“Twinkle” to Top 40: A Music Revolution

“I’m going to the basement,” my just turned 4-year-old daughter declared.

“Sure,” I said while trying to de-clutter the kitchen.

A few minutes later I heard loud music coming from the karaoke machine and a little voice belt into the microphone:

“I’M FEELIN’ SEXY AND FREEEEE!”

I froze.

And proceeded to hear my tiny child sing the song “Domino” – (by Jesse J, if you’ve never had the pleasure) complete with lyrics:

Dancing in the moonlight… Take me down like I’m a Domino… Oh baby baby got me feelin’ so right…

The karaoke machine that started it all

The karaoke machine that started it all

I felt sure that a 4-year-old proclaiming her sexiness into a microphone cranked on high would bring protective services to my door in a matter of minutes.   So I went charging downstairs.  And turned the music off.

“I’m singing,” my child protested.

“I know,” I said.  “That’s the problem.”

This is the third child who cannot remember to put away the pile of naked Barbies strewn around her room, but yet has a mind like a steel trap when it comes to lyrics.  She can perform “Moves Like Jagger,” “Dynamite” and “Single Ladies”.  Not to mention multiple Lady Gaga tunes and “Home” by Phillip Phillips.

It’s my fault, I know I know I know.   Reason #324 why I will not receive the ‘Mother of the Year’ award.

She listens to music with her older sister.  A little Taylor Swift here, a little Katy Perry there.  I thought it was pretty harmless.  But after eight years of listening to nursery rhymes, toddler tunes and the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack, we’re finally listening to the radio when we’re all together in the van (I now know too  much about Radio Disney).  While I have a 9-year-old and a 7-year-old, I seem to have forgotten I still have a 4-year-old sitting in the back. With a really good memory.

As tried to figure out just when I lost all control of the proper upbringing of my child, I had flashbacks of my own history with risqué tunes at a young age.  I could sing Rod Stewart  (If you want my body and you think I’m sexy..) “Centerfold” by J. Geils Band was in my 45’s collection.   Who let me listen to that??

My mother.  Aha!  The same mother who let me  sing “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” by Paul Simon from the back of our station wagon.  She also let me listen to the soundtrack of “Jesus Christ Superstar” and a lot of Neil Diamond.  So perhaps it all balanced out.

I vowed to find better song selections to prevent my sweet child from turning in Honey Boo Boo’s best friend.   Perhaps some 80’s easy listening.  So on our way to Target (I’m always going to Target) I flipped the stations.  She heard a snippet of one song.

“Go back!”  she yelled.  “I like this one!”

I WANNA SCREAM AND SHOUT AND LET IT ALL OUT… “she sang.

Maybe Beauty and the Beast wouldn’t be so bad for a little while longer.

Living In The 90’s (Still)

Dearly beloved… we are gathered here today to celebrate this thing called life..

 I hear this while sitting at the pool, and think:

  1. I know every word to this song
  2. I burned up the gym floor in middle school dancing to this song (wearing ankle pegged stonewashed jeans)
  3. I would scream like a Beiber-loving tween if Prince walked up to me

And a goofy smile comes to my face.  Then I see two 10-year-olds look at each other and say:  “Omigod. What IS this song??”

A solid musical collection

WHAT?!  How can they not know… oh no… I’m sounding really old. I have just realized I am stuck in a musical time warp.   I turn to my Ipod for proof of any solid recent music.  Not much. But I am swimming in Pearl Jam, Live, Blues Traveler, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Counting Crows.  And a few solid songs from my Time Life discs called “Livin’ In The 90’s”.  (Rico Suave, anyone?)

For some reason my musical progression in life stopped around 2000.  But why? Do we only connect to music at certain times?  When we reach our 30’s, is our musical heart already full?  (Is it something to do with kids – because we have to listen to annoying children’s tunes all the time and can’t stay current with the top 40 charts?)  Sure, I listen to new music and like it. But I always seem to turn back to my comfort music.

When I hear Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” (which is a fantastic tune), I can’t remember anything in my life linked with that song. There’s no gut reaction. When I hear “Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon I don’t say, “Oh, that’s when we….” Nope.  Nothing.  Even with artists that have spanned the generations.  I love old school Madonna and Beastie Boys.  But their newer stuff doesn’t hold that same pull for me.

Who are those young kids?

So for my husband’s 40th birthday party last week, we kind of used the theme  “Party like we’re 25 again”.  I started making a list of all the great songs we listened to in our twenties and it turned into this nostalgic jam session at our computer.

Just hear the beginning notes of “Alive” by Pearl Jam and I’m instantly transported to a college bar (wearing a flannel shirt, of course)  I hear Dave Matthews, and I’m hanging out at the house I live at in Royal Oak with two other friends, talking about politics, life and possibilities.  Rob Base and DJ EZ RockIt Takes Two” brings me to a house party where I rapped while standing on a couch (I know you’re sad you missed that) Fiona Apple’s “Criminal” takes me to Chicago, where friends and I celebrated a promotion.

I thought that maybe I was the only crazy one.  But I just went to a birthday party for a friend turning 60 and the DJ was spinning only classic rock.  My parents are still partial to Chuck Berry.  My oldest sister still dreamily recounts the time she met the band Dead Milkmen and talked her way backstage at a Depeche Mode Concert.

So, I thought, being trapped in the 90’s isn’t so bad.  If I start pulling out old flannel shirts, well, that’s when you’ll have to stop me.

Tell me… what era are YOU stuck in?

Bonus feature:

Here’s my 90’s playlist:  how did I do?

Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, One  – U2

Into The Great Wide Open, Learning to Fly  – Tom Petty

Walk on the Ocean – Toad the Wet Sprocket

Interstate Love Song – Stone Temple Pilots

Up the Junction – Squeeze

Two Princes, Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong – Spin Doctors

Baby Got Back – Sir Mix-a-lot

Crazy – Seal

Possession – Sarah McLachlan

Give It Away – Red Hot Chili Peppers

Jeremy, Alive – Pearl Jam

Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana

You Get What You Give – New Radicals

All Over You – Live

Jump – Kris Kross

Right Here, Right Now – Jesus Jones

Closer To Fine – Indigo Girls

Bed Of Roses – Indians

Time, Hold My Hand – Hootie & the Blowfish

When I Come Around, Welcome to Paradise – Green Day

Found Out About You, Hey Jealousy – Gin Blossoms

Freedom – George Michael

Criminal – Fiona Apple

Unbelievable – EMF

Tripping Billies – Dave Matthews

Round Here – Counting Crows

Closer to Free – BoDeans

100 Years, But Anyway – Blues Traveler

So What’cha Want – Beastie Boys

You Oughta Know, All I Really Want – Alanis Morissette

Gangsta’s Paradise – Coolio

Whoomp! – Tag Team