Archives For Electronic Dance Music

Swedish Bobo Music

April 5, 2016 — 65 Comments

Tween boy

Apparently, if you are searching for “Baba O’Reilly” on Spotify, and your kid is trying to wrestle the phone out of your hand so he can search for “Swedish House Mafia,” the search term morphs into “Swedish Bobo.”

Little Dude – is not so little anymore.

He’s 12, in middle school now, and he has LOT of opinions.

For one thing, he’s prefers electronic dance music to rock music. I like EDM when I’m wasted in a club, dancing at 2 am (which hasn’t happened a lot lately), but for purely listening purposes? Not so much.

He also listens to whatever is on Spotify’s Top 50. It ranges from “please pour battery acid in my ears”  to Twenty One Pilots. I know they are puppets of a soulless music industry, but I like them. They appeal to my inner angsty eighth grader.

I made Little Dude listen to Brian Eno, one of the pioneers of ambient music in the 70’s. Some might argue that ambient and electronic music aren’t necessarily connected, but too bad. I wanted my kid to know who Brian Eno is so I connected them.

Little Dude has braces now. They make him look like a little teenager and are a constant source of torture for both of us. I don’t always spend money I don’t have, but when I do, it’s $5000 on braces for a kid who accuses me of ruining his life between bites of jello.

He wears AXE deodorant. It smells horrific, but according to its last ad campaign, should have him kicking car doors open in no time.

 

HE SLEEPS LATE NOW.

He always woke at 6:30 am on the weekends, raring to go. I spent years teaching him to entertain himself and not wake Mama up until a more civilized hour.

When he was five, I had him convinced that those early Saturday am hours were HIS “alone time,” and he was free to watch movies and eat snacks and do whatever it is that five-year olds do when they have “alone” time.

I woke up at 8 am on one of those Saturdays, patting myself on the back because he let me sleep in. I stepped onto the top step of my stairs and tripped on a pencil that was rigged to protrude off of the step. It was tied to an empty soda can which I rolled over, and I tumbled down the stairs.

Little Dude had watched Home Alone early that morning, and decided to copy Kevin McCallister and booby trap my house. Did I mention he was FIVE?

A few months ago, I woke up at 8 am and my kid wasn’t up. By 9 am, I was in his room, putting a compact mirror under his nose to see if he was breathing.

Now, he sleeps sometimes as late as 11:00 am. Last Sunday, I celebrated by making myself a mimosa and listening to the local police scanner on my phone app and it was AWESOME.

 

His hormones are kicking in, which means he’s often moody and unpleasant. Normally, I don’t tolerate that, but this is different. He’s experiencing emotions he doesn’t even understand.

He simultaneously has the worst hygiene of his young life, while still managing to disappear upstairs for an inordinately long time when showering.

I don’t even want to think about that. EW.

He got an email from a girl the other day, a girl he’s told me he likes. When I asked him if she was pretty, he said, “Why does that matter? She is, but that’s NOT why I like her. She’s smart and nice.” I wish some boy in middle school had liked me, despite my braces, glasses and frizzy hair. I was in an awkward stage that lasted until 2015.

This girl had actually emailed him a copy of some Harvard admission essays. They’re in SIXTH GRADE.

 

Little Dude still enjoys spending time with me, one on one. Over spring break, we did a bunch of cool stuff together. We saw “Deadpool,” which was a little mature for him. How did I miss that it’s rated “R”? Luckily, he’s so innocent, all the sexual innuendos went right over his head.

At the end, he insisted we stay until the end of the credits. He was convinced there would be some kind of “bit” at the very, very end.

He was right.

As we left the movie, LD impulsively grabbed my hand in the parking lot. I acted like it was no big deal, but it was. He’s still very affectionate with me, but never in public.

 

Sometimes, he asks if we can talk, to help him sort through feeling lost or confused. We have talks that last hours.

Thank you Lord, Buddha, and All The Gods, that my kid still wants to talk to me about whatever is troubling him. Any day now, he’s going to become a Teenager, discount my opinion and silently plot my death.

 

He’s in such an odd place right now; no longer a boy, but not yet a teen. It’s a complicated, confusing and probably scary place for him.

It’s confusing for me, too. I want to hold on and let go all at the same time.
Most of all, I want it to slow down.

Slow down, baby boy.  I don’t want to miss a thing.

 

“I’ll Come Running” by Brian Eno. I can’t even tell you how much I love this song.

 

Do you ever wish you could slow down your kids’ growing up? How much longer do I have until he stops thinking I’m cool?
Talk to me. I’m listening. 

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2009pitchfork_freaks

 

“You HAVE to come with me next time!” my college BFF slurred drunkenly over the phone from Little Rock, Arkansas. She was having a musical epiphany at a 3-day festival and called to let me hear some obscure band play over her iPhone.

No, actually, I don’t. I don’t want to go anywhere where I contract hepatitis from a porta potty.

The Internet has killed the retail music industry. Now, we must spend a gazillion dollars travelling to festivals to hear obscure genres like “sock puppet poon tang” and “tropical beaty bop-pop-a-roonie”

Music festivals aren’t for people who actually like music. They’re for people who want to get chemically annihilated in a humongous crowd while trawling for similarly wasted sexual partners. People who eschew silly amenities like food and water to camp out in the mud for a week. People who like to experience music as tiny insects a mile away, performing songs you have to watch on a Jumbotron. Sort of like watching them on YouTube, only far less comfortable.

Here are some of the music festivals I WON’T be going to. EVER.

 

COACHELLA

After you sell a lung to pay the $1000 to get in, it’s only a 50 mile hike –  in a 150-degree California desert sandstorm – to the festival entrance.

If you actually want to see a band, be prepared to stand for 12 hours in the blistering heat. Just be prepared for the Douche Brigade to come muscling their way to the front at the last minute. The 6-foot dude in a velvet patchwork top hat will plant himself right in front of you. Natch.

Coachella is a great place to feel body-shamed, in case you don’t already have that hangup. People train ALL YEAR for their “Coachella bodies” so they can wear as little clothing as possible. It’s crawling with skinny models dressed in Urban Outfitter’s finest. Fashion is foremost to these fringe-laden, hula-hooping, drugged-out hipsters.

If you do opt for clothing, Native American is de rigueur, which is French for “I look like an asshole.” You may not see any bands, but you’ll see oodles of molly-stoned millennials in Navajo Indian headdresses groping each other.

 

 

BURNING MAN

“The Burn,” as its cult devotees refer to it, is not really a music festival. It’s a week-long art festival which allegedly provides spiritual enlightenment in an obscure corner of the Nevada desert.

Event promoters describe it as a “radical experiment in self-expression,” but it’s 70,000 loonytunes camping out in the desert while engaged in Bacchanalian drinking, drugging and sex. Newbies are greeted with “WELCOME HOME!!” by seasoned burners with names like “Captain Pajama Pants.”

Burning Man is the antithesis to Coachella’s gym-honed perfection. Here you get leathery old bare-assed hippies, ravaged by time and psychotropic drugs. Middle-aged, middle class men in particular love to drop their inhibitions and their pants at Burning Man, so be prepared for a veritable cornucopia of naked testicles drooping like turkey wattles.

If you ARE dressed, you must be in a costume. Otherwise some self-righteous druggie perv with herpes on his lip, dressed as the big rat from Chuck E Cheese, will lecture you on participation.

I’d love to trip balls in the desert and dance around dressed in nothing but a python and duct tape over my nipples, but I have a life, a kid and I job. I can’t pencil in a trip to the desert to get so high I shit myself.

The grand finale of this hippie-flavored shindig is the burning of the actual 60-foot wooden Burning Man. I enjoy a good orgasm of flames and destruction as much as the next pyro, but I’m not interested in being asphyxiated while 70,000 frenzied stoners perform the hippie version of a Ku Klux Klan rally.

Not if I have to sign a waiver that reads:
“I acknowledge and fully understand that as a participant, I will be engaging in activities that involve risk of serious injury, including permanent disability and death.”

 

 

ELECTRIC DAISY CARNIVAL

If you’re wondering who the hell listens to that soulless, inhuman, repetitive nonsense known as “EDM” (electronic dance music), they’re all here.

Electric Daisy Carnival is a souped up, super-size rave, for people who don’t realize that raves have been over for two decades. It was cool when it was an “underground secret warehouse” culture, but like anything else that’s been commercialized, it’s a ferocious, brutal appropriation conveniently adapted for mass consumption. It’s rave folklore packaged for your 14-year-old kid.

Electric Daisy Carnival is a stage in a parking lot, full of kids with suckers in their mouths and gas masks on, getting obliterated. For three days, the same three minutes of music plays on repeat. Teeny boppers sporting knee-high fake fur and tutus have no clue what they’re listening to. All they care about is taking selfies as they flash peace signs and make duck faces.

And then there are the “Bros.” The frat boys who once inebriated themselves to Dave Matthews Band are now wearing neon tank tops with “TURN UP” in block letters and careening around to Deadmau5. The ‘roided up bro culture loves aggressively loud music they can break into gorilla-ish fights to.

And the line up? It sounds like porn. All these DJs have sex-toy names. Max Enforcer, Dirtyphonics, Gigamesh, Delta Heavy. I don’t want to listen to music made by people who sound like menacing dildos.

The EDM industry is a music industry cash cow. They’re repackaging old techno as something new and selling it to an audience who doesn’t know any better. Of course the music sounds good when you’ve lined your nasal passages with pure crystallized MDMA. I could play “Gangnam Style” in a room full of EDM fans blown up on Molly,  and by the second verse I guarantee each and every one of them would be having the time of their lives. By the end of the song I could convince them it was actually a symbolic anthem regarding the struggle of a divided Korea.

You can do ingest all the drugs you want, but for fuck’s sake, don’t let those substances convince you that Electric Daisy Carnival is the event of a lifetime. You’re just ball-hair blasted and listening to a glorified Mrs. Pac-Man soundtrack.

 

Would you camp out in the woods at these events? What music festivals won’t you be attending? 
When did I get so old that these festivals are no longer fun? 
Talk to me.  I’m listening. 

 

 

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