When I was a kid, I admittedly listened to my fair share of terrible music. My parents did a good job of giving me a decent music education early on… introducing me to classic bands that define the music industry.
But despite that, I still got sucked into jamming to the popular and the ridiculous. I don’t know many children of the 80s who didn’t own a New Kids on the Block cassette tape, and I am no exception. I’m pretty sure that my copy of Hangin’ Tough still resides in a box in my mom’s attic, along with many other gems. Amy Grant, Paula Abdul, various mixes that I made myself… all equally embarrassing.
As I got older, I went through different music “phases”, if you will. I tested the waters of rap and hip hop while dressing daily in wide leg jeans and Nike track suits. I became immersed in the world of alternative and grunge while I walked down the street in black t-shirts, dark makeup, and choker necklaces. I embraced my preppy side and became a boyband fan girl, dressed in a full Aeropostale wardrobe.
I didn’t just listen to the music, I entered the culture of whatever genre piqued my interest at the time. And my parents tolerated all of it. They didn’t blast it in the car or sing along with me, but they never told me to “turn that racket down”. So I figure that I owe my kids the same respect.
The moment we get in the car, the three of them start trying to dictate the radio. If I even attempt to put on my music, there’s a full-on riot in the back seat. Of course, they all want to listen to Top 40 pop craziness and I end up having to hear the same song for the zillionth time. A song that was originally okay quickly becomes insufferable between the combination of radio play and my children’s neverending desire to hear it. I reach the point where I tell myself that if I hear it one more time, I’m going to rip my ears off.
But as awful as it is, I still acquiesce. Not just to keep the peace. Not just to cease the complaints and whines. But because they truly love the stuff. It’s one of the few times that they’re all joyous and happy at once.
Calvin latches onto anything catchy (but specifically anything where Adam Levine is involved), sings along like a pro and doesn’t care of you’re listening.
Elysa loves to sing her favorites (preferably Katy Perry and Ellie Goulding), but clams up the moment she thinks you’ve heard her and her adorable voice.
Delanie is more apt to put her efforts into the rap part of a pop song. Think Nicki Minaj and Iggy Azalea… Delanie can keep up with them and does so with pure atitude. Or she’ll start headbanging or dancing in her seat to a heavier rock song. She’s more into the theatrics, I think.
But the bottom line is, the three of them are having a blast. And if I means that I have to listen to a less than mediocre song for the umpteenth time, then I suppose it’s a small price to pay.
I will say, Delanie has made me proud my discovering lesser known artists before they’ve really broken through into the music scene and spending her time listening to those as opposed to the radio. She’s also one of those who is very fierce in her “but I heard them first” declaration. One of her favorites, Melanie Martinez, has recently gained more attention and while Delanie is thrilled for the singer’s success, she’s sad that so many people are suddenly claiming to be Melanie’s #1 fan. She and I have had discussions about how she has no ownership over Melanie or her music and that other people are allowed to like her, but I can’t help feel a bit of sympathy for her. It’s rough when someone goes from playing smaller venues to larger ones. The cost, the ambiance… die-hard, long-term fans suffer a little bit.
So as you can tell, all three of my kids are passionate about music in their own ways. The girls have both been to concerts and I’ve sure Calvin’s first isn’t too far off. I am raising some pretty good music addicts and even though the quality isn’t always there, I think I can deal with it. As long as they’re listening.