Given my (and my husband’s) interest in music I figured our kids would naturally gravitate toward it, but I never imagined our Christmases would be so steeped in music so early on. Our sons are two and almost four. The oldest’s Christmas list includes the Muppets cd with OK Go on it (aka “The Green Album”), Blur’s new “Parklive” box set, Material Issue’s out-of-print Greatest Hits, and a drum kit (I think my mom got our younger son a toy violin).
After watching scenes from Blur’s reunion shows this summer on YouTube, Devo (the oldest) has anxiously been awaiting the “Parklive” release - a five disc collection celebrating the band’s summer shows that includes a DVD which is also available separately. In the past year his favorite band has gone from hip-hop/rock duo the Knux to long departed Chicago power pop trio Material Issue to Damon Albarn’s defunct Brit-pop foursome who he has named four of his little figures after. We carry Damon everywhere. You never know what will click with them. The little one has a soft spot for Rick Springfield, Robyn, and ABBA.
In addition to “Parklive” he’s getting a special double disc reissue of Blur’s 1997 self-titled album, which has suddenly become a fixture in our car 15 years after I first bought it. He discovered a certain version (the Road Version) of the song “M.O.R.” online that’s only available on that two-disc set. And he’ll let you know if you’re playing the wrong version. It doesn’t hurt to have extra copies since he drags my cds and their liner notes all over the house (I’ve purchased extra copies of the Knux and Material Issue’s “International Pop Overthrow” albums when I’ve found them used because of this).
Under the tree he and his brother also have t-shirts featuring Blur, OK Go, My Chemical Romance (in the style of South Park characters) and our favorite band, the National. Whether you argue nature or nurture the results of their environment have really taken hold. For Christmas we made their teachers mixed CDs of all the songs they sing at school.
Tonight as we sat around the house on Christmas Eve my husband’s relatives ask if they know “Jingle Bells.” Devo replies, “I know ‘Gimme All Your Lovin’ by ZZ Top.”