Thursday, October 07, 2010

Adventures in Music Appreciation

the scowl in its natural state

Deb Fotheringham sweetly offered me a couple tickets to her Time EP release party, to be held at a location inside my ten-minute radius. I decided that this happy occasion would be the perfect night to take El Guille to his first music show. When I giddily told him the news, he scowled at me. This isn’t terribly different than when I suggest anything in the world to him that isn’t what he’s doing right now: from eating his dinner to changing his behavior. (It’s the same disbelieving scowl I probably project when you tell me The Cheesecake Factory is good.)

We arrived at the auditorium and found aisle seats. The opening act was an earnest singer-songwriter accompanying himself on guitar. The first song was a lovely tune, sung quietly yet with feeling. “I’m bored,” E.G. said halfway through.
“Shhh,” I whispered. The song ended and we all clapped. The singer started his next song.
“HEY. NOT THE SAME SONG AGAIN. HE ALREADY PLAYED THIS,” noted E.G., the subtleties of a solo artist falling on unappreciative ears.
“How much longer do we have to sit here?”
“Until it’s over.”
“I want to watch Clone Wars.”
“It’s not on until 8:30, and it’s only 7:15 right now.”
“I’m going to go get a drink.”
“You can’t, see how they shut the doors? They don’t want you to go in and out.”
“I have to go to the bathroom.”
“I’ll come with you.”
“I can find it myself!”
“It’s probably a good idea if I...”
“NO! I’m really good at finding things. See ya.” And he left the auditorium. After a few minutes he slid back into the room. “I can’t find it,” he declared, which was when I had to slide out. I didn’t dare take him back into the auditorium so I watched him run around the installations and play with the drinking fountain. He nearly careened into Deb as she tried to center herself before the performance. I talked him into returning to our seats by promising that he could watch Star Wars: The Clone Wars for the very first time that night IF he sat quietly for Deb’s show. I immediately handed over my phone so he could play Pac-Man.

Now, were I you (single, childless, possessed of respect for the performing arts,) I would have made a disgusting face at this kind of parenting. A cell phone? Yes. But they’re so bright and tacky! Yes, but really, Pac-Man is on a black background so not that bright. They are loud! It was on silent. Shoving a screen in front of your child, it’s just lazy! Yup, lazy and desperate. And really, how dare you bring a child to a concert who would misbehave? I had to try it one time. I hope you learned your lesson. That I did. No more shows until he is at least 8, or Mötley Crüe comes to town.

In Summary:

Deb is really pretty, did you know that? If your name is Nick, you probably did. She’s also one of eleven children, did you know that? Chances are you’re related to a Fotheringham by this point. She’s also funny and endearing on stage, which, as it turns out, is kind of how Deb is when she’s not on stage. Deb also does this. I really like her music; it’s on heavy rotation in the car (especially track one--what’s that one called, Deb? Paris?) Next time I won’t bring someone who has a permanent scowl attached to his face, who keeps asking me when we can leave because he doesn’t want to miss The Clone Wars, who rolls his eyes and makes choking noises during songs, and would have been happier surrounded by Legos instead of culture.

Not that Legos aren’t culture.

Oh, you know what I mean.


Amy said...

I listened to Deb a lot back when I lived in Provo. Glad to hear she's still at it. Also glad to hear I'm not the only mother whose son never wants to do anything ever if I suggest it or who desperately pacifies children with phone games.

Amy said...

Oh man, I have had these moments. When I had an absolutely wonderful thing I was going to expose my children to (cultural not inappropriate) and it completely backfired. And in moments of desperation anything goes. Airplanes are included on the desperation list.

Debra Fotheringham said...

Well that totally made my day...and then some.

Yep, Paris is track #1.

I should have had The Clone Wars on that projector screen behind me instead of the stupid picture. Next time.

Azúcar said...

I mean, honestly, Deb, think of your whole audience, not just the people who came to hear your music.

Debra Fotheringham said...

I know! I'm so selfish.

Tzipporah said...

OMG. It's like when Bad Cohen made me go with him to the symphony. *I* was the bad child, only I knew enough not to talk, so instead I hummed along and wiggled and read the program notes over and over and over.

The second time I had a LOT of wine beforehand. Much more bearable.

After the third time, I started suggesting he find someone else to go with him. Poor guy.

jennyonthespot said...

Dude. I get these romatic ideas about the fun things I can do with my kids. And most of it is not really all that fun at all. For any of us. Unless there's a creepy Mouse that serves pizza. But then it's just the kids having fun.

Sarah the Stylist said...

We were at that show as well and totally loved it! Deb has such a great sound and smart lyrics. I agree, she's really funny onstage -- did you catch it when she whispered "zombies" into the mic in between phrases in the middle of the song? Hysterical!