Top Five for the Home Drive

As I am writing this, I am currently in a birthing/delivery room at Shawnee Mission Medical Center, looking at my six-day old daughter. As I look at her peaceful, slumbering face, I am not so much thinking about how much I love her, or how am I going to afford sending her to college or what kind of husband she is going to marry, but... what kind of music am I going to play in the car as I drive her home for the first time.

This is a big deal. Not only is it her first trip in a car, it's going to be the first time she hears music, and not just any music, but MY music. If my plans on grooming her to be the next Corin Tucker are to be seen through, I can't pass this by. I can't afford to have her choose, say, Duffy over KT Tunstall or Miley over the Jonas Brothers. What if because of my selections during the twenty-drive home, fourteen years from now she is begging me to by The Pussycat Dolls MP6 instead of The Velvet Underground's Greatest Hits? Instead of wanting to learn guitar or keys, she wants to sit on the couch watching TV and thought-texting friends living on a Martian colony (a lot can happen in fourteen years).

So I pose the question: What would you play for your child (gender doesn't matter, of course), on that ride home from the hospital. To paraphrase High Fidelity, what are your Top Five for the Home Drive? Now, these are off the top of my head, so I don't have a deep explanation or well-thought out plan as to why, and it's also 12 am, so I don't want to take the next thirty minutes to explain, so I'll give a one-sentence-ish defense:

1. "Baby" Imperial Teen
Well, that' pretty self-explanatory: "I love baby/Baby is a doll". Plus, female singers who also play instruments!

2. "Modern Girl" Sleater Kinney
"My baby loves me, I'm so happy/Happiness make me a modern girl". Starts as a sing-a-long then distorts to blown speakers.

3. "I Feel Fine" The Beatles
The first music my daughter hears should be one of the first rock songs to have feedback (and they do say "baby").

4. "Picture Book" The Kinks
Great tune about family (who you see a lot of when you have a kid) and remembering them with pics (which you take a lot of when you have a kid). Also, Ray Davies says "Scooby-dooby doo", which kids love.

5. "No Surprises" Radiohead
Sounds like a lullaby for a dying alien, but it's good for her to start understanding life and death before I have to actually explain it to her. Also gets points for the Rockabye Lullaby version, which is on her iTunes in her room, along with songs of Coldplay, Smashing Pumpkins, The Stones, and The Ramones.

Thanks to Matt for inviting me to write with him, and I'll be posting some more in the future. Maybe add some pics and videos as soon as I figure that stuff out. Let me know your Top Five for the Home Drive!



Anonymous said...

Great list. Great post. Looking forward to more from you, Chris. I'd add Lions and Tigers from Sleater-Kinney to your list instead of Modern Girl.

Matt said...

Chris, I'd appreciate if you could have started off on this blog with something a little mediocre and not expose me as the piss-poor writer that I am. Great Post!!

I've been thinking about this a lot. I've got a new 4 day old nephew so I think I can identify a bit with the sentiment (at least it's good timing). I thought should I go the obvious route and pick something like 'Superstar' by the Carpenters (for excessive use of the word 'Baby')? Or should it be the first five songs I want a new baby to hear because of the significance of the tunes in general? I decided to do a little of both

Here's my top 5:

'Stay Up Late' - The Talking Heads (It was between this one and 'This Must Be The Place' but I had to go with 'Stay Up Late' for obvious reasons)

'Cemetary Polka' - Tom Waits (It's never too early to expose someone to Tom Waits, although this song could potentially scare them)

'Here Comes The Sun' - The Beatles (There has to be a Beatles song included, this one's one of my favorites and can't be a bad first song for a newborn to hear)

'Many Rivers To Cross' - Jimmy Cliff (Another one that's included because it's a beautiful song and could never be a bad pick for a newborns first exposure to music)

'Teenage Riot' - Sonic Youth (You definitely want to establish a sense of rebellion and individuality in the baby's life at a very early age. Also it's possibly the perfect "alternative" rock song and, once again, it's never too early to hear some Sonic Youth)

Chris said...

Good list!I mixed mine up to, between baby references and just cool music, so I went with the: baby references, lullaby style, and style of music I like.

I think if we played Radiohead and Tom Waits the infant would possibly kill themselves..

Kevin said...

Shit guys, if everybody else is doing it, I guess so should I.

In no particular order:

1) Blitzen Trapper - "Furr" Not sure what this song is really about, but it sounds like a history of a guy, growing up meeting someone he loves and all of that kind of thing. Good stuff for a new shorty to hear. Plus its a peaceful piece.

2) Bob Dylan - "Man in Me" Read the lyrics. This one is self explanatory.

3) Mos Def & Talib Kweli (Black Star) - "Respiration" I'm cynical enough to say "this world is fucked" but hopeful enough to see beyond that. The song is about hard times in the city. A new little one should learn early to keep their chin up and keep looking forward with open eyes and ears.

4) Animal Collective - "My Girls" Off of their new album. This song is all about love and family and that kind of stuff. Catchy beat, and there's a lyric that goes like "I just want four walls and adobe slabs for my girls"... I've got two dogs, a cat, and a girlfriend - all girls - and assuming this new child is a girl, that lyric would fit in place quite nicely.

5) Midlake "Head Home" - "Bring me a day full of honest work
and a roof that never leaks
I'll be satisfied"... this one is also self explanatory if you've given it a listen in the past.

Chris said...

Nice Black Star song. One of the first rap albums I really became connected to. Should have made more together..