hellava song

I just can't get over Arcade Fire. I thought it was too trendy at first. But the more I listen, the more I like it. Another reason to like them is the reaction they get from my daughter. She could be in a crazy bad mood, throwing stuff at my head, and I turn on Arcade Fire and it's smooth sailing. Like flipping a switch. She'll even "sing along"--hooting at the top of her lungs. Part of me can't wait until she's 10 or 11 and bringing home good music for me to listen to with her. Part of me is scared to death that it'll be the latest bubble-gum-Brittney-Christina-American Idol pap. And then I'll have to say something like "what the hell's this crap?!?" like my dad used to say. sigh. Anyway, if you haven't gotten Funeral yet, go out and get it. I'm gonna have to vote for it for best album of 2004...yes, even over U2 [gasp!!!] Artist: Arcade Fire Album: Funeral Year: 2004 Title: Wake Up Somethin' filled up my heart with nothin', someone told me not to cry. But now that I'm older, my heart's colder, and I can see that it's a lie. Children wake up, hold your mistake up, before they turn the summer into dust. If the children don't grow up, our bodies get bigger but our hearts get torn up. We're just a million little god's causin rain storms turnin' every good thing to rust. I guess we'll just have to adjust. With my lighnin' bolts a glowin' I can see where I am goin' to be when the reaper he reaches and touches my hand. With my lighnin' bolts a glowin' I can see where I am goin’ With my lighnin' bolts a glowin' I can see where I am go-goin’ You better look out below!


Blogger Andy Whitman said...

I love the Arcade Fire album as well. It took a while to grow on me, but once it did it rapidly became a favorite. I still pull it out fairly frequently. My one regret is that I didn't listen closely enough at first, and I passed on the opportunity to see them live in a small venue in Columbus, a concert that Jeff Cannell regularly assures me was one of the musical highlights of his life.

Re: the musical arc of daughterhood, here's the way I've seen it work. My daughters are now almost 19 and almost 16. Take it from a grizzled veteran:

1) The Peer Pressure Years -- This is a dire time, but grit your teeth and pray for mercy. This too shall pass. Whatever the equivalent of Britney Spears and/or Eminem will be when your daughter hits age 10 or 11, rest assured that she will be an ardent fan. It's part of the crying need to fit in, and your daughter will probably go to great lengths to be cool. Note that this trend will also quickly spread to fashion, language, indeed all aspects of life. You'll probably be a nice, middle-class suburbanite by that time, content to mow your lawn for grins. It won't matter. You'll walk in the door after work, and your daughter will say, "What up, G?" or whatever the modern-day equivalent will be then. Get used to it.

2) The Anti-Dad Years -- This could be broadened to be the anti-parent years, but if mom doesn't particularly pay attention to music, then an anti-dad stance will do. The peak of the anti-dad years usually occurs at age 12 or 13. This phenomenon is characterized by an uncanny ability on your daughter's part to find the music that you find most grating, and to play it frequently and loudly. If you hate country music, your daughter will become the world's biggest Dolly Parton fan. If you hate heavy metal, then the entire Black Sabbath back catalogue will beckon to your daughter. In my case, this period was somewhat challenging for my daughters because I can find something worthwhile in almost every genre of music. But they both managed to find my Achilles heel: Broadway musicals. There were several years of hell -- the soundtrack to "Cats" blaring at all hours, the discovery of the "classic" musicals such as "Oklahoma" and "South Pacific," the whole wretched saga of Celine Dion. I wish I could make it easier for you. It does end, eventually. But counselling is always a good idea during this trying time.

3) Return to Normalcy -- It gets better. Musically, at least. Actually, it gets a lot better. By age 14 or 15 they start to cmoe out of the funk. Your daughter will figure out that she's her own person with her own musical tastes, and will soon be bringing home interesting and adventurous music. You'll actually discover new music that you like through this interchange. It's fun, and it will provide a bridge between you and your daughter as she moves through adolescence. Of course, you still may have to deal with fun adolescent issues such as sexually transmitted diseases and drug abuse, but you'll at least have a good soundtrack for life playing in the background.

Best of luck.

4/15/2005 7:49 AM  
Blogger e said...

Thank you so much for that analysis.

Drugs and STDs I can deal with. Broadway musicals I cannot.... I'll have to reevaluate my stance on corporal punishment should anything from Chorus Line or South Pacific make it onto my stereo. But since her mother likes that stuff....

I figure if she hears enough "good" music from nearly every genre (I've retired my NWA collection), she will only bring home music that remotely resembles these--wishful thinking I'm sure. And, since I will not live in the suburbs or grin whilst cutting the grass--unless God metaphysically forces those things to happen--the worst thing she could do is become a vociferous advocate for white-bread status quoness.

4/15/2005 11:27 AM  
Blogger Andy Whitman said...

Yeah, just you wait, Seth. You're already buying the house near Polaris. That's how it starts. It's slow. Insidious. But before you know it, you'll be a grinnin', lawnmowin' suburban fool, happily purchasing bags of mulch, putting "Proud Parent of a Walnut Springs Middle School Honor Student" stickers on the bumper of your SUV, and saying things like "How 'bout 'dem Buckeyes?" to your next-door-neighbor.

Just remember: the mind and the willpower are the first to go. You've already taken the first dangerous step. Whatever you do, don't buy a weed whacker. Your neighbors will hate you. But you'll be striking a small blow for freedom and disorder, if not for your life, at least for your lawn.

4/15/2005 1:06 PM  
Blogger e said...

hmmmm..... despite our similarities, i ain't seth. don't live near polaris. wouldn't want to.

my house is 101 years old and i have a porch where we serve dinner to neighbors and have drunks come by to help clip our out-of-control english ivy (likely also 101 years old). and given that i've decided to go back to school at the ripe age of 30 and picked a field like "history and philosophy of science" (in my case, genetics and developmental biology), i doubt i'll need to worry about becoming too similar to my neighbors. likely, i'll need to be on my guard against nerding-out my daughter, making her inelligible to have kids of her own.

but the warning is probably still valid.

does anyone know where i can find a good lawn tractor...?

4/16/2005 9:34 AM  

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