Saturday, 17 September 2011

What inspired me to start writing 'musodad'...

My eldest daughter (Darling Daughter 1 or DD1) was born in March 2007.  It was the first of the 3 happiest days of my life.  The second was the day I married my gorgeous wife in 2008 and the third was the day our second daughter (Darling Daughter 2 or DD2) was born in 2010.  However, the time after DD1's birth is really what inspired me to start writing this Blog as it was around that time that I starting losing touch with what was happening in the world of music.

I love music, it is a huge passion of mine and in their short lifetimes I've already seen this rub off on my children (DD1 especially, given she's a few years older than DD2).  However, after she was born our focus was 100% on her (as, of course, it should have been) and reading about new up and coming bands in the Radar section of NME week in week out went down massively in my list of priorities.  Of course, the opportunities to discover new music were still there - we still had MTV and You Tube was getting bigger and bigger every day but I neither had the time, or energy, to invest much effort into watching these. 

Anyway, everything came to a head when DD1 was about six months old.  My friend Tom, over from Australia, asked me which music I was listening to at the moment and whether I had any recommendations for him to take back Down Under.  For the first time in years I couldn't answer and I had to admit that over the last few months I'd been mostly listening to "The Wheels on the bus" and other popular childrens' songs.  Then, around the time of their Mercury Music Prize win, my friend Chris told me how good Elbow's "The Seldom Seen Kid" was.  I'd loved Elbow's first three albums but this one had passed me by - how could I have let this happen?!  Well, the answer to that was obvious but I decided that day that things were going to change.  Of course, I wasn't going to start neglecting DD1 - missing our bonding time at bed time by going to see new bands every night at the Bar Fly - or anything like that.  I've always made sure, when I'm back from work in time, that it's me who reads her a bed time story and this was never going to change.  But what I did do was make sure I started reading up on new bands a lot more - by buying NME again every week, for example - and treating myself to the odd bit of new music here and there.

Around this time as well, my wife and I found out about some pretty good kids' music, that wasn't limited to nursery rhymes (I'm not saying nursery rhymes aren't 'good' but you know what I mean!) - step forward They Might Be Giants.  Yep, the band that gave us the brilliant 'Birdhouse in your Soul' all those years ago have recently released a number of albums aimed at kids.  Our, or should I say DD1's, two favourites are 'Here Come the ABCs' and 'Here Come the 123s'.  They are absolutely brilliant albums, really catchy, and my wife and I must know every word to every song.  They are the kind of albums you don't mind listening to in the car as they aimed at adults as much as children - they are just musically brilliant (overuse of the word 'brilliant' in the last few sentences, I know!)  Since then the two Yo Gabba Gabba albums, Music is Awesome 1 and 2, featuring such great bands as The Shins, Weezer and MGMT, are the only kids' albums which have come close to touching these.  STOP PRESS - on searching for these albums a second ago, I've just found out there's a Volume 3 featuring The Killers- I can't believe DD1 hasn't told me about that!!!

Not much longer after that, everything changed.  The catalyst for this was a new online music streaming website.  I soon became a Spotify addict! 

If Spotify had existed the day DD1 was born in March 2007 I might not have been inspired to write this Blog now - it would have been a lot easier to discover new music back then had it been.  However, as I am really excited about finally having a reason to become a Blogger at the age of 36, deep down I'm glad it wasn't.  Spotify is now a part of my daily life.  I am a Premium member and listen to it on my iPhone to and from work every day.  DD1 has her own 'Mini Disco' playlist, featuring most of the They Might Be Giants kids' albums as well as such classics as 'Rockin' Robin', 'One Day Like This' and 'Never Forget'.  The Yo Gabba Gabba albums aren't on there yet unfortunately.  As part of my Blog I am even going to start a 'musodad playlist' that I will make available on here and will add to regularly for your listening pleasure - I bet you can't wait!!

Anyway, I've been waffling on for quite a while now - it's my first entry so please forgive me.  Before I sign off for today though I wanted to explain why I am starting this blog.  Well, firstly to help parents in the same situation as I was.  When you become a parent for the first time your life changes massively and you, rightly so, have to make some sacrifices.  There are a lot of things that matter a lot more than you discovering 'The Next Big Thing' before your mates, and having bands 'only you are allowed to love' before they become famous.  At this point you either go down the 'I knew about these before everyone else but still love them all the same' route or the 'they're too famous now so i don't like them anymore' (aka 'they've sold out!') route.  Secondly, as I said before, I love music and I just want to write about my passion and tell other people about it.

Finally, I'd just like to mention my wife.  She's the love of my life, my soul mate and music (as well as our mutual love of Arsenal Football Club - but I'd rather not talk about them at the moment for obvious reasons!) was one of the main things that brought us together and made us such good friends before we got together.  I still remember her having 'Nothern Lites' by Super Furry Animals as her ringtone when we first met which made me think she was 'pretty bloody cool'.  10 years on, the other week we went to see Pulp and The Drums together in the same week.  How times have changed since 2007...

So, as well as my kids, I'm writing this Blog for her and I'm sure she'll crop up many times within it in the future.  You never know, it might even inspire her to become 'musomum'...


  1. Wow a fellow Arsenal fan! We have pretty similar musical tastes it appears, I love SFA!

    Thanks for the tip on on They Might Be Giants doing kids albums- in turn I shall pass on the album 'Tumble Bee' by Laura Veirs (sings folk songs for kids). It's actually pretty darn amazing and I like ot put it on when the kids are in bed which is always a sign of a good album ;)

    And yes - bring on musomum !

  2. Since giving birth to my little girl last year I too have totally lost touch with the music world! I know all the songs to the Cbeebies programmes but I actually said the words 'why are they choosing songs that I have never heard of' whilst watching the X Factor a few weeks ago to which my OH replied 'they are played on Radio 1 all day long'. Oops! I have just started my Spotify up again and am trying to get a bit more up to date!

  3. What a great first post and a wonderful reason for blogging. I am in a similar situation, being a lover of great music and finding it hard to fit it in with 16 month old twins and baby 3 on the way. Love Birdhouse in Your Soul!!! Off to find kids album featuring The Killers as hubby will LOVE it. Anything featuring U2??

  4. Cheers for the comments all, since I've started blogging I've seen so many other parents say the same thing - everyone loves music at the end of the day, it's just finding the time to listen to it when you've got other responsibilities. Spotify really has been a God send for this, Mum2BabyInsomniac, especially on the daily commute.

    Mammasaurus, will check out Laura Veirs - great to see you're a Gooner too.

    Jennie, all the Yo Gabba Gabba albums are terrific, don't think U2 have got involved yet but you never know when they might...

    Ps The album 'Colours are Brighter' is another good one - think the main man in Belle & Sebastian started it but it's got original kids' songs sung by Franz Ferdinand, Flaming Lips, Snow Patrol etc.

  5. I used to rely on my brother to keep me up with bands but he's moved to NZ and no longer sends me updates, as a Radio 2 listener you do tend to miss some of these things. I really want to get a desktop PC in the house to have music playing on etc, could then have spotify running, one day maybe.
    But with Matilda now 8 months it wont be long before she's interested in what's playing

  6. Hello! What a lovely post! Hubby and I love music too! I think it is what brought us together too. What a lovely thing to dedicate it to your wife. I am your follower now so I am hopping to keep up with your posts.
    I. iChat even chec spotty too ;)
    Looking forward to read more of your posts.