Auggie likes to think he has outgrown kid music. Some of it is sooooo pre-school. He’s more mature than that. But he also has a little sister. And anyone with a younger sibling must sometimes live with kid stuff for a bit longer than they might choose.
For Auggie, that means including at least a few songs on his playlist that his little sister enjoys. This one by Elizabeth Mitchell is perfect for that. It has a folky, syrup-like sweetness that reminds Auggie of popsicles on a warm summer evening. His sister loves singing along.
So he doesn’t mind listening to it every so often. In fact, he sort of likes it. Just don’t tell his friends. He has a reputation to protect.
Every so often, Auggie needs some raw energy from his music. Nothing too orchestrated, not too over the top, just something that sounds like pure and spontaneous emotion.
That’s why he likes Delta Spirit. They are unrefined. They are rough around the edges. They probably don’t spend much time on hair care. But they have a youthful energy and raw emotion that sometimes suits Auggie just fine.
This song is not his favorite of theirs, but it’s on his playlist because he’s seen them perform it in a taxi cab. He listens to the studio version while he pictures this taxi cab version. It’s a little raw, but raw is OK .
The Black Cab Sessions are great. It’s especially fun when the musicians seem to be simultaneously playing music and enjoying a taxi ride. Even better when the driver is driving as if unaware that his passengers are trying to play music. Here, as a bonus, is one of Auggie’s favorite sessions.
Auggie is growing up. He has discarded a lot of the things that defined his youth: the booster seat, A to Z Mysteries, and T-Ball are all in his past. But there are things from his childhood that he will never forget and that he can’t give up.
Among these are recess, snack time, and a few songs from Dan Zanes. While Dan Zanes no longer dominates Auggie’s playlist the way that he once did, a few songs have stuck around. Auggie can’t get rid of them. They are laden with happy memories. Plus, they’re fun.
“Catch That Train” is a perfect example. Yes, it’s syrupy-sweet. Yes, it’s a song for six-year-old kids. Yes, it’s sentimental and optimistic and a bit naive. Yes, teenagers would make fun of him if they know he listened to it. Auggie doesn’t care. He knows who he is. He doesn’t care what people say. He likes it. What do people have against childhood, anyway?
He knows the video is silly. He still likes it. Dan Zanes, “Catch That Train”
Auggie follows the rules. Always. No exceptions. He does not agree that rules were made to be broken. In his view, that would have been a waste of everyone’s time.
But even a rule-follower sometimes needs tunes inspired by the spirit of childhood rebellion. Adults don’t know everything, after all. It’s a fine line, though: even adults have a certain amount of sense. That’s why the best kind of childhood rebellion doesn’t reject adults, but instead aches for the tragedy of what becoming adult might mean.
Nobody gets that like Arcade Fire. Their songs are anthems to childhood rebellion. At least, Auggie seems to think so. Auggie like to listen to this one before he plays soccer, runs a race, or takes an exam.
Here it is: Arcade Fire, “Wake Up!”
We all get nostalgic every so often. Auggie is no different. He likes thinking about the past. But only sometimes.
As those who have read about his adventures surely know, thinking about the past can sometimes be unsettling. Especially for Auggie. He’s been there.
That’s why he likes this song. It doesn’t exactly reject nostalgia, but it doesn’t dwell. It is forward looking. It is optimistic. It is resolute.
Auggie prefers it that way. He treasures the present and loves to anticipate the future. Looking back can be fun, but it can also dredge up some bad memories.
So straight form good old PDX, OR (Auggie doesn’t know what that means, but he heard a friend say it), here we go: AgesandAges, “No Nostalgia”. (Not a great video but, again, keep in mind that the IT staff around here isn’t exactly, you know, all that good at what they do).