22 May 2007

Music Legacy

Continuing with the apparent theme of the week, which seems to be "stealing post ideas from other bloggers," Scaryduck had a post over the weekend that I liked and wanted to comment on, but then had to think entirely too much about it, so it turned into a blogpost of my own. Plus, being about music, rather than politics, it is a great Tuesday Brain Dump idea.

So the question on the table goes something like this. BBC Radio has a program called Generation Tracks where a famous or influential person will talk about music that their parents liked and then passed on to them, and the music that they will pass on to their children. Reading Scary's post, I immediately though, "Oh, the radio station xxxx over in bigtown does that Sphere of Influence thing that is pretty similar, wonder if they stole it from the beeb." And the answer is that of course they did! No one in entertainment ever has an original idea, right? Anyway.

What music did your parents bequeath to you?

My answers here are hilarious in my ever so humble. Perhaps it will explain some of my insanity. One of the first bits of pop that I ever remember hearing was in the family room of my parent's old house, where my mother was blasting the Bee Gees on an 8-track. It was probably the Children of the World album, but I have clear memories of the 'rents owning the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack as well.

The Doobie Brothers were favorites of theirs, as was Crosby, Stills & Nash. My 'rents have never been early adopters of new technologies, but they had a friend who was able to record 8-tracks for them, and there were a bunch of those early versions of mix tapes or playlists around the house. I remember Iron Butterfly and James Taylor, the "Dad loves his work" LP, an admittedly very odd combination.

Most of that was stuff my mum listened to. Not that Dad didn't like music, he does, he did. But I remember Mum listening to lots more music than Dad.

The second part of the question on the table is:

What music will you leave for your children?

and for the purposes of this discussion, we're not going to pretend that I've got kiddies, I'll talk about what I'm leaving to my niece and nephew, and the children of my friends, because they're as close to motherhood as I am ever going to get, OK? Right then.

Ani DiFranco, definitely, that's something I want to leave to all the young girls I know. Her "Not A Pretty Girl" album was a life-changer for me.

Silly stuff that I listen to all the time would have to go on that list too, as what you listen to all the time becomes what you're remembered for liking. So on that list would be the classic rock I've talked about a lot in the past couple of weeks, Def Leppard, Rush, Triumph, The Doors, Zepplin.

Odd independent stuff, like Teitur, Too Much Joy, the Boo Radleys. Early 80s stuff that was big on MTV, Thomas Dolby, the Bodines, the Tubes.

Then the other strong female vocalists that I enjoy singing along with, Tori Amos, Sarah McLachlan (try to get your hands on some of her early stuff, it is amazing), Sheryl Crow. I've always been a singer, I remember singing along with the Bee Gees at three or four years old. Middlesis and I can harmonize beautifully together, we're both decent singers.

I studied voice with an opera singer for a very long time, from about 11 or 12 until I left the States to go to Europe. I stopped singing in public in college, but to not sing at all would be as easy as not breathing for me. I quit trying to pursue any sort of job in the vocal arts when I realized that I wasn't ever going to be Maria Callas or Mariah Carey.

Mostly, as a legacy to the next generation I'd like to leave the nebulous idea that you should listen to all sorts of music and to not allow commercial success be a factor in deciding what you do or don't like. Thanks to the availability of all types of media positively everywhere, you can find new stuff all by yourself without resorting to opinions of A&R guys or the radio payola system.

Speaking of new music, the newest issue of Rolling Stone is out, and there are a few recommendations from them that I'm going to have to look into when I have a second. Feist, Of Montreal, Arcade Fire and !!! (pronounced chick, chick, chick).

So, either respond in my comments box with the answers to the two questions, or consider this a meme that you've been tagged with and post it on your own blog. Just send me a link if you do.

Listening to: Sarah McLachlan's Vox


MotherMe said...

In my house, Dad was the music afficionado. And he blessed me with (please don't laugh...)

-The Ink Spots (whereas Mom liked the Platters, but both were wonderful)
-All the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, including Pirates of Penzance, the HMS Pinafore, Iolanthe, Porgy & Bess, etc.)
-Carmina Burana
-Jazz, especially Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, and later, Eartha Kitt and all the Cotton Club music
-The Moog

Dad was hopelessly lost in another era. I later found out I was, too, but no matter. The music was all so good then...

As for my children, they get to hear all the above, since I inherited my dad's vinyl collection. What kid wouldn't want to rollerskate along to Ella Fitzgerald crooning the Cole Porter Songbook?

Now we just have to figure out how to strap the record player onto their arms....


Lucy Arin said...

Those are GREAT!

Hee, the mental image of a record-player backpack!

Y'know, I'm sure that there are ways to convert all of that to digital formats....but probably more time and trouble than it could be worth.