other busy work things I have to do before the end of each hour.

That is when I realized the students were listening to something recorded before they were born.

I am almost 34 years old.

All these years I have been waiting to turn into an adult…waiting for that feeling of being a grown-up.

But I just feel like….me.

I am waiting to forget what it’s like to be a teenager…to lose my understanding of the angst of being 17.  The way it seemed to me that adults forgot their teenage years when I was 17.

But I don’t forget.

Each feeling from my childhood…of being scared or nervous or anxious…come back to me when I see Eddie.

Each confused and hurt and joyous experience from my teen years come back to me when I talk with students.

I can’t forget.

I married someone who was with me through my teenage years.  Who I grew up with.  Who I spent countless hours discussing bands and movies and life with.

I don’t feel like I have changed.

But I know I have.

I worry about budgets and cleaning.

I get excited about carpet being installed.

I have babies and degrees and a professional career.

I remember on my wedding day giggling with my best friend about how “grown up” getting married was and how I couldn’t believe I was actually going to do it.

I was 27.

The first time I became pregnant I was embarrassed to tell my dad because he would know what I did to get that way.

I was married and 28.

Today Cort told me that Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit was on a radio show we both listen to talking about how it has been 17 years since their first album dropped.

I remember it.

I was at their very first shows in tiny little po-dunk bars wondering who this crazy awesome band was that was covering George Michael’s “Faith”…in heavy metal.

I remember being pushed to the front and wondering…will this always be awesome?  When do adults suddenly look down on this and forbid it?

When will I be one of those parents who just don’t understand?**

This morning it hit me that I am an adult.

I know that seems weird, but I think today was the day that it finally hit.

I teach high school.

Every year the kids are 15-18 years old.

But I don’t stay the same age.

I am not 25 anymore like I was when I started.

I am not saying I feel 25 or 17 anymore.  Goodness no.

But I don’t feel like I have morphed into the way I always thought adulthood would be either.

Today I realized I am an adult.

Because of a 17 year old wandering minstrel.

People try to put us d-down
Just because we g-g-get around
Things they do look awful c-c-cold 
Yeah, I hope I die before I get old 

This is my generation
This is my generation, baby ***

 

*a million points to the reader who knows what song I lifted that line from.  And no, Cort, you cannot play.  I know you know.

**this line?  anyone?  Come on…it’s an easy one!

***If you don’t get this one we can’t be friends anymore.

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