The Police – Synchronicity II
For Christmas, my younger sister put out a request for some music for her 14-year-old son. You see, though she was exposed to a wide variety of music as a young child and tween, by the time she hit high school, the rest of us were all out of the house. She played the piano and she liked to sing and she was good at both so my mother got her involved in the youth orchestra and some choral groups. I would make her tapes to try to keep her informed about new music that wouldn’t get air play on the local radio but the pull of her everyday music was strong. She spent so much time practicing that she didn’t have much time to listen to other stuff. By the time she got to college she was an early music voice major and it was all over. She met her future husband at the Gilbert & Sullivan society on campus and that was about as modern as her music collection got. Those grade school years spent singing along to I Wanna Be Sedated were all but forgotten.
As a toddler, my nephew could identify all the classical composers that were in constant rotation in their house. And I do mean constant. They have one of those multi-disc players and from the moment my brother-in-law comes down in the morning until they go up to bed at night, some kind of (usually choral) classical music is playing.
As her kids have gotten older, they’ve expressed an interest in listening to the top 40 stations in the car and she’s obliged. I think she’s hoping to make sure they fit in with their peers but it’s not usually music she completely endorses. And especially for a 14-year-old boy, she knows there’s better stuff out there, she just doesn’t know what it is. So she appealed to her older siblings to help out. She was thinking about what was playing in the house when she was young; David Bowie, The Police, Talking Heads but modern stuff was fine too.
I split the difference. I ordered a Kishi Bashi CD, thinking that might interest my cello playing nephew who has been immersed in classical music his entire life, since he puts a new twist on what you expect from a classically trained violinist. Then I made him a CD with a couple of Ramones songs, some Clash, The Police, Talking Heads, and Elvis Costello. I have to say, it’s pretty good. It’s skimming the surface to be sure but I tried to keep my quirky nephew in mind and picked songs that I think he might like. It has the bonus feature of being all songs my little sister will instantly recognize and shock her kids by being able to sing along, and, dare I say it, rock out? If my nephew doesn’t like it, I think she will at least.