Mar 122008

As my oldest son slowly approaches adolescence and I begin to get a taste of the moodiness and angst that’s characteristic of teens, I’ve been having a recurring vision of coming home from work one day to hear the stereo in his bedroom cranked up, with one of two albums blasting through his closed door: Who’s Next or Dark Side of the Moon. If you’ve learned anything about me, you can probably guess which of the two albums I’d feel more comfortable hearing him blast to calm his worried, confused mind. You can probably guess why. But how ’bout you?

Put yourself in my hypothetical shoes: Would you feel more assured hearing one of these albums blasting from his bedroom over the other? Why?

Better yet…As a parent, have you ever walked into your house to hear your child blasting an album that either put at ease or troubled your parental instincts?

I look forward to your responses!


  10 Responses to “Just Listening to Some Records”

  1. I would be able to relate to my son if he was blasting Who’s Next, since I did the same. Never had the same affinity for Pink Floyd.

    Right now my oldest is 6, so I really don’t know what teens are listening to these days. I’m kind of surprised to hear that The Who and Floyd are in the running. Can’t they find any music that we really hate? Isn’t that the point?

  2. Side one of Led Zepplin IV…whenever possible…

    actually I’ve been pretty lucky – the first show I ever took my son to (he was 2) was SRV and Double Trouble at Chicago fest, and somehow the inoculation took. He’s 25 now, and his first ‘ink’ was ‘ZOSO’ up his thorax…he’ll listen to more Metallica and Radiohead and Tenacious D than I ever felt I needed to. He also had a little dabblination with Linkin Park and Korn, but he got over that without permanaent disfigurement. But he bought me ‘Who at Isle of Wight’ for my birthday last month, and has watched that with as much excitement as I have…

    I find it amazing though, that Zep is still his ace boon poon. He’s making plans to hit Bonnaroo this summa just in case the Plant/Krauss show takes a left at Black Dog…

    I’ve often wondered why this is – it seems that it’s been very rare that any generation has embraced the music of an earlier generation to any great extent at any time in this century – ragtime gave way to orchestral jazz to combo jazz to big band swing to bebop to cool jazz to r&b to rock and roll to rock. I’d guess you’d have to say that hip hop and rap is the first major break in ‘rock’ dominance in the last forty years: not many rock fans LOVE hip hop, which is the most popular form of music (sales wise) in the last ten years or so…

    My older daughter is now 18 – she had a fling with Hanson in her Disney years but quickly latched on to Smashing Pumpkins. Her taste now leans toward Billy Talent and AFI, and she’s playing bass in a screamo band…

    My younger daughter (14) is the smartest of the three, and the first tunes she’s picking out on the guitar are ‘Comfortably Numb’ and ‘Stairway…’. In real life she is all ‘My Chemical Romance’ and such, but she’s actually enjoying a lot of the ‘producer’-driven-auto-tune hip hop that’s currently being clear-channeled straight to the subconscious…

    I remember MY grandfather getting totally pissed off because I wanted to listen to ‘Rockin Robin’ on his car radio. He hollered at me: ‘How can you listen to that CRAP’ (at a time when having your grandpa say ‘crap’ at you still meant something.). I found myself saying them exact words recently when forced to endure Rihanna TWICE on a short trip to 7-11 with the youngest…still, the jury’s out as to whether this is a permanent affliction or a temporary infatuation with the dark side…

    I’m guessing: ‘Who’s Next’ becomes relevant at 15 – once your parents turn into aliens – ‘Baba O’Riley’ will always be a suitable soundtrack for your first case or doobie…

    ‘Dark Side…’ snaps into focus a few years later – once you’ve broken up with someone for the first time and felt cautiously around the frayed edges of your own sanity…

    ‘I certainly was in the race…’

  3. Mr. Moderator

    King Ron, you ARE THE MAN! Thanks for your thoughts and for blowing this thread wide open. I’m looking forward to where we might take this. I’ve also noticed that the younger generation is embracing “our” Classic Rock more than I remember my own generation embracing our parents’ music. A lot to think about here…

  4. 2000 Man

    My oldest is 25. He likes Radiohead a lot, and he liked Marilyn Manson a lot when he was a kid. I got him third row seats to a small hall show when he was fifteen and he said it was great. He liked Korn for a little while, and Bush and Nirvana got a lot of play. He still likes stuff like Mike Doughty from Soul Coughing. He lsitens to classical, too.

    My youngest is 19 and he has always been all over the map. He listens to everything, but lately Mars Volta seems to be what blows him away. He calls it progressive, and I guess that’s what it is. It sounds like egotistical soloing to me, but then that happens a lot in my brain when songs last longer than three minutes or so.

    I like that the video games have some classic rock in them for the kids to play. I don’t like that what it really is is that the games have some new songs mixed in with a mess of classic rock. I can understand why all those songs are still apparently popular, but I think it has more to do with the companies that own the songs selling them in packages and just selling the same old crap they already own instead of investing in something new. I’m glad my kids listened to new music. They borrow my stuff, but not usually the old stuff.

  5. 2000 Man

    Mr. Mod, what else do the kids have to embrace? The only way they hear anything other than classic rock is via some underground channel of some sort. Sure, a lot of kids will do that, but a lot more do things the easy way and just listen to whatever everyone else is listening to.

  6. BigSteve

    I don’t really remember listening to things specifically trying to piss off my parents or other adults. They certainly didn’t like our music, and I definitely had the usual ‘no one understands me’ feelings, but I was always annoyed with peers who thought it was their duty to ‘mess with their heads.’ I just wanted to be left alone.

  7. Mr. Moderator

    Good question, 2K. There’s not a new generation of music easily available on the radio. How weird must that be for the youngin’s!

    2K, of the modern-day stuff your kids listen to, have you associated any band’s music blasting out of their bedroom with any particular memory of your own teenage years, for better or for worse? When I set up this question, with my highly hypothetical Who-Pink Floyd dynamic, my underlying thought has been, “If he’s listening to Who’s Next, at least I’ll feel his anger is accompanied by some hope; if he’s listening to Pink Floyd, I dread what his next report card’s going to look like!” I wonder if newer bands are associated with such connotations, and I wonder if any other parents have carried over such associations from their teen years.

  8. 2000 Man

    I dunno, Mod. When I was a kid everybody around here listened to Pink Floyd. They depress me now more than then, but mainly because they’re so long and slow.

    When my kid was listening to Marilyn Manson and I was letting him wear the shirts and go to the shows unescorted by an adult, I couldn’t believe the amount of people that thought my kid would grow up to be Jeffrey Dahmer or worse. People my age, that had been through that whole thing with their parents where they weren’t allowed to listen to something because it was “evil.” I don’t know what made them think there was something new and different, but they did even though it made no sense.

    My kids were just generally happy. I was the rare parent that never considered blowing an entire teenage paycheck on music wasteful and I liked listening to some of the stuff they brought home. I don’t know if that will actually work for anyone else, but I only freaked when the kid came home late with the car with no phone call. He only did it once, and his brother never did. I can’t believe how worried I was and how I couldn’t decide if I should hug him or kick his butt for real. I sure did yell a lot!

  9. All in good fun here, but I say lighten up (as I know you already are). If the kid wants to listen to Pink Floyd, so what? In the long run, he’ll learn best by challenging his father’s taste and coming to his own conclusions.

  10. sammymaudlin

    Gotta go with Dark Side. My 13 year old, who digs Green Day, Zeppelin, Gorrilaz could stand to discover the meaning of “veg-out.”

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