I try very hard to relate to my three daughters. I don’t immediately think their tastes and styles are dumb or odd. They are, but I always give them the benefit of the doubt. When I’m in the car with them I let them listen to their own music. This means the three major pop stations in Atlanta get plenty of work while we’re driving. Every once in a while one of their songs will bleed through my music snobbery thickened ear drums and I’ll think, “hmmm this isn’t the worst thing I’ve ever heard.” I’ve played Moves Like Jagger and Stereo Hearts in blog posts. My teenage daughter and I have a weird mutual admiration of Maroon 5, although Adam Levine’s twitter account dooshery has made me rethink my participation. But yesterday I realized my machinations have been for naught. I’m older. They’re younger. It’s time to give up the dream.
A few days ago, my sixteen-year-old was in a bad mood. I called it Thursday. In trying to cheer her up, I actually said.
“Baby, what do you think of Karmin’s Brokenhearted? That guitar riff’s decent and I don’t want to punch the radio when it comes on..”
Her blue eyes sparkled, her mouth formed what might look like a smile if the Mona Lisa was being tickled, and she caught herself agreeing with me.
“Ummm, yeah, well, maybe. It’s okay I guess. I gotta go upstairs.”
I claimed victory and threw out my shoulder patting myself on the back. I even went as far as tweeting and the facebooking the song, asking my alleged friends and followers if it was okay to like the song. The resounding response was “you’re trying too hard, fool.” I didn’t heed the advice.
Yesterday, while driving with my teenager and my wife, a song came on the radio and I didn’t recognize anyone involved. The DJ said “here’s David Guetta with, (the name of the song).” Then a woman’s voice “sang” the first “verse”. The music was terrible. The voice was female. It didn’t sound like a David, and I’m very open minded. I asked my wife.
“Who is this? The voice sounds female and vaguely familiar.”
My wife was equally clueless and my teenager, exasperated, announced.
“The DJ in the song is David Guetta. The singer is Nicki Minaj. The DJ does all the work so he gets credit.”
I was “this close” to telling my kid how dumb that sounded. A DJ being credited with the song. Minaj was singing, all he did was turn tables and push buttons! Then it hit me. This is her time. This is her music. David Guetta, Nicky Minaj and Karmin are her Prince, Madonna, and Def Leppard (the artists on the radio when I was sixteen).
This sobering experience produced a mourning time for me. This will take a while to get over. I’m not cool. I’m not hip. I’m not going to relate to my teenager or her sisters for many years. When they start filing their own taxes, applying for home loans or looking for deals on gas grills, I’ll be available for them. I’m brokenhearted.
I stand by my claim that the guitar riff’s not bad and this song is catchy. Plus, they’re actually singing live on SNL. Here’s Karmin’s Brokenhearted.