One of his Christmas presents was a little suitcase full of illustrated boardbooks about the different countries of the world and he has been working his way through them, drawing pictures to match and asking all kinds of questions about the different countries and where they are and whether we've been to them and what kind of animals are there. We've googled the Taj Mahal and talked about the differences between the Arctic and the Antarctic, and how cold it is in Siberia and why the churches in Russia have towers shaped like onions. He does the cutest thing when he's relating a story or information for me...he makes a comment or a statement and then he makes a little mmhmm noise of punctuation, which seems to mark when he's completed a thought and I can reasonably be expected to acknowledge that I'm keeping up mentally. I make a little mmm noise back at him and then he continues in his narrative. It's not interrogative, it's more a sort of elided, pronounced period. It makes me smile every time he does it, and I'm pretty sure he's not aware he's doing it. I wonder who he's unconsciously copying...could it be his teacher that he gets these vocal story markers from?
The ever industrious, amazing Blogcabin Meg posted a link today to Pandora, a streaming music site, that had me glued to the computer listening to new tunes for several hours. It allows you to enter information on what artists and bands you like and then it makes suggestions for NEW music based on your preferences, which you can then adjust to accept or refuse. Having slid slowly into a cultural quagmire where music is concerned over the past 9 years, since radio here in Sweden is a vast Europop wasteland, I was delighted. Until it recommended I Will by the Bee Gees and when I asked it Why did you play this song? it answered,
"Based on what you've told us so far, we're playing this track because it features a subtle use of vocal harmony, a vocal-centric aesthetic, electric pianos, prominent use of synth and many other similarities identified in the music genome project."
At which point I had to throw up my hands and admit they were right, I DID like it. Once a child of the 70s, ALWAYS a child of the 70s, apparently. However, I was prepared to draw the line at the next recommendation which was Corey Hart. Corey Hart?? And then I realized I was mixing him up with Corey Haim of Lost Boys fame, but I was still heading down an increasingly embarrassing slope into pop music, AGAIN. So I said no to Phil Collins, and I said no to Dead or Alive and hopefully I'm pulling myself out of the synthdiscoflockofseagulls path I was skipping blithely down, now that I'm enthusiastically saying yes to the likes of Rosie Thomas, Natacha Atlas, Cherry Poppin Daddies and Jon Langford & His Sadies.
I find it so difficult to judge music based on other's reviews or recommendations; reading a review does nothing for me. I find nothing surpasses hearing it for myself first, and I'm often disappointed by music other people rave about. I keep hearing about different bands and artists that others are sure I would love, but until I have a chance to actually hear them for myself, I rarely make purchases. Even with my eclectic taste I have my standards. Weird standards, but mine, nonetheless. Pandora has already recommended a veritable plethora of music that I vaguely recognized some of the names of, but had never actually heard before, and now I'm itching to spend some money at the nearest music store and am busily adding CDs to my Amazon wishlist.
*One good thing about music, according to Bob Marley