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Down With The Kids

PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 12:19 pm
by garth cartwright
I'm guessing here that many forumistas are either raising or have raised children - or, in Charlie's case, now help raise grandchildren. My questions: has this affected the way in which you listen to music? Or think about music? Do your kids remind you of your younger self? Have they ever turned you on to music you might not have heard otherwise?

My parents never listened to music so my first experience of pop was a repeat of The Monkees on TV. I then found my way into what i liked through a very cheap transistor and other kids family record collections - older sisters who liked Bowie and David Essex, parents who liked Neil Diamond and the Mamas & The Papas.

These days most kids grow up in households where listening to music is a given but I wonder if that actually shapes much of what they actually enjoy? Flo's kids Alex & Arianne have grown up on a diet of country-blues-Gypsy-African etc but they show no liking for any of this - once when one of Alex's friends wondered what all the CDs were he dismissed them as if the sounds of the old folks home. That said, Charlie's daughter Suzy told me that when she was at school and all her friends liked The Clash/Jam her favourites were Sam Cooke and Ray Charles - CG obviously knows how to indoctrinate kids!

Alex is very much influenced by what other kids at school like - he was crazy about Eminem 3 or 4 years ago but is now into emo and goth (Marilyn Manson a favourite - like Em, he's very visual). Arianne likes Avril and Britney and such. I bought her Girls Aloud which she didn't like and Rihanna which she did (which shows she has good critical instincts early on). They both love X Factor - not so much for the music as the competition - last week when Mariah Carey appeared they had no idea who she was. I've always enjoyed watching X as a guilty pleasure but now we all watch it together and have discussions as to who we want to win.

Something I've noticed is that both of them appear more enthusiastic about spending money on computer games than music - they like music but they love computer games. Even the X-Factor singles hold no interest for them; visually they enjoy the show but have no desire to buy the music from it. Howard and I once had a discussion as to how when we were kids we would work outside of school hours to save money to buy records - music was our crazy passion. Hard to imagine that today. I'm sure the big record labels are aware of this and terrified.

Re: Down With The Kids

PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 12:44 pm
by Charlie
garth cartwright wrote: Suzy told me that when she was at school and all her friends liked The Clash/Jam her favourites were Sam Cooke and Ray Charles

There was one main room in the house with the record player, so the kids had no choice except to hear whatever I was listening to. I don't recall any grumbles.

These days, everybody seems to have their own set-up in their own room, as I did myself when I was a teenager. My mother was very accepting of new music, and bought 78s by Elvis right from the start. I didn't experience my taste in music as a generation-defining statement in the stereotypical way and I don't think my children did either. Certainly, the grandchildren don't treat it that way. Suzy's daughter dances to everything, and remembers the words of songs regardless of their era. Her (male) cousin listens to Westwood and buys downloads for his mini iPod (or whatever it is called, I can't keep up), mostly hip-hop.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 1:16 pm
by joel
My daughter borrows my Blue Note records and CDs fairly extensively, especially when her friends are round. Otherwise it's mostlyJ-pop and J hiphop on her system. She never complains about the strange African stuff I play, unlike her mother...

PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 1:44 pm
by howard male
Nice idea for a strand, Garth, even though what I can contribute myself (as a blissfully childless forumista) is limited. But looking at it backward, my father worked too hard to get me interested in the music he loved (Glenn Miller, Sinatra, soppy wartime ballads) so I've consequently ended up finding all that music virtually unlistenable to, right up until the present day. I didn't even really know that I loved music at all until I discovered the music that was wholly mine, and that - quite rightly (or so it seemed to me at the time) my father found unlistenable.

But I do have an 8 year old niece who I was discussing the X Factor with last week. She also seems to have little interest in popular music beyond this show. Her favourite is the dizzy blond girl, so I told her that I found her singing very affected (what's with the absurd octave-jumping at the end of almost every line?) and that Alexandra was a zillion times better, so hopefully she'll switch her loyalties as she seems to see me as being an authority on such matters.

And what was Rachel thinking doing a ridiculously jolly version of U2's 'One' at the end of this week's show? Yes, as if you hadn't guest already, The X Factor is also a guilty pleasure in our household!

PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 2:44 pm
by NormanD
I can't keep up with the boy, and don't even want to try anyway.

I remember when Tom was in his early teens, I played him Robert Johnson and told him of the impact it had on me when I heard it for the first time. He said "So? I'm hearing it for the first time now....." I think I tried to stop impressing him with my tastes after that, but when so much music is around under the same roof, it's always going to be mix & match & can you do me a copy of that?

He plays in two bands, two different styles - ska/punk and post-rock (me neither, I've probably got that hopelessly wrong) - and knows more about early JA music and funk than I've ever tried to. He thought the best performers on last Friday's Later were The Carolina Chocolate Drops.

And he takes the piss out of old man Bowie.

Hey! Where did things go right?

PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 3:17 pm
by Adam Blake
My kid recovered from her Emo affliction pretty quickly, thank God. She still plays some horrendous modern American rock - I think it's their version of Indie music - but then she'll say things like, "this song by The Beatles, 'Come Together', it's really good". And I'll say, "where d'you hear that?" and she'll say, "I dunno". She really got into Michael Jackson in a big way, which I think is a good thing. I've given up trying to second guess her but I scored a hit recently with The Yeah Yeah Yeah's who I knew she'd like (and she did) and sometimes I surprise her with things like "Love Is An Arrow" by Aberfeldy which I like and which I knew she would sit up and notice. I still have a lot of Brownie points left over from having known The Libertines when they first started, but I daresay these will run out fairly shortly. She went to see the Dirty Pretty Things recently and I said that I hoped Carl Barat had learned to play a bit better by now. The response was all I could have hoped for: "Shut up, daddy. You're just jealous."

PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 3:48 pm
by c hristian
Adam, how old is yours?

Mine is 9 , and very much into all things JAckson Family. She may have heard Come Together by MJ himself, as it's his only beatles cover. Does she own HisStory? It's on there. Hey, doesn't he own the rights to Come Together? He should do more Beatles covers, and pay himself. Ach!
Enough of that, I think he should have helped PAul out, personally. But you know, business is business, I suppose. It's not as if either of them are hurting, but still.

Anyway, I find that there are a few things that we all agree on as a family , and we all enjoy that. Pink Martini, some West African songs like Ami-o. If I present to them some undeniably good music, my family will respond favorably, after a while. And then maybe after a while, I'll start to enjoy more than 1 or 2 songs from the Wiz, but I doubt it. Certainly, I enjoy more the lesser known MJ songs now, since I would hear them. And I enjoy hearing West African drumming beat patterns for the Kikini, which he'll beat out at the dinner table (we've since said not during meals).

PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 4:13 pm
by Adam Blake
c hristian wrote:She may have heard Come Together by MJ himself, as it's his only beatles cover. Does she own HisStory? It's on there. .

Of course! Thank you, Christian. That's how she knows it, for sure. She's 16 and bowled over by just how damn talented Michael Jackson was (and wasn't he just?) She's massively into "Thriller", but less enamoured by what came later. I played her a couple of Jackson 5 classics and she liked them OK but she REALLY likes "Thriller".

PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 4:16 pm
by Jamie Renton
My daughters are 12 & 14 & like (in no particular order) Pink, Noah & the Whale, Aretha Franklin, The Kinks, Avril Lavigne, Ray Charles, Bowling for Soup, Beyonce, whoever ity is that sings that "Rockstar" song, Etta James, Paramore, Reem Kelani, The Ting Tings, Vampire Weekend, Hot Chip, Cage the Elephant & Ne-Yo (to name but a few)

They don't like jazz or reggae & appear pretty much indifferent to music from other cultures (they like a lyric, a story).

They love X-factor & have strong opinions on who can & can't sing (Danial's booting off the show this week is viewed as Very Good Thing!)

I don't think I've ever tried to indoctrinate them, but if they hear something of mine that they like I'll always lend it to them or burn them a copy.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 6:15 pm
by Ian A.
Of course it helps that her mother was a "world" musician and I drown under CD mountains, but my daughter - just turned 21 yesterday - has totally eclectic and non-tribal tastes. I've never forced anything on her, she's just picked up on things she liked – so as a little 'un her own choices of music for bedtime cassettes included Toumani Diabate, Tamil film hits, Spice Girls, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and the Coasters. She loves going to any sort of gig, would never miss a Womad, goes to see hip-hop, rock, R&B and loves English ceilidh dancing (has also tried and enjoyed breakdancing and morris) and regularly converts her friends to non-mainstream weirdness. We share car-journey admiration for Cake, the Clash, Anita O'Day; she loves Tinariwen, Mose Allison & Orchestra Baobab with a passion (has absolutely no problem with old people making music) and has turned me on to funk hits I never knew existed; we all went to see the Carolina Chocolate Drops together on Friday . . .

I always reckoned that the best thing with kids was to let them discover stuff for themselves (since my own parents had no music interests whatsoever) - she'd come to me and ask if I'd got any Hendrix or Coltrane, having found her own way there - and never, ever dismiss something they like and I don't. Seems to have worked out just fine. Of course, it helped that the blessed Roger Armstrong of Ace has always been a kind of fairy godfather to her, from gifts of Shirelles & Ikettes when she was little to a birthday present of Take Me To The River just yesterday.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 7:51 pm
by DavidM
Of course, it helped that the blessed Roger Armstrong of Ace has always been a kind of fairy godfather to her,

What wouldn't you give to have a Godparent who worked for Ace ?

My children are still a bit young to pay much attention, the eldest has just turned 10, but she often asks me to replay something that has caught her ear, the most recent example being "Shu'husu'hu" by Sir Victor Uwaifo. The one song that she has really liked for several years now is "Carnevale" by the italian Riccardo Tesi (& Banditaliana), from their "Thapsos" record. She also likes a compilation of early soul-pop songs, i.e. Barrett Strong, The Marvelettes, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas etc., that always seems to be in the car. She can't, however, remember any of their names, if that counts. (I'll have to look for some Youtube clips of Riccardo Tesi; he's well worth hearing).

PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:01 pm
by Ted
Mine have both inherited the idea that music is incredibly important, while not necessarily liking anything that I like. Both love Womad.
Both way more prepared to spend money on computer games - they regard music as something you get free from the internet. I'd be very afraid if I was in the business of selling music.

We all play each other music we like. Nobody ever converts anyone though.

I asked for current favorites:

K. Girl 12 "Oh you know. French Stuff. Yelle and that".
Note the "French Stuff" - that ability to convert having heard two records into feigned expertise on a whole genre - or indeed nation. Wish I could still do that.

T. Boy 15. The Dipset

PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:38 pm
by will vine
My stepdaughter (27) and I had an uneasy relationship for a number of years. We never really connected, though she did seem to think I was a bit cool, running a jazz club and playing african music and all that. Our mutual coming to terms with each other was eased somewhat by chatting about, and nowadays swapping, music. I learned early on not to keep saying " but it's not as good as the original."
She has never plundered my jazz and blues records but I have had to replace a couple of Motown and Atlantic compilations she failed to return. We don't swap a lot of stuff but she has, in recent times, given me Fat Freddie's Drop, Luca, and Vampire Weekend.

Going back a generation, my dad was always going on about the Big Bands and about his passion for Boogie Woogie, something he first heard played by his army mate (and future bebop musician), Bill Le Sage. For this reason he is a bit of a Jools Holland fan, and tho' most of "Later" is really not his thing he often sits through the shows in the hope of hearing Jools play some boogie or something with his big band. Never a man of many enthusiatic words it was a surprise to me the other day when he went into rhapsodies of delight about "this black feller sitting on the floor with a big instrument with twenty-odd strings."
My dad was digging african kora music. Wow!

PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 1:23 pm
by Rob Hall
Our oldest, now 19, has eclectic, but strictly modern musical tastes. The only stuff that I'm aware of him picking from my shelves is the Velvet Underground and Lemon Jelly. A couple of years ago he bought me the Fried debut album, and gave it to me saying "I got you this because it's the kind of music you like", which was a very interesting observation. (As it turned out, I grew to like album quite a bit.) He did go through an emo phase but, as he's away from home and at uni now, I'm not sure what he's listening to, though I'm pretty sure that music comes a poor second to computer games for him.

The daughter (17) is much more straightforward. She was at the Astoria on Saturday night for the Rancid gig, has been attending the Reading Festival for the past 2 years and has friends in local bands. I can't remember her ever taking anything from the shelves - maybe something by the Beatles at some stage, or a Motown compilation. Mostly, she's pretty dismissive of anything I'm playing if she walks into the room. She is much more activated by music and I'm hopeful that, in years to come, she'll find more of interest in my CD collection. To answer Garth's question, I guess that places me closer to my daughter in her enthusiasm for music, even if there's precious little cross-over in out tastes.

PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 2:21 pm
by Leon Parker
My depressive Mother would lie down indoors with sunglasses on and listen to Billie Holiday. Never put me off Billie Holiday but I do think people who wear son glasses in on winter’s dark day or at night look like pillocks!!!

My musical upbringing was in care. Top of the pops was the only time you had standing room only at boarding school TV room. Care was a great source as I lived with West Indian kids who had Reggae and hippy staff who took us to see progressive rock gigs and brought us L.P.’s for presents. Old Grey Whistle Test was a common bond between staff and kids.

For me music became the escape from the institution. I was just lucky that the last place had a lot of staff into music and also one played guitar and had a band.

My daughter has grown up with me and my wired and wonderful sounds. I am delighted she has adopted a very open approach to music and is not stuck in one groove. She can’t stand a whole evening of just one style all night at a club. She likes to hear a change in the style. Never had many objections to what I used to play.

Any music event I invite her to she will come and have ears open might not be her cup of tea but she will give it a listen. She is into Dub step, Garage etc… but I gave a DJ Scruff CD as he was playing at her work place she listened, thought that it was interesting and different.

She does ask me about music and feels secure that any old stuff Dad might have or will know about. She rang me once from HMV to ask which Reggae CD she should have?