Saturday, March 15, 2008

The One Record With Which My Kid Should Grow

I once considered the music I would expose to my kid. As important as music is to me, it's even more important that I am able to pass it on to the next generation. Now that I will actually have my own kid to corrupt, I've had to carefully choose the album with which he/she will grow old.

When making such an important decision, one must consider several factors. First of all, the record must be solid from beginning to end. It has to be loaded with angst, regret, hope, and love. Since I will play the record from the beginning of this human being's life, the record must contain both a certain naiveté and at the same time a worldliness that will age like a good wine. The album must be a hidden treasure that not everyone has on their iTunes, but be a classic to a particular niche audience as well. It should speak to the child and his/her experiences while including a world view that goes beyond those limitations.

I have a lot of favorites and have tried on numerous occasions to quantify those favorites into top-5 lists or blog posts or whatever. This is not an easy task, especially when one is trying to narrow down a ridiculous obsession into one, quintessential example to pass on to one's offspring.

The one album I want to play first for my kid was finally revealed to me last week while flipping through my iPod for some driving music.

In the morning/Feeling half right
If it was more than just one day, I'd feel alright.
The twisting guitar chords feel so familiar, so hopeful. The sparse production makes it personal. The singer's voice is that of a "close" friend.

And so begins Built to Spill's 1994 release, There's Nothing Wrong with Love, the first record I intend on playing for our kid in its entirety. It's one of those perfect albums that doesn't do too much but takes you places you've never been and makes you see things in ways you never thought were possible.The album has a little bit of everything. There's that loud-quiet-loud aesthetic made popular by Pixies. There are love songs, songs about death, and songs about life. There's even a little comedy mixed in.

This record is everything a first favorite record should be. And I will play it for my kid until it wears out.

Of course, I can't guarantee that the Dingo-Early spawn will love Built to Spill, but it will be a part of his/her consciousness. My brother, sister, and I used to moan and groan over the Willie Nelson and Stones records my parents played for us, but none of us would ever deny our appreciation for those artists and the many others our 'rents shared with us.

So, our child will grow up with There's Nothing Wrong with Love, and there's nothing wrong with that.


Blogger's Note: I'll see Built to Spill this Sunday at the Blue Note with Meat Puppets, a band I haven't seen since 1993 in an opening slot for Nirvana. Most likely there will be a post about it. Also, this is my 200th post on this blog. The funny thing is that it took me more than a year to reach the first 100 and about 6 months to reach the second.


Pizza Cottontail said...

Have you seen Built to Spill before? I saw them at the Blue Note a few years ago...I wasn't underwhelmed, but I wasn't overwhelmed either. Maybe it was a long tour for them, and they had sort of a "phone in" night. Maybe I was just really tired.

But they're one of my faves. I heart them. Them with the Meat Puppets should be a killer show.

Are you going to Mojo's on St. Patty's Day by any chance? Columbia transplants Mahjongg, Fleet Foxes, and my boys Blitzen Trapper are going to be there. If you're going (or know any hipsters who are), send me an email...I have a favor to ask.

comoprozac said...

I have seen them before (heck, I've seen Martsch on his solo tour) and they have been way better than the last time at the Blue Note.

I wanted to go to Mojo's based on your rec, but I think I'm too busy in the days to come. We'll see.

There are some other people who read this blog that might be going. You should post your request here.

Pizza Cottontail said...

Roger that.

If anyone is going to the Blitzen Trapper/Mahjongg/Fleet Foxes show, I have a favor to ask. Blitzen Trapper (my current rock 'n roll man crushes, except for maybe perpetually hot Bruce Springsteen) have a tour-only EP they'll be selling at the show.

I'm sad that I'm going to miss them, because they put on a heckuva show--the closest they're coming to my area is the 6-hour-away Salt Lake City on a weeknight, so I won't make it to that, either. Grumble, grumble.

Anyway, I'm looking for someone to pick up a copy of the tour-only EP for me. If you do, I'll pay you for the EP, plus the price of admission to the show. Heck, if something traumatic happens at the show, I might even pitch in for a beer.

Email me at courtoism [at] gmail [dot] com if you're interested in helping out this sad ol' boy.

Jake said...

Stab is a wonderful wonderful song. This is a pretty good album, and i could see why you'd want to play it to your child. It's got accessibility without being too accessible, if that makes any sense.

comoprozac said...

It does make sense, actually. I think it also describes the quality that this and several other good indie records have in common.