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Getting Past the Industry to Love Music Again
Five and Alive: A Family Thing
07/16/10 at 08:34 AM by Adam Pfleider
This week's entry comes from Adam Vass of La Dispute. Another interesting idea - what can I listen to with my mom in the car? Generational gaps are fun, and so was this read.


William Smith said it best 22 years ago and it rings just as true today, “there’s no need to argue, parents just don’t understand.” Now that I’m 22, there is very little my mom and I have in common. She likes Barry Manilow, I like Bane. She likes Modern Home & Living, I like Modern Life is War. We’ve come to terms with it, but occasionally, I think I’ve found something that my mom and I might both enjoy. More often than not, I’m wrong. Today, I sat down with her to compile the following list for Five and Alive, which I call “5 Songs I Thought My Mom Might Like but was Mistaken.”

Grown Ups – "Weed Science" (from More Songs LP, 2010)

This was a stretch, but I was hoping she could get past the d-beats and enjoy it for what it is: noodly fun guitars and perpetual adolescence. Also, it’s the only band on this list who she has seen live, and she knows a couple of the guys from an old band we were in together. As soon as the vocals enter the song though, she lets out a small laugh and asks “do I have to listen to the whole song?” I love Grown Ups for their ability to make everyone in the crowd want to throw a fist in the air and sing along, my mom dislikes them for their inability to sing.

My Heart To Joy – "All Of Life is Coming Home" (from Seasons in Verse LP, 2009)

The guys stayed at my house last week and I forgot to tell my parents they were coming, so Connecticut’s My Heart To Joy were already at a disadvantage in my mom’s eyes. I thought their catchy melodies and clean guitars would be met at least with tolerance, if not adoration. She initially thought “this reminds me of your band,” which made me question if she has ever actually listened to our band, but I took it as a compliment anyways. There wasn’t much she had to say about this song; she liked it better than the first, but didn’t expect to like any of the songs I was showing her anyways.

Make Do And Mend – "TL" (from Bodies of Water EP, 2009)

Since our band is taking some time off the road, I figured what better way to spend a vacation than on the road and decided to go along with MDAM on their summer tour. My mom doesn’t see why I can’t sit at home for longer than a month, and I can’t see why I’d want to do that. In preparation for touring with a band she has never heard or met, I showed her the closing track on my favorite EP of last year and her reaction was not what I expected. “Harmony. Yes. Like it.” Had I finally found something we can agree on? “If this was on the radio, I wouldn’t turn it off,” she elaborated, and I realized that was as much as I could ask for.

Balance And Composure – "I Can’t Do This Alone" (from Only Boundaries EP, 2009)

B&C do something that no other band can do, which is make me feel something (usually sad, but it’s still feeling). I was hoping they could make my mom feel something other than annoyance with their music, and I was again pretty impressed with the result. The beginning of the song was “interesting,” and she was surprised that I liked the very percussive and slow intro that’s so different from the feedback and power-chords I’m accustomed to. She seemed to be enjoying it, she could understand the lyrics even, but the best quote I got was that she “doesn’t mind it.”

Into It. Over It. – "Wearing White" (from 52 Weeks LP, 2009)

Evan said it himself when I told him I was writing this article, “I am the most mom-friendly!” I thought this one was in the bag as mother-son common ground, and again, I was mistaken. While it is “not bad”, it was compared to Phoebe from Friends for his tendency to sing about whatever is actually going on around him and ramble. I think she likes that show though, so maybe that’s not a bad thing. She did like that it was a softer song, which I picked for that reason instead of “Song About Your Party” from the same record, but said he seems to “like to talk about partying,” like it’s a bad thing. Who doesn’t like to party?

She explains “I’m just old school” for her overarching excuse and apologizes to any of my friends she offended in the preceding article. I love you, Mom.
Tags: Five and Alive, Family, Mom
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