For Oscar at 10 months...
Oscar, my buddy, my darling wee son, I won't be taking you to see The Wiggles this weekend. Your mum says it will be lost on you, and that suits me. And her. There'll be a time when we have to take you to the New Wiggles or the Very Very Old Wiggles or whatever. And we will. But that time is not now.
I emailed the guy from the record store the other day, the nice chap that pulls funny faces at you and you always seem to smile at him and giggle and think he's funny (even though I'm told it's never good to encourage him). He is saving a copy of the Azealia Banks ep - on vinyl. But he did warn me not to play it around you, said it's "too sweary". I told him you love it already - and we constantly play a bit of the ol' 212 and you have no idea what's going on anyway (with regard to the lyrics) so you're happy. But then, last night, when you were having a boogie to that very song with your mum we decided (me and her) that we might need to not play music like that soon.
Tunelessly and in my tone-deaf way I try to make up words on the spot to a spontaneous version of Suzanne Vega's song, Tom's Diner - or something following that rhythm and pattern. And you always give me the benefit of the doubt. I "sing" to you about your mum at work, or sleeping. I "sing" to you about our trips to the library. Riveting stuff. But I try. And you know that already, I think.
Your love of Agadoo lets me know that you are most definitely my son - in that your taste can be to the very perverse side of obscure and/or the very obscure side of perverse. This is a good thing (I think).
Lately I've really enjoyed listening to many Talking Heads albums with you. They always seem to work (for you and me both). Same with The Beatles, eh. And later today we'll put on some Fela Kuti before I give you a wee show on the conga drums, trying to play along, because I know you love those drums.
Your first record, the one we bought for you in San Francisco, Smiths songs performed as lullabies, well I think your mum and I have listened to it a lot more than you ever will - but that's okay. We've been enjoying the waft of music that comes from your room as you sleep. Reminders of The Prayer Cycle (and how it has its place) of Hamish Lang's For Phoenix album and the couple of recent Rhian Sheehan albums, sometimes The Necks and good to know you seem to be enjoying the new Spain album as much as I am.
Watching your eyes trace the sound fills me with a joy that I can probably never convey to you, or anyone, without it seeming a bit intense. I see you watching where the sound comes from, wondering how it is happening and your face becomes a stone, you concentrate so intently. And then, as if you've seen it - you've spotted the sound as it escapes from the speakers, a smile. A simply amazing smile. You've shrieked with delight as soon as you've heard just a glimpse of Jeff Beck's guitar, clapped your hands to applaud Bernard Purdie doing that hi-hat thing that only he does. You were wriggling into your very own groove when we checked out Catholic Girls by Frank Zappa last week. And that night you didn't sleep so well and I played Paul Buchanan's Mid Air album right through holding you - and was able, later that week, to tell him that. Well, I think of that now whenever I hear that album. You'll never think of that ever.
You may grow to hate music - you may certainly grow up to be confused by the amount of it in the house where you live. And its focus within the house. And all that it means to me. But everyone tells me how lucky you are and how much you will love it. I don't mind if you don't enjoy music - but right now, every day you show me plenty of moves and without being able to speak you can still tell me there's a song in your heart. There's music that stirs your soul. There's melody and rhythm guiding your every move. Sometimes there's grace, often you bumble. From pratfalls to catcalls, your noises and sounds are a music to my ear, one I can't now imagine never hearing. And it's always the best sound in the world. I'd sell all the records we have if I had to. I wouldn't care at all.
You make me happy and proud and I love you so much more than for me to simply say that I love you. But every day you have - without even knowing it - given me new ways to fall in love with music. And this is a music blog, so let's focus on that. You are the best song in the world. And from Stevie Wonder to Stevie Ray Vaughan, from Aretha Franklin to Azealia Banks and everywhere else we can possibly go, Dr John, The Black Keys, Aphex Twin, Faith No More, Throwing Muses, Velvet Underground and, erm, Black Lace, every dance has been wonderful. And hilarious. And joyful. And a new way to hear music. Every day has been the best gig I'll ever get to. Or give.
You are 10 months old today Oscar. And when you are able to read this you'll hide in your room, mortified, listening, I guess, to Skrillex.
You can keep up with Blog on the Tracks on Facebook and follow on Twitter
Vote for BLOG ON THE TRACKS in the Netguide Web Awards. Click the icon on the left to reach the voting page, and add this blog's URL in the Best Blog field, near the foot of the page: http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/blogs/blog-on-the-tracks