Tween Music Intervention
August 18, 2006 7:10 AM   Subscribe

I need some advice with music for my tween (10.5 year old) niece. The family was on vacation together and I was looking at her iPod and it was chock full of Brittney Spears and Kelly Clarkston etc... and that makes me sad. Granted, I understand that she is young and will grow out of that but I really want to get her horizons broadened early. Any suggestions or thoughts?

I am trying to stick to songs that are young kid friendly (little to no swearing, sex and drugs etc...) and not too out there which will make a nice transition for her.

People at the office have suggested Maroon 5, Justin Timberlake and that style, I have been thinking along the lines of Kasey Chambers, Jack Johnson, Gnarls Barkley.
posted by GrumpyMonkey to Media & Arts (83 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
what about Prokofiev?
posted by matteo at 7:30 AM on August 18, 2006

posted by Jairus at 7:31 AM on August 18, 2006

Nobody doesn't like the Beatles, man. But I can imagine that a kid would like Jack Johnson, too.
posted by CRM114 at 7:32 AM on August 18, 2006

10 1/2 is pretty much The Time For Top-40 Pop That Will Later Embarass You. Anything that broadens her horizons too much is going to be either too profane or too adult (and therefore boring.)

In the vast musical desert of mid-80s pop, I was lucky to have Prince. But I'm not thinking that Purple Rain is what you had in mind.

She'll be more receptive in a couple of years, when she wants to break from the pack. But meanwhile, play a variety of music that you like when you two do stuff together. She'll start picking it up, and when she's ready, she'll ask you about it.
posted by desuetude at 7:35 AM on August 18, 2006

Queensryche, Operation Mindcrime . Its never too late to get into 80's prog-metal with a political slant.

Not at all biased toward what I'm listening to now.
posted by daveyt at 7:37 AM on August 18, 2006

Dude, she's TEN. It's OK, really.
posted by mkultra at 7:39 AM on August 18, 2006

She's at just about the right age for the Beatles.
posted by xammerboy at 7:39 AM on August 18, 2006

I second mkultra - that sort of music is fun when you're 10.

Desuetude's suggestion is perfect - encourage it to happen naturally rather than forcing it. I know that if my relatives had started pushing music on me when I was 10, I would have almost certainly rejected it.
posted by spark at 7:45 AM on August 18, 2006

No matter what you give her, she'll think it's dorky. I think you should just let her listen to her music.
posted by dydecker at 7:46 AM on August 18, 2006

I agree with the "she's 10, that's what kids listen to at that age" people. (Of course, when I was 10, it was 1983 and I listened to Rick Springfield and Def Leppard, so my mileage varies.)

That said, I agree with introducing her to The Beatles, and how about They Might Be Giants?
posted by Lucinda at 7:46 AM on August 18, 2006

She's approaching the age where she's required by law to discover Steve Miller's Greatest Hits and play it endlessly so you might as well get it over with.

Also, it's never to soon to become a Beatles fan.
posted by bondcliff at 7:46 AM on August 18, 2006

what about Prokofiev?

My 9 y.o. hates Prokofiev. Granted, I'm more likely playing Nevski and not Kije or Peter and the Wolf. Plus, I think the P&W exposure happens younger than 10.5. I was exposed to classical music constantly by my Dad throughout my youth, and brought to numerous concerts at Tanglewood, etc, but did not "get" it until I was well into my teens. You could try giving her CDs she might dig. My kids have gone to bed listening to a handful of Horovitz "Greatest Hits" CDs every single day since they were born, but never once have they gone out of their way to hear a piano sonata.

In my opinion, you can surely expose a kid to all kinds of music at any age, and they will "soak up" a bunch of it and it has a good chance of affecting their tastes later in life. My six year old will grow up thinking she was born in the disco era. She just likes disco.

But I for sure do not think you can prevent kids from listening to the popular music of their time. Everyone does it. It's part of growing up. You would not believe what my Dad thought of Pink Floyd. If you thumb your nose at that stuff she's listening to, you're just marking yourself as an un-hip grown-up.
posted by popechunk at 7:47 AM on August 18, 2006

MY iPod is full of Britney Spears and Kelly Clarkson. I'm 37. I will now go cry myself to sleep in a corner.

Anyway - has she shown any interest in playing a musical instrument? It could lead to an expansion in musical tastes down the road.
posted by matty at 7:52 AM on August 18, 2006

Weird Al Yankovic
posted by mattbucher at 7:52 AM on August 18, 2006

Recipe to ruin a chld's life (in a good way, maybe): Invite her over, let her dig through your music collection and listen to anything that she is curious about. Things you think she should like might look impossibly uncool to her, but somebody in that stack is going to intrigue her. Promise you will buy or dub her the three things she likes best. Mention that she could conceivably get a cheap turntable and start frequenting thrift stores, where whole albums cost less than a track from iTunes. Then stand back.

Also, you don't say what her character is, but David Bowie is the traditional gateway drug for arty kids.
posted by Scram at 8:00 AM on August 18, 2006

For those with the "she's ten, let it go" response, I should have clarified that it was actually her request that I send her music.
I understand that is part of growing up I just want her to help her hear more than just what her friends are listening to.
posted by GrumpyMonkey at 8:01 AM on August 18, 2006

They Might Be Giants - "Flood"

That's all I'm sayin'
posted by almostcool at 8:05 AM on August 18, 2006

That's funny, my ten year old niece is visiting me right now and her parents bought her an ipod yesterday -- she told me that she's going to fill it up with a bunch of random pop singers I've never heard of, PLUS The Postal Service, Arcade Fire and Wolf Parade...she's totally going to grow up and make me proud.
posted by echo0720 at 8:08 AM on August 18, 2006

Sara Tavares. There's a video on that site you can check out. She's not like super special only for kids or something, but I just found about her today and I think she's pretty cool. Also she doesn't sing in English, so who cares if it's about sex? I don't think it is, though.
posted by thirteenkiller at 8:08 AM on August 18, 2006

omg Bob Marley
posted by thirteenkiller at 8:14 AM on August 18, 2006

zepplin (selected songs obviously).. the dead. phish. dj shadow (but not the new cd oming out). bob marley. os mutantes (the brazilian beatles). i could go on forever.... youre never to young to get into music.
posted by fumbducker at 8:17 AM on August 18, 2006

I would suggest that you find some mashups that feature some of the artists she already likes. For example, a recently released mashup features Kelly Clarkson, Paula Abdul, and the Doobie Brothers.


1. None of the other kids in school will have the track
2. It has artists she already likes
3. It integrates the best bits from other more respectable artists which may peak her interest in them.

This will require a little work on your part, the place to start is GYBO (Get Your Bootleg On). Sign up for an account (its a free forum account) and head over to the 'GYBO - Your Space' forum. Proceed to have your mind blown by the amazing work people do there.
posted by maxpower at 8:22 AM on August 18, 2006

Heh, in this new age of Internet Music Criticism, some circles afford Britney Spears and Kelly Clarkson more critical cachet than the likes of Maroon 5 and Jack Johnson. Your niece is cutting edge! But yeah, it's always good to put new things out there for her to discover. My 11-year old sister (who also loves Kelly and Britney) enjoys: Annie (pop from Norway), OK Go (power pop), Queen (especially over-the-top stuff like "Bicycle Race" and "Bohemian Rhapsody"), and Evanescence.

Also, maybe encourage her to spend time at YouTube? Both my younger sisters have found a ton of new music via fan videos (yesterday she asked me to find her a song by David Byrne!).
posted by brookedel at 8:22 AM on August 18, 2006

I second desuetude. Keep the good stuff on in the background and she'll eventually come around. My god, I actually owned an MC Hammer cassette once. My older brother (indirectly) turned me on to R.E.M. and my musical journey began. She'll come around.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 8:23 AM on August 18, 2006

the following advice is culled from my 9 y/o girl's listening habits:

david bowie: rebel rebel and mordern love
james brown: I feel good
m.i.a: sunshowers, and some other stuff.
kiss: duece and rock and roll all night
alice cooper: school's out
outkast: hey ya

Basically any fun classic rock. Maybe just because her mom listens to it?

She really loves:

aaliyah: I care 4 u album.
brandy: full moon album
amerie: touch album

These are rnb albums, but their musical quality far surpasses what she's listening to and they're not too sexy or anything.

I really suggest the aaliyah album above. It matches your girl's perferred music style and even I catch myself listening to it every so often. It's quite good.
posted by milarepa at 8:24 AM on August 18, 2006

the aquabats, they might be giants, the beatles, cat stevens.
posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 8:29 AM on August 18, 2006

My sister's intarweb access at work is out, but I forwarded the question to her. Her response:

If she likes pop music, it's probably best to stick with pop music for now. Take a look at, say, what American Idol contestants have been singing and any original versions that you don't find distasteful. Queen comes to mind, as does (maybe) some Rod Stewart. 80's female pop stars might also be up her alley, like the Go-Go's or maybe Pat Benatar.

Pop music used in commercials and video games would probably also go over pretty well -- especially since profanity is already weeded out and the songs will be familiar. iTunes has tons of "music used in commercials" lists -- go through those and see what jumps out at you.
posted by Lucinda at 8:33 AM on August 18, 2006

Or, West Side Story, My Fair Lady, etc.
posted by geoff. at 8:40 AM on August 18, 2006

Let her listen to what she wants. To each their own. Offer to make her mixes and such, but she is gonna listen to what she wants, as well as what her friends do.
posted by TwilightKid at 8:42 AM on August 18, 2006

My slow, sad slide into indie-loser-hipster-dom started with the Beach Boys.

It's a quick jump for a kid from the fun car/beach-y Greatest Hits to Pet Sounds, and every hipster knows that Pet Sounds is Teh Greatest Album of All Time, right?
posted by bcwinters at 8:52 AM on August 18, 2006

In the vast musical desert of mid-80s pop, I was lucky to have Prince. But I'm not thinking that Purple Rain is what you had in mind.

You know, I grew up listening to Purple Rain. Now that I'm old enough to understand the lyrics, I'm not sure I'd let a 10 y.o. girl anywhere near his stuff.

TMBG is a really good rec. As is James Brown. Everyone loves James Brown.
posted by mkultra at 9:06 AM on August 18, 2006

But I for sure do not think you can prevent kids from listening to the popular music of their time. Everyone does it.

so completely not true. I absolutely hated the pop music of my day, and basically just thought I wasn't "into music" at all (I listened to the beatles and the rolling stones and some other "oldies" but only because they were less completely painfully irritating than madonna & tiffany) - and then in seventh grade my new stepmother introduced me (by just playing it for herself at a time when I was in the house) to pink floyd, and it changed my entire understanding of music - I was "into music" after all - I just hadn't known people made stuff like this. Later I discovered the smiths & the cure, and a whole alternative culture - I'm sure I would have loved all of it earlier if anyone had been around to show it to me.

Which is all to say, I don't think you can change her mind about what will appeal to her, but you can certainly offer her other possibilities and let her see what she thinks of them. How is she going to know what else is out there if she doesn't know how to look for it? I'd just give her mixes of stuff you like. I don't think age makes that much difference in taste. It's just a question of exposure - tastes may get more refined as you get older but I think that's largely because you've heard more overall. So don't try to influence her by introducing her to music you think is "good for a 10 year old who likes brittany" - share the stuff that you think is worth her time and let her embrace or reject your offerings as she pleases. She may just have different taste than you do, or she may just not know what else is out there. Play music you like when she's around and give her mp3's to check out and leave it at that. You may be remembered as the uncle who made all the difference - or as the weirdo with all the mix tapes - who knows. That part is really up to her.
posted by mdn at 9:11 AM on August 18, 2006

(lounge-pop being marketed to tweens by Macy's, actually, covered on my site)

Zero 7
(hip, inoffensive downtempo, positive vibe)
posted by cowbellemoo at 9:24 AM on August 18, 2006

You know, I grew up listening to Purple Rain. Now that I'm old enough to understand the lyrics, I'm not sure I'd let a 10 y.o. girl anywhere near his stuff.

My point exactly. I knew it was dirty before I knew precisely why it was dirty. (I did know enough to turn down the volume to Darlin' Nikki in case my mother suddenly developed the ability to understand what Prince was saying.)

My personal path out of 80s pop radio was the Beatles, Beach Boys, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Supremes...and before I knew it I was listening to the Doors and taking drugs. Just kidding. Confirming Bowie as the gateway to indie rock, though.

All of that greatest hits of the 80s stuff has been popular for awhile now with the high-school/college-age crowd, so she'll probably love it. (As a little kid, don't you always luv what the big kids luv?)
posted by desuetude at 9:24 AM on August 18, 2006

Fun, easy pop music:

The Beatles
The Beach Boys
The Shins
The Decemberists
The Magnetic Fields
Belle and Sebastian
The Zombies
The New Pornographers
Sondre Lerche
posted by ludwig_van at 9:38 AM on August 18, 2006

My wife would recommend Keren Ann if she were reading this thread. I suggest Shiina Ringo myself, though the mostly not in English thing may be a problem. Shouso Strip is probably her most accessible album that I've heard.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 9:39 AM on August 18, 2006

My just-turned-11 daughter gave me a huge thrill the other day when she asked if we could listen to either The Ramones or The Devos [sic]. I've raised that kid right, I tell you.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:46 AM on August 18, 2006

she may also like the new outkast album, morris brown and idlewild blues feel young, they're popular and are pretty good.
posted by milarepa at 9:56 AM on August 18, 2006

My six year old's iPod is filled with lots of J-pop (Puffy AmiYumi started it), a little K-pop, as well as Annie, Kylie Minogue, Beatles, Weird Al, GoGos, Bananarama, The Monkees. She's obsessed with ABBA.

(The joy of the J-pop is knowing that even if there are swears, she's not gonna get detention for it.)

The 80s pop for some reason is less abhorant to me and since Hillary Duff is covering "Our Lips are Sealed," she's into the originals.

Thanks to Radio Disney, she's also into MxPx, Bowling for Soup and those pop-iro-wish-we-were-ska bands. They don't play Brittany or similar, due to sexual content issues.

Beastie Boys "In Songs from the Way Out" was her lullabye music and she still likes it. I've given her a "selection" of other Beastie Boys hits on her iPod and she claims they're her favorite band.

Nthing They Might Be Giants. The first time she asked me why he had to put his hand inside the puppethead, I cracked up for 20 minutes.
posted by Gucky at 9:59 AM on August 18, 2006

What a delightful prospect, you can really have fun with this as long as you're prepared for a little rejection.

Along with the above suggestions, you may as well take a crack at the classics - try something light and accessable (non-symphonic) like Scarlatti, perhaps the earlier Mozart quartets - she'll either be bored silly or totally facinated - if the latter, now would be a great time to find out.

Otherwise what about Tom Petty? Some of his stuff has nice simple catchy lines, has a storytelling kind of quality to it.
posted by scheptech at 10:03 AM on August 18, 2006

Innocent, catchy, accessible, poppy, intelligent, clean stuff for an 11-year-old:

Oh man, get her into Ben Folds. Buy "Rockin' the Suburbs" and she'll flip. (Although he does have a tendency to swear.)

Cake is also ridiculously fun and catchy. I highly recommend "Comfort Eagle" and "Prolonging the Magic."

Can't go wrong with some old-school Beck.

Tell her that Vanessa Carlton and Sheryl Crow have appearances in Counting Crows' Hard Candy.

Oh, and heck, why haven't I mentioned Death Cab for Cutie? Forget the spooky name, he's the most innocent-sounding singer evarrr.

Okay, and if she likes dancey stuff, there's The Killers and Franz Ferdinand.

And don't forget about that wimpy ballady stuff. The kids are all about Coldplay and Keane and U2.

And lastly, if you can't steer her away from that pop stuff, I hear Radio Disney does an excellent job mixing in old-school stuff like Beach Boys and the Beatles with current pop stuff.
posted by Milkman Dan at 10:06 AM on August 18, 2006

I would say get some compliations - best of the 80s, best of the 70s, and see what she likes. Beastie Boys, for sure. Are you willing to do just some songs by some artists (i.e. not the whole album where the whole album might be inappropriate?). Upbeat Beck. Billy Joel's greatest hits. G Love & Special Sauce. Lyle Lovett. Robert Palmer - Sneakn Sally Through The Alley - the first four songs on that one are SO CATCHY. Stevie Wonder - Innervisions - some kinda adult themes, but also CATCHY.

What about country? Willie Nelson's Red Headed Stranger and Patsy Cline's Gretest Hits (esp. Back in Baby's Arms) were songs I danced to with my dad when I was that age, and songs my young nieces sill like.

Also, this thread makes me happy!
posted by dpx.mfx at 10:11 AM on August 18, 2006

If she likes pop with that kind of sound, she'll almost certainly love these artists:

-Michelle Branch (American)
-Ayumi Hamasaki (j-pop)
-Utada Hikaru (j-pop)
-Tommy heavenly6 (j-rock, and yes, it's capitalized/spelled that way)
-Tommy february6 (the j-pop alter-ego of Tommy heavenly6)
-Juli (German pop)
-La Oreja De Van Gogh (Spanish pop-rock)
-Monkey Majik (j-rock, spelled as you see it)

She won't understand a lot of the words in the Japanese/German/Spanish music, but she'll almost certainly like it. I kind of like that jangly pop sound that Kelly Clarkson et al. have, and the artists above are some of my favorites.
posted by limeonaire at 10:14 AM on August 18, 2006

And yes, nthing TMBG as well.
posted by limeonaire at 10:14 AM on August 18, 2006

And OK Go, as mentioned above, is also an excellent choice. Their second album is much better than the first, IMHO.
posted by limeonaire at 10:16 AM on August 18, 2006

long answer: when I was a kid the local grocery store gave out weekly cassettes of oldies to anyone who spent a certain amount of money on food. my mom would bring home one cassette each week, and in a few months I had a collection of about 200 of the greatest oldies (1950s to early 1970s) that we could listen to in the car. to this day I am grateful for the history lesson that music provided me. my wife's parents are not from an English-speaking country and she is incredibly jealous of my knowledge of US and English music history, which I chalk up mostly to those tapes from third grade.

short answer: motown
posted by billtron at 10:21 AM on August 18, 2006

Man, this is great - thanks!
I was planning on mailing a couple of mixed cds to her to get her started but this is just wonderful and will certainly let us have fun figuring out new things for her to hear.

And heck, it will help me get some new and forgotten music into my rotation at the very worst.
posted by GrumpyMonkey at 10:48 AM on August 18, 2006

posted by muta at 10:54 AM on August 18, 2006

Perhaps: Architecture in Helsinki, The Go! Team, The Boy Least Likely To...

They're quite twee and funky, I can imagine a wee madam enjoying them.
posted by ed\26h at 10:55 AM on August 18, 2006

B-52s - Rock Lobster! Loveshack! Great fun.
posted by goo at 11:14 AM on August 18, 2006

If I was a 10-year old girl I'd LOVE the Brunettes.
posted by travosaurus at 11:23 AM on August 18, 2006

Loveshack! Great fun.

A song about some horny people who have found an illicit den in which to have sexual intercourse? For a child? inappropriate!
posted by ed\26h at 11:46 AM on August 18, 2006

Does she like the Powerpuff Girls? If so, get her the soundtracks: Heroes and Villains or Power Pop.

This will expose her to a lot of bands like Shonen Knife, Dressy Bessy, Bis, and The Apples in Stereo.
posted by MsMolly at 11:48 AM on August 18, 2006

It's too bad that she's too young for Liz Phair, as you could definitely transition her from the newer stuff to the older, better stuff. I was also about to suggest Belle and Sebastian, particularly The Life Pursuit except that they do throw around the swwears in a manner that adults wouldn't even notice, but that a ten-year-old certinaly would, unfortunately. The New Pornographers would be perfect, save for their name, which probably disqualifies them. I'd say go with Tegan and Sara, Postal Service, Death Cab, and maybe 2 Skinnee J's for the modern.

As for the more classic stuff, of course it's never to early to learn to love The Beatles, but a lot of Stones could play as well, and definitely The Clash.

When I was her age, I was listening to M.C. Hammer, Vanilla Ice, and C+C Music Factory. If my parents had suggested anything different, I would have avoided it like the plague, but they knew enough to let me musician brother (who ran sound in a number of clubs in Dallas) wean me off that crap himself. As such, at that age, I was able to move onto Rev. Horton Heat, Widespread Panic, 10,000 Maniacs, Edie Brickell, etc. If she's open to hearing different music, then definitely get her some.

As a word of warning, though, I'd buy her the albums if I were you. She'll be more open to listening around if it's actually hers. If she gets to explore the music on her own, she'll probably find some things that she really likes, and she'll like it a lot more for having found it herself instead of having it shoved down her throat by clearchannel, IMO.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:59 AM on August 18, 2006

Loveshack! Great fun.

A song about some horny people who have found an illicit den in which to have sexual intercourse? For a child? inappropriate!

Don't know if you were kidding or not, but I don't even hear Love Shack that way now. It's just bouncy fun nonsense. I think it'd be fine.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:01 PM on August 18, 2006

When we got my now 11 year old a CD player for Christmas one year, I asked everyone in the family to buy him one CD they thought it was essential for him to have. He ended up with stuff by America, Simon and Garfunkle, Asleep at the Wheel, John Mayer, Enya, The Beatles, Gershwin and Tchaicovsky! Maybe you could poll family members and ask for one song every kid should know and make her a playlist.

My kids are sort of out of the mainstream, since we homeschool, don't listen to commercial radio or have MTV. I'm pretty confident that what they listen to is really what they like, since that peer pressure is virtually absent. They both really like U2, Queen, the LOTR and Narnia soundtracks and thanks to grandma's cable TV, my six year old is obsessed with the "Ben 10" theme song.

My stepsons are more hip to pop music, and the 13 year old was really quite surprised that he and I had BOTH bought KT Tunstall songs from iTunes. Your niece might like her, as well as Sinead Lohan and Jonatha Brooke.
posted by Biblio at 12:05 PM on August 18, 2006

Teagan and Sara are very catchy and very poppy. My wife loves them, they are actually just too saccharine sweet for me. I bet younger girls would like them.

I don't _think_ there is swearing.
posted by rsanheim at 12:08 PM on August 18, 2006

At least for me, the larger issue is not just what a young girl is listening to, but to whom. It would be nice for little girls to not only listen to great bands like the Beatles and Beach Boys, but also artists she can look up to and identify with who aren't vigorously flaunting their sexuality.

With that in mind, your neice might like Joss Stone, India.Arie, Corinne Bailey Rae, Macy Gray, Erykah Badu, Norah Jones and Jill Scott. I recommend the first three very highly, especially Corinne Bailey Rae.

When she's a little older, come back and talk to me about Sleater-Kinney, Bikini Kill, Le Tigre, Dressy Bessy and all the other fun riot grrls. They'll knock her knee socks off!
posted by zoomorphic at 12:23 PM on August 18, 2006

Get Your Clap Your Hands Say Yeah On.
posted by toastchee at 12:31 PM on August 18, 2006

I was just in the car and listening to the boy least likely to and realized that i should add it to this thread. i bet a little girl would find them catchy.
posted by echo0720 at 12:36 PM on August 18, 2006

Go! Team also crossed my mind, but I wonder if it wouldn't be too *noisy* sounding.

And Milkman Dan's selections are excellent—that mid-'90s alternative rock stuff shouldn't be overlooked. Early '90s hip-hop can be very good, too—pick up a copy (if you can find one) of MTV's Party To Go Volume 2 and you'll have some very danceable tracks. (Although you might want to download it and prune out Salt 'N' Pepa's "Let's Talk About Sex" and the song "O.P.P." (Naughty By Nature?) I always fast-forwarded past those when I was in 2nd grade, 'cause I was afraid my parents would hear me playing 'em and take the tape away.)
posted by limeonaire at 12:47 PM on August 18, 2006

i can't tell you how many tweenage girls listened to INXS when i was tweenage too. i would add Basement Jaxx, Daft Punk, Pizzicato Five, Saint Etienne, and The Sundays. (yeah, i just did an alphabetical scan of my itunes library.)
posted by the painkiller at 1:17 PM on August 18, 2006

I forgot to mention, as much as I love J-Pop, it mainly falls into two categories: the sacharine and the super-alternative. While she might like Ai Otsuke or the like, it doesn't broaden her horizons much, as it's the same thing she's already listening to except in a different language. As for the other category, well... JUDY AND MARY are amazing, but are about as innaccesable as it gets. I don't know if J-Pop is really the way to go.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:21 PM on August 18, 2006

Raffi's Bananaphone?

I also think highly of K-Pop, J-Pop, and O-Pop.

Only partially off topic, come see my j-pop/o-pop band, Happy Fun Smile, in NYC this thursday night at Matsuri's on W. 16th St.

posted by billtron at 1:26 PM on August 18, 2006

What is O-pop? Google and urban dictionary are unhelpful so far.
posted by goo at 1:53 PM on August 18, 2006

I second They Might Be Giants, CAKE, and Ben Folds (Five), as well as Barenaked Ladies. I only wish I had known the wonders of TMBG at 10. It's not poppy, but it's very fun and almost random. High sing-along-ability.
posted by Glitter Ninja at 2:58 PM on August 18, 2006

What about a little singer/songwriter girl power a la Alanis Morrisette, Fiona Apple?

There's also sinfully good pop music like Kylie Minogue, The Cardigans.
posted by heartquake at 3:16 PM on August 18, 2006

You can't go wrong with They Might Be Giants, and both my boys adore the Beatles. My 11 yo son loves Big Movie Soundtracks (Narnia, LOTR, Star Wars, anything in that tradition, and orchestral movie soundtracks can be gateway to classical), and a little Enya, but I can't wean my 16 yo off of Metallica.

Anyway, try Vanessa Carlton and Belinda Carlisle. 10,000 Maniacs. Maybe some early Bjork, even. If she has any taste for something country-ish, look up Antigone Rising (the new, female version of The Eagles country rock).

I'm not sure she could resist ABBA or Ace of Base. B52s, Blondie...things that bop without being vapid...

And the Pretenders. Counter that Britney-pop with Chrissie Hynde's strong female voice!
posted by lhauser at 4:38 PM on August 18, 2006

Gosh, yes, barnaked ladies and (really!) Ace of Base.
posted by dpx.mfx at 4:42 PM on August 18, 2006

Part of the problem here is that MeFi members really do have crappy taste in general. And if you're gonna get her Jack Johnson you probably do too.

Now, I grew up in a weird family musically, so I got a lot of exposure to stuff that wasn't "age appropriate," but I tend to think that the words are less important than the message. Sort of like how you can have a radio edit that doesn't say fuck, while still promoting a really terrible misogynistic view of sex.
On the other hand, my parents apparently had to take away the Motor City Mutants album after I aped the "Fuck fuck fuck it up" chorus at age four, so who knows? The only really good argument is that her parents might see it as creepy or inappropriate as kids, in general, don't care.

So, my first suggestion is to get her a bunch of pop stuff and a bunch of antecedents. The new Christina Aguilera album (which will have some sex content) would be good coupled with an Aretha Franklin or Tina Turner album. Weezer can be paired with The Cars. Jacck Johnson, if you must, can be paired with Paul Simon, if you must.

The mix that follows is one that I gave to an 11-year-old girl (at her mother's request, I'm not a perv). It's pretty sanitary as far as language, and since the girl was/is learning piano, they've all got piano/keyboards getting the workout.
Song Artist Album
Boom Boom The Animals The Best Of The Animals
The Wedding (Original) Annie The Wedding (promo cdr)
Rubi BandaTecno Show Reacender a chama
Rasputin Boney M
You Name It The Cannanes With Explosion Robinson Trouble Seemed So Far Away
Finders Keepers Chairmen Of The Board Bittersweet/Skin I'm In
Riboflavin-flavored, Non-carbonated, Polyunsaturated Blood 45 Grave Darker Skratcher
Confusion Electric Light Orchestra
Bow Wow The Fiery Furnaces Gallowsbird's Bark
Please Please Please Fiona Apple Extraordinary Machine
Biology Girls Aloud Promo
The Distance of the Moon Isaac Schankler
Last of the Steam-Powered Trains The Kinks The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society
The Model Kraftwerk The Man Machine
Above The Rainbow McCoy Tyner Sama Layuca
posted by klangklangston at 5:21 PM on August 18, 2006

Don't know if you were kidding or not

Course I was !

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Indeed!
posted by ed\26h at 7:01 PM on August 18, 2006

The Brunettes and Boy Least Likely To are good ideas. Apples in Stereo would probably be good too, and Beulah. Also Camera Obscura.

Maybe she'd like Sigur Ros, or Dungen? You wouldn't have to worry about the lyrics.
posted by ludwig_van at 7:04 PM on August 18, 2006

The Shins, for sure. Light, easy and smoooth. Some Death Cab for Cutie too. That kind of indie music borders onto mellow pop in the first place so it might be an easy transition.

If you're thinking along the lines of Maroon 5 then there's also The Strokes or Franz Ferdinand which are all still in the "popular" bracket of music, so she won't feel any less "cool" for listening to them.

Oh, also. Sia's Breathe Me.
posted by liquorice at 7:42 PM on August 18, 2006

Oh, and how could I forget! WEEZER! *cough*

They're indie-rock-pop whatever you want to call them, but some of their songs (Island in the Sun, Keep Fishin') transcend time, space and age boundries. :p
posted by liquorice at 7:45 PM on August 18, 2006

(Island in the Sun, Keep Fishin')

Giving her the green album or maladroit (barf) would contradict the purpose of this thread. Best to stick with blue, and save pinkerton for when she's older.
posted by ludwig_van at 8:15 PM on August 18, 2006

I'm suggesting these as individual songs, not the album itself. We can avoid Hash Pipe for now. Anyway, this kid is listening to Britney Spears she's pretty much tainted already.

Derail but: Maladroit is nowhere near barf-worthy as Make Believe. Children as young as 10 should never be inflicted to the horrors of that album.
posted by liquorice at 9:03 PM on August 18, 2006

maladroit : make believe :: getting kicked in the nuts : getting punched in the nose
posted by ludwig_van at 9:07 PM on August 18, 2006

Considering I have no nuts, getting punched in the nose is far worse.

GrumpyMonkey: John Butler Trio might be up your alley if you're thinking about Jack Johnson or Kasey Chambers. They're surfy music with a bush twang.

Also, Panic! At The Disco is excellent catchy pop music that you can't get out of your head. Seriously. If you want to be driven mad by hearing her sing There's A Good Reason These Tables Are Numbered Honey, You Just Haven't Thought Of It Yet (Yes, their song titles are bizarre) for the four bajillionth time, then they're ideal.
posted by liquorice at 9:17 PM on August 18, 2006

Sorry, I can't help myself. Even more suggestions:

Hot Hot Heat

Kaiser Chiefs

Maximo Park

Modest Mouse

No Doubt

Dashboard Confessional

The Postal Service

Sarah Blasko

posted by liquorice at 9:26 PM on August 18, 2006

wow, this whole post just makes me happy. Thanks!
posted by GrumpyMonkey at 4:49 AM on August 19, 2006

John Mellencamp - Jack and Diane?
posted by GrumpyMonkey at 5:06 AM on August 19, 2006

dangit, posted a response to another thread to my own! That's embarrasing
posted by GrumpyMonkey at 5:07 AM on August 19, 2006

More "classic" pop albums—
The Cars- s/t
10cc- Deceptive Bends
Spoon- Kill the Moonlight (Girls Can Tell is better, but a bit of a downer, and Series of Sneaks is more an acquired taste)
The Go Gos- Beauty and the Beat
DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince- Homebase
Apples in Stereo— Tone Soul Evolution
Ramones- Ramones mania (best of, but great).
Annie- Anniemal
Robyn- s/t
The High Strung- Moxie Bravo
The Avatars- Never a Good Time
American Analogue Set- doesn't really matter, they all sound the same.
Stereolab- Emperor Tomato Ketchup
Abba- Gold
Blondie- Parallel lines
Charlie Slick- Pass the Time Machine
posted by klangklangston at 6:59 AM on August 19, 2006

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