I've spent the last few weeks with my daughter and her music.
We recently spent one evening together in my wife's car, which has no CD player. My kid frantically scanned from station to station, trying to hear just three songs. I could be getting these three titles wrong, but I'm close: "I Lack Drankin' Tea on The Front Porch" by Kenny Chesney, "This Is My Fake British Accent" by Reliant K, and "I Love You Even if You're Fat" from the "Shampoo" soundtrack.
The radio was in perpetual scan unless one of those three songs was playing. Three seconds of music....click....three seconds of guitar intro.....click.....three seconds of some kid from Kentucky whining like The Sex Pistols on Estrogen....ahhh, that's Reliant K, singing with their Fake British Accents. We listened to that song until it ended.
I endured this all night.
I grew up in a radio deprived area of Mississippi, where there were only two decent AM stations that could be pulled in from Memphis. If WHBQ was rolling commercials, you listened to WMPS and vice-versa. FM was a static wasteland.
My daughter, on the other hand, had a stupendous number of radio choices, but only those three songs were given their three minutes of glory each, then.....click.
A few days later we went someplace in my pickup, which has a CD player. My kid spends most of her waking hours downloading CD's. Most of them legal, but she also acquires more bootleg stuff than Junior Johnson.
Between her music and mine, we probably have more than 20,000 songs on disc at our house. She got in the truck with three CD's. I could be getting her CD titles wrong, but I'm close: "I Lack Drankin' Tea on The Front Porch, and Other Hits" by Kenny Chesney, "British Wannabees, Accent Envy and other Hits" by Reliant K, and the "Shampoo" soundtrack, featuring "I Love You, Even if You're Fat".
She put in the Kenny Chesney CD first. We heard the guitar intro to song #1, then....click....fiddle intro to song #2....click....Banjo intro to song #3.....click....Intro to "I Lack Drankin' Tea"....
Her hand instinctively reached for the click button, but she subconsciously realized that it's ok to listen to a complete song if it's one of The Holy Trinity.
We got to listen to an actual song for three minutes....then, piano intro to song #5....click....click....click...until we clicked to the end of the CD, started over, clicked through the first three filler songs and listened to "I Lack Drankin' Tea" again.
I complained until she ejected Kenny Chesney, put in Reliant K, then clicked through some filler songs on that CD until she found "This Is My Fake British Accent".
We listened joyfully for three minutes until the song ended.
Then, Electric guitar intro....click....drum solo intro....click....an imitation of a Liverpool Dockworker singing like Princess Di....click....
I almost pulled the truck over. "Why can't we listen to a whole CD, just one time?"
"This is the only song on here that I like."
"How do you know???? When you've never heard anything but the first four beats of any of them????"
"Just drive, Dad," she said....click....."Ok....Did you see 'Shampoo'?"
Tonight, we went to the mall in her SUV.
Her SUV has an iPod-compatible sound system that is the envy of the rest of the world. Her iPod will hold a jillion songs, videos, messages, ringtones, and birdcalls. There's room on that thing for the complete works, including their false starts and time spent tuning up, of every composer and songwriter who has ever lived.
When we got in the car and backed out of the driveway, I was looking forward to hearing the music she had chosen to put on her iPod, rather than what programmers had chosen to put on her radio stations, or record executives had chosen to put on her CD's.
It wasn't meant to be.
Click...click....click...."And yer biscuits never scorch, Yeah, I lack drankin' tea on the front porch...."