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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Kids These Days

posted by on March 13 at 11:25 AM

My brother has two kids, I have no kids, and so I serve—happily—as kooky uncle/aesthetic godfather to my niece Sarah and nephew Jake. My connection with Jake is primarily comedy-based: I exposed him to his first video of a monkey on roller skates, and we bonded heavily over a photo of nuns riding a log flume.

But my connection with Sarah is all about music. When she was a beautiful bald newborn, I wedged in her in a baby-sized black turtleneck and we shot a spoof of Sinead O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares to You” video (the red light on the camera held her gaze perfectly, and while I hoped she might tear up at the end, ala Sinead, I wasn’t willing to pinch her to make it happen).

Now she’s sixteen, living in Virginia, and after years of me inundating her with music (Blondie, Go-Gos, Hole, Visqueen), she’s just sent me a mix CD. Here’s the tracklist:

“Over the Pond” by the Album Leaf
“Fumble” by Architecture in Helsinki
“I Still Remember” by Bloc Party
“The New Sound” by the Capricorns
“Glass Danse” by the Faint
“Go Junior, Go Senior” by Junior Senior
“Deceptacon” by Le Tigre
“Shield for Your Eyes” by Melt Banana
“Midtown” by the Sea & Cake
“Hotel Song” by Regina Spektor
“Crank That” by Soulja Boy
“Teenage Dirtbag” by Wheatus
“Clowne Town” by Xiu Xiu
“Spinning” by Zero 7

I was thrilled to find I’d only heard three of the songs beforeóthe Soulja Boy (because I have a weakness for KUBE 93), the Regina Spektor (because I like her), and the Le Tigre (which is shaping up to be an eternal classic, the “Johnny B. Goode” of electroclash or whatever). The rest was all new, which I considered a good sign.

Even better, it all sounds good and goes down easy. Thank you, niece Sarah, for making me a mix CD I don’t have to pretend to like.

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Nice. This reminds me: There was a recent This American Life about testosterone; one of the segments was a 37-year-old mom talking about how hard it is to communicate with/understand her 15-year-old son. At one point she lists some of the bands he's into. I'm preparing for Staind, Puddle of Mudd, Coheed & Cambria, etc.; nope, it's And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, Pixies, Nirvana (which she's OK with, but "only the unplugged one"), and other stuff that many 30-somethings would be totally stoked about. What is wrong with this chick? She hit the cool-kid jackpot!

Posted by Levislade | March 13, 2008 12:10 PM

oh! What a great mix. I'm 16. Maybe you could hook me up, eh?

Posted by Morgan | March 13, 2008 7:47 PM

A 16 year old girl that likes Melt-Banana? That is really awesome! I hope she starts a band.

Posted by bunnypuncher | March 13, 2008 7:57 PM

every thing is nearly right in the world again.

(exception being "crank that")

Posted by terry miller | March 14, 2008 8:30 AM

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