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