The email from his mother went:
The Boy [not real name] is big on viking lego but I was only able to get a couple of the smaller sets here. I also want to get him some music – he wants Queen but I was also thinking of green day – or is there some rocking-yet-inoffensive Australian band that I could support.
The annual working group on Chrissie presents for the kiddies. The Boy is an 11 year old who in few months between last two visits went from a crew cutted little one to a shaggy haired extra from The O.C. Now he wants Queen! Or Green Day! At least he still likes Lego.
Volunteering for the task of music wrangling, I hit the cheapo CD shops in the city yesterday.
The music young people are listening to these days is a great confusion to me. "Magic Dirt", I have heard your name. But what you do, or are, I simply cannot say. According to All Music you are a "fuzz-drenched noise unit from Geelong" which I'm afraid doesn't help. I didn't buy you. Sorry.
Good Charlotte I had the vague idea were some kind of baby punks and might fit the bill. On the cover they look identical to Green Day and in the liner notes they all shout out thanks to their Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who gave them the talent and without whom they are nothing. Rocking yet inoffensive? I hope so.
From there I stuck with what I knew. Yes, Boy, you may listen to Green Day. But if that's your thing you will also be listening to The Clash and The Stooges. (UPDATE: Forgot, I also bought The Datsuns.)
As much as it pained me to do it, I also bought some Beatles for the lad. Please Please Me. Kids dig the Beatles. With Dylan you have to be a little more discerning lest you fry their tiny minds. Science has conclusively proven in clinical trials that not enough synapses are fused together in your brain at that age to process the infinite possibilities projected from the average Dylan studio album. The information builds up in there but has nowhere to go. It fries their brain!
But the Beatles are safe for painless tween consumption.
Of course I will make up a carefully selected personal Dylan compilation for The Boy too. Natch.
Finally, I purchased a 4 CD "Rock Box." On the cover a denimed leg and leather boot rest provocatively on a motorbike. Rock. The front cover promises:
Nazareth Anthrax * Elp
Asia * Yes * Thunder *The Stranglers
Alice Cooper * Deep Purple
Robert Palmer * And Many Others
Rock? More or less.
CD 1. Smoke on the Water! Uriah Heep! Rick Wakeman, "Paint it Black". I don't like the sound of that. Not at all. Is it with, like, bells? But, no, this is not for me. It's all about The Boy. He might like the bells. The Stranglers live!
CD 2. More of the same.
CD 3. Jean Michel Jarre "Oxygene Part 4" Not rock, BUT I recall loving it as a tyke. So OK. Smoke on the Water AGAIN! Rock! More random prog rock.
CD 4. Take That! Rock! .... uh, hold on. What? Take That? Backstreet Boys? Ace of Base? Boyzone? This sneaky fourth CD is called "Boys & Girls Vol. 1" and has a cover of green and yellow bubbles in contrast to the others which feature sombre tones, electric guitars, lightning strikes and, uh, kickboxers. (rock!)
Cornelia Grolimund doing "Das Puppenhaus (Radio Edit)"? Not Rock.
J'accuse Membran International GmbH of Kroonstucken of attempting to offload a warehouse full of crappy K-tel euro pop by slipping it in a product you are pleased to call a "Rock Box." Did you think we wouldn't notice? It wouldn't matter that we wanted Uriah Heep and got a swag of German techo acts so obscure I can't even find websites for them to link snarkily to????
Think again. We noticed.
Boy, did we notice.