Monday, May 23, 2011

The boy's growing up: Picking his favorite music on his own

Now that our oldest son Devo is two he’s starting to pick his own music. “His music” is usually determined by whatever songs have made it on to my iPhone. I try to include all of the playlists I’ve created for him and his little brother. He’ll sit and flip from song to song, perusing album covers and stopping on the ones he either remembers or finds visually appealing. I’m fascinated by what clicks with him. When I started this blog and the more detailed journal I’ve kept since finding out I was pregnant with him it was as an unscientific study of his musical tastes – how the music he heard as a baby and as a child will later inform his preference as a teen and adult.

I must admit I’m kind of proud when he skips over the kid’s songs from “Yo Gabba Gabba” that we’ve heard a million times in favor of Alice Smith’s “Dream” or the National’s “Abel,” two of his most recent favorites. Driving home from his grandmother’s on mother’s day he repeatedly played the drum solo heavy intro to Valient Thorr’s “Double Crossed” sometimes letting it play through the first chorus before starting it all over again. My husband noted the intro’s unusual time signature. I wondered if Devo, who played my friend’s drum kit on a recent trip to WV, likes the drums. He loves to dance, so it’s no surprise that "house" (meaning my) dance favorites like “Abel” have worked their way into his brain. Few things delight me more than seeing my two-year-old light up when he hears the guitar lead-in and shake his head to Matt Berninger’s shouting baritone.

Other favorites include Julian Casablancas version of the “Saturday Night Live” holiday song “I Wish It was Christmas Today,” the intro and first verse of Jonathan Tyler & the Northern Lights’ “Young and Free,” and Poison’s “Fallen Angel.” He also knows what his brother likes and will grin as he plays Rick Springfield’s “Don’t Talk to Strangers” and “Human Touch,” Robyn’s “Dancing on My Own,” or the theme to “Terriers,” which are all what we consider “Indi’s songs.”

He has certain songs he repeatedly returns to, but he seems to discover new favorites daily whether laughing at N.E.R.D. or curious about the feline astronaut that graces the cover of the latest Klaxons' record. This week Abba’s “Take A Chance on Me” is quickly working its way into rotation. Hilarious!

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