Fill Linus’s iPod

I have it on good authority that my 8 year-old son Linus will be getting an iPod shuffle for Christmas. It’ll hold 240 songs, more or less. He’s already savvy to how to create playlists in iTunes, and he is already developing his own tastes. The thing is, his tastes closely mirror my tastes, since I by and large am the one introducing him to music. And while I think I’m an adequate guide to the basics and a variety of niches, I also would like to have him develop a wider breadth of exposure than I may be giving him.

So here’s the thing: I want Pipeline People to suggest an album or three (or however many you want) that you would consider essential listening for a young person who’s just starting to get enthusiastic about music. You can put whatever criteria you choose on the term “essential”, so long as it’s not too profane or graphic. For example, I don’t mind at all if he hears some swear words, but I’m probably not going to be introducing him to The Chronic or GodWeenSatan…yet.

What does he already know? He’s pretty familiar with the Beatles’ catalogue. He’s a big fan of Arcade Fire, Flaming Lips, and the Kinks. And he’s heard several other things at various moments, many he would probably recognize if he heard them again. No worries about that, though; I’m looking for the records people think he should not only hear, but know. As in, sure, he’s heard Reckoning and Highway 61 Revisited before. But are those records that should be put into his personal rotation at this point?  (Either one a fine choice, I think…)

I have my own ideas, a few of which I’ll slide in there. And he’ll definitely have his own choices, too. But I figure there will be room for a good 10 or so other records to be added.


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10 Responses to Fill Linus’s iPod

  1. martha says:

    All good Minnesotan boys should get their groove on to some Prince.

  2. Steve says:

    And Husker Du. Television is right up there as well.

  3. kelly says:

    I feel an ‘essentials for kids’ album list coming on. Assume you will publish your findings? I’ll noodle ….

  4. Steim says:

    Sticking with the MN theme, something from the Replacements. Probably Tim or Pleased to Meet Me. I’d suggest Tim–you know he’ll love “Waitress In The Sky”

  5. Jim says:

    Interesting question. Mercedes, as I’ve told you, has basically inherited an old iPod of ours and she mostly listens to miscellaneous singles (and, right now, a positive fuckload of Christmas music). But she really enjoys Ryan Adams, Exile on Main Street, and especially Johnny Cash. You and I have discussed how kids like simple country music a lot; Johnny Cash is perfect, therefore. But I like the bridge into rock that is filled by much of the Stones, plus Ryan Adams (whose newest album is excellent), Wilco, etc. So I’d recommend Gold and Exile. Those are my votes.

  6. gyozamonsta says:

    Chopin waltzes & Bach piano inventions
    and because of the seaon tchaikovsky’s nutcracker.
    Beach Boys Pet Sounds
    Bob Dylan
    John Coltrane
    Joabim, Getz Gilberto

    and ditto on the suggestions above. esp prince and johnny cash.

  7. Nathan D says:

    Lots of these are “obvious”, but since you asked (and assuming Kinks and Beatles and most of your modern music is covered – and lots of these might be “advanced” for someone his age, but you give the impression he’s well ahead of the curve on that front)…

    Moondance (and/or other early Van Morrison), Hunky Dory (and/or Ziggy Stardust), My Aim Is True, Funky Kingston, Catch a Fire, London Calling, Daydream Nation, A Love Supreme, Axis: Bold as Love, Surfer Rosa, Houses of the Holy, OK Computer, Stop Making Sense, Wish You Were Here, Appetite for Destruction, American Beauty (a must-have), Rumours, Van Halen, Grace, Tea for the Tillerman, Nebraska, Chronicle (CCR), Let it Bleed, The Doors, Pearl, After The Gold Rush, Band on the Run, Brothers in Arms, Graceland, Truth & Soul, Nothing’s Shocking, Let Love Rule, Spiderland.

    Also expose him to Robert Johnson, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, and Otis Redding, Simon and Garfunkel (among others).

    BTW, when it comes to Dylan, I personally think The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan or Bringing It All Back Home are maybe even better to start with.

  8. mrfares says:

    There’s a lot of good stuff already listed. Here’s a few that I will listen to over and over or that the kids ask me to put in.
    They Might Be Giants-Lincoln and Flood
    Screamin’ Jay Hawkins- Voodoo Jive (it’s a greatest compilation)
    Cheap Trick- Live at Budokon
    Marshall Crenshaw
    P.I.L.-Compact Disc (Or maybe it’s called MP3 Playlist now)
    Get Shorty Soundtrack
    Charlie’s Angels Soundtrack- I cannot hear Tangerine Speedo enough.

    Preston always asks for Rob Zombie’s Hellbilly Deluxe

    Malcolm insists on Puttin’ on the Ritz by Taco

  9. Brien says:

    I was going to list They Might Be Giants and Neil Young but see other very intelligent folks beat me to it.

  10. MikeL says:

    Algo latino, compadre !

    Una buena salsita cubana, o tal vez una cumbia directo de colombia ???

    : )

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