Friday, June 15, 2007

Singing the parental advisory hits

My son has been taking voice lessons for a little while, more as just a fun activity than in any attempt to make him a singing sensation. In the time he's been singing his voice has dropped, and he's trapped in that teen purgatory of no-longer-a-tenor, not-quite-a-baritone. His teacher has been having quite a time trying to find appropriate material for him to work on. There were some nice Broadway songbooks for his kiddie voice, but the Broadway songbooks for lower voices? A little more contemporary, and a little more troublesome, theme-wise, especially for perseverative kids like my boy. I have to agree with the teacher that "I'm Not Wearing Underwear Today" from "Avenue Q" is probably not the right material here.

I was thinking about the trickiness of the new Broadway songbook on Tony night when "Spring Awakening" won trophy after trophy. I listened to the whole soundtrack online the next day, and the songs are terrific, but it's hard to ignore that big Parental Advisory label on the CD cover and "Explicit" tag on all the numbers. These are the things I look at when downloading music for my kids, and there's hardly a song here I'd feel comfortable putting on their iPods. And I think the voice teacher's unlikely to want to work with him on songs with titles like "The Bitch of Living" and "Totally F***ed." Yeah, we'll have him perform that one at a recital.

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