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guilty pleasure monday: ruby (kaiser chiefs)
June 14th, 2010 by wrekehavoc

…and you thought i was completely stuck in the last century.

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despite the fact that the DC metro has no discernible music radio stations of interest (unless you consider classic rock seasoned with a generous helping of hair band selections fascinating), i do try to listen to the stuff those crazy youngsters like.  sure, i have to comb teh interwebs and read rolling stone to hear about new artists; and i’m quite sure that what is really happening in music is not necessarily something i will know about from more corporate sources (it never was when i was young), so i will always be a few years behind (though yes, virginia, i have heard of the silversun pickups and cage the elephant, thankyouverymuch.)

yes, while i will always bemoan the fact that one of my dream jobs would be to be the female version of cameron crowe, i know that i’m probably past the age where i could start getting sent to venues to review music.  (people might think i’m someone’s mom, or a narc. or maybe both. who knows?) so for now, i content myself sharing earworms as i find them…

besides, at the moment, i am fighting the battle known as mmmmmmmmmmy ggggggggeneration. what this means, essentially, is that BC — raised on rock, punk, and other musical classics — is getting swayed by her peers. she is singing along with lady gaga. she can’t stop youtubing ke$sha, or kasha (varnishkes), or whatever that delightfully classy specimen of the female variety is called.

and while it was ok for ME to be singing along with some rather risque numbers when i was her age (i didn’t know what rocks off was about, anyway), i am a little tweaked about girlfriend singing along with these freaky-deaky ladies who are shameless in their sexuality and, in kooshie’s case, alcoholic entertainment.  yes, BC and i have spoken about the songs, and i am not one to ban music around here. but i do want her to think about what these people are portraying in their songs. i also want her to think about the quality of these songs versus, say, stuff that has withstood the test of time.  (does anyone think these songs sound a lot, musically, like dance music from the 80s and early 90s? in a word, zzzzzzzz…)

but i also know that my guilty pleasures from the 1970s and 80s (as well as the songs i loathed from the 70s and 80s) were just that — music from my generation.  and while i’m sure people decades older than i were vomiting listening to, say, supertramp, i hear them and am suddenly 13 years old and smiling.  so i know i need to just hold my tongue at times, and see where the girl’s ears lead her. and, if i can help in the modern rock end of things, i certainly will load my mp3 player up with stuff to steer her to all sorts of other music from her generation.

which leads me to the kaiser chiefs. i loaded ruby onto my mp3 player, where it randomly hits airplay now and again. the hook is undeniable; and my kids adore this song. in fact, BC adores it so much that when she was challenged to take a prayer in hebrew school (adon olam, for you red sea pedestrians out there) and sing it to any song she wanted, girlfriend chose this one. (of course, it ended up rather challenging for her, so she switched… to another classic.)

yes, i love music. i love a lot of types of music. and underlying it all, of course, is the fact that i want my children to love music, too. for me, there’s something expressed with or without words that simply helps me be. and sure, i’m not thrilled that The Girl is grooving to certain songs that make me cringe for so many reasons.  but i’ll simply let her have her music while showing her that there is other music out there that is worthy of her ears. she can choose what she likes, in the end.

i can’t wait to see what ends up on her personal mixtape one day.


7 Responses  
  • alejna writes:
    June 14th, 2010 at 8:45 am

    Ah, mixtapes. They used to be such a production. So much time went into them.They really felt like a real creation.

    The first Kaiser Chiefs song I learned was “I predict a riot,” which is another song with a great hook. I don’t remember how I found it–possibly through poking around in the indie lists on iTunes. After I bought it, it largely got buried in our massive iTunes library, and I forgot. Until we started using the iTunes “Genius,” which builds a playlist off a song. Starting from Bowie’s “Life on Mars,” we got a fantastic playlist of mostly 70s and 80s music…and then Kaiser Chiefs. I’m pretty sure it was the only band from the past 10 years on the list. So your opening line about not being stuck in the last century entertained me. Perhaps *they* (as in Kaiser Chiefs) are stuck in the last century, and that’s why we like them.

    (But then again, if you start a genius list off “I predict a riot” you get more of a mixture of more contemporary indie artists.)

    You know what else your post reminded me of? There was one summer when I was maybe 7, and out visiting my grandmother in Colorado. There was a little girl living next door, who was about my age. I’ll never forget her strutting about outside singing “if you think I’m sexy, and you want my body.” I found it disturbing even then…

  • wrekehavoc writes:
    June 14th, 2010 at 8:51 am

    i think the funniest part of this exercise (thus far):

    there’s a line from the ke$hia masterpiece (can you see my tongue in my cheek? can you see the permanent indentation?) that goes:

    “And now, the dudes are lining up cause they hear we got swagger
    But we kick em to the curb unless they look like Mick Jagger.”

    now my girl totally knows who jagger is — hell, one of her nicknames is charlie watts, which is a whole other story — but as she was singing the song in the car, jools piped up: “WHO is mick jagger?”

    so lucky me. i whipped out my mp3 player. “you know how mommy likes the rolling stones?” i said. he’s the guy who almost always sings for them. and i proceeded to crank it to 11. and we all started singing.

  • Christina writes:
    June 14th, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Oh yes, inappropriate song lyrics for the age group. Lemme see…let’s start with the boy and I singing together to AC/DC since was about 9? Now, just about any one of their songs is cringe inducing IF you can actually understand what they are saying…but doesn’t it just FIGURE that the clearest they ever sang was on Big Balls? Oh yes. Indeed. Ahem.

    Then there was last week when the now 13 year old was singing and dancing with me to Glee’s rendition of Like A Virgin. Or how he knows all of Adam Lambert’s songs including the one Lady Gaga wrote (of course) – Fever – where he does not change the gender to make it hetero as almost every artist before him has done with a song like that. I love that of course, but when your 13 year old son sings it with Adam it’s…interesting!

  • wrekehavoc writes:
    June 14th, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    kinda makes you want to break out the “peter, paul and mary” CD and play it on endless repeat, lol.

    christina — priceless! don’t worry; one day, he’ll be absentmindedly singing it when one of his friends will “helpfully” point out his error. kids are so nice like that 😉

  • Holly writes:
    June 15th, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    I am terrified of current Pop Culture.

    I am even more terrified that my kids are being raised in it.

    Current method of Mommy-brainwashing: find old music-old ipod and load up selected songs for 6-year old to listen to. Nope, sorry, only Mommy and Daddy can import songs. Great plan, right? RIGHT?

    He is so going to rebel when he’s 16.

  • wrekehavoc writes:
    June 15th, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    that’s totally been my plan from the start 😉 although we also load stuff now on their mp3 players.

    of course, i suspect my kids will one day decide to become modern country-listening republicans. not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s pretty much the polar opposite of me 😉

  • Sushma writes:
    June 18th, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    Funny that she likes Lady Gaga (as does my girl) – I object more to her listening to Taylor Swift because all her songs (which are pretty clean) sound alike! As for objectionable lyrics, just remember “Little Red Corvette” and, to go back even more, “Pictures of Lily” …


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