It’s a popular practice to play music for your baby while it’s still in utero (although I don’t know how popular actually playing Nirvana’s In Utero might be). Steph and I have purchased a cheap pair of headphones that are flexible enough to stretch out and cling to her belly, and we occasionally entertain the kid with some tunes. Previously, it’s been mostly Steph’s music. He’s reportedly reacted well to common baby music, but also to Madeleine Peyroux, so I figure there’s hope for his tastes yet.
To that end, I chose to play him some Beck tonight. Some “experts” who have “doctorate degrees” and have studied child development and psychology for “decades” will tell you that rock music, or whatever it is that Beck plays, is “too complex” for a baby to understand. I would point out that actually understanding Beck’s music is a step in the wrong direction for those who want to appreciate his work, but I digress. I carefully avoided Analog Odyssey (you may choose to do the same) and chose three songs that I wanted my boy to hear, and we stretched the headphones out and plugged him in for a mini-concert, sans-puppets.
The first (which, regrettably, is not on iTunes) was “He’s a Mighty Good Leader”, from Beck’s early album One Foot in the Grave. I thought it would be hard to start him off with anything simpler than this without removing rhythm and notes altogether. The song almost removes the rhythm by itself. He seemed to like it.
The second song I picked is one of my personal Beck favorites, although no one would probably guess it: “Ramshackle”, off the smash hit Odelay. The plodding calm of that song catches me every time. It’s just gorgeous. I want to be there with Beck, strumming my guitar, tapping my foot, lazily droning that chorus. Stuck together, one and all.
Steph requested something more upbeat for the last one. I figured that something a bit more pure, tonally speaking, might be an interesting contrast, so I pulled out “Bad Cartridge” [E-Pro] from his GameBoy Variations EP. Steph was initially concerned that it would be too much for his little ears, but considering the fact that this particular EP is too much for the ears of most of humanity, I trusted that the genes would sort it out. I mean, I at least want him to know what video games used to sound like, don’t I? Don’t I have that responsibility?! Yes. Yes I do.