The Family (Or most of them)

The Family (Or most of them)
The Family

November 27, 2006

Parent/child Convergence (Gasp!)

My son turned 15 today.
And a development over the weekend, after I gave him grief about his less than stellar school report card among other things, has me turned upside down.

I might have, or might not have, posted previously on the fact that he and some of his friends have formed a musical group. I'd tell you the name of the group but I can't remember it, it's so forgettable. I think it has something to do with death.

And he is to be the lead singer of this group, which was a total surprise to me since I've never heard him sing a note in his life. I am now paying for his singing lessons and have loaned him my guitar, for which I'm sure lessons will be requested soon.

You might have heard of the catchy word "convergence."

In my media business, it was thrown around a couple of years ago to signal the inevitability of all the different forms of media -- print, radio, TV and of course the Web -- converging, coming together, in one unified format.

It's no longer just a pipe dream. I file stories to the Web all the time even before I sit down to write stories for my newspaper. It's that whole immediacy thing.

But on the weekend, convergence took on a whole new shocking meaning for me.

I'm not a numerologist, but it just occurred to me -- my age and my son's age comprise the same numbers, except I'm 51 and he's 15. Eery. That's 36 years apart. Our birthdays are 12 days apart.

I'm a Scorpio and he's whatever comes after that. (Clearly I'm not an astrologist either).

My music tastes range from the Beatles to Wang Chung to Supertramp to Bruce Cockburn to John Mayer to Celine Dion (just kidding about that last part).

His likes are almost completely focused on a Canadian punk/alternative band called Alexisonfire, plus other heavy metal groups like Silverstein and Billy Talent.

And one of the constants with some of these bands is they have a "screamer." If you have the courage to stick with me, if only for 30 seconds or so, you'll see what I mean.

I remember growing up when my parents listened to Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, Andy Williams and, to be really ultra-modern, Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass (I loved that Whipped Cream album cover).

When the Beatles came along and the Stones and DC 5 and Herman's Hermits and "rock n' roll" started rockin', my mom and dad just called it "long-haired noise" and didn't want to hear it on the stereo in our living room. That was the 60s.

Fast-forward to the 21st century. I'm a baby boomer with my bombs away mentality behind me. My son is on MSN all the time, teaches me stuff about downloading from Limewire and has an MP3 player with who knows what on it.

He's on my pc all the time playing the same stuff all the time. And when I boot him off, he goes into the living room and plays it all again on my sound system.

To my amazement, in between all that "screaming," (stay tuned), with my ears buzzed and barely able to function, I heard a few beautiful songs by one of the members of Alexisonfire, a guy named Dallas Green.

All through the weekend, we talked about how good he was. I eventually went on Limewire and downloaded some of his songs. So here we are, and my son and I have had a musical convergence that transcends the ages.

Something I never would have thought possible.

Below, assuming all this works correctly, are two YouTube vids. The first one is a song called Pulmonary Archery by Alexisonfire, with Dallas Green singing but also with the band's "screamer" screaming. Just try to listen to it.

The second vid is one of my favourite songs by Green himself, who has now released a solo effort. It's called I'm Coming Home.

Enjoy (or don't) and ponder yourself: if you have kids (or if or when you HAVE kids), would you ever expect you could have THIS kind of convergence?


  1. Wow, I think it is wonderful that you and your son seem to have a very good relationship. You obviously enjoy being a father and seeing that smile on his face, your son surely is having a great time being your son! I enjoy your parenting stories.

  2. Ces:

    Thanks. That's his "I'm looking to get into trouble" expression.

  3. Isn't Alexisonfire named after a stripper? Please converge with your son to find out.

  4. Anonymous12:00 a.m.

    Your son is a Sagitarius, as I am.

    Isn't it amazing to find that kind of convergence with your offspring? I'm beginning to find that with my nearly-18 year old. It's sweet...

  5. LOL, "long-haired noise" my nan and pa called them "twangers" because they just twang away on their guitar, LOL.
    My nan and pa love their Sinatra and their Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, and so do I, but I also love my Stones and Beetles and now Pink of course :)
    My kids are 3,5,7 and 9yrs time flys, I am scared to see them growing so fast, yet excited too :)

  6. First things First, belated happy Birthday to him. Second, Being upside down will help him in no way. Or you.

    And remember parenting was never easy!

  7. Anonymous4:03 p.m.

    Jack was impressed when I bought tickets for a Lost Prophets concert. He was less excited when he learned that I intended to use one of them. Apparently, it's cool for me to share musical tastes, just not to go to public performances with him.

  8. I spent well over a decade trying to mold the musical tastes of my kids and succeeded ..sort they can introduce me to some of the new bands that they know I will like.

    Cherry is spot's cool for you to know about stuff but it is not cool for his friends to be told that you are cool because it's not cool if your son says that you are cool but it is cool if his friends say your dad is cool ..whatever, you know what I mean.

    He may well be a 'Tigger' like Sagitarian like me but apparently the Chaldeans didn't know about the wobble in the Earth's axis and therefore all Horoscopes are out by one entire month? atleast that's what the Easter Bunny told Santa!!

    If you and your son learn how to sing together, you could have a Harmonic Convergence...since we're gettin' all New Agie here I thought that I'd throw that in. anyway.

    Regardless you have fulfilled your CRTC mandated Canadian Content portion of this month's blogging so now you can move on with your life and play some good music.

  9. MJ:

    Well YOU'RE the Infomaniac! You find out! (I have no doubt that this may be true...)


    There is something sweet about it...but also scary...


    Welcome. Twangers, huh? Geez, you're a baby machine, but I'm sure you're lovin' it.

    In 10 years, I'm going to want to be hearing about YOUR convergence with 'em...


    I thought being upside would put me on his level...


    Ahh, OK. So he got the big surprise, then.

    My guy's already got tix to Billy Talent in January with some of his friends, but I'm kinda wondering if I shouldn't be there too to rescue him from whatever inevitable trouble he encounters...

    He's supposedly interviewing the lead singer for this band as part of his broadcast journalism course. Hmmm...


    I get your totally cool if not confusing sentence expounding on CP's theory.

    I don't have a clue what you said in that next paragraph, but harmonic convergence could be possible.

    New music is on now. Twit.

  10. I really liked Green's verse on our town...

    "I drove through potholes in Winnipeg,
    it really f**ked my car,
    tore the sh*t out of my tranny,
    I didn't get very far.

    The repairs took five hours,
    so I went to the Forks.
    Bought some smokes at the Mohawk,
    then said goodbye to those dorks."

  11. ur son n u r like best friends. Thats the best kind of son-dad r'ship ever!


  12. convergence-carpenters,coldplay,eskimo joe, frank sinatra,neil young, the beatles-everything , actually :).

  13. HE:

    Quite imaginative. We should write our own song and plug in those lyrics somewhere...


    Thanks, we do have a special thing goin'...


    Then you are, truly converged. You are like me, the epitome of the universal conglomerate.


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