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May 20, 2005 5:56 PM   Subscribe

I have a shot at salvaging a kid (twelve) from the mind numbing wasteland that is hip-hop-bippity-bop and pop. I need help.

He grooves on the Ramones, old Pixies and The Clash. But, you can only listen to "Hey-ho, Let's go" so many times. Myself, I'm ready to see Sheena get hit by a truck and hope Judy is next to her. We've done the anarchy thing and Lord knows, we're pretty vacant. He likes Hole (I think it's that Courtney upskirt wallpaper, but he denies it) but hates Nirvana. Talking Heads is tolerable but he prefers the B-52's. Go figure.

Billy Bragg he can deal with, Tweedy he loves (so I have the alt country thing happening) but I need some head banging noise that isn't quite as migraine inducing as Black Flag or Rollins Band but not candy coated.
posted by cedar to Media & Arts (68 answers total)
I bet he'd like The Minutemen and Gang of Four.
posted by saladin at 6:05 PM on May 20, 2005

Neutral Milk Hotel, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea.
posted by ludwig_van at 6:08 PM on May 20, 2005

Response by poster: I should add, don't even *think* of mentioning Siouxsie, she's like anaphylactic shock... it could kill the kid.
posted by cedar at 6:17 PM on May 20, 2005


So hard that they're soft.
posted by mr_roboto at 6:24 PM on May 20, 2005

How about the Buzzcocks?
The Specials. The Jam.
Dear god, the Smiths.
Van Morrison is tricky, but he's got some stuff that's accessible for kids; I can't get enough of Saint Dominic's Preview at the moment.
Ooooh, how about Cheap Trick? That could open up the door to a whole, beautiful world of power pop. Big Star, too.
posted by willpie at 6:38 PM on May 20, 2005


Maybe instead of disparaging his musical taste you should make an effort to appreciate it -- you'll then be able to find musical common ground. This wikipedia article is a good place to start.
posted by Tlogmer at 6:38 PM on May 20, 2005

Ella Fitzgerald. If the verbal riffs are what your kid likes, give him the Queen of Scat, man.
posted by WolfDaddy at 6:41 PM on May 20, 2005

Or, you know, you could go buy Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers and you and the kid could learn something at the same time.

On preview: +1 Tlogmer.
posted by lbergstr at 6:44 PM on May 20, 2005

Sorry I meant to link this page about Fitzgerald. Who was the first lady I ever fell in love with.
posted by WolfDaddy at 6:45 PM on May 20, 2005

He might like The Constantines, the Hold Steady, the Dismemberment Plan, or the Replacements. Might also want to consider a whole new genre and go with some really hip-hoppy stuff from other countries like Orishas or Ozomatli, or go back a few years and try some funky music like PFunk/Funkadelic/George Clinton or even older Pixies-sounding stuff like the Sonics or other music from the Enigma Variations era. Email me your address and I'd be happy to make you a sampler.
posted by jessamyn at 6:46 PM on May 20, 2005

Though their influences have always been global, and their songs not limited to English, I think of Ozomatli as a Los Angeles-based band.
posted by PY at 6:58 PM on May 20, 2005

X, PIL, Sleater Kinney

Mos Def, De La Soul, Roots
posted by desuetude at 7:05 PM on May 20, 2005

Maybe instead of disparaging his musical taste you should make an effort to appreciate it

I didn't think he was trying to say that hip hop as a genre isn't worthwhile, but rather that many of the more visible, popular examples of the form are rather uninspired, as is the case with any genre. What you get from the radio these days isn't exactly the cream of the crop. But I won't speak for him.

And personally, that brief description of hip-hop rhythms didn't strike me as very illuminating; it seems to me that approaching hip-hop from the angle of poetry would be more conducive to converting non-believers.

And another suggestion to the original poster: The Meadowlands by The Wrens.
posted by ludwig_van at 7:06 PM on May 20, 2005


McLusky (2)
Danko Jones (2 3 4 5) (caveat: friends of mine)
The Psychic Paramount
Lightning Bolt (mov) 2 (live mov)
Bardo Pond
The Bellrays (caveat: acquaintances)
The Constantines (caveat: acquaintances)
The Black Keys
Blonde Redhead
Bob Wiseman (caveat: acquaintance - not headbanger but can rock)
The Brian Jonestown Massacre (link is to dozens if not hundreds of mp3s)
My Morning Jacket (not headbanger but can really rock, though this track's quietish)
Explosions in the Sky
Lullabye Arkestra
Monroe Mustang (for heads that like to bang slow) (2 3 )
I Am Spoonbender
Les Savy Fav (various mp3s there)
LIARS (can't find mp3s but the album "... and put a monument..." is absolutely fantastic)
Shikasta (caveat: friends)
Mogwai (various tracks at link)
The Now Time Delegation
The Rock-A-Teens
Shotmaker (2 3)
Lift to Experience
Rockets Red Glare (caveat: acquaintances)
Sweep the Leg Johnny (caveat: acquaintances)
Tight Bros from Way Back When
TV On the Radio
Starvin' Hungry (caveat: acquaintances)

On preview I see I got beat to the punch on a few.
posted by dobbs at 7:07 PM on May 20, 2005

first name Mr. last name Bungle.
posted by shmegegge at 7:07 PM on May 20, 2005

Another hearty, hearty endorsement for the Jam! (If you'd like to start out with a best-of, I will not-so-modestly point out that this one contains lyrics by a certain MeFi member whose name starts with "s" and ends with "cody").

Also along similar lines/era, perhaps Wire ("Pink Flag" is so great!) the Specials, Madness, the Buzzcocks, the Undertones, and Elvis Costello. From this side of the pond, maybe he'd like X? (Minutemen and Gang of Four are also good suggestions.)

For harder sounding stuff from the early '90s, I have to admit a certain fondness for the first couple of Pearl Jam records. Also, what about Smashing Pumkins ("Siamese Dream" being the obvious one to me)? For hip-hop: maybe Public Enemy, the Beasties, De La Soul, or Arrested Development.

And going back to a different era, how about Cream? I was completely blown away by "Disraeli Gears" when I was just a couple of years older than your kid is... maybe he'd go for that?
posted by scody at 7:14 PM on May 20, 2005

D'OH! Above should be "contains lyrics LINER NOTES by a certain MeFi member..."
posted by scody at 7:15 PM on May 20, 2005

While I feel hip-hop is suffering a slow rotting disease, I second Ozomatli, + Jurassic 5, stuff from the Hieroglyphics crew, and EL-P associated stuff like Company Flow.

You're getting plenty of names for rock, I just figured I'd slip in the best hip-hop I know.
posted by Jack Karaoke at 7:17 PM on May 20, 2005

Oh, and also: Fugazi! My favorite-ist DC punk band evah!
posted by scody at 7:21 PM on May 20, 2005

Jurassic 5 seconded in a huge way. Common's good, too, if you're going the hip-hop route. A Tribe Called Quest -- anything older than Beats, Rhymes, and Life is very very good.
Flaming Lips; I can only imagine how cool Yoshimi would feel to an actual kid. Damn.
Wilco; I'd start with Being There for a 12 y.o.
And don't forget that Frank Black had a solo career.
posted by willpie at 7:29 PM on May 20, 2005

I hate to say it, but the Knack, too. : >

and the Vapors (of "turning japanese" fame), and Big Country, and Bow Wow Wow, and maybe Sigue Sigue Sputnik and Billy Idol.

I'm thinking they may be new to him, and the beat's right.
posted by amberglow at 7:36 PM on May 20, 2005

oh, and Heaven 17.
posted by amberglow at 7:36 PM on May 20, 2005

and early Elvis Costello.
posted by amberglow at 7:39 PM on May 20, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks... there were a few bands mentioned that I'd forgotten about.

Elvis Costello -- I'm trying. Boy, am I trying. Same for The Jam, Van Morrison (too Dad'ish), Buzzcocks and Mr. Bungle.

Whoever said Cheap Trick, thanks. I broke out Budokan and he loved it. The downside is, it was next to Cat Scratch Fever and he liked that too.

BTW, as far as hip-hop, rap or, as we like to say... "urban contemporary music" goes, it's not that I'm unfamiliar with it or dislike it. Actually, it's pretty pervasive in my life. I wasn't really looking for a discussion on the merits of rap -- I have a couple of other kids who are exploring it, in my house at an incredible volume, on a regular basis.

Regular? No, that's not what I meant to say -- what I meant to say was, "EVERY WAKEING MOMENT OF MY ENTIRE FUCKING LIFE!!!"

Yeah, that's it.

I just wanted to focus, for a bit, on the guitar kid. So, uh, Tglomer... bite me. Nobody is disparaging anything, except you (and that'd be me your disparaging).
posted by cedar at 7:48 PM on May 20, 2005

The Velvet Underground.
posted by ITheCosmos at 7:52 PM on May 20, 2005

I obviously misunderstood. I thought you had a kid who liked 70s/80s rock that you shared with him but that you had plenty of it in the house and were looking for contemporary "headbanger" music for him to listen to.
posted by dobbs at 7:59 PM on May 20, 2005

Replacements, they have enogh pop and macho appeal for a kid, but they'll led him further afield.

If he likes hip-hop, try Parliament-Funkadelic. It'll give him the funk he likes from rap while giving him something ore to chew on, too.

And, yeah, let him like what he likes too. We all gotta start somewhere. It's notlike we popped out of our momma's womb with X-Ray Spex records in our hands. Everybody eveolves in their own way.
posted by jonmc at 8:06 PM on May 20, 2005

posted by schyler523 at 8:08 PM on May 20, 2005

I think of Ozomatli as a Los Angeles-based band.

sure enough, I think I was confusing the two of them. I also like Motorhead and Fu Manchu.
posted by jessamyn at 8:09 PM on May 20, 2005

ITheCosmos is on the same wave as me: I was thinking of Nico. Also might try some Pizzicato Five, and perhaps some Republica.
posted by davidmsc at 8:10 PM on May 20, 2005

The Kinks, The Decemberists, Built to Spill, The Scissor Sisters, Ugly Duckling, David Bowie, The Wrens, The Shins, Beastie Boys, Modest Mouse (No order, off the top of my head)
posted by cyphill at 8:12 PM on May 20, 2005

Sweet zombie Jesus, definitely Funkadelic! Continuing in the maybe-sorta-oldies vein...The Stooges and/or Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, Nomeansno, The Cramps, Rev. Horton Heat, Dead Milkmen, Television...
posted by Vervain at 8:14 PM on May 20, 2005

The Kinks, The Decemberists, Built to Spill...

Yeah, listen to that guy.
posted by ludwig_van at 8:34 PM on May 20, 2005

I want to hang out with dobbs and scody. Or just, you know, inherit their record collections.

A few more suggestions: The Undertones, The Breeders, Les Savy Fav, 50 Foot Wave, ...Trail Of Dead, Spoon, early-90's Flaming Lips, Mission Of Burma, Beck, BRMC, Teenage Fanclub, The Libertines, Old 97's, The Gun Club, Joy Division, Le Tigre, Pretty Girls Make Graves, Superchunk. All uptempo, melodic and suitable for thrashing around the room.
posted by cali at 8:43 PM on May 20, 2005

Response by poster: jonmc, the 'mats are a tough one.

I kind of like to keep them to myself, you may well be the only person reading this who has a chance of understanding... I love those guys. I even got over Skyway.

I'm going to have to hold off on Mr. Westerberg and crazy ass Tommy. That's best left for him to find on his own -- I'm going to leave Janes Addiction and Rhett Miller that way too.

Vervain, the kids got Iggy. The Passenger and Wild One cover the bus ride every day. To whoever mentioned the Velvet Underground, that's there too, along with some newer Lou Reed.

Pfunk... nah. I can't get this kid to listen to old Animals or War. I don't think the George Clinton thing is happenning, though, I did catch him tapping his toe (with a sneer on his face) while I was playing Ohio Players, and Fatboy Slim/James Brown headache.

Once again, thanks to everyone (except that guy who pissed me off).
posted by cedar at 8:48 PM on May 20, 2005

Response by poster: New kid update... I should have mentioned this in my last post, but at the moment he's moved away from Daddy's creepy guitar glam rock fetish and is enjoying Johnny Clegg and Los Lobos (a seriously underated band).
posted by cedar at 8:56 PM on May 20, 2005

start him off on progressive hip-hop... Talib Kweli, Black Star, Mos Def, The Roots, etc... see how he likes hip-hops roots, like jazz.

shmegegge... dude, not even my hardcore musicians friends can get into Mr. Bungle.

Whenever I recommend music, I see what it is people like about a certain genre. Work from there...
posted by trinarian at 9:25 PM on May 20, 2005

Digable Planets. Groove Collective.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:01 PM on May 20, 2005

Well, he may like the first Olu Dara album for worldy/bluesy stuff, and with all due respect to scody, get some Dagnasty for the harDCore head-banging. Chavez and Heatmiser made some fine fine rolicking intelligent mathy guitar stuff that is more accessible (to my ears, anyway) than Les Savvy Fav or Lighning Bolt.

I love Neutral Milk Hotel, but I am not sure I would want to explain "the semen stained the mountaintop" to a hypothetical 12-year old of mine, so maybe get "On Avery Island" instead of "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea." Although I can't swear the lyrics are all that different, now that I think about it...
posted by mzurer at 10:15 PM on May 20, 2005

i turned my 16 year old nephew on to the mats and he was converted. Wanted everything they had ever done. I was stunned and happy and proudly nostalgic for all the great Minneapolis sounds that were made in the eighties. Someday soon I will dub him a copy of my Boink! cassette. When my young paduan is ready.

(And try the global a go go album by Strummer. He dug that too.)
posted by vronsky at 10:46 PM on May 20, 2005

cali mentioned Joy Division, jessamyn Motorhead, I second both. Big Black and Iron Maiden I don't think have been mentioned. Bad Religion maybe?

On preview: He's 12, huh? Maybe not Big Black then. Definitley go with Iron Maiden.
posted by Snyder at 10:54 PM on May 20, 2005

More classic alt-pop I thought of in the car tonight: I was absolutely in love with the first two Hoodoo Gurus rekkids ("Stoneage Romeos" and "Mars Needs Guitars") when I was about 13 or so. Also "True Colours" by Split Enz, "High Land, Hard Rain" by Aztec Camera, and almost any '70s Bowie ("Ziggy Stardust" still slays me). If you don't mind nearly endless references to sex (and you might -- that's totally your prerogative), I was semi-obsessed with the first Violent Femmes record at that age as well. And for truly brilliant lyrics about heroin and prostitution, there's the incomparable "Catholic Boy" by the Jim Carroll Band.

And this may be a dumb question, but if he likes the Clash, what's he think of the Pistols? Also, are the Dead Kennedys too obnoxious for you to bear to listen to repeatedly? (I always found them much more palatable than Black Flag.)

Oh, and "Boy" by U2 comes to mind. One of my favorites, even after all these years.
posted by scody at 12:37 AM on May 21, 2005

I notice that he likes stuff that's basically poppy. You might try Blur (you might mention to him that that the singer's the same guy who's Gorillaz), Manu Chao (especially Clandestino), R.E.M., Franz Ferdinand, Elastica, New Order, Oasis (1st album), Stone Roses, Eels and anything else I can think of has already been named. Wait, he's 12, AC/DC, every 12 year old boy loves AC/DC. It's the law.

jonmc: It's not like we popped out of our momma's womb with X-Ray Spex records in our hands

speak for yourself... :)

That being said, at age 12 I listened to the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Everly Brothers, T. Rex and Bob Dylan and stuff on old vinyl compilations of 60s music. Cedar, your kid's doing fine.
posted by Kattullus at 1:46 AM on May 21, 2005

Bad Brains
Hüsker Dü
The Donnas
Sonic Youth
Sleater-Kinney and Cadallaca
posted by nicwolff at 1:55 AM on May 21, 2005

And having finally actually read the question, which requests "head-banging noise", I'd just like to point out that many of you are retarded. Really. Wear helmets.
posted by nicwolff at 2:02 AM on May 21, 2005

Geez, when I was 12 (1979) I liked Linda Ronstadt (really!) Foghat, Olivia Newton-John, The BeeGees, ABBA, Steely, Jerry Rafferty, Billy Joel, AC/DC, Elton John and whatever R&B my friends were listening to at the time.
I got into Adam & The Ants, Elvis Costello, Midnight Oil & The Jam a couple of years later and I HATED the Sex Pistols the first time I heard 'em.
I think your kid will do just fine on his own, as Morrissey sang, These Things Take Time...
posted by black8 at 2:37 AM on May 21, 2005

black8, you were a smart 12 year old.

Tweedy he loves

Cheryl? Go for it.
posted by cillit bang at 4:42 AM on May 21, 2005

My musical tastes run all over the place, but I definitely feel like you're in the wrong just by categorizing hip-hop as a wasteland.

Wu-tang (along with individual projects by Gostface Killah, RZA, GZA, ODB, Raekwon and Method Man).

Mike Ladd. Genius-level hip-hop from an experimental jazz band. Samples here and here.

Senegalese hip-hop from Daara-J.

Afro-Cuban Jazz-flavoured hip-hop from The Orishas.

Beastie Boys.

Public Enemy. It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back is still one of the freshest, best produced, most relevant and most powerful albums of all time.

Take him back old-school. Try out some Gil Scott-Heron. I was 12 and my brother 6, and we were grooving hard to it when my mom played it in the car.

And in the 'wasteland' of pop, how bout them Beatles? Try out the more recent group Paris Texas (album Love You Like an Arsonist), or The Killers (album Hot Fuss). Spoon's album that just came out is also fantastic. Alkaline Trio's album Good Mourning. Bloc Party (I know that in a year's time, they will have been played to death, but Silent Alarm is such an incredible album). Arcade Fire. Supersystem. Death Cab for Cutie. Betaband.

I'm thinking Neutral Milk Hotel may not go over too well, but you never know. As far as content goes, if he's listening to a steady diet of modern rap/hip-hop/whatever, that's probably not really an issue.

Early Bowie. Rolling Stones.

JAMES BROWN, JAMES BROWN, JAMES BROWN. I thank God for the memories of dancing around to JB as a kid as my dad blasted it from the hi-fi. Curtis Mayfield's another guy. You can even turn it into a challenge, asking the 12-year old to find where they've been sampled (endlessly) in the newer urban he likes.

Pick him up the new Yellow Pills compilation to get some serious power-pop love going. Try a couple sample tracks here and here.
posted by the_savage_mind at 6:14 AM on May 21, 2005

When I was twelve, I got, as a gift from someone older, wiser and cooler, a copy of The Smiths "Louder than Bombs" and "Meat is Murder," and it changed my life.

It caused me, at 12, to stop listening to hip-hop completely (for a few years anyways), and explore mopey british music which "understood me," like Joy Division, New Order's "Power Corruption and Lies," which lead me into goth music like Bauhaus, Sisters of Mercy, Fields of Nephelim.
posted by Quartermass at 6:56 AM on May 21, 2005

I'll skip the hip-hop recommendations, except for a mention of the Quannum label (Blackalicious, Lyrics Born, DJ Shadow, etc.), and blend-heavy DJs that mix rock and rap (DJ Z-Trip, DJ P, 1200 Hobos, etc.)

In a rockier vein: The Pogues (and Flogging Molly and, to a lesser degree, the Dropkick Murphys), 8-Eyed Spy (for the part of him that likes Hole), the Red Aunts, Billy Childish, Half Japanese.

And, because I try to sell these things to everybody, how about some Afrobeat? Dub reggae (especially if he likes Sandinista!)?
posted by box at 6:58 AM on May 21, 2005

As a transplanted Detroiter - mebbe the White Stripes? Head-banging, yes, migraine-inducing, no. You can transition from Jack and Meg to a lot of different genres - maybe even pick up the Jack-produced Loretta Lynn and start an old-school country, bluegrass thing..? That was what I was listening to at age twelve but I grew up in Kentucky...
posted by Slothrop at 9:03 AM on May 21, 2005

He might like fifteen, against me or the amazombies for "softer" punk music.

Einstuerzende Neubauten and Skinny Puppy changed my life when I was that age. I wholeheartedly recommend the experience.
posted by cmonkey at 9:47 AM on May 21, 2005

for the love of god, THE MELVINS

introduce him to THE BOOTLICKER, and then STAG, and if he wants something heavier than god but without the crappy click doublekick screamshit give him THE MAGGOT.
posted by angry modem at 9:55 AM on May 21, 2005

Oh, and if he likes the Ramones, he'll probably like Screeching Weasel.
posted by cmonkey at 9:57 AM on May 21, 2005

Johnny Cash.
Social Distortion.
And yes, yes, early Elvis Costello.
Murphy's Law.
Mighty Mighty Bosstones, the earlier the better.
Second the recommendations for Frank Black, Bad Brains, TV On The Radio, and more.
Maybe some Yo La Tengo, too?
posted by Vidiot at 10:02 AM on May 21, 2005

I'm tickled The Jam has bee recommended so many times. How about Stiff Little Fingers. I second (or third) Cream, The Pogues, and Joy Division. And for something a little different, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs. Oh, and Stevie Ray Vaughn.
posted by lobakgo at 10:12 AM on May 21, 2005

I second the Dead Kennedys, The Pogues, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, and the Specials and many others. I'll also throw in Toots and the Maytals into the mix. (Note the obvious attempt to find ways to branch off The Clash).
posted by Good Brain at 10:41 AM on May 21, 2005

and maybe Violent Femmes?
posted by amberglow at 11:17 AM on May 21, 2005

I don't think the George Clinton thing is happenning,

Start him with Sly & The Family Stone, then and work your way up. Also, find out what kinda hip-hop he likes and maybe dig up some of the sample sources. They tend to be from some Deep funk & R&B so you may have found the kid a back door into music geekdom.

Also, I've played the Ramones, Shonen Knife, and the Who for young kids and they've dug it. If he likes the B-52's, he'd probably dig Blondie and The Dictators.

Geez, when I was 12 (1979) I liked Linda Ronstadt (really!) Foghat, Olivia Newton-John, The BeeGees, ABBA, Steely, Jerry Rafferty, Billy Joel, AC/DC, Elton John

Hey, Linda's got a killer set of pipes, The Bee Gees knew who to write a badass hook (I still groove on "To Love Somebody" and "Nights on Broadway" on occasion), ABBA are pure pop candy of the highest order, "Baker Street" has a tremendous sax, Steely Dan are monsters, Billy Joel is an underrated tunesmith as is Elton...and AC/DC deserve their own National Holiday, worldwide. Midnight Oil and Costello get much love from me, but Adam & The Ants was a step down, buddy.

posted by jonmc at 11:30 AM on May 21, 2005

You'll notice I didn't reccommend any metal. When his hormones start surging, that'll take care of his metal phase all by itself.
posted by jonmc at 11:32 AM on May 21, 2005

Red Hot Chillie Peppers offer a route into funk.
posted by Good Brain at 2:55 PM on May 21, 2005

no siouxsie sue? meh.

how bout: bunnymen. british sea power. dresden dolls. dropkick murphys.
posted by dorian at 3:17 PM on May 21, 2005

posted by phredhead at 4:09 PM on May 21, 2005

Jesus, dobbs, great list. I've seen lots of those bands at little clubs and the performances were unforgettable. Les Savy Fav especially.
posted by intermod at 10:27 PM on May 21, 2005

Tsar of course

new record comes out in June
posted by tsarfan at 1:21 AM on May 22, 2005

Kids should be raised on Prince. If he likes hip hop and pop and you want him to like guitar, you get the best of both worlds.
posted by anildash at 1:57 AM on May 22, 2005

Get him some good hip hop. Check out KRS-One, Aceyalone, The Beastie Boys, or The Roots to name a few. There is a ton of litterate hip hop beyond fity cent and snoop dog.

As far as more punk/rock and roll check out Fugazi and Sonic Yoouth
posted by trbrts at 3:09 PM on May 22, 2005

Thread is dead, but for what it's worth, no one mentioned some really terrific, indie hip hop. This is positive, smart, spiritual stuff:

Lyrics Born
Eyedea & Abilities (esoteric and abstract, but niiiiice)

...And for virtuoso turntablism, DJ Spooky is as good a start as any. Oh, and a name we'll all be hearing more of, Prefuse 73.
posted by LooseFilter at 12:28 AM on May 23, 2005

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