Saturday, April 11, 2009

Little Boys: Music, Madness and Mayhem

My boys are really fond of music. And they are fond of a great variety of music. From folk to classical, from classic rock to oldschool country. In yougest's case, I suspect it is as much being fond of things that his brother likes and liking most things that come his way. In eldest's case, he is somewhat more picky, but only in regards to particular artists or bands he doesn't like - he is pretty fond of most every genre of music he's heard. He goes on tangents, not ending his appreciation for bents he's been on previously, but getting really excited about particular kinds that he comes across and getting obsessed with that genre for a while. Lately, he's been really big on bagpipes.

So today I was letting him pick from music on my computer. He noticed the folder labeled Tool and, being quite fond of tools, decided to give it a try. Now mind you, he was very fond of Rage Against the Machine, from when he was about nine or ten months, until he was about twenty nine or thirty months and we figured out that he was actually repeating "Fuck you I won't do what you tell me..." We started being quite a bit more careful about the music he was listening to at that point and rarely has he listened to anything really heavy, though he was into the Dead Kennedys and The Clash for a while.

Within minutes of Tool going on chaos ensued, with fourteen month old and seven year old thrashing, laughing and having a hella great time. After of few songs the eldest asked if I had anything else like this and I put on Linkin Park for them - if anything, this was even better. Youngest didn't even need big brother's example and started the thrashing (which mostly involves shaking his head and ass back and forth and falling over a lot). We also listened to The Haunted and some Rage, though I was rather careful about which songs we listened to.

So now eldest is probably going on a metal bent. I am going to be careful about which songs go on, but I am compiling a cd for him to put on his mp3 player. We did spend the last couple hours before bed, listening to bagpipe music and looking at Scottish folk dancing - so that obsession's not spent yet, but I daresay that it is going to be supplanted with his new obsession for metal. Thankfully (as angry as I am with her) his mom probably won't mind - she's rather fond of most of the music I'm putting on the disk and used to his musical obsessions. That, and watching the boys dance is a fucking riot - dancing with youngest is also a lot of fun - though he kept trying to headbutt me while thrashing - apparently he's rather fond of headbutting now, thanks to his twisted older brother...

What I really love about this though - we started the day with Celtic folk music in the van. Then we were listening to Neil Young, after lunch and playing at the park - which youngest fell away for his nap to. After he woke up eldest discovered Tool and we listened to metal for a couple hours (with bits of riding the scooter out front, here and there). From there we got to bagpipes and now they've had story time and fallen asleep to Vivaldi's four seasons and papa's mellowing down with some Verdi (not necessarily my first choice at the moment, but of the things that won't wake anyone up Rigoletto is at the top right now).

Why you might ask, do I love this so? Because I have this sort of mix on my mp3 player at any given point and it's always on shuffle. If I am listening from the computer, I either listen to Pandora - which if I'm not working on a paper is on quick-mix, all stations included, or I listen to all my music on mix. About the only time my mp3 player's not on shuffle, is when I am driving - in which case it's mostly metal or audio books (if only I could play both at once...).

I am also thrilled to discover that the eldest is still bent on playing music and writing his own, just like papa - but not just because papa writes music. No, he is very fond of the music and I suspect also hears it in his head. As he's gotten older and more capable of humming clearly and improving his whistling, it's become more apparent what he's doing. And when asked where he heard this or that before, he responds; "in my head." Given my own issues, it makes me weep with equal parts great joy and great sorrow.

At the very least, he has a papa who will never just smile and nod and pretend he understands when he doesn't.

And the youngest has fucking amazing rhythm. While eldest would sporadically find himself on a beat and hold it for a bit, youngest is just the opposite. He occasionally doesn't carry a beat - but by and large he bangs on things with a remarkable sense of rhythm, for a fourteen month old.

3 comments:

Tyler DiPietro said...

It's interesting that you got into The Haunted. How did my recommendation hold up?

It's cool to hear that the kids are so into good music ('cept Linkin Park). For some more metal classics try Faith No More and Dream Theatre (not altogether similar, but they're the first things that come to mind). Also be sure to check out some Deftones, especially post-Around the Fur stuff. It's really cool how they can mix eroticism and ambiance with metal and still keep it aggressive.

Also, teach them how to form a mosh-pit. It's a valuable skill to have. ;)

DuWayne Brayton said...

Trust me, I don't think they'll ever have a problem in the mosh-pit department. They were doing quite well at attempting that with just the two of them, this afternoon.

I will definitely check out your recommendations, but I am definitely inclined to take care with what they actually hear. One of the reasons we listened to the variety we did, was because I was selective about the individual songs they were listening to.

I really do love the variety of music they are enthusiastic about now, because I think it will definitely serve eldest well, when he actually starts writing music down and I suspect that youngest will at the least dabble and will also be well served.

I tend to appreciate my exposure to the diversity of the music I get into and it definitely translates into my writing. But I tend to think that it would have had a much better impact on my music, had I been exposed to that variety much earlier.

At the same time, I'm not sure how much it would have done for me even then, because I did hear a bit of this and a piece of that - and I didn't like most of it. Whereas eldest tends to latch into things very quickly and even if he doesn't like a particular band much and that band is his first exposure to that music, he doesn't decide that's going to prevent him getting excited about that type of music.

He is a whole lot more open to new experience than I was at that age.

Toaster Sunshine said...

Give them some Mr. Bungle, Mindless Self Indulgence, Fantomas, and Tub Ring. I think the music is designed for excitable children.

Failing that, there's Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, The Bloodhound Gang, and The Beastie Boys.