Saturday, January 24, 2009

Lucia's Listening Party: Joy Division and Neutral Milk Hotel

As mentioned before, I have intentions on influencing my daughter's listening habits as much as humanly possible. Of course, at 4.5 months, Lucia has very little say in this matter. Who am I kidding? Lucia will have very little say in this area as long as I'm buying the records and paying the electric bill, but that's a topic for another day.

Today, Lucia got listen to a few of Daddy's records while he did things like folding laundry, watching college basketball, and dicking around on the internets.

The first record was a reissue of Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures. Honestly, I never really got into Joy Division before this past year when two films (one dramatized, the other nonfiction) were released. The band's, especially front man Ian Curtis', story is fascinating. Plus, they have had a huge influence on music despite only releasing two proper LP's.

Unknown Pleasures really holds up over the years. My copy was most likely given the remix treatment, but the songs and music stand up well in today's climate. I was really grooving to this record.

Lucia, on the other hand, did not seem to care for Joy Division. I suspect the album's downer mood had something to do with that. This baby prefers upbeat music, and Joy Division is anything but.

The next record was Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. This album really garnered Lu's attention. Of course, that may have been due to the fact that I was singing every word to her, which she seemed to approve.

Again, this record has really stood the test of time. Ten years have not wrought this album worthless. Like a good barley wine, it ages well and gains complexity. It's funny how several bands have capitalized on Neutral Milk Hotel's sound over the years to have their own success, proving that the band's work has a timeless aspect to it. Consider Beirut and Zach Condon's insistence to include trumpet breaks in every song. He would have never gotten away with that before Neutral Milk Hotel.

I tried to play Deerhunter's Cryptograms, but I had to turn it off once I realized that the bass coming from my stereo was rather audible in Lucia's room where she was now taking a nap.

I have plans to sneak in some more music during my time with Lucia. So far, she has liked Built to Spill's There's Nothing Wrong with Love and Pavement's Slanted and Enchanted, plus today's Neutral Milk Hotel selection. She has not liked Joy Division (not exactly baby music) and Wowee Zowee (that's 50% for Pavement). Tomorrow we might set the needle to a Leonard Cohen album a friend gave me or possibly a Silver Jews (RIP) record.


Huey said...

I love what you're doing with lil' Lu. The funnest part of being a daddy for me is this kind of sharing of things I love whether it is music or displeasure of the word michigan.

Roving Gambler said...

Enjoyed your post. I have been taught about the people/bands you mentioned by my son. Of course, he is 19 now. Every parent seems to think they will influence their kids musical tastes. I got lucky and this son loves Dylan, as do I. His sister leaves the room when I play Bob. Oh well. One of the great things about parenting is it teaches you humility and hopefully to pick your battles. Best of luck.
You showed up on Google's news alert dealy so that's cool.
I have a music news site at Lakin Report. Let me know if you come across anything you think I should know about.