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Nov 18 2011

Beyoncé and other unlikely lullabies, Beyonce music

Reblogged from blog.chron.com - By Joey Guerra, Jennangel, Brittani Collins

Does this thing play anything by Chingo Bling? Emerson just isn’t a lullaby kind of guy.  Sure, he tolerates the sweet rhymes that spew from his toys, his swing, his baby gym. And he does seem to have an affinity for Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. (It freezes him in place almost every time.) But almost since day 1, Emerson has proven to have more mature music sensibilities. I remember twice — once in St. Louis during our nearly two-week hotel stay and another time shortly after we returned home to Houston — when he was crying and crying. And crying. I tried everything. Pacifier. Holding him. Rocking him. Talking to him. Everything. Finally, as a frantic last resort, I turned on my iPod and repped Htown: He was almost immediately quiet and eventually fell asleep. I still remember standing right beside the stereo, gently rocking him, humming along with the words. I thought that things like this get better with time/But I still need you/Why is that? It reminded me of my grandparents, of my family, of how I feel when he’s not with me. (OK, sorry. I won’t make you cry again.) The droning beat almost had him (and me) in a trance. In fact, he seemed keen on several ballad’s from Beyoncé’s 4 album. Maybe he could sense the impending mommy-ness. (He knew she was pregnant before we did!) I’ve started a playlist for Emerson on my iPod, and it includes a little of everything: pop, soul, country, jazz, the Beatles. I’d like to pass on to him what my dad gave to me — an unconditional love of music in general. My dad taught me to appreciate all kinds of music. He had, and still has, crates full of vinyl. Disco to do-wop, classic rock to Tejano. His record player was always spinning something new. It spurred me to attend concerts when I was just 12 years old, to create my own weekly countdowns, to religiously read Billboard magazine. (Seeing it in my office mailbox, with my name on the label, still gives me a thrill.) To this day, he gets excited with weekly releases. I do, too. It’s the strongest bonding element in our relationship. My dad isn’t much for words. Bring up music, however, and he can talk for hours. Emerson seems keen on local music, which makes me happy. Because, ahem. He listens intently to the entire Open Book album by Tyagaraja, one of my favorite local releases in recent years. I think it’s the freewheeling vibe, the seamless flow of sitar, piano, guitar and lap steel. Emerson also seems to vibe on the quirky covers from Houston’s Collective Racket and vocalist Lauren Miller’s sweet, soulful voice. He’s particularly fond of this (far superior) reworking of a Katy Perry hit. (And I think he might have a bit of a crush). But atop the Emerson charts? By far? You’ll never guess. And I can’t even recall how we happened on playing it for him. The one song that makes him stop, stare, smile and sleep every single time. The one song that I often play 22 times in a row because he never, ever, ever seems to get tired of it. An ’80s classic by a pop diva, recast by another ’80s diva as an electro-lullaby. (That has to create some sort of retro pop vortex, right?) Maybe he just responds to sweet, simple melodies. Maybe he’s going to be like me. And my dad. A music lover, a writer, a performer in the making. It’s a whole other story, though, if I try and sing to him. Even a few lines of any song — whether he’s falling asleep, drinking a bottle or completely smiley-faced — results in this expression after about 10 seconds: Guess I’ll leave it to Beyoncé and the experts. //

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