Killing Myself to Listen

I knew I had a lot of music to get to this weekend, but something about enforced listening reminds me of my torturous first year at Manhattan School of Music.  To avoid any freak-outs,  I dragged my eight-year-old son into the process. He wants to be a rock star so it really seemed to be a no brainer.  Here’s what we checked out:

Charlotte Gainsbourg – At first I think I might like this. It’s like Grey’s Anatomy (soundtrack) meets Bjork pre swan dress.

“Is she Indie?” I ask Liam.

“Of course she’s not Indie, she’s more New Wave,” he explains.

“What’s the difference?” I ask.

“New Wave came out of punk, and glam rock.  Indie is all about clean guitars and singers who sort of whine,”

I beam with pride.  It’s nice having such an informed son.

“Besides,” he continues, “She can’t be Indie because she’s French, and Indie bands are all from India.”

Did I mention he’s only eight?

But the more the song continues the more it feels like you have to be on drugs (tranquilizers maybe) to fully enjoy this music.  At one point, she starts singing in French, maybe she is French, but unless she’s Edith Piaf or Salif Keita, there is no reason to sing in French.  Ever.  Still, the song reaches the chorus and there’s an interesting Bartok-esque interlude with strings that’s actually really cool.  I could listen to this music if I could lie down.

Verdict: Possiblity. Stays on the list.  I’m going to see if the tent has chaise lounges before I decide for certain.

The Cribs – Liam says they are a four piece Indie Rock band.

“I don’t think they’re from India though,” I joke.

He doesn’t find this funny.

Some of these guys used to be in the Smiths, that painfully hip band most associated with Zoe Deschanel and indie films involving heartache, forbidden love and/or suicide.

“It’s just boring,” I tell him, “It’s like you have to pretend to like them.”

“I know, they don’t do aything for me either.”

Verdict:  Crossing off the list

*Addendum:  Tubbs has just read this and is rather shocked at my disdain for the Cribs.  After a brief back and forth, we have agreed to disagree.

Public Imagine Limited – Liam explains of them, “This is post punk alternative rock new wave.”

“Can it really be that many things?” I ask.

“Mom, Johnny Rotten is the lead singer, so anything is possible,” he answers.

I google the band, and find out that John Lyndon is the lead singer.

“Actually, the lead singer is John Lyndon,” I correct him.

This causes severe eye rolling, “Mom, that is Johnny Rotten’s real last name.”

I’m a tad embarrassed.  In grammar school, I owned two Sex Pistols albums, and at one point fancied myself something of a punk (I had clothespins in my t-shirts and everything!).  Still, after further listening I feel like Sid Vicious had it right, go out in a blaze of glory.  I mean who can take anyone seriously after you’ve done I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here?

“Do you like this?” I ask him.

“No, it lacks honesty,” he says.

I really love my son.

Verdict: Crossing off the List

Grizzly Bear – Brooklyn based folk rock band.  I love Brooklyn.  I’m down with the 718 in a big way.  Liam has left the room on this one and as I listen, I can pretty much sum up this band in a quick flash.  It goes something like this:   Remember high school?  Remember how there was always a boy – you know the type:  poet, dreamer, musician.  This is exactly what he would listen to as he waxed poetic about his intense disdain for the establishment and how his parents were out of touch; and you would tell yourself that you liked the music, but in reality you just wanted to make out with him, so listening to the music, and listening to him blather on, was really just about killing time.

Verdict: Crossing off the List.  I don’t want to kill time listening to them.

Next up: Your brain on music.

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