Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Drawing Battle Lines

I may be the only one who realizes it, but there's been a battle brewing in our family.  I may have started it.  Several months ago I played a song for the kids as we were driving home one night.  That song was Zombie Delight.  And enjoy it they did.  Nevermind that the song is a novelty lark by the great Canadian independent rapper Buck 65 that basically describes the zombie apocalypse.  It's has some great lines like:

Why is this happening?
People are frantic.
The military's overwhelmed.
Widespread panic.
Cities are destroyed and the streets run red.
How do we contain this plague of the undead?
Weaponize yourself.
Call in the troops.
Zombies have the tendency to mobilize in large groups.
There's very little information, and no answers.
One weird thing is that they're excellent dancers.

Now, I realize that this is probably not appropriate subject matter for a 9 year old, and less so for a 6 year old.  I figured they'd largely ignore it and probably tell me to turn it off like every other time I've tried to play a song for them, but apparently after hours of Plants vs. Zombies, they have quite the infatuation.  They began requesting the zombie song every time they got in the car with me.

Shortly thereafter, I heard about a great new CD they had got at the store with mom.  I was then forced to listen to the Fresh beat band over and over and over and over every time we were in the van.  It was relentless.  Never mind the poor pitch and terrible lyrics, it's catchy as hell.  I waited for it to stop.  I thought it would subside, but they were asking for it before we even got in the car.  Eventually, I had to fight back.

The next time we were in the car, I suggested we listen to a band called the Groovie Ghoulies.  I figured the name would be interesting enough it just might get their attention.  Plus, I like the Groovie Ghoulies.  It seemed to go over well.  Next I pulled out some Mr. T Experience.  Realizing that they have no idea who Mr T is, I told how the Mr. T Experience once toured France and learned to sing one of their songs in French so that everyone understood them.  I knew my kids would find this impressive.  I soon began getting requests for the Groovie Ghoulies and Mr. T Experience.  They particularly like the song Dumb Little Band.  I think because they know they aren't supposed to say 'dumb'.  We talked about how they used it in a self deprecating, ironic way in the song, and they weren't talking about a person. Also they like Dr. Frank's Knock knock song, because what kid doesn't love a sing with knock knock jokes.  I haven't yet explained the difference between Dr. Frank the solo artist and MTX the band, but that can wait a while.

I am now trying to expand their musical horizons further. Here are their thoughts on some recent samples:

Screeching Weasel: "Dad, Screeching Weasel sounds like the Groovie Ghoulies and the Mr. T Experience."  True.  Overall this was met with relative indifference.  Unfortunately.

Waylon Jennings: "Dad, Is this music from the olden days?"  This wouldn't have lasted long, but I started telling them about the Dukes of Hazzard and they were interested enough in that to at least let Waylon get through 1 song. 

The Clash: "Dad, Do you think they should stay or go?"  A winner, especially once I told them that the Clash were from England.  (It helps to know your audience) 

Beastie Boys: "Dad, I don't like songs with more than 1 voice.  I like the Clash better."  Ok.  Back to the Clash.  I am ok with that.

1 comment:

  1. It's a long way from Psalty.

    BTW, glad to see you're posting again, even if the topic is scary. I did NOT listen to the songs. Ha!