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?

alexisonfire pulmonary archery

You might note that the producer of this crude video actually labels the song Pulmonary Academy for some reason...the guy on the guitar and singing in a normal voice is Dallas Green, then of course there's the "Screamer..."
City and Colour - Comin' Home

This is Dallas Green, he plays under the name City and Colour when he's not with Alexisonfire...a lot of the lyrics mention his travels in Canada.