I had avoided playing The Arcade Fire for my daughter. She's in her hiphop and R&B thing right now, and I don't want to make her listen to my stuff all the time. It's not that I never do -- there are certain songs I have to share with her, and which she loves, like ELO's "Mr Blue Sky," T Rex's "Cosmic Dancer," and The Polyphonic Spree's "Soldier Girl." But I have been keeping The Arcade Fire to myself. I'm afraid, if I were to play Funeral for her and she hated it, I'd be really guilty, like my playing it for her deprived her of discovering them and liking them -- perhaps she'd have liked them if only I'd let her find them on her own later, in her own time. So I have resisted the urge to do a "Listen to this!!" and make her listen.
However, last weekend, we were in the car at night, and I had my iPod on shuffle, and "No Cars Go" came on. And she was sitting in the backseat and I could see in the rearview that her head was bobbing to the music. So tonight, I showed her the "Power Out" and "Rebellion" videos, and I played her "Tunnels" and "Laika." And while "Laika" was playing I played imaginary drumsticks all over the place like Richard Parry does, just to give her an idea of the energy when they played live, and then proceeded to play imaginary drumsticks all over her head and shoulders, and then I lifted her out of her chair and made her pogo dance with me until she pulled away in protestation, "Dad! Why do you get to jump?!" (Because I am always reminding her, when she jumps or runs indoors, that we live upstairs and must be considerate of our downstairs neighbors.) To which I replied, grinning and bouncing up and down and waving my hands in the air in a way that must have made me look even goofier than usual, "It's OK! It's The Arcade Fire!" And in that moment, as I jumped around the room, half in my apartment and half back at the concert, that sentence made perfect sense.
And later on, when she came to me with her written wishlist of songs she wants me to put on her iPod, it read
Weezer - Beverly Hills
Mariah Carey - Shake it Off & We Belong Together
Aqualung - Brighter than Sunshine
All American Rejects - Dirty Little Secret
Missy Elliot - Lose Control
Fall Out Boy - Sugar We're Going Down
PapaRoach - Scars
The Killers - Mr Brightside
Destiny's Child - Girl
and then she said, "Oh. And those two songs you played me." Which was confusing, because I had played about eight for her.
"Which two songs?"
"The HEY one."
"No Cars Go?"
"Yeah. And the one with the video."
"With the funeral?"
"Yeah. With the guy and the drum."
Hah! This feels like Good Parenting to me.