I know, I know, I said this would be up last night. But when I got home we had company. I drank quite a bit, was up until well after the sunrise, and finally fell asleep in a chair staring at my beautiful wife and beautiful son. You can't hold that against me! Alright, on with the article...
Link is almost two months old now; time to start exploiting him for my own creative pursuits! He's heard music in the car and in the house, and he's heard me beatbox, but I've never sat down with him specifically for the purpose of seeing what kinds of jams are his jams. Until now!!
A quick history lesson: Back before there was such a thing as an mp3, before the internet, before even CDs, when people still lived in caves, there was a more primitive way of distributing music. Albums used to come out on big discs made of vinyl, and singles were released on smaller discs called 45s (because of the speed you play them at, 45 revolutions per minute).
I like collecting records for a few reasons. One reason is that I like old, musty stuff. I'm not sure why, but I do. Another is that you can find a lot of stuff on vinyl that you just can't find anywhere, even on the world wide web. Yet another reason is the cost. Shopping at places like Good Will, I've found many lost treasures for reasonable prices. I can get a single (and its b-side) for half of what I would pay downloading a song from the iTunes store or other online music merchants. Yeah, I'm thrifty, I'm proud, and now I'm putting my collection to good use. Time to see how Link reacted to five discs I selected from my collection!
(In case you're unfamiliar with any of the songs, or you just feel like hearing them, click on the song titles! I highly recommend the first four!)
1. "Rock Around the Clock" - Bill Haley and his Comets
Most people know this song. It's one of the early hits that put Rock & Roll on the map (they keep track of popular music with maps, right?). What a lot of people don't know is that "Rock Around the Clock" was actually the b-side to a different track, "Thirteen Women". Back in the 50s (and up until the 80s), DJs used to play the music that they liked or that listeners called in to request. Now they play what the corporate music machine pays them to put on their automated playlists. Good grief. Anyway, the b-side became the hit because DJs preferred it and played it instead of the actual single.
I thought this was a good place to start the experiment. Link was being somewhat fussy as I put the needle to the vinyl, but he became calm when the music started. Music calms the savage baby, so they say. He pumped his fist a little bit to the song, and then he accidentally hit himself in the face. There was a lot of hand movement throughout the rest of the song. He tends to move his arms around a lot regardless of what's going on, so I can't know for sure if he was reacting to the music. But he did seem to be pretty happy while Bill and his boys were rockin' around the clock.
2. "Folsom Prison Blues" - Johnny Cash
Everybody loves Johnny Cash, right? Well, Link isn't much of a fan. After Johnny introduced himself, the crowd loudly cheered, and Link was a little frightened. Then he spent the rest of the song being indifferent and entertaining himself by sticking his tongue out. Does this mean that Link will never shoot a man in Reno just to watch him die? Only time will tell. I'd say there's a 50/50 chance of that happening.
3. "Mary, Mary" - Run-D.M.C.
Next up I switched gears with Run-D.M.C.'s sort-of-cover of The Monkees "Mary, Mary". Really they just sampled the guitar riff and Micky singing the title, then rapped some original rhymes, though they still credited Mike Nesmith as the sole songwriter on the disc. That's class.
Link was confused by the record scratching noise. He looked up at me as if to say, "Is this really a thing?" Yes it is, Link. After the initial period of confusion ended, Link started pushing with his legs as if he wanted to stand up. So I helped him stand up, and he kind of bobbed to the song a little bit. Or maybe that was just his legs giving out; they're not strong enough to support his body weight yet, though he is really good at scooting across the floor.
Towards the end of song he hit me in the face. Proof that Rap is the devil's music, and it makes children violent! Video games, too! People were never violent until Rap music and video games were invented!!!
4. "Right Place, Wrong Time" - Dr. John
This is one of my personal favorites. When I put the song on Link's forehead crinkled up like he was trying to recognize it. Then he leaned back like, "Ah, this takes me back!" He was doing some finger dancing to this song. He seemed to dig it quite a lot. When I mentioned this later to my fellow truck-loader, Bernie, he said, "That means he's gonna be a cool cat."
Bernie was partially correct. Link already is a cool cat. He was making tiger noises today to prove it.
5. "Party All the Time" - Eddie Murphy
Before he was known for starting a taxi service for transvestites, Eddie Murphy was a comedy superstar. At the height of his popularity he could do pretty much whatever he felt like, and for some reason he felt like recording "Party All the Time". And for some reason I own it.
When the song came on Link seemed intrigued. The look of intrigue on his face was quickly replaced with his angry Godzilla brow. He was not happy about this last selection. He tried to stand once more, though presumably it was to make an attempt to walk out of the room this time. Since he can't stand or walk, he settled for comforting himself by sucking on his hands until the song ended.
I can't say I blame him. Eddie actually has a decent singing voice, and the song is catchy as hell, but that doesn't excuse the super-80s-corniness of the whole ordeal. And nothing excuses Meet Dave.
I'm quite satisfied with how the experiment turned out. I'm looking forward to doing a second one in the near future to see what other groovy sounds Link is hip to. I hope you've enjoyed reading the results of the experiment, and I apologize if you've now got "Party All the Time" stuck in your head.