A teenager has moved in

I’d hoped to have a guest post for you tonight, but the writer declined.

“Dad, my kind of music isn’t for old guys,” Evan said.

Consider yourself dissed. By a 13-year-old.


Our son, Evan, turned 13 today. Our last stop this evening was at Grandpa’s apartment (Ray’s Corner for you regular readers).

There, Evan started rifling through Grandpa’s CDs. First we listened to “Maple Leaf Rag” by Scott Joplin. Then we listened to “Who’s On First?” by Abbott and Costello. Then we had to bring both home so he could put them on his iPod.

The latter cut, a classic bit of comedy that dates to the 1930s, was on a compilation CD of baseball songs. Evan was reading the booklet and checking some of the other compilations put out on Flashback Records, which is Rhino Records’ budget label.

One of the CDs mentioned had excerpts from the National Lampoon Radio Hour. Evan asked what the National Lampoon was, and the best answer I could come up with was “like The Onion.”

“You have records by them at home, right? I’m gonna have to look at those.”

So when we got home, Evan walked into the office and started rifling through vinyl that’s 10 to 20 years older than he is. He pulled out six albums for closer inspection:

National Lampoon’s “Lemmings,” Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas,” a compilation album of James Bond themes, two compilation albums of TV themes and “The Packers’ Glory Years,” a compilation of old radio broadcasts. He didn’t play them — it was bedtime — but he found them pretty good reading.

Evan first loved the Ramones, then moved on to Green Day and has since moved on to any number of bands that are middle school faves — among them Relient K, My Chemical Romance and the All-American Rejects.

Yet one of his favorite CDs was and is a Cartoon Network-branded compilation of cartoon theme songs. We got it from the library so often we finally just loaded it into the iTunes.

So to celebrate Evan’s birthday (and to fulfill a request) …


“The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest,” 1996 theme, from “Cartoon Network Cartoon Medley,” a 1999 compilation that’s out of print.



Filed under January 2008, Sounds

4 responses to “A teenager has moved in

  1. Meat


    The good news: A solid musical upbringing will bring rewards. Roy (18) hated anything I listened to when he was 13. Then he found stations like KEXP in Seattle and he could claim the discoveries his own. Soon came requests from my iTunes library and the disappearance of CDs. If we’re in the car together, we must listen to “his” music broadcast through his iPod. I don’t mind a bit.

  2. Prodigal Son

    Same experience as Meat. Have some patience. When my daughter was 13 it was Spice Girls and boy bands. When she was 16 she discovered my “London Calling” cd. It was all over after that. She is now a junior in college were she DJs at the college station. Her show is very eclectic. We trade music (old and new) almost every day. Every time she is home she checks out my iTunes library. This semester she is taking a “History of Rock” class. It’s great to watch her “discover” artists like Louis Jordan, Robert Johnson, and others.

  3. jb

    Those of us who remember your e-mail Packer updates from the mid 90s glory years remember Evan as a toddler who pronounced “touchdown” as “toedown.” To this day at our house, we’ll occasionally refer to a touchdown as a toedown.

    Best to him, and good luck to you.

  4. It’s really great that he has such a keen interest in music at such a young age. I too was a compulsive liner notes reader when I was his age. There’s really a wealth of knowledge to be learned from reading those.

    As for his current interests– the one that popped out at me was My Chemical Romance. Their album Welcome to the Black Parade is one of the best I’ve heard in a long time. Blender magazine even rated it album of the year back in 2006 when it first came out. There’s an interesting mix of Queen and Green Day (to name but a couple) influences on that release.

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