Monday, August 11, 2014

Why I'm Listening to Skrillex

I've recently become obsessed with the song Level7 by Avicii, the Skrillex remix of course. Have you heard it? Genre of dubstep? Probably next to Love Me Do on your favorites? Anyway, it started simply, as all obsessions do. I was listening to music on my phone on shuffle and this song came up. Contrary to the hip vibe I naturally give off, this was not a song I downloaded, it came from teenager #2. Since I have ICloud and haven't filtered my songs, because I'd rather spend my free time knitting, drinking wine, watching the BBC's Musketeers or doing all three of these at once, Level7 came on in my shuffle as I was heading to work. And it touched on a memory, teenager # 2 dancing dubstep in 7th grade in the Middle School Talent Show.

What's dubstep? It's actually pretty amazing. It is commonly defined as "A form of dance music, typically instrumental, characterized by a sparse syncopated rhythm and strong bass line." Skrillex is a popular artist in the form. Dancing to this music is also syncopated, a little bit of pop and lock, a lot of syncopation and there's a fluidity to it that is beautiful and often mind-blowing. Here's an example.

It's probably useful to note that teenager #2 looks like an overgrown leprechaun. Curly red hair, skin so fair it's almost see through, blue eyes, about as Irish as you can get. At first look, not your typical dubstepper. Rewind a year and a half ago, I'm out of town visiting a friend, I call home to say Hi and it is actually Teenager #1 who tells me that Teenager #2 apparently was great in the Middle School Talent Show. What? I didn't know he was in the talent show. What? He never told any of us. I email all my colleagues at the school and see if a video exists. It does. I watched it.

WOW! I'm not sharing that one, that's his call. But I'm just saying, WOW!

And I kept thinking, this is a thirteen year old boy who just got up in front of the entire Middle School and danced. The risk was huge. But all you saw on the stage was a thirteen year old boy having the time of his life. No fear, or if he had it he certainly did not show it, just joyfully, skillfully sharing something he was into. I was impressed by his skills, I was blown away by his guts.

So, fast forward to my current obsession of listening to Aviccii's Level7, Skrillex remix. This was the song Teenager #2 dubstepped to. I'm listening a lot. You see, I'm currently working on a project that is a great challenge and I'm honored and flattered to be a part of it and I am capable of the work ahead, but I am fighting my life-long nemesis Lord Self- Doubt. So I listen to Level7 and remember my boy's fearlessness. You get the picture.

There's a common question that is posed to us all at some point, sometimes several points in our lives. We usually get asked this question when we're kids and the answer is often Fireman, Wonder Woman, Optimus Prime. Then we get a little older and learn a thing or two and the answer sometimes changes to Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, Optimus Prime. And then we get blown away by a video, or a hard-earned B+, or a beautifully written thank you note to a grandfather and the answer changes to my children.

It almost feels arrogant and self-serving to give that answer because that might insinuate that I made one or two okay moves while parenting. But these children of mine, they are becoming people I like. They are taking what they know, what they like, what they are curious about and what they fear and they are becoming their own quirky, funny, brave and smelly selves.

They are becoming my Heroes.

Well, them and Optimus Prime.

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