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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Trying (and Failing) to DJ For My Mom

posted by on June 12 at 14:29 PM

I spent a long day in the car with my parents yesterday. Before I even put my seatbelt on I plugged in an iPod and commandeered the stereo, but I promised to try and play music that I thought they – specifically my mom – would enjoy. I’m always trying to introduce her to modern music, but it rarely ever sticks. First choice: Fleet Foxes. She loves CSNY; she should be able to get down with this. She doesn’t seem to mind it, even comments that she likes the song “Blue Ridge Mountains.”

Six hours later after a nap on a ferry ride I decide to put on something a little more upbeat. I’ve been picking records I thought she would enjoy (or at least tolerate) all day, now I’m going to show my dad what Daughters sounds like. They rile my mother’s feathers (obviously), and she demands I turn it off. Then she takes it a step further: “All the music you’ve played today has been annoying.” I am aghast. She didn’t like anything I picked for her – She & Him, Portishead S/T, M. Ward’s Post War, Sleeping People (that one was more for me). “What about Elliott Smith? I played one of his records and you like him,” I say.

“I don’t remember hearing that.” (She asked if it was Kings of Convenience when I put it on, one of the few bands I’ve actually sold her on)
“What about Fleet Foxes? You liked them, right?”
“Eh,” she mutters, “Parts.”

I put on Magical Mystery Tour. After a few songs she is at ease. “It’s nice to finally hear something I’m comfortable with,” she says. The song playing as she says this: “Your Mother Should Know.” I do not believe the coincidence to be premeditated.

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I remember driving around with my mom and playing her some local bands that I knew. I then put on "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" and she asked if these were friends of mine too. Such an awesome mom thing to say!

Posted by tallchris | June 12, 2008 3:09 PM

There's an age at which your brain is no longer excited by or open to new music; instead all you can stand to hear are songs you've heard before. That's my theory. It's happening to me already.

Posted by Amy Kate Horn | June 12, 2008 3:51 PM

But surely it doesn't have to be that way, even if it's that way for most people, right?

Posted by Eric Grandy | June 12, 2008 4:09 PM

@3 Right.

Posted by segal | June 12, 2008 7:36 PM

It never happened to John Peel, and I can't see it happening to me. Not that I'm as cool as John Peel, but.... you know.

I got my mom into Bright Eyes, and I think my sister turned her on to Ryan Adams.

Posted by bunnypuncher | June 12, 2008 9:05 PM

Same for me @3,4 and 5. I'm 32 and still love discovering, listening to and loving new music more than anything else in the world.

Yes, the vast majority of people stop seeking out new music in college. I'm not one of them, and I don't think I ever will be.

Posted by me too | June 13, 2008 12:06 AM

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