My kid loves music. Looooooves it. Always singing songs and dancing around. The problem is that she primarily likes kids music.
I guess I can’t really get mad about it. She’s the target demographic for that kind of thing. I’ve already kind of covered the things that she’s into listening to in another post. Recently, it’s actually been a lot of songs from a Netflix show called Gabby’s Dollhouse. It’s horrible, but no more horrible than something like The Wiggles.
I drive my kid to daycare every day, and I am usually too sleepy to bother arguing with her about what we’ll listen to in the car. So it’ll usually be some nonsense about sharing or something. Which often leads me to try to make the point that we should share the car stereo when we’re in the car.
She is generally less than receptive to this idea, but recently I was able to convince her that once in awhile it is a good and fun idea to listen to “scary daddy music” in the car while we drive. What happened next left me feeling… almost choked up.
Like a true apple on the ground next to a judgmental and cranky old tree, my kiddo started commenting on all of my musical faves. She was really letting me have it, and I did my best to try to remember her comments.
This leads us to this blog’s first ever father-daughter collaborative post. I’ve never been more proud. Here are the songs that we listened to one morning, along with what she thought of them. I’ll add in a bit of my own perspective on these, because I’m a pompous blowhard.
Please enjoy this Scary Daddy Music playlist!
Stephen Malkmus – JoJo’s Jacket
Hannah: “They keep saying that… why do they keep saying that?… Okay, last time!!!”
Me: I was already a pretty big Pavement-head by the time Malkmus went solo, so I was super into this album in the early 2000s. I don’t actually think that it’s Pavement good, but there are some pretty solid jams to be found on it. “JoJo’s Jacket” is a silly lil’ frivolous ditty. Good for a spin every now and then. Hannah definitely bobbed her head to this one, but was very ready for it to be over by the time it was over.
The Beths – Future Me Hates Me
Hannah: *Starts singing a song to herself about Christmas being every day*
Me: Hannah completely ignored this song, but if she had paid attention, she would have been treated so some of the best power-pop released in recent years… in my opinion. I dunno, great songwriting on this record. Solid tune!
Trap Them – Every Walk A Quarantine
Hannah: “SCARY!!!” *FAST SKIP*
Me: Look, I wouldn’t have put this song on for her intentionally, but it was pretty funny to hear her scream in panic over it. This song is… very excellent.
Pavement – Ann Don’t Cry
Hannah: “This is a sad Daddy song.” *SKIP*
Me: More Malkmus, strangely. Hanny does not like a bummer song, and I guess this is a bummer song. I think it’s a pretty terrific song, from a pretty terrific album. Yeah, that’s right, Terror Twilight is a terrific album and the naysayers are wrong and dumb.
Le Ren – Dyan
Hannah, smiling widely: “This song makes me feel happy! I like it!”
Me: I’ve already written a bit about Le Ren’s “Dyan”, so I don’t need to go to far into explaining that I love this tune. I was really thrilled that Hannah had such a positive reaction to it. I glanced back and she was just sitting in her car seat, grinning. Good taste, kid.
Grandaddy – Broken Household Appliance National Forest
Hannah: “That was a scary song for me!” *SKIP*
Me: Hanny did not dig this. The vibe freaked her out, as did the weirdo mode-shifts. I spent many years as a Grandaddy superfan, and still love some of their material deeply. But hey, I get it, not for everybody. I’ll try again when she’s a teenager maybe?
Pavement – We Dance
Hannah: “I like this one!”
Me: Let me get out in front of this and say… it is not super normal that this much Stephen Malkmus will pop up in short period of time on my playlist shuffle. Just something in the air on this February day, I guess. Hannah liked this one and I couldn’t get her to explain why. I like it too, it being one of the first Pavement song that I got into. The first Pavement song that I ever heard was the song that they had on the No Alternative compilation CD, about REM. For some reason I thought that they were a Weezer side project when I heard that song about REM, and I honestly couldn’t tell you why today. But I was a teen and I didn’t have any brains or anything, so whatever.
Fall – Lisa Hannigan
Hannah: “I like it!” *thinks for a minute* “This is a sad song. I don’t like it.” *SKIP*
Me: Hey, I hear you, Han. This song is a bummer. But a lovely bummer. I’m not really sure that “Dyan” is all that much more upbeat than this, but Lisa Hannigan wasn’t doing it for my kid. This song isn’t about the solar system, I guess. She’s really into the solar system.
Speedy Ortiz – You Hate The Title
Hannah: *holding CHIRP magazine* “Dad, this maze is tricky for me. Do it with me”
Me: “I would love to Hannah, but I’m driving…”
Hannah: “Dad, look at this, what does this spell?”
Me: “Can’t look right now, Hann…”
Hannah: “I WANT A SNACK”
Me: I had completely lost her at this point, and she didn’t have anything else to say about any of the music that came on. I think that Speedy Ortiz cranks out some of the most interesting and creative weirdo pop music on offer in these heady times, but hey… sometimes you’re more interested in buggin’ yer dad.
Please Listen To Our Forthcoming Podcast
Listening to my music with my kid is fun. It’s honestly just as much fun when she doesn’t like things that I play for her, because watching her particular little tastes develop is extremely fascinating. So please look forward to our podcast, Jammin’ with Han and Her Old Man, coming this spring on your streaming platform of choice.