One of the many things I love about our family is how hip the kids are. Granted, we claim a lot of credit for that-- if we'd listened to Barney in the car instead of Guster, we'd be playing catch up now. But we didn't even play Sesame Street tapes. (Yes, tapes. We're talking about car radios 10+ years ago, people.) And we all know how I love me some Sesame (although this nonsense I'm hearing about Cookie Monster becoming Veggie Monster or something equally insane makes me want to drive to NYC and tell Bob and Linda they've lost their minds). *
*This is turning into one of those posts where I feel like Joe Posnanski with his Pozterisks and I obsess about the proper placement of punctuation around all the paranthetical expressions. Sorry.
But yes, hip, rockin' kids. Love it. And as I think back over the last 10 years (which I can't call a decade because my darling WB would berate me again about the decade not being over, and not having started in 2000. But since Girly just turned 10, and I'm changing 2 digits when I write the date, I'm chosing to be retrospective now, before the decade technically ends. So there.) there has been a song, or an album (yes, I know, I'm old), or a group that represents our lives that year; these songs and albums aren't necessarily the year they're released, but the year they infiltrated and took over our lives. If you're still reading this lumbering post, enjoy this trip down my memory lane...
2000: Bang on the Drum All Day, Todd Rundgren. We had 2 dog/cat food containers in the kitchen. They were the perfect height for toddlers. And we had a lot of toddlers around. A LOT. Boy's version of Take Me Out to the Ball Game, too. He rewrote the lyrics, which is the only way I sing it now. ("I don't care if we ever get back" became "And we're NOT going home!) Priceless.
2001: Cowboy Mouth. We were never so proud as the day Boy yelled "Ya go, ya go, ya go!" from the kitchen table. (Let it go, for those of you not speaking toddler.)
2002: Lost and Gone Forever, Guster. I think it's safe to say these boys from Tufts got us through this year.
2003: The Wind, Warren Zevon. Our dear friend passed away from cancer in June, and Warren left the world in September, after The Wind's release in August. I cannot hear Keep Me In Your Heart without thinking of Devon.
2004: Rockin the Suburbs, Ben Folds. We'd learned that Guster, Rufus Wainwright, and Ben Folds were playing in NH the night before we were scheduled to head to CA for a family reunion. Sure, the kids were 4 and 6, but they were ready for their first rock show. And they were. We had a blast, and played this album as we drove around SoCal. It also brought us our first 'song of the summer' as a family: Zak and Sara. We belted it out as if our lives depended on it. [Guster's remake of (Nothing But) Flowers by The Talking Heads also makes the highlight reel.]
2005: Hot Fuss, The Killers. All These Things That I've Done, which we first heard on the radio on the Cape and knew we needed to own the album, was this summer's Zak and Sara. And, for the record, Girly can belt it out. [Wonderlick's The Right Crazy gets an honorable mention for our 10th wedding anniversary.]
2006: Barenaked Ladies Are Me, Barenaked Ladies. BNL has been with us since the kids were born, and this year brought us all to see them. Maybe You're Right was this year's family anthem. And the a cappella audience as string section was totally cool, and very Ben Folds. It all comes full circle...
2007: Something Beautiful, Great Big Sea. WB discovered these guys, and they were playing a live, free show at LL Bean. I will never forget the joy on Beaner's face during that show: it is good to be young and daring...
2008: Hey Ma, James. WB and I have loved them for years, and he got a UK release in April, so we knew all the words when we saw them in Boston the day it was released Stateside. The title track became an instant family fave-- they're political kids, too. Boys and Girls in America, The Hold Steady comes in a close second. WB turned me onto them, and I fell in love. Their songs have absolutely no relevancy to my life, but there's something about them that resonates.
2009: Wake Up!, Arcade Fire. This year was tough: Adult Nights by Wild Light was my top choice until we saw a rather lame performance at LL Bean. They're from NH, and I love their recorded versions. I hope they improve with experience-- they're all just babies now. Boy and WB performed Wake Up! at the school talent show, and I can't hear it without seeing my men. It's the perfect musical ending to the last 10 years. Here's to many more!