Elvis, Kraak and Smaak, and Joji
I was a big Elvis fan in my youth. I still love classic Rock n Roll. There’s something about Runaway by Del Shannon that makes me want to get up and dance.
I remember my parents telling me they were seriously concerned about my taste in music, after I purchased the 45 rpm of Cathy’s Clown by the Everly Brothers. I reasoned with them that every generation has their own special music, and they let me alone, provided I confined my playing to my bedroom. The family stereo was reserved for the sound track of My Fair Lady and South Pacific, and my dad listened to his prized collection of Mario Lanza albums in his den.
In her teens, my daughter liked the Indigo Girls and Belinda Carlisle. My son loved Bach and Shostakovich. Remember cassette tapes? Boom boxes? They played their tapes on their boom boxes in their bedrooms.
Recently, my twenty-one-year-old grandson was very excited to have scored tickets for a show he wanted to see. I asked him who was the artist? So, that’s how I learned about Joji, a new name to me. My seventeen-year-old grandson explained more to me about Joji, and turns out he has Joji on his playlist, too.
Not that I am planning on buying any Joji, but I like keeping up a bit with the next generation’s interests.
A friend of mine said her adult son bought tickets to London to see a show. She asked him, “What show?” That’s how we learned about Kraak and Smaak, a musical production trio from the Netherlands. (Something about their name reminds me of Snipp, Snapp, and Snurr, the Swedish books I loved as a child.) Anyway, I listened online to All for Love on their album Twenty and “got into” the rhythm and lyrics.
My daughter went to hear a comedian. I asked her, “Who did you see?” That’s how I learned about Nate Bargatze, a “clean” comedian whose stories of growing up in the 80s and 90s particularly resonate with my daughter’s generation. So, I found him on Netflix and had a lot of laughs. Another way of connecting.
When my granddaughter was engrossed in a book, I asked her “What are you reading?” Her choice was “Let the Storm Break,” the second book in the Let the Sky Fall series by Shannon Messenger. She had the first book, so while I was visiting her, she let me read “Let the Sky Fall.” After she finished “Let the Storm Break,” she lent it to me and we shared concerns and comments about their “windwalker” fates. For her birthday, I gave her “Let the Wind Rise,” the last in the series, and we were both excited to read it.
Of course, even though I take an interest in the likes of the new generations, my own music still has the special place in my heart. So, excuse me, while I dance a little to “Dream Baby” by Roy Orbison.