Friday, June 12, 2009

American boy.

Sometimes I forget that we live in Music City USA. Not that we're not surrounded by talented, amazing musicians, because we really are. I mean, how cool is it to turn on the Tonight Show or NPR and see or hear people you know?

The coolest.

But I'm pretty sure the music in Music City USA is strictly reserved for country music which seems totally unfair and is just not my cup of tea. I mean, I appreciate a good boot stompin' tune as much as the next guy and will never pass up an opportunity to raise my beer and sing a little Hank Williams at the honky tonks, but I wouldn't necessarily listen to country music by choice.

Especially not in my car.

My car is typically reserved for NPR (which during the day plays nothing but classical and yes, I'm an old lady who at this rate will be taking Liam to kindergarten in mom jeans) or "hip hop" (a loose translation meaning anything that inspires car dancing).

I like classical music because it keeps small children calm and I'm pretty sure it makes their brains grow but sometimes, like last week when I decided very last minute to squeeze in a trip to the zoo before lunch and it was already 10:30, it keeps them a little too calm. That glassy eyed stare that means a nap is on the horizon is fine right before nap time but right before a long walk around the zoo with two kids and one stroller? Not so much.

So I pulled out the mixed CD my friend Melanie gave me and turned to my favorite song at the moment - American Boy by Estelle featuring my man Kanye West. It perked the kids right up (Liam and the little girl I baby sit for) and by the time we got to the zoo they were raring to go.

Okay, wait a minute. Is anyone else totally shocked by this video? I mean, the whole time I've been listening to this song (which is to say like 10 times back to back every time I get in my car), I've been picturing a saucy duet between Kanye West and Estelle wherein Estelle equals Adele who is a completely different girl!

Adele. Not Estelle.

I'll be honest. I'm actually a little bummed out. I mean, I'm sure Estelle is great in her own way but I really liked the idea of Kanye West getting down with a chubby white girl. Every time I'd hear (not) Adele say, "Don't like his baggy jeans but I'm gonna like what's underneath them..." I'd think, You go girl! Get down with your bad self! The song had a total girl power element to it but now, well, shoot - I'll have to watch the video like a thousand more times to give Estelle (not Adele) a fair shot. Maybe I'll end up liking her just as much.

Liam couldn't care less who is singing with Kanye West as long as they're singing American Boy loudly over and over again. Yes, that's right, it's his favorite song right now too! A few days ago I was listening to it in the car when he asked, "Is this the song we were listening to with Baby Sia?" I told him it was. "Can you turn it up louder?"

So me and my boy have been cruising all over town listening to Kanye West and Estelle on LOUD with the windows rolled down (my AC is broken), car dancing and singing along when possible (me, not him). It feels so much more like summer vacation than when we listen to NPR with the windows rolled up.

The other day we got stuck in traffic downtown and were stopped in front of the Country Music Hall of Fame for several minutes wondering what the heck so many people were doing out and about in the middle of the day. There were old people in American flag t-shirts and bright white tennis shoes crossing the street, groups of girls in cut off jean shorts and cowboy hats posing in front of a statue of a guitar (you might say they had 10 pounds of stuff in a 5 pound sack...), and a large tattooed man in a tank top selling bug spray, sunscreen, and bottles of water out of a big blue cooler (my mom's dream job). As American Boy ended and immediately started again ("Mama, could you turn it up a little bit louder?"), I noticed a bunch of booths and tents and a stage with a big banner that said something about the CMAs.

(The what? The Country Music Association something or other. From what I can gather it's like a week long event with tons of different outdoor concerts and cowboy hats and drunk girls in short shorts screaming I love you! at Kenny Chesney. Good times.)

Ha! We totally cruised the country music festival listening to "hip hop" and singing and dancing with the windows down! I hope the tourists who were within ear shot of my car realized that we appreciate more than just country music here in Music City USA. We like hip hop. Rock and roll. Estelle. Adele. Classical...

A picnic with the Nashville Symphony, June 11, 2009.


ae said...

Living in Nashville is a musical treat no matter what you like or don't like. Nobody will turn down a gig at the Ryman, which is an acoustical dream - and a nice intimate venue.

I actually like country in small doses, though I wouldn't know Trace Adkins from Darrell Worley if they came and bit me in the ass.

We heard a great funk/jazz quartet at Cafe Coco the other night. We can get good Rockabilly at Robert's Western World downtown. We've seen Flight of the Conchords, Elvis Costello and Levon Helm at the Ryman. We went to a PBS taping for Lyrics and Legends where we saw Marc Cohen, Barry Mann showing off their songwriting skills.

Something for everyone here. And not too far down the road in Memphis, the Stax Museum is tops.

Katie said...

by the way, I will be the drunk girl yelling "I love you" to Kenny Chesney when Eddie and I go see him in Tahoe at the end of July:)
But I will not be in short shorts, but might have 10 pounds of shit in a 5 pound bag, cuz that is the current shape of my body!