Saturday, January 1, 2011

Everest's Year End List

I think the name of the CD was Go Bananas by The Wiggles. It looks like this. Tailor-made kids sing alongs. Everest's grandma got it for us, and I really should have given it more of a chance than 0 listens. But these CDs irritated me when I was little. For completely selfish reasons I tried to impress upon my 2-year old other music; music that we like. And to smashing success! But not what I'd expect, exactly. These are Everest's Top Five Albums of 2010.

5. Stokes Field Guide to Bird Songs ~ Western Region

"See the mourning dove," said Everest on December 31st. The dawn of bird call recognition has begun, and it started with this 4-CD intimidator pack of bird calls. This collection is annoying because several bird species will appear on each individual track, but Everest's interest in hearing the birds and seeing their accompanying pictures (in iTunes) piqued as soon as I showed it to him. He knows the calls of red-tailed hawk, Wilson's snipe, and sandhill crane, though he has yet to see them in person.

4. The Glitch Mob ~ Drink The Sea

This was one of those albums I was really high on for a while, and I tried to get Everest to dance to it often. The first time he requested "hear da gitch mob" I swelled with pride. More profound for him, though, was likely the album cover. When scrolling through iTunes, he would ask to either see the Lights Out Asia cover with the sun and clouds or this one: superimposed numerology symbols atop a desert field with an astronaut and, his favorite, a snake. At two and a half, this kid can already differentiate between boas and cobras. Not that the Glitch Mob gets credit for that, but his proclivity for snakes was identified early thanks to this album.

3. Fever Ray ~ Fever Ray

There has only been one album E-man has asked to hear more than the number one on this list, and that's Fever Ray. Hearing a two year old utter the name of Karin Dreijer Andersson's alt-electro project from 2009 is just too adorable. If I had to hear Go Bananas over and over, I'd probably drive off a cliff. Instead, the repetition of these melifluous tunes is welcome, and it primes our child for a wider range of what pop music can sound like. Have you heard her voice on some of these tracks? It is Zuul. Since E's scared of fireworks, it's nice to know a nocturnal alienade can put him at ease.

2. Expo 70 ~ Black Ohms

I've mentioned this record before as being a prime album to put my kid to sleep to. It still works. Something about the buzzing drones and echoey guitars are mesmerizing for Everest. And me. I feel a strong sense of comfort when I've got him lying on my chest while I sway in the rocking chair at those times when there's no way Mom can give any more. Given that E still breastfeeds, it's a triumph to be able to put him to sleep myself, and Black Ohms has accompanied a high percentage of these times. And what obscure music fan wouldn't just die at their son asking, "Hear the drones dad. The black CD." I'm in love.

1. Scissor Sisters ~ Night Work

I bought this album for Julia. I had little interest in the band, but sometimes you just do nice things for your true love. That was five months ago. Now I know just about all the lyrics, have been to a Scissor Sisters concert, and am seriously considering buying a tee shirt. But not for me. For Everest. I cannot believe how much he loves this album. Its cheeky, gay innuendos matched with BeeGees harmonies, nocturnal four on the floors, and genuinely good song writing seem to be the perfect match for my two year old. He asks for this album (the red one; and on rare occasion, the brown one) pretty much every day now. There's a really good way to know if an album or a movie is actually any good and that's how many times you can stand to listen to it. The Iron Giant is a good enough film where we could watch it over and over and still find wonderful things in it. Same goes with Night Work. I never thought I'd be saying this, but this is actually a good album. Couple of songs I could do without, but overall, the narrative it strives to tell is spot on. All the pieces fit. It's funny, it's fabulous, and Everest can't live without it.
"Go for a drive, dad. Hear scissor sissters."
"How about a different album this time? There's so much music in the world."
"How 'bout scissor sissters?"
"Will you promise to fall asleep?"
"Scissor sissters. The red one."
"Dear god."

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