Monday, December 3, 2012

Put another nickel in, in the nickelodeon...

[Ed. note: If you are my biological first cousin and you live in New York, you should stop reading this entry right now. You should also come back to read other entries other times, and comment so I know you're out there.]

This Thanksgiving, my young (9, I think) first cousin once removed had a new iPod Touch and was showing me his music. He had a lot of music on it, and was sure it'd all be brand-new to me.

He did not count on a 40-something-year-old cousin who primarily listens to music on her car radio and in a college gym. His very Top-40 taste was all entirely familiar to me. I am not sure whether he was more gleeful or more frustrated that I knew every song (except the theme song to the new James Bond), but he was definitely both.

Later on, I was talking to his somewhat older than I am father, my first cousin, whose name I coincidentally drew in the family present-swap. I asked what he'd like for Christmas, and he's interested in updating his music collection. I didn't get more instruction than that, just that he'd like music that has come out since, say, the '80s. We talked about how much of his son's music I liked, and he said he was trying to keep up.

Now, I love music.

But also...

I don't buy it new much, and the new stuff I like tends to fall into pretty specific categories:

  • some ├╝ber arty-indie something one of my much cooler friends said I had to listen to (The Weakerthans), or
  • something from the radio that people my age, much less his age, should pretty much be embarrassed to like (Ke$ha). 
(The obvious bridge between these categories is anything by Owl City.)

So, friends... What should I put on the bizarro playlist that I am clearly now constructing for this cousin? I know, it'd be helpful to know what music he likes of any era, to know anything at all about his musical taste — but we're all in the same boat here. Our goal is, collectively, to expose him to some new music. It's not our job to ensure he loves all of all of it. Please, please, please, comment, check back, add to this conversation.

Day 29 of my month of gratitude: I am thankful for music — old and new — and the lyrical people who put it in my life.

8 comments:

Rebel McLeod said...

I recently made a playlist called "Radio Discoveries"--I'm not sure how many of the songs are actually from 2012, but they were all new to me when I stumbled upon them on the car radio on some long drive. My nominations for full-album gifts: Fun (Some Nights) and Alabama Shakes (Boys & Girls). If you're talking individual tracks, well, get thee to Spotify:)

April said...

Geography being what it is, I think you should include the cover of Woody Guthrie's "My New York City" by Mike and Ruthy. Here's a link to the video:http://www.theboot.com/2012/06/20/mike-ruthy-my-new-york-city-video/

Joe said...

Zeppelin!!!!

Mike said...

Poi Dog Pondering. East River String Band. Camper Van Beethoven. Dropkick Murphys. Great Big Sea. Simon & Garfunkel. Carolina Chocolate Drops. The Pogues. The duet album by Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris. Soundtrack from Juno, and from The Big Chill. Report back in six months for suggestions reflecting feedback, in the manner of Pandora.

Anonymous said...

Well, I know that he used to be a big fan of the Cranberries (also Natalie Merchant) and owns at least one Journey album. Does that help you determine his taste?

Hmm, Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris sounds like an intriguing combination. (A lot of those suggestions from Mike could be good.) I was going to suggest Honeyhoney (love their 'Ohio'), but they might be a little raw for him. I know... how about Foster the People?

Rebel McLeod said...

Also, very much Florence + the Machine (the first album, Lungs, in particular)! I'm a little horrified that I left them out the first time.

Rebel McLeod said...

Oh! And Stornoway's Beachcomber's Windowsill.

Anonymous said...

Adele?