A Note on Music
Parents' Weekend Serves as a Reminder of Musical Influence
Published: Thursday, September 27, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01
I’m a huge sucker for all Parents’ Weekend-related things. I love that campus looks 10 times better on this weekend than any other time of the year. I love that the weekend provides an excuse to go out to dinner in the North End with an abnormally large party. I love that the game day tailgates all have some sort of baked goods that aren’t usually present on other weekends. Most of all, I’m fascinated by how much all my roommates seem to possess an uncanny combination of their parents’ traits. There are a lot of “So that’s where that came from” moments. That being said, in honor of this lovely Boston College weekend tradition, I’m attributing this week’s music column to all things “parents’ music”-related. While the thought of your parents’ music tastes may make you cringe, just hear me out. Your parents actually may be cooler than you think.
When I was younger, I was constantly surrounded by music. While they haven’t necessarily had the same taste, both my mom and my dad have always been big music people. Every childhood memory of mine has some sort of musical attachment. Whether it was my mom blasting her “absolute favorite song from high school” in the kitchen while cooking dinner or my dad explaining the significance of my “musical education” by making me take nine years of piano lessons, music was everywhere. I remember how my sister and I used to spend entire afternoons rummaging through my parents’ vinyl collection and cassette tapes like they were valuable and ancient artifacts. I was fascinated by my parents’ love for music and thought that they were the coolest people in the world for it.
My mom is the classic rock-n-roll lover. She worships Bruce Springsteen (she refused to wash her hand for an entire day after he kissed it at a concert), loves Led Zeppelin, and knows the words to every Stones song. I have always imagined her as the one who leaves friends, pushes through the crowd, and makes her way to the very front of the concert while doing some elaborate head-banging, lip-biting dance. Even today, I’m proud to say that I’ve helped her discover some new alternative or indie music that she loves. Just last week, I got a text from her asking what I thought of the new Grizzly Bear album. Last Parents’ Weekend, she insisted that we skip the Pops concert to see The Head and the Heart downtown.
My dad, on the other hand, takes more of a laid-back approach to music. He enjoys a little Johnny Cash or Tom Petty from time to time and has played jazz piano his entire life. If you give him the tune to any song, he can immediately play it back sans any sheet music. It’s the epitome of musical genius, really.
Yet despite all of this, there was a time during my incredibly cool high school years where all I wanted to listen to in the car was the popular radio station (Seattle’s Kiss 106.1). Anything my parents played I resented. Their choices were always received with an over-dramatic eye roll and long-winded sighs. Admit it, we’ve all been there. We’ve all thought that we are too cool for our parents’ music. We’ve all thought that they are “stuck in the past” or that they could never understand the greatness behind Nicki Minaj. A lot of us have probably taught our parents how to make iTunes playlists or sync music.
But the fact of the matter is that our parents grew up in an age of pretty awesome music. Some of our parents probably went to Woodstock. I’m also willing to bet a great number of our parents wore platform disco shoes or tie-dye on an all too frequent basis. So while we may not always agree with their choices or taste, we can learn to appreciate it and cut them some well-deserved slack every once in a while. Maybe you can even include a few parents’ favorites on your newest tailgate playlist! Happy Parents’ Weekend to all!