Category Archives: music

In Which I Reflect On Life After Mom.

The Fankhauser Family poses for the Eddie Bauer catalog.

The Fankhauser Family poses for the Eddie Bauer catalog.

Today marks the ninth anniversary of the day my mother passed away. It’s strange to think that it’s been that long; so many things have changed since then. We moved and became homeowners, had a second child, I lost my job and am now back in school full-time. So many things that she was not a part of, and that’s just in my life. My sisters and brother, cousins, aunts, uncles and friends — we’ve all had to go on without her.

Someone — I don’t remember who or when — told me after Mom died that the grief doesn’t lessen with time, it’s just that the moments of grief get farther apart. Whoever said that was right. In those first few months after she passed away, those grief moments came barreling at me from all sides, often surprising me with how they made their way in. The obvious moments, of course, like tucking in Chester at night with the quilt that she made, finding cards or letters or pictures from years before — all of those moments brought what seemed would be unending waves of sadness and anger and frustration.

But there were also the moments that didn’t make sense, like a commercial or an offhand remark overheard at work that had nothing to do with anything.

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In Which I Post The First List Of Songs.

As promised in an earlier post, here’s the first round of songs that have been copied onto Peanut’s “iPod.” There are some glaring omissions (no Stevie Wonder yet), and I have many to add based on your suggestions, but I wanted to share the first round.

Leave a comment if this list brings any other songs to mind, or if there’s anything with lyrics I may have forgotten or misunderstood.

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In Which iAsk The Internet For Rock & Roll Advice.

As part of my duty to educate my children, we bought Peanut an “iPod” for Christmas (it’s a $25 off-brand that will probably last 6 months, but iCan’t bring myself to spend that much money on something that’s probably going to go through the wash before it would otherwise die a natural cheap electronic death).

He loves Rock & Roll. I’ve got some lists of The Greatest Rock & Roll Songs of All Time that I’m going to read through looking for ideas for what to put on his mp3 player, but wanted to ask the internets for suggestions. I’m looking for anything that won’t be objectionable lyrically, but is a bit more complex, musically, than Raffi.

There will be Police songs on there (of course), U2, some Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, James Taylor, Stevie Wonder, Boston, Paul Simon — hopefully a good mix of old and new, fast and slow, just good songs that will help foster an appreciation of music. His two favorite songs right now are Sweet Home Alabama and Smoke on the Water.

I’ll post the playlist here, once we get it loaded. So, internets, what songs would you suggest?

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In Which I Would Dance, If I Could.

Here’s a fun game all the kids can play. In iTunes, create a smart playlist with the following rules:

  • Name contains [choose any word]

If your ipod’s like mine, you’ll want to add:

  • Genre is not Podcast
  • Genre is not Audiobook

You may end up with a pretty interesting bunch of songs. Here’s the list from my ipod with the word “Sun” in the title (it’s nice out today):

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In Which I Celebrate the Fourth.

Two items to celebrate the birthday of the greatest nation on earth:

1. A co-worker of mine is taking the oath to become a citizen today; reading her comments about the citizenship test made me start thinking about whether I could pass it. MSNBC has posted a quiz based on a sampling of the questions used in the test.

2. To make the enjoyment of the holiday weekend even more festive, I have compiled a Fourth of July mix (I still have to hold back from using the term “mixtape”) for my friends Car and Sneetch. Happy Fourth, ladies! (If you’re not Car or Sneetch but you still love music, you’re welcome to download it as well.)

Other than song #1, these songs don’t have anything to do with the holiday or being American (no Lee Greenwood or Neil Diamond here); they’re just songs I like right now and you can download the whole package here.

Here’s the playlist:

1. The Star Spangled Banner/4th Of July Reprise  Boston
2. 27 Jennifers  Mike Doughty
3. The Temptation Of Adam  Josh Ritter
4. The Saints Are Coming U2 & Green Day
5. Whatever I Fear  Toad The Wet Sprocket
6. ampersand  Adrian Belew
7. brainstorm  Arctic Monkeys
8. E-Pro  Beck
9. I’ve Underestimated My Charm (Again)  Black Kids
10. Red and Purple  The Dodos
11. Don’t Make Me A Target  Spoon
12. Campus  Vampire Weekend
13. Sake of the World  Mutual Admiration Society (MAS is Nickel Creek with Glen Phillips from Toad the Wet Sprocket)
14. Lovesong of the Buzzard  Iron & Wine
15. Bag of Hammers  Thao Nguyen
16. Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On)  Robert Plant & Alison Krauss
17. Oregon Girl  Someone Still Loves You, Boris Yeltsin

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In Which I Have Parenting Goals.

Two things I hope for as a result of my parenting skills: a strong spiritual foundation and a healthy knowledge of and appreciation for rock and roll (in that order, of course). If they grow up and leave home with a solid grasp of biblical values and faith in Christ that will sustain them through whatever they might encounter in life, I will be a proud parent. If they have that and can tell me who Led Zeppelin’s drummer was, I will be thrilled.

To that end, I like to play different kinds of music when I’m in the car with the boys, and it touches my heart as a father when I hear them yell, “Turn it up, dad!” They love the Black Eyed Peas, Arctic Monkeys, Jane’s Addiction, Vampire Weekend, the Police (of course), the Clash, and They Might Be Giants, and I’m adding new artists to their repertoire constantly. Peanut likes to tell us each what our part is in our car band (“I’ll be the ka-tar”) and we jam. I always have to be the singer because 1) I know the words, and 2) it’s not safe to play the ka-tar while I’m driving.

Tonight on the way home from pizza, Peanut and I were in the car. I decided to put on some Rock Lobster to listen to (classic B-52’s), and no sooner than the first “skedoodliebop” came on the speakers did he say, “Dad, can you turn it down?”

Puzzled, I asked, “Don’t you want to listen to rock and roll?”

“I do, but not if there’s girls singing.”

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