Jeez – It occurred to me that I have not been listening to any new music at all for months and I’ve not added anything to The Ultimate Playlist at all.
What’s been going on?
Well, firstly, as far as music in my household goes, my world has become all about Disney Princess music. Little Miss Six has become obsessed with Disney Princess movies and has fully engaged with the soundtracks of these little cinematic diamonds for the most girly of girls and listens to them again & again with the stamina for repetition only a 2 year old can have.
It’s OK I suppose – it’s all part of the Dad journey that I am on. I remember quite vividly, especially as we got older, that the musical world of me & my brother dominated in the house and the car; Taidy Six & Nanny Six had no choice but to engage with all the fineries of 80s chart pop and 90s Indie Britpop. My first single ever was Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl” and my Mother has often recollected the near insanity she experienced as a four year old True Mister Six insisted it be played (On a cassette them days) on every car journey we took.
It seems my concerns about inappropriate songs on The Ultimate Playlist I wrote about here were unfounded – more and more frequently the only time it gets played is when I am on my own, from my iPhone, with my headphones in. To try and play my songs when we’re together would likely result in a monstrous strop of epic proportions from my “Little Princess”.
I commented here on the state of affairs around music in the car. At the time I wrote that Little Miss Six’s insistence that we listen to her music in the car was a humorous, endearing comment, little was I to know that it signalled the beginnings of a fanaticism for Disney Princesses equalled only by American Bible-belters, Islamic Fundamentalists, Football Hooligans, and hardcore Trekkers.
The real fear, of course, is what these current tastes and behaviours may indicate with regards to any future musical tastes she may develop. What do Disney Princess fans broadly escalate into as they get older? A taste for West End Musicals definitely may be a natural progression, which would be manageable (the Current Mrs Six likes a bit of Hairspray, Wicked, Blood Brothers & The Producers on her own Ultimate Playlist) but I’m petrified that all of this emotional female melisma singing stuff may lead to the more sinister world of warbling teenage girls like Jepson and Swift – an area of music I know and understand very little about. Time will tell I suppose.
Secondly – I’ve been listening to a lot of Stand Up Comedy records lately whenever I put my headphones in for a short-ish journey (Under an hour).
It all started following a quick rifle through some old CDs in a drawer in the bedroom. In this musical void where I’m not really engaging with new music I was looking for some inspiration (maybe there’s an old album that never got added to my iTunes?) when I came across my Bill Hicks albums. I revisited them and laughed my ass off as if I was hearing them for the first time – it had been a while (I haven’t listened to a CD since the first day I installed iTunes on my laptop). I’d forgotten how much I used to listen to comedy like this.
In parallel to my Bill Hicks rediscovery; I was listening to a number of Podcasts from the States that were hosted by stand-up comedians, most notably those on the Nerdist Network and WTF!?. So many of these guys had produced Stand-Up albums of their own, as well as the number of comedy guests they were interviewing who were either from the Stand-Up Comedy world, or got their start there.
This potent combination of rediscovering Bill Hicks and the Comedy influences from the Podcasts drove me to explore some of what was going on in contemporary American Stand-Up, and so in the last month I’ve been on a massive comedy Mp3 mission.
Some of the stand-ups I’ve listened to have been epic fails – seriously lacking the funny (Two stand-outs that I didn’t find funny were Robin Williams and Jeff Dunham – don’t get them at all) but there have been some crackers; John Mulaney, Mike Birbiglia, Chris Hardwick, and Louis C K to name a few.
It’s been working well for me as I commute about – although I have got a few funny looks on the train as a result of childishly giggling to myself as I travel around!
I’ve always loved comedy in the UK, and British Stand Ups are well exposed on UK telly to get a fix, but I’ve become hyper-interested in this world of US Stand Up that, except in rare occurrences, doesn’t really get over to these shores and isn’t as readily available as UK stand ups who populate my TV schedule heavily. I’m hungry for more & open to recommendations.
So there it is. I don’t think the Ultimate Playlist will die – it’s a damn good playlist as it stands and will always be called upon – it’s just on a bit of a diet at the moment as the needs of parenthood (because she “neeeeeeeeeeeeeeds” to hear the Tangled soundtrack for the hundredth time) fill up the front seat in life and a couple of other little interests fill up the back seats.