As most all of you know, music, for better or worse, is a big part my life, and the same is pretty much true for Karla to a (usually) less fanatical degree. And so it only follows that I would want to share my love of music with my son. Several months before he was born I was already coming up with a “mix tape” for him. I like how “mix tape” has become a common expression for that specific term (even though that medium is woefully outdated), sorta like “a Kleenex” refers to any brand of tissue. There’s a word for that, but I’m tired and don’t feel like remembering it right now. Anyway, with the advent of the iPod I can bypass not only mix tapes but mix cds as well. For this purpose alone we bought him a little docking station for his room and I hooked him up with my old 2-gig iPod. Amongst several artists ranging from Rachmaninoff to the Misfits I’ve also included a play list that is essentially his first mix tape.
Why? Well, of course that’s obvious and already been stated. To me it’s a bit of an education for him. I feel like I listen to a pretty wide range of music from old country & western to Krautrock and I’d love for my son to have an equally open mind which I think will help him to have an open and accepting mind in many aspects of his life. Plus, I wanted to give him a chance to be fortified with good music before his generation’s version of the Jonas Brothers or My Chemical Romance had a chance to derail him without hope. So yes, this is a bit of a selfish move as well.
Here’s the track list…
The Fox In The Snow --Belle & Sebastian
Thursday's Child--David Bowie
The Three Shadows Part 1--Bauhaus
A Prophecy--The Close Lobsters
Be Thou My Vision--Pedro the Lion
Once I Was--Tim Buckley
Blue Moon--Damon and Naomi with Ghost
Ocean Rain--Echo & The Bunnymen
Coney Island Baby--Tom Waits
Color Of A Lonely Heart Is Blue--Old 97's
When Company Comes--The Feelies
Who Knows--The La's
Tomorrow On the Runway--The Innocence Mission
Tell Me Why--Neil Young
Two Hearts--Chris Isaak
I'll Be Your Baby Tonight--Bob Dylan
Twilight On The Trail--Michael Nesmith
Asleep --The Smiths
Good Night--The Beatles
When making my song selection I didn’t have an overall theme per se beyond trying to keep the tracks fairly low key (though not necessarily “un” noisy), as this is what he’ll be listening to in his crib at night or whilst napping. Some of them, like the first and second songs, are thrown in there for obvious reasons, though the latter was definitely a last minute addition in the hospital when he actually did come to us on Thursday. Unfortunately I can’t (yet) include Brian Eno’s hour-long masterpiece “Thursday Afternoon” as I'd hoped since he was born in the morning, but I guarantee you it will make the track list of some future mix. Other songs are obvious as they imply sleeping or babies or nighttime or love for someone, etc, etc, Peter Cetera (who is naturally absent).
And sorry Amber, I know he’s just a week old and helpless and oh so very impressionable, but I had to put some Smiths on there. Don’t be hatin’.
As I stated in an earlier post, the first song he heard post-womb was Belle & Sebastian’s “Fox in the Snow” and then the rest of the mix. This was in the hospital the first time we really had him for a long stretch on our own without interruption. I think he dug what he heard. Afterward, the first album I played for him was Jonathan Richman’s “Back in Your Life,” which is an album I’d grown extremely fond of while Karla was pregnant. If you’re not familiar with JR (reference the troubadour from There’s Something About Mary), I think you’ll find his open and purposefully wide-eyed-innocent approach towards life and love and songwriting is very fitting in many ways for a young child growing up. In fact, I think he may have a couple of just straightforward children’s albums, but Bill will have to confirm that for me.
Look at me, I’ve posted three times in the past 24 hours. Don’t worry, I won’t go overboard (maybe).