Music obsessed teen

posted by Jeff | Monday, November 6, 2023, 6:30 PM | comments: 0

I imagine that it's pretty typical for teenagers to be obsessed with music. I don't know how typical it is for them to narrowly focus on one specific thing for long periods of time though. I know I did that, and I attribute it to all of the things that are autism now that I understand it. In the last few weeks, I see Simon doing it as well.

After we saw Cirque du Soliel's Drawn To Life a few weeks ago, I introduced Simon to the music from Delirium, the 2006 arena tour. I was really into it at the time, and I didn't think anything of it in terms of his interest. Some combination of associating it with the show he saw live, the content of the music, and his age, has sucked him in and he listens to it constantly. I pick him up from school, he's listening. He's playing video games, he's listening. He's studying or doing homework, he's listening. It's constant, and it's always that album. He has access to 9,000+ tracks I own, and he comes back to that over and over.

My first instinct is, well, I'm glad it's this and not some crappy, ephemeral pop music. Ugh, it's so forgettable these days. But I feel good about introducing him to something that has what I consider some artistic value, and that it appears to affect him emotionally. He hasn't shown a lot of interest in the alt rock that I've exposed him to, new or old, but he's forming his tastes now, so who knows what he's going to like. He seems to like some of the Sofi Tukker we've listened to over the years, and certain tracks from our annual playlists.

I was exactly like him at that age. I remember ruthlessly listening to Genesis' Invisible Touch on cassette, to the point that hearing it, I can smell the ink in the liner notes and on the tape itself. Once I got into high school, there were others, including the first three Tears For Fears albums, Depeche Mode's 101 and Violator, Def Leppard's Hysteria. Oh, and Information Society's self-titled album. I never did replace that with a CD, but I know that one got a ton of play.

I was recently listening to a podcast with Paul Simon, where he talked about how so much of our musical taste is formed and set in our teen years. I suppose that's true for most people, judging by the shows that people my age go to. It hasn't been true for me. I'm decidedly not nostalgic. There might be a few albums that I go back to now and then, more from college than high school, but I listen once and then shelve it for another year. I desperately want or need the next thing that turns me on.

Diana probably has more influence on Simon, since she's in the car with him more. She has good taste in music, though there are some things that she's into that I'm not. And that's fine, because she doesn't get why I like Grouplove.


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