My husband loves The Grateful Dead. If you ask him if he’s ever seen a show, he’ll give you this smile and reply with ‘a few’. I know that the smile means a proud ‘Yes.’ and his ‘a few’ really means 122 shows. He’ll shyly admit many years into our relationship and eventual marriage that he remembers my birthday because ‘The Dead played at Cornell on May 8th, and it was a great show’, and not because of his obvious love and adoration of yours truly.
He is very proud of his musical tastes. He knows obscure details about his favorite artists, follows their lives, travels to watch them play. And it’s not just the big name headliners, he has as much hippie love for a little-known musician who sings about Man Boobs and the California Water Crisis (really, his name is David Lindley, check him out sometime) as he does for anyone else.
Me? You ask. Oh my music tastes tend to veer a little bit into the embarrassing. I am pretty sure I stopped discovering new music (save for Mumford and Sons) in the 9th grade so my playlists revolve around a lot of show tunes (Les Miserables, Jesus Christ Superstar, Phantom) and a lot of Goo Goo Dolls and Matchbox20.
Annnnnd… the radio. The radio and I have this super secretive relationship. I will get into the car, someone will be riding in the passenger seat and I always feign surprise when the local pop station comes on. Shock and Horror!
“How did this get on here?!” my face will perfectly convey such thoughts. You, reader, know the station I am talking about, the one that plays the same 10 songs over and over again (right now it’s probably Taylor Swift, Ke$ha, One Direction, a Beiber Fever song…). Then later on, having dropped off aforementioned car-rider I will lovingly and apologetically stroke the radio-cover. “I’m sorry” I will coo. “Mama still loves you”. See? Shame and guilt.
I feel like this terrible secret with pop was bred into me. Being born in 1985, that meant I grew up with Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, 98 degrees, N*Sync, Backstreet Boys… just to name a few. I can’t help my dark and sinful feelings!
My husband, with his evolved musical inclinations looks down on my house-beat, middle-school, lyrics written by monkeys in space, playlists. He snubs his nose at themes of ‘never getting back together’ and hitting someone one more time. I wouldn’t say he makes me feel bad about myself (although, if I could guilt him into taking the kids to one of those damn birthday parties I would tell him just that, and then burst into pitiful heart-wrenching sobs)… but, he definitely doesn’t inspire me to turn the music up.
It might be on this very radio station that I was introduced to Gangnam Style, and how I passed off the viral-like infection to my son. So it was with much bewilderment that I came into the living room yesterday to find my husband and son on the i-pad, studying (very seriously) the individual movements to the Gangnam Style dance.
And so another generation forms a perverse love/hate relationship with the music that literally makes them move. Except this time, we have YouTube, and I can share it with the entire world.
Sorry Sam, Mama still loves you.