Committed H's new batch of songs to CD-R yesterday. Here's the tracklist.
01. Genetic Engineering - OMD. Is that a Speak 'n' Spell I hear? This is a fine way to kick off a baby's cd. This is the 45 version, but the song is also on the great Dazzle Ships album. (An album that teenage Thom Yorke must have utterly worshipped.)
02. I Don't Wanna Grow Up - Tom Waits. Brilliant, brilliant lyrics. Had to put this on. (From Bone Machine.)
03. The Click Song - Miriam Makeba. (From Africa.) Must be heard to be believed.
04. Bessa - Tilly and the Wall. The good old young Tillies... H is already a fan. You will be too. Get Wild Like Children as soon as you're done reading this.
05. Hop Around - Dee Dee Ramone. I like the Hop Around album. Most people with sense hate it. The title track was perfect for this disk. That's Debbie Harry singing.
06. Clap Hands - Tom Waits. (From Rain Dogs.)
07. Animal Song - Loudon Wainwright III. (From I'm Alright.)
08. Peaches - Presidents of the United States of America. There's been a years-long debate in my house whether this band's name is properly abbreviated “POTUS” (the acronym used by the Secret Service for the Commander in Chief) or “PUSA.” (Come on... I don't know what that is.) Feel free to weigh in and help us past this marital sticking point.
09. Rubber Biscuit - The Chips. (From Doo Wop Classics, Vol. 3.)
10. Chicken Rhythm - Slim Gaillard. I love Gaillard, and he makes my son smile. Two minutes of fun nonsense from Slim Gaillard Rides Again. I think this song is in the doc Super Size Me.
11. Move Your Feet - Junior Senior. I liked this when first I heard it, then it was a guilty pleasure for a couple weeks. Then I tired of it. But still, H has never heard it. I think it'll make a great soundtrack for his jumping sessions.
12. Whip-Smart - Liz Phair. “I'm gonna tell my son to grow up pretty as the grass is green / And whip-smart as the English Channel's wide.” Free knowledge: the “Whip-Smart” chorus (“When they do the double dutch, that's them dancing”) is from Malcolm McLaren's “Double Dutch.”
13. The Frug - Rilo Kiley.
14. Cannonball - The Breeders. I brought Last Splash into H's room one night for a diaper change and pajama time, and the beginning of this song got his attention. He looked at his cd player, looked at me, then back at the player and smiled. Of course, I could have imagined the whole thing.
15. Do You Realize?? - Flaming Lips. Apart from that sweet line about the most beautiful face, there's a great (albeit dark) message in here.
16. Out On The Rolling Sea - Joseph Spence. From the Bahamian Guitarist cd. A couple weeks ago, when I was on my Spence kick, and was listening to him all weekend, it seemed H was into this song. An acquired taste for sure, maybe my son's already cooler than the rest of us.
17. Daddy Sang Bass - Johnny Cash. This is a big favorite around our place. We discovered a couple months ago that when I sing the chorus, with its basso profundo and falsetto lines, the boy laughs. (From The Complete Live at San Quentin.)
18. Mr. Rabbit - Paul Westerberg. I'm not crazy about this song. H's cousin L digs it (she's almost 3); I figured my son would as well. (From Stereo.)
19. Mahna, Mahna - Muppets (Animal, etc.). Thanks to LimeWire. Never would have found this without it.
20. Rubber Biscuit - Blues Brothers. I thought it was worth putting both versions of this song on the disk.
21. The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side - Magnetic Fields.
22. Tahiti Rain Song - Coco Rosie. From the amazing La Maison De Mon Reve cd.
23. Innocent When You Dream (78) - Tom Waits. Yes, three from TW. This one's from Frank's Wild Years.
24. Muntu (Lullaby) - Miriam Makeba. (From The Magic of Miriam Makeba.)
Am I nuts? I mean, is serving up all this great music to my son in such large portions so early just a waste? Is he going to care about any of this in a few years? Will he sit in the back seat of the family's rented car 8 years from now, and tune out his parents by listening to some shit Simple Plannish on his headphones?
The first song I remember ever hearing on the transistor radio near my crib was “Crying Time” by Ray Charles. I was raised on a nourishing diet of The Five Satins, Elvis, Doo Wop, and Rockabilly,* until I left that all behind to play air guitar on “Strutter.” I just hope I can count on H to be selective of what he puts in his earholes and critical enough to not settle for the easy crap. (Like the shit that Gwen Stefani's painting the bowl with these days, for example. Did you hear that abomination on SNL?! What an insult!)
The nightmare-to-be haunts me. “Dad, all your music is so old. I want to listen to Dr. Beat Thief and DJ Wicky-Wicky.”
Or worse: “Dad, do you know that Bono used to be in a band?”
* Please note: I was not born in the 50s. This was the music that my folks played around the house in Yonkers. They enjoyed all that Doo Wop and Elvis stuff. They were great listeners. They weren't however, collectors. There came a time when their stacks of records took up more room than my parents could spare. And one day in 1970 or '71, while they were cleaning out their end-table cabinets, they let me detour HUNDREDS of trash-bound 45s into my bedroom. My collection started there. Since I was only three or 4 years old and new to reading, my sister kindly made pen marks on the labels to designate the A-sides for me.
[posted with ecto]