Our lives of rebellion have turned full circle. Once, when we were pubescents, we sought to fly free from the hippie clutches of our parents, and find solace in the Generation Y of it all. Now, I find myself more and more interested in what things were like for my Mom and Dad when they were my age. They aren’t caretakers anymore, they’re friends and teachers. And because their opinions carry such weight, I thought it would be interesting to get their take on some of the music that’s groovy today. Glenn (visiting from Washington) and I sat down and put five eclectic songs to our parent’s ears. What we got…was pure gold.
1. Bachelorette – “Blanket”
Annabel Alpers is the New Zealand electronica siren with a grad degree. As Bachelorette, she melds with her equipments, often emerging as a fantastical entity in her songs. “Blanket” is the ever-expanding first single from her forthcoming self-titled Bachelorette.
Glenn’s Mom> “Turn it up.”
Matt’s Dad> “Well, I like the harmonics and the key it was in was very nice, but her voice and lyrics were all drowned out. It was highlighting the synthesizers but not her voice. It wasn’t coherent.”
Matt’s Mom> “Yeah, I liked the music more than the voice. But it sounds like thunderous waves, with undertones bubbling up. The interlatent (not a word) sounds were very nice.”
Glenn’s Mom> “I could listen to this for a little while. But I wouldn’t buy it or search it out. I like the beat though!”
Glenn’s Dad> [In the back, gardening]
2. The War On Drugs – “Baby Missiles”
The Philly Americana band have a new album coming out in August (8/16/11) called Slave Ambient. “Baby Missiles” is the first galloping preview we have from the old Kurt Vile outfit.
Glenn’s Dad> “Turn it up.”
Glenn’s Mom> [toe tapping] “I like this! It’s like we’re going on a road trip!”
Matt’s Mom> “Oooo harmonica solo!”
Matt’s Dad> “There’s elements of Dylan and Springsteen in there somewhere.”
Matt’s Mom> “So they’re gonna send out baby missiles to fight the war on drugs?”
Glenn’s Dad> “Sounds like John Lennon to me. It definitely doesn’t turn me off.”
Matt’s Mom and Dad> “Couldn’t understand 1 word.” [fact: hearing begins to decline in the early 60’s.]
3. Fleet Foxes – “Grown Ocean”
Helplessness Blues from Fleet Foxes has given way to two singles thus far; the title track, and now an amazingly high tempo “Grown Ocean” that doesn’t let up till the very end.
Matt’s Mom> “I’m traveling through a tunnel right now.”
Glenn’s Dad> “Oh! I’ve heard this on the radio!”
Glenn’s Mom> “That’s neat! Very interesting background vocals. The beat didn’t match the the song though. ‘Baby Missiles’ is still my favorite so far.”
Matt’s Mom> “It’s like the vocals are coming from a cheap studio maybe?”
Matt’s Dad> “Yeah, it’s like the original melody was recorded live at an outdoor concert. At the end, it sounded like they finally came inside.”
4. F*#ked Up – “A Little Death”
The Indie-Thrash hybrid band F*#cked Up have a rollicking new album called David Comes to Life (out 6/7/11). It’s a four-part Rock Opera that chisels the story of two young lovers (David and Veronica) hatching big plans for their lives.
Glenn’s Mom> [twenty seconds in] “Nope, don’t like it. Don’t like the yelling. Too loud.”
Matt’s Mom> [with a shocked look] “I don’t think I would classify his voice as music. I hate it! He sounds like a screaming mimi! His vocal chords are going to be very damaged when he’s older.”
Glenn’s Dad> “Well, the background reminds me of a rougher version of The Who.”
Matt’s Dad> [pauses] “This is actually my favorite so far! It’s inventive! It’s refreshing! The guitar was very creative, it let me overlook the singing.”
5. Joel Plaskett – “When I Go”
The Canadian songwriter has been making great tunes for 12 years now. On June 14th, he’s releasing a great collection of demos, rarities, outtakes and B-sides called EMERGENCYs, false alarms, shipwrecks, castaways, fragile creatures, special features, demons and demonstrations. “When I Go” is just one of the hidden greats.
Joel Plaskett – When I Go by thebrokenspeaker
Matt’s Mom> “I can finally understand this! Hooray!”
Glenn’s Mom> “I love this! I can understand it too!”
Glenn’s Dad> “The acoustic instruments are clear, crisp.”
Matt’s Dad> “It’s like a reflection; thoughtfulness. The piece had cohesiveness. You aren’t left with scattered pieces when you finish listening.”
Matt’s Mom> “This is my absolute favorite! Fabulous guitar playing and likable accompaniment!”
Matt’s Dad> “His falsetto needs work though. It was straining a bit. But he seems like a young man off to a good start.”
Glenn’s Mom> “Neat lyrics! I really like what he’s saying. Definitely my favorite.”
Matt’s Mom> “It’s like he’s longing for the past: a reverie………………………could’ve done without the OooOooohs though.”
A big THANKYOU! to our parents for sitting down and allowing us to do this with them. With the amount of abuse we put them through, they no doubt have a few more grey hairs than when they began.