“The Talk”

Well, Uber and I had “the talk” this week.  I know its strange, but up until now, he hasn’t shown much interest.  And at 14, I was kind of hoping maybe his friends had filled him in on most of the details already.  I don’t care how many public service announcements you see, you still don’t think it applies to your kid.

I’m talking, of course, about illegally downloading music.  (You people jump to way too many conclusions, you know?)

Uber got his first MP3 player this past week as a cool gift at a Christmas party he attended.  I know that some kids probably have MP3 players built into their cribs, but Uber has just never shown much interest in music until now.  As music obsessed as I am, I’m footsies thinking maybe he was accidentally switched with some other kid in the hospital nursery.  There was this one baby who looked like he was tapping his toe in time to the heart monitor.  Poor kid.  He’s probably trying to figure out how the heck he got stuck with a family that doesn’t even know who U2 is.

Nevertheless, I’m kinda attached to the sprawling teenage geekling now, so . . . no hard feelings.  

But in the past couple of months, even Uber has started taking a bigger interest in bands, musical genres, and the like.  And strangely enough, right at the crux of his burgeoning interest, an MP3 player magically appears.  You would have thought he had gotten the golden ticket.  He was beside himself with excitement, and by the next morning he was exclaiming over all the great music he had found online, and how cool the bands were, and how easy it was to download, and how frustrated he had been at first when he realized his player wouldn’t play certain songs because they had this stupid DRM-thingie on them, but that thankfully he had discovered this awesome free online program that removed the DRM from the files, and…

In my morning fog, it took me a minute to register that last bit.  Dang.  Can’t a girl even finish her bagel before she has to go into full parent-mode?? 

Uber was crushed when I explained that music doesn’t just grow on trees.  He was mortified to discover that this brand new hobby of his was actually going to tug at his purse strings.   It was very hard for him to comprehend that artists don’t offer their music on a sliding scale, with 14 year old jobless teens being in the most desperately needy category.

But after long philosophical discussions with both myself and his dad (Uber’s very favorite kind!), he gets it now.  He said it makes sense that if you really like a band, you are willing to support their efforts to continue making music.  I’m very proud of him.  He has learned something really important this week, and has matured yet a little more.  He is changing daily, right before my eyes.

I’m definitely planning to keep him.  Now that he’s finally “got rhythm”, that other stupid U2-free family probably wouldn’t want him anyway.

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9 Responses

  1. There is also a huge amount of good music out there available for free download. Often from the bands or labels directly. Once he starts digging into music, he’ll find all kinds of great stuff out there.

  2. OK – I admit it. I jumped to conclusions. And here I was all set to send you an email sharing the heart-attack inducing questions that my son has sprung on us. Whew! I guess I can skip that now 😉

    Hubby bought me an MP-3 player last Christmas. It’s still empty. ‘Cause I’m a cheapskate who has morals which means I don’t buy them or steal them. Hence the empty part. Now, my mother could get me one of those pre-paid music download things for a Christmas gift, but that would make sense. Know what she got me this year?? The Star Wars album. Yep – ALBUM!! Gee, I knew I should never have gotten rid of that record player in 6th grade.

  3. Now if only some adults would learn this important lesson… great post!

  4. Considering right now I am actually buying (gasp) my first album due to severe lack of Nightwish mp3s, you finally made an honest kid out of me. (Hee, “honest”)

    Oh, and Firefly Mom – take a look at this site.
    http://www.unsignedbandweb.com/SongCharts.html
    It’s a site where you can download free music out of 400,000 different songs. It’s legal because not only is it from unsigned artists that you’ve never heard of, but also because the artists put the music on there themselves.

    • Thomas – thanks for stopping by, Thomas!! See U-T’s own comment for how he discovered the very same thing!

      Karen – send them all over, and I’ll give them one of my famous chats…AFTER my bagel this time, though, please

      FM – oh I STILL want that email very, very much!!

      U-T – if it’s that easy to make an honest man out of you, then you are DEFINITELY not mine!!! 😉

  5. It must be that age. I had “the talk” with Baby Boy last year, now he spends most of his days campaigning for anyone who will listen to get him I-Tunes gift cards, LOL. Boys!

  6. I second what Thomas said that there is a ton of free, legal music (and audiobooks) out there. Try searching iTunes podcasts like KCRW, indie feed, etc.

  7. I’m struggling with this right now and realise I don’t know nearly enough about it to properly guide him.. it’s a steep learning curve, which ones are legal and free and which ones aren’t…!!

  8. […] You gotta pay to play […]

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