Making My 16-Year-Old Cousin Listen To Therapy? and Hootie & the Blowfish

Hootie & the Blowfish
Unlike Jesse Hughey and Darryl Smyers, I do not have children yet. I come from a large family. My father is eldest of five, so it's understandable why I, a 33-year-old, have cousins who are teenagers.

Something I've wondered about with my cousins is the kind of music they like these days. Is their generation really all about hip-hop, screamo, dubstep, teen pop, and what Pitchfork says is cool? Do they truly care about (or care to know about) The Clash, Love, or At the Drive-In? Are my cousins like I was in high school, where I had a variety of interests, but was very guarded about sharing those tastes with others?

See also:
- Playing Ministry's The Land of Rape and Honey for my daughter
- Playing Fugazi's Repeater for my kids

I hit up my 16-year-old cousin Andrew, who plays in his high school band and sings in choir. He was born when I was a junior in high school, so I wondered what bands he likes these days. He cites Fleet Foxes and Andrew Bird as some of his favorites. In turn, I introduced him to My Morning Jacket, Buffalo Springfield and Richard Hawley.

But I was curious to see what he thought of the music I listened to when I was his age. The following is a list of songs I associate with my high school years. Here's what he thought.

Pavement, "Cut Your Hair"
A song I enjoyed because it seemed so goofy when I heard it in high school. Years later, after listening to all of Pavement's material, I think it's a wonderful song with some spot-on commentary about the exploitation of bands.
Andrew's take: I see this as a song with a strong influence from rock and roll and a slight influence from punk music. Overall I like this one. I love its rhythm and use of vocal harmonies.

A scene from "Cut Your Hair"
Sugar, "If I Can't Change Your Mind"
Reading the ins and outs of the Houston Chronicle music section, I discovered this Bob Mould-associated juggernaut long before I heard Hüsker Dü.
Andrew's take: I like its melody and I love the guitar part, especially in the last few measures. However, it has some influences from techno, the vocals sound like they are shrouded by a vial of Auto-Tune or something. I think the bright sound of the guitar part gives the song a very "yellow" feel. I am not a fan of yellow-toned music, but I do enjoy this one.

Wilco, "Outtasite (Outta Mind)"
I thank 120 Minutes for airing this video and Greg Kot for his four-star review of Being There in Rolling Stone. One of my all-time favorite bands.
Andrew's take: It's got a nice beat to it, and plenty of influences from rock, which I like, however it's a bit "busy" in the background. But I do like how they made the "busy-ness" have a role in the music. It probably wouldn't sound near as good without it.

Hootie & the Blowfish, "Let Her Cry"
I'm not going to pretend like I was some cool tastemaker in high school. And I truly believe more people my age were listening to Hootie more than EPMD and Public Enemy in those days.
Andrew's take: Alright, I really like this one! It's got a "blue" tone to it, and sounds a bit like a lullaby. It has a nice texture to it as well. I also hear a similarity to modern Christian rock music.

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I'm 35 and don't remember hootie ever being something kids listened to when I was a teenager. It is music tailormade for middle-age. Your cousin seems like a pretentious little douche. Ah, to be young again.


Hootie sux, but the dude is wearing a Silos t-shirt. He still sucks, but cool shirt.

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