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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    This music won’t scare your parents off

    Justyn DillinghamEditor-in-Chief
    Justyn Dillingham

    As any serious music lover knows, kids today almost invariably have worse taste in music than their parents.

    What self-respecting parent, watching their hapless progeny waste their youth on rock as generic as McDonald’s, indie as wan and wilted as a month-old daisy, or R&B with even less rhythm than blues, can avoid heaving a regretful sigh?

    As Kurt Cobain put it: “”We’re so loud and incoherent/Boy this oughta bug your parents.”” (Well, actually, that’s from “”Weird Al”” Yankovic’s “”Smells Like Nirvana””; Cobain would never have written something that coherent.)

    So for those of you who want to convince your visiting families that you, unlike your peers, actually have decent taste in music, here are a few records you might consider slipping on the stereo:

    Louis Armstrong, Best of the Hot 5 and 7 Recordings. These tinny but passionate little discs not only invented jazz, there’s a good argument to be made that they changed music more than any other recordings of the

    What self-respecting parent, watching their hapless progeny waste their youth on rock as generic as McDonald’s, indie as wan and wilted as a month-old daisy, or “”R&B”” with even less rythm than blues, can avoid heaving a regretful sigh?

    20th century. And they still sound great, so stick them on, put on your plaid jacket, pour yourself a stiff martini and start acting like a Fitzgerald character. Your parents might not buy it, but they’ll be entertained. Highlight: “”West End Blues.””

    Throwing Muses, University. Proof that not all “”alternative”” music sounds like a bunch of garbage cans rolling down a hill. It’s brash, clever and sounds enough like Fleetwood Mac that it probably won’t terrify your folks even if they wouldn’t have it in the house. Highlight: “”Shimmer.””

    Sly and the Family Stone, Greatest Hits. A friend of mine once listened to this in his car while on a road trip with his dad, who at one point reached for the skip button. He said, “”Dad, if you can’t listen to this album straight through, you can’t ride in my car.”” Enough said. Highlight: “”Everybody Is a Star.””

    Johnny Cash, Live at Folson Prison. Everyone loves Cash. Anyone who claims to hate him is probably lying. This legendary set features the Man in Black at his shiver-inducing best, and it’ll save your life should you be unfortunate enough to have parents who only listen to the country music station. Highlight: “”25 Minutes to Go.””

    The Sugarhill Records Story. A collection of classic early rap records, back when the average MTV fan’s reaction was “”That’s cool, what is it?”” instead of “”Will someone shut this garbage off?”” Be warned: a lot of it sounds like disco with people talking over it. Highlight: “”The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel.””

    Bruce Springsteen, Nebraska. An album that even people who hate Springsteen ought to love, this 1982 classic is as rich and moving as a Steinbeck novel. Extra points if your parents are old enough to remember the Great Depression (If memory serves, it happened about halfway through the first President Bush’s term). Highlight: “”State Trooper.””

    Led Zeppelin, Houses of the Holy. Sure, you’re just as sick of “”Stairway to Heaven”” as I am (if that’s possible), but this 1974 album is packed with lesser-known gems that you and your classic rock-loving parents might be able to agree on. It sure beats “”Bad to the Bone”” any day. Highlight: “”Dancing Days.””

    The Kinks, Village Green Preservation Society. The Kinks are probably the least threatening-sounding rock band of all time. Fortunately, they’re also one of the best. Even if your parents hate rock music, they’d have to be 17th-century Puritans to be offended by this. Highlight: “”Village Green.””

    Holly Golightly, Truly She Is None Other. The best indie album you’ve never heard, closer to the likes of Dusty Springfield and Nancy Sinatra than the dreary dishwater moaning of Ryan Adams and his ilk. Ought to reassure hip parents that you’re not a complete dip, even if you do like indie music. Highlight: “”Walk a Mile.””

    Lou Reed, Metal Machine Music. The legendary 1975 double album of feedback noise that Reed released solely to annoy his fans. Surprisingly pleasant and peaceful to listen to, considering its scary reputation. If you have the kind of parents who read Creem magazine in the ’70s, they’ll be impressed. Maybe. Highlight: You’re kidding, right?

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