Listen to the Music

2014-02-11 07.47.06


Our Story Begins: Listen to the Music

I broke down and told my middle daughter what I was sure she knew but wouldn’t admit: she’s a hipster.

“I am not a hipster!” she adamantly stammered to me, guitar in hand, after showing me a couple songs she’d “just learned.”

I should back up: after already telling me she was going to prep her stuff for school and hit the hay for bed she came down the stairs – almost and hour later – and wanted to show me the aforementioned tunes.  She also wanted to practice the song we are recording for this year’s March video (which will post here, obviously).  So after my hemming and hawing and her sad puppy-dog face I relented.  It’s here she told me the titles of her songs like I was some guy who slept through an entire decade.

“One’s called Wonderwall and the other is Iris.
She looked up and saw the incredulity on my face.
“You know those songs?” she asked more than a bit confuzzled.
“Ummm…yeah, I lived through the 1990s, Hannah.”

She rolled her eyes in her best teenage dramatic fashion and started to play.  I have to admit, her version of Wonderwall was sans the nasal, whiney Liam Gallagher tone and made me actually consider liking the song again.  Then came the GooGoo Dolls song.

After she sang the lyric “I just want you to know who I am” I had to stop her.
“Okay, Hannah, I know the band has a reputation for being sort of vanilla-90’s-version-of-Coldplay, but you are being a hipster.  You’re a hipster, Hannah.”

With Hannah
With Hannah

This brings us back to the above conversation.  The flannel shirts, the hats, the long hair with half of it covering one eyeball . . . the angst-ridden nearly as depressed as Tori Amos lyrics . . . hipster, hiptster, hipster.

“Why do you keep saying that,” she asks?
“Because you’re trying to do these songs too singer-songwriter perfect.  The singer for the GooGoo Dolls, whatever you think of the band, did two things.”
“What were those,” she asked, disbelieving.
“He beat the crap out of his guitar, belting out the chords . . . and he belted out the songs.  It’s okay to be a little bit sloppy and a teeny bit sad and angry.  That’s what that song’s about, it’s from a totally depressing Meg Ryan movie.”
“Oh,” she said.  “Well the people who covered it on YouTube sang it this way.”
“Well they’re wrong,” I informed her and played her the original on Spotify.

Ten minutes later, she was back on the couch asking to play it again.  This time, she was confidently hitting the chords and adding just enough gravel and gravitas to her voice.

“There you go, ” I told her.  “Once in awhile, you just need to realize it’s okay to just rock and roll.  Life isn’t all shuddering angst.”
She smiled, sang one more verse, then rehearsed with me again on the material for this year’s video.

“Thanks, Dad.  I just wanted you to listen to the music a little bit.”
“I know, hope you don’t mind my critique.”

“Of course not,” she informed me, smiling, both eyeballs visible.  “That’s why I have you listen to the music.”

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