Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Baby's First Mixtape — Part 1

So, here’s an interesting break from reviews and essays:

I don’t really go into a lot of personal information on here, mostly because this blog is strictly meant for music-related musings. You know enough about me to know that I’m, by and large, a snob: very opinionated but also passionate. You know that I’m married and that I just moved into a house. What you don’t know is that my wife is 18 weeks pregnant.

Now I know that there are many things that I’ll be dealing with and looking forward to after the baby’s born. I can’t wait to look into the baby’s eyes for the first time, I can’t wait to take it on walks, teach it to speak, make it laugh…all those “fatherly” things. But, me being me, I REALLY can’t wait till I can play the baby some Beatles records. Out of all those wonderful “firsts” that my wife and I will experience with our new baby, Beatles records is what I anticipate most.

Today, the baby is 18 weeks along and developing ears. It can feel vibrations, but it will now be able to recognize my wife’s voice and possibly mine if I talk into her belly. That being the case, I can make my baby’s first mixtape!

Stipulations are such: Melodic and mellow, pleasant. No anger and nothing too loud. Here are some ideas:

Fugazi — "Waiting Room"
Monumentally pinnacle during my angst-ridden zit-faced development, "Waiting Room" is an appropriately titled song for a baby "waiting" (See that? Clever, right?) to make its lifetime debut. But, the midway "rock out" section may deem this unsuitable. A pity.

The Beatles — "In My Life"
This is my wedding song. It would only make sense that the song the baby’s Mommy and Daddy danced to be a part of its earliest musical intro, symbolically representing the love that created him/her. Is that cheesy, or what? Either way, it's probably one of the greatest love songs ever written, realistically examining the fact that "no, you weren't the first in this big life I've had," but you are the last and the best.

The Ahmad Jamal Trio — "Stolen Moments"
This is a piece of music that was originally penned by jazz sax player, Oliver Nelson. Ahmad Jamal adapted it for piano and featured it in his Impulse! Release, The Awakening, which is probably one of the most beautiful and entrancing jazz records I've ever heard. Jamal's version of "Stolen Moments" is very lyrical and quiet, forcing you to do nothing, say nothing and just listen.

DJ Shadow — “Midnight In A Perfect World”
I love the sentiment in the song’s title. Emotionally charged and stunningly beautiful, it’s the type of track that makes you think big thoughts, setting your sights high and believing that the world can be incredible. The beats might be a little severe, but the delicate piano and that gorgeous female vocal soften the blow. Plus, this track holds a lot of meaning for my brother in that “momentously life-changing” sort of way.

Frank Zappa & The Mothers — “Eat That Question”
“Inappropriate” is the first word that comes to mind, I know. This may be a little extreme for developing ears, but have you ever heard this fucking song? This is on the wish list, but probably won’t make the final cut. It’s still one of Zappa’s most amazing and least talked about pieces of music. From his “big band” era.

John Coltrane — “Bessie’s Blues”
One of the more upbeat songs from Coltrane’s seminal quartet. It’s short and sweet and it’s also the first Coltrane track I ever heard. It seems appropriate that my child’s first exposure to St. Trane would be with this song.

Tom Waits — “San Diego Serenade”
Does there seem to be some kind of life lesson to this song? This was always one of my favorites, Tom Waits in pre-ravaged throat mode revealing that some things can only be appreciated when they’re either absent or put into context. ”Never saw the white line, ‘til I was leaving you behind/Never knew I needed you ‘til I was caught in a bind.

Letters From A Tapehead

P.S. — Suggestions are more than welcome.
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