I Know You Can't Control Yourself Any Longer
May 8, 2015 2:41 PM   Subscribe

That group, Mumford and His Sons?
posted by infinitywaltz at 2:49 PM on May 8, 2015

I remember my mom doing the 'guns dance' in the kitchen to "These Boots Are Made For Walking" on the oldies station when my now 29 year old sister was a toddler.
posted by jonmc at 2:52 PM on May 8, 2015 [4 favorites]

Related: mom wine.

My mom is rather private about her taste in music. She left the radio when disco came and never looked back. Now she likes sad old songs like "The Tennessee Waltz" and "The Long Black Veil."
posted by Countess Elena at 2:52 PM on May 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

My Mom was always upset I wasn't as into her collection of rare L.A punk bootlegs but we both liked Blondie and Devo.
posted by The Whelk at 2:55 PM on May 8, 2015 [30 favorites]

Uh, it's Meat Loaf. Any article about mom rock making such an omission cannot be trusted!
posted by easter queen at 2:56 PM on May 8, 2015 [5 favorites]

The Whelk- tell your mom that if she's ever in Toronto, we should hang out.

You can come too, if you like.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:58 PM on May 8, 2015 [14 favorites]

Oh man, "The Long Black Veil" is such a staple of my parents' household. One of the few songs my mom and dad can agree on.
posted by en forme de poire at 3:00 PM on May 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

I broke curfew and came home to my mom sitting in the half-dark listening to Nina Simone.

I secretly justified all the further times I got home late as giving Mom a chance to listen to the music she liked.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:02 PM on May 8, 2015 [38 favorites]

Dad rock? That music defined them as males. Mom rock defined me as a female that led me to be a mom.

Very interesting thought there. Of course, Mom and Dad Rock are all relative, I think. Mostly I'd think it's the music parents listened to before becoming parents...although I definitely recall my dad going through a Van Halen/Bob Jovi/Motley Crüe phase right around when he was approaching 50. My mom, though? She just stopped listening to music altogether as I got older and that depresses me.
posted by smirkette at 3:02 PM on May 8, 2015

No discussion of Mom Rovk is complete without mentioning NONSTOP STEVIE NICKS SOLO ALBUMS ALL THE TIME

Also, all Moms Like Jimmy Fallon apparently.
posted by The Whelk at 3:04 PM on May 8, 2015 [8 favorites]

Wow, that was great. Kid's got a rockin' mom. I love the fact that she basically never answers the question but instead points out an even better question: if "dad rock" is basically white dude bands for white dads, has anybody ever asked black dads about dad rock?

My Dad loves: STYX, Asia, ELO, QUEEN, and (more recently) MUSE
My Mom loves: The Carpenters, Bread, Dan Fogelberg
posted by Doleful Creature at 3:04 PM on May 8, 2015 [14 favorites]

I like how she immediately jujitsued the interview into humiliating stories about the interviewer's infancy
posted by thelonius at 3:08 PM on May 8, 2015 [48 favorites]

Paul Simon, The Big Chill Soundtrack, and Bette Midler.
posted by Brocktoon at 3:08 PM on May 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

My mom would slap down either Yes's Roundabout or Jethro Tull's Aqualung and blast it out on my parents' Klipsch La Scalas every saturday morning at a billion fucking decibals.

posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 3:10 PM on May 8, 2015 [63 favorites]

Kathy is an awesome mom.
posted by not that girl at 3:21 PM on May 8, 2015 [8 favorites]

My mom listened to Christopher Cross, Richard Marx, and Michael Bolton.

On car trips I made very good use of my Walkman. To listen to the Fat Boys.
posted by Hoopo at 3:22 PM on May 8, 2015 [4 favorites]

mom also listened to a lot of early Bruce Springstein but we lived in NJ where you just get those albums in the mail. you can actually be fined or not having at least a cassingle of born to run.
posted by The Whelk at 3:22 PM on May 8, 2015 [26 favorites]

I had the cassette of whatever Fat Boys album had "Hell Yeah" on it. My grandmother found it, popped it in, and of course it was queued up to that song. I got a lecture.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 3:24 PM on May 8, 2015

For my mom it's The Carpenters, Barbra Streisand, Barry Manilow, The Bee Gees. I'm not sure to what extent any of that qualifies as "rock"! But it's very "mom" for sure. I'll agree with her on The Carpenters, and "Nights On Broadway" is surely one of the greatest songs ever.
posted by naju at 3:26 PM on May 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

The only thing I remember hearing my Mom sing is "Looking out My Back Door" by CCR.
posted by rankfreudlite at 3:26 PM on May 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

My mom's rock would be the Beatles, Adele, and the Pogues. And Smashing Pumpkins, but only "1979". Kind of a weird combo.
posted by skycrashesdown at 3:30 PM on May 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

Tapestry, Blue, Teaser and the Firecat.
posted by dirtdirt at 3:33 PM on May 8, 2015 [4 favorites]

I'm a bit older than I think most here. I was already in college by the late '70s. I'll never forget the summer afternoon I came home to find my mom rocking out to Blondie's Parallel Lines while preparing dinner. When I picked my jaw up off the floor, she told me that she had heard 'Sunday Girl' on the car radio and immediately drove to the record store to buy the album. She remained a Blondie fan until the day she died a few years later.
posted by trip and a half at 3:35 PM on May 8, 2015 [31 favorites]

Carole King for my momma.
posted by brundlefly at 3:41 PM on May 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

My mom has no rock; my parents consider popular music vulgar. My mom likes Edith Piaf.

This guy's mom is no fool, though, vide her comment about "what do black dads think of as 'dad rock'", which kind of exposes the class and race angle on the whole thing.
posted by Frowner at 3:44 PM on May 8, 2015 [22 favorites]

One time, when I was home from college in the 70s, my white surburban mom took me aside and said she had to ask me something. She then took out a small notepad and said, I keeping hearing this song on the radio, and it has a part where the singer says (reading from the notepad) I'm never gonna give you up, cuz quittin' just ain't my stick. Did I know this song? I told her it sounded like the song she wanted was "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Barry White. She took down this information very carefully in her notebook. Much later she told me that she thought that Barry White's voice was incredibly sexy, but she was alarmed by how overweight he was.
posted by How the runs scored at 3:47 PM on May 8, 2015 [42 favorites]

That Carlos Santana album from the 90's.
posted by Rock Steady at 3:47 PM on May 8, 2015 [7 favorites]

Bowling for Soup wrote a song about this called 1985.
posted by Nanukthedog at 3:48 PM on May 8, 2015 [8 favorites]

Tangentially related: The day after the Ferguson Decision was handed down, I went into my office and started cranking It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, since I was alone and all. One of my (black) coworkers came in, and I abruptly shut off the music.

"Public Enemy?" she asked. I nodded. "That's my dad's favorite album."

And then I felt old.
posted by pxe2000 at 3:57 PM on May 8, 2015 [79 favorites]

That Bowling for Soup song hits me oddly hard cause all my babysitters growing up where hardcore Valley Girls, totally to the max, so just hearing an "OHmygawd take a mental margarita!" Fills me with Proustian nostalgia
posted by The Whelk at 3:57 PM on May 8, 2015 [4 favorites]

This was a great article and I love his mom. And dancing to songs in the kitchen is such a mom thing to do (one that I proudly do myself even though I only have my dog to embarrass).

My favourite mom-rock moment was when I exclaimed over the hotness of Cat Stevens on his album cover and my mom just looked at me and said 'I know'. Obviously that was one of her records, not my dad's.
posted by hydrobatidae at 4:01 PM on May 8, 2015 [10 favorites]

My mom played primarily Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, and Bach on our record player and I'm fairly certain she once referred to Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" as "that n***** be-bop" when it came on the AM radio station after the school announcements were finished.

I hope this anecdote clarifies things vis a vis mothers and rock.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:03 PM on May 8, 2015 [7 favorites]

The Whelk: mom also listened to a lot of early Bruce Springstein but we lived in NJ where you just get those albums in the mail.

Springstein records were hard to come by, but you hit the motherlode if you got the right catalog. Bialy Joel, James Taylorberg, and Rolling Sterns were featured prominently.
posted by dr_dank at 4:06 PM on May 8, 2015 [51 favorites]

Also, Jon Von Jovi
posted by The Whelk at 4:07 PM on May 8, 2015 [8 favorites]

These days, my mom primarily listens to songs that extol particular genres of music without, themselves, belonging to that genre ("I Love Beach Music," "Old Time Rock and Roll"), but my opinion of her musical tastes was irrevocably scarred by having to listen to her sing along with Rod Stewart's "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy" in the car when I was 10.
posted by mittens at 4:14 PM on May 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

Not my Mom but her year older sister, distinct powerful memory of her singing
Loudly and proudly along to The Watiressess' Christmas Wrapping during a long snowy car ride.

Did I mention she sounds *exactly* like Linda Belecher off Bob's Burgers?
posted by The Whelk at 4:17 PM on May 8, 2015 [8 favorites]

"Mom rock!" I scoffed, as I clicked the link. Sipping my Friday evening glass of red wine, I listened to tonight's Spotify playlist featuring the Marshall Tucker Band, The Allman Brothers Band, and Led Zeppelin... And then I reached the first Q&A exchange.

Now I don't know what to think. I'm not a mom. Am I just old?
posted by lesli212 at 4:18 PM on May 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

I have a younger friend who's mom likes Radiohead as much as I do and, well, um, ... I loved her.
posted by repoman at 4:21 PM on May 8, 2015


Pre-concert conversations, so many discussions about how getting home after midnight meant extra money for the babysitter or nanny. Also, S-K formed the same year as Wilco.
posted by betweenthebars at 4:23 PM on May 8, 2015 [9 favorites]

My late mother, a Korean immigrant, didn't listen to music that much (around me, anyway?), but when she did it was really old style American country. Not country rock, really simple traditional stuff, muttered vocals clouded with a thick southern accent accompanying a twanging banjo.

It was either that or Enya.
posted by picklenickle at 4:23 PM on May 8, 2015 [13 favorites]

I grew up listening to Stevie Ray Vaughan cranked to ear splitting levels courtesy of my mom. I still know Texas Flood like the back of my hand.
posted by supercrayon at 4:24 PM on May 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

Based on road trips with my mom when I was a kid: Helen Reddy, John Denver, the Mamas and the Papas.
posted by Navelgazer at 4:27 PM on May 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

Nanukthedog: "Bowling for Soup wrote a song about this called 1985 "

Ha! That's the ringtone when my mom calls me!

I listen to jazz-format NPR almost exclusively when we're in the car, so my kids got to know a lot of jazz standards that way. When my older son was maybe three, I was watching a music video on YouTube and he clambored up next to me and demanded, "Watch Coltrane!" I got sooooooooo excited and I was like, "Okay, this one is called Giant Steps," and start the video and he immediately says, "NO, mommy, COAL. TRAIN."

:( :( :( :( :(
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:28 PM on May 8, 2015 [62 favorites]

Doo-wop, Motown, Latin vocalists, opera (tenors, exclusively), plus a decidedly weird soft spot for Bob Seger.

Also, all Moms Like Jimmy Fallon apparently.

Ma Gambol says he's smarmy. However, "That Josh Groban certainly seems like a nice young man."
posted by Iris Gambol at 4:31 PM on May 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

My mom's rock was Gregorian chant. My mom was the rock.

Explains a lot about me.
posted by spitbull at 4:37 PM on May 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

My mom played primarily Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, and Bach on our record player and I'm fairly certain she once referred to Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" as "that n***** be-bop" when it came on the AM radio station after the school announcements were finished.

Wolfdog, when was that? I ask because that exact phrase turns up in Stephen King's The Stand, applied to the anodyne pop of the protagonist. I remember it because I thought it was odd -- at age twelve, in Mississippi, I had never heard someone say such a racist thing about rock. I had put it down to King's purple dialogue, but nastiness has a thousand wellsprings, I suppose.
posted by Countess Elena at 4:45 PM on May 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

I had put it down to King's purple dialogue, but nastiness has a thousand wellsprings, I suppose.

(off topic, but I learned most of the nasty racial terms that I know from Stephen King books. Cheers Stephen, those were neurons that could have been dedicated to literally any other thing.)
posted by supercrayon at 4:48 PM on May 8, 2015 [7 favorites]

I was a weird kid. Who wasn't...well I was weird in ways that my parents couldn't seem to parse. At first it seemed that I was going down the appropriate rebel paths: getting into punk music, going to scary concerts in cramped little arthouse theaters, wearing shirts with questionable band names on them. I remember when I was fourteen, my mother lamenting, "you're such a sweet boy, why do you like this evil-sounding stuff??"

I just shrugged. I liked it, it sounded cool.

About a year later, after some bad experiences with friends I'd met vis-a-vis our mutual interests and some correspondingly great experiences I'd been having with some new friends I met in school I experienced an almost-overnight shift in musical interests.

In short: I got really tired of the shitty friends I'd made at punk shows and at the same time got really excited about Thelonius Monk.

Being a teenager with extreme opinions and short-term thinking I had decided that these two worlds could not coeexist in one boy's brain. So I went to the local record store and traded in all my punk records for every non-Saxophone jazz album I could find*. A few months later I enrolled in our high school's AP Music Theory course and became equally obsessed with "classical music" and began raiding the bargain bins at Best Buy on a regular basis.

Unfortunately, my parents didn't really understand or like this turn of events any more than they liked or understood my brief flirtations in the punk scene. I remember one time, riding in the car with Mom; I'd commandeered the car stereo and was blasting some Mingus, happily bopping along and she just looked at me like I was some kind of alien. "How can you even like this crap?!" she said. I just shrugged.

Although it was never spoken I got the distinct impression that the question was ever on her lips: why can't you just be like the other kids and like the Top 40 stuff? At least then I would know how to complain about it.

My kids are too young to have much of their own personal taste...I did get a few stern looks from my partner when I filled up our 4-year-old's and 6-year-old's little bargain MP3 players with stoner metal, New Orleans funk, the complete works of Mahler, and an uncensored audiobook of Grimm's Fairy Tales.

I just shrugged.

*It wasn't until I was in my mid-20s that I was finally able to appreciate the saxophone. I know, I know.
posted by Doleful Creature at 4:49 PM on May 8, 2015 [12 favorites]

Earth Wind & Fire, for my mom. It's the one band I can think of that my mom really liked but my dad didn't have much of an opinion of.
posted by hopeless romantique at 4:58 PM on May 8, 2015

I dunno, it must have been 1980-and-a-bit.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:59 PM on May 8, 2015

My mom is about ten years older than the mom in the article, and I grew up hearing Broadway tunes, Hendrix, Joplin, all the folk singers, pretty much, any musician, if they played at Woodstock, they played at our house.

As a middle aged mom myself, I've turned Boy onto Metallica, early English punk, some nyc punk, and lots and lots of jazz. He's auditioning for the jr high jazz band by playing a max roach riff he taught himself to play.

I dunno, most of the women I'm friends with have really complicated musical tastes, I'm not sure I could define a single "mom rock" genre that would encompass all of them.
posted by dejah420 at 5:03 PM on May 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

I don't know if this was ever posted here, but Zadie Smith writing about Joni Mitchell: Some Notes on Attunement: A voyage around Joni Mitchell.
posted by betweenthebars at 5:03 PM on May 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

Musically my parents were all over the map. I most remember mom liking some women soft-rock singers in the 70s, like Nicolette Larson and Linda Rondstat - but mostly she left the music choice to Dad.

But there was a moment in the mid-80s when both GRACELAND and Peter Gabriel's SO we're both out, and I was mainlining both - and once when one of them was on, Mom suddenly got this look and said "oh, I remember now..." And went down to dig an album out of the basement. It was something she had in college - the MISSA LUBA, an album for the 60s by a boys' choir in the DRC. One side was a series of traditional songs, but the other was an entire Latin Mass sung in traditional Congolese style. The stuff I'd been listening to reminded her of it, and for the next year and a half, before I went off to college, all three of those albums were in heavy rotation.

But today Mom is more into stuff like you'd hear on the JONATHAN SCHWARTZ SHOW on NPR.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:17 PM on May 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

That is an incredibly cool mom.

My mom is Korean, and she didn't really get into rock music. She did like Lionel Ritchie, Michael Jackson, and Richard Marx. So, Michael Jackson was the most exciting thing she put on the record player.

They wouldn't wait in line for Dave Mustaine for me, but she and my dad were surprisingly OK with my liking metal, even though it sounded like non-music to them. My mom is a Christian, though not an incredibly rigorous one, but when they had a side business buying tons of cheap CDs at auctions and selling them to dollar stores, she'd put aside anything with a skull on it for me. (They were inevitably terrible compilations.)

She did like Call of Ktulu, though. Maybe they should start playing metal instrumentals in elevators and grocery stores.
posted by ignignokt at 5:18 PM on May 8, 2015 [7 favorites]

Not a mom, so I find this fascinating.

What I bought for my mom in the last 10-15 years (she's about to turn 80) was mostly pop star covers of the mid-century standards, like the Rod Stewart Great American Songbook. She wasn't the music person in my family, though: that was my dad's thing.
posted by immlass at 5:20 PM on May 8, 2015

Beach Boys, Bee Gees, Neil Diamond, 60s bubblegum, and (some) 70s disco. She likes nothing written after 1979.
posted by dirigibleman at 5:27 PM on May 8, 2015

Doleful Creature: " I remember one time, riding in the car with Mom; I'd commandeered the car stereo and was blasting some Mingus, happily bopping along and she just looked at me like I was some kind of alien. "How can you even like this crap?!" she said."

My mother once sighed, of my total fixation on jazz, "I don't know why you listen to this old-person music. My mom listened to this during the War."

But! My mother was pretty hyper-protective, and when I was in high school refused to let me go to a Tori Amos concert at Northwestern because she thought the crowd at a "rock concert" would be too rough. ("Mom. It will be college lesbians listening to piano music." Still no.) But because she thought jazz was "cultural" and "educational" in the way that classical music is (i.e., not contemporary and listened to mostly by upper-middle class adults who've gone to college, in formalized concert settings), she let me go to basically any jazz concert in Chicago that I wanted to go to. Because in her head they were all the same as Wynton Marsalis playing at the Symphony Center. I never actually lied about it, but I know she thought we were in the Loop or River North, and I know she would have put the kibosh on me going south of Congress after dark. She would have been horrified to know they were frequently over-21 venues; she never even thought to ask.

(Everybody was really nice; when a bunch of preppy suburban teenagers show up in a gritty jazz club, they know you're a bunch of high school band geeks who are there for the music. The waitresses would sit us right up front in a well-lit spot so they could see we weren't trying to scam alcohol off anyone or sneaking flasks. As long as we stuck to soda and left before midnight, we were never hassled by venue staff or cops, and we usually got to meet the band during their breaks. Every now and then it would start to get a little noisy and rowdy earlier in the evening, and some full-grown responsible adult would very politely suggest to us that it was getting awfully late and it was going to take us a while to drive back to the suburbs, and we always took the hint. Sometimes we would run into jazz band nerd cliques from other high schools, looking fully as dorky and out-of-place as we did.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:44 PM on May 8, 2015 [64 favorites]

Duran Duran...
posted by littlejohnnyjewel at 5:49 PM on May 8, 2015

My mother's "rock" was Broadway showtunes. I've tried to engage her in conversation about the pop music of her teen years, and I know more about it than she does.

if "dad rock" is basically white dude bands for white dads, has anybody ever asked black dads about dad rock?

Based on my father-in-law's musical taste, I'd theorize that "dad rock" is a primarily white phenomenon, but that there exists a parallel subgenre, beloved of black men of a certain age, that we can perhaps dub "dad R&B."
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:56 PM on May 8, 2015 [5 favorites]

posted by clavdivs at 6:05 PM on May 8, 2015

My mother, a Benny Goodman fan, would plead with me every day to keep the volume down on Cream's Wheels of Fire, which I would put on quietly as soon as I got home from school, while she was taking her afternoon nap.

"Please, you have to understand how much the bass comes up through the floor. I have to ask you every day. Be more considerate! ... Though I have to admit I'm starting to like that record."
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:08 PM on May 8, 2015 [4 favorites]

Rita McNeil, The Rankins, Stuart Maclean stories. ABC, people. Always Be Celtic.
posted by Gin and Comics at 6:09 PM on May 8, 2015 [4 favorites]

When we go to Patti Smith shows, we are not the oldest people there, and people bring their kids/grandkids. We've seen parents bring their kids to X shows. And yeah, at Sleater-Kinney last weekend, I spotted several teenager-types with parental-types.
posted by rtha at 6:19 PM on May 8, 2015 [6 favorites]

My 67-year-old husband is the one who is into "mom rock" if that means the Carpenters and Enya. I think the writer's mother was politely dissing the concept when she said, "You have this feeling about you that is earthy and sensual and sensuous and a song will resonate with you in a way, and I would say that is mom rock. It has a belly-ache of this is going to make me get up and move." I kind of loathe the term "mom rock" anyway, because it smacks of the youthful opinion that parents turned into the liquefying spider mom when they had kids and stopped having taste of their own. I listen to hip-hop, dubstep, reggaeton, alternative, rock, country, jazz, and anything that catches my fancy.

[Also, I refuse to celebrate Mother's Day because it's reductionist pandering that is based on marketing.] and yes, it's that time of the year]
posted by Peach at 6:22 PM on May 8, 2015 [4 favorites]

My parents are part of that shrinking class of retired people who live in Florida during the winter and Chicago in the summer. So periodically during the winter I'll stop past their house and take their cars around the block to assure their batteries aren't dead or fluids frozen. So I get treated to whatever is in the CD player. They used to be Fleetwood Mac and Van Morrison people. My sister has converted them to country. I hate her a little bit for that.
posted by MarvinTheCat at 6:33 PM on May 8, 2015 [7 favorites]

ME: Sitting in school carpool line jamming to Bob Marley at stop volume.
THE KID: Flings the door open and says "Do you KNOW how loud your music is?"
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 6:42 PM on May 8, 2015 [8 favorites]

My dad was the big music buff in the family. He played the guitar and loved folk music and introduced me to Paul Simon first as Simon and Garfunkle and then, on a day when everything went wrong, with one of his solo cds to cheer me up. Mom liked Broadway musicals, but she is also a hardcore Neil Diamond fan, and if she's playing anything in the house when I'm over to visit, it's usually Neil at a really, really loud volume in the living room so she can hear it no matter where she is in the house.

My husband's folks were both trained musicians and instead of listening to anything on a record or tape, they played it when they wanted it. He remembers a lot (A LOT) of Bacharach and David in the house when it wasn't old-time Baptist church hymns.
posted by PussKillian at 6:43 PM on May 8, 2015

My mom raised me on Bobby Rydell, Bobby Vee—all the Bobbys of her high school years. I took her to a Bobby Dylan concert about ten years ago, and she was surprised how loud it was. She hadn't heard that he went electric.
posted by Knappster at 6:43 PM on May 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

I'll never understand the definitions of mom rock or dad rock because my mom loved aerosmith and my dad was (is) a big deadhead + i've heard them both talk about how they regret leaving a show early so they didn't get snowed in and realizing only ages later that they could've almost been snowed in with the eurythmics

my dad currently listens to a lot of college radio.
posted by flatluigi at 6:46 PM on May 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

I can remember my mom buying exactly one piece of music in my life:

An 8-track tape called "The Magic of Mantovani".

posted by BitterOldPunk at 6:49 PM on May 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

My Mom's reaction to me dancing to Madonna

mom is actually a Madonna fan, yes even the electronic stuff cause he loves and remembers disco cause it reminds her of high school ( She said the video for Deeper and Deeper was basically her early 20s, wow.).
posted by The Whelk at 6:50 PM on May 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

"... when you asked me to stand in line to have Megadeth sign your Megadeth CDs while you were at soccer practice." I love this woman.
posted by queensissy at 6:51 PM on May 8, 2015 [5 favorites]

i've heard them both talk about how they regret leaving a show early so they didn't get snowed in and realizing only ages later that they could've almost been snowed in with the eurythmics

My mom still talks about driving Devo to shows a few time when she was the roommate of a music promoter in LA. She had great stories about Jon Doe from X! She met Patti Smith a few times! She inspired a song on someone's forgotten first album! She was pretty much impossible to rankle with music choices ( I mean I did, 40s Jazz! I got into it! It was INFURATING,)
posted by The Whelk at 6:53 PM on May 8, 2015 [7 favorites]

(mom is the biggest Lana Del Ray fan you'll meet but that could also be Being From Southern California)
posted by The Whelk at 6:55 PM on May 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

Kathy the mom is so awesomely thoughtful about it all
posted by batfish at 6:55 PM on May 8, 2015 [5 favorites]

Oddly the one thing my Mom banned from me playing in the house without headphones was Lisa Loeb.

"her voice is so whiney!"
posted by The Whelk at 6:59 PM on May 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

My childhood was full of Neil Diamond and Kenny Rogers, over and over and over. Now she listens to classical piano or something.
posted by desjardins at 6:59 PM on May 8, 2015

My kid is bitter because I went to the Sleater-Kinney show without her this week (19+ show) and she can't come with me to see the Jesus and Mary Chain because of school. Being a grownup is pretty sweet sometimes.
posted by atropos at 7:03 PM on May 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

My mom was so cool & had great taste. I think I was the only kid at preschool into the talking heads. (When I was a few years older, I was also the only elementary schooler who could tell you how Reagan was destroying the middle class with his bullshit tax policy.) But my mom gave me new wave & Motown, and then submitted herself to my Britpop phase. And I thank her.
posted by dame at 7:04 PM on May 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

My childhood was Abba, Barry Manilow, and Barbra Streisand. I actually have songs by all those folks on my ipod. I also have a deep love of Kenny Loggins.

What has always amazed me about my mom is that she somehow completely missed out/skipped over the beatles and led zep even though she was theoretically in the right age range to enjoy them. (She likely would not have enjoyed lz due to her taste but the beatles thing makes no damn sense to me.)
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 7:09 PM on May 8, 2015

Meat Loaf. Always and forever Meat Loaf.
posted by xbonesgt at 7:10 PM on May 8, 2015

A+ to my mom putting up with my never-ending Duran Duran love. My mom still refers to Belinda Carlisle as, "the cute blonde girl."
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 7:12 PM on May 8, 2015

My Mom doesn't listen to any rock. She's a choir nerd, has been for a long time, a little soft spot for folk music and pop hits here and there -- mostly "there," to be honest, where "there" is around a half-century ago -- but mostly into these niche traditions. She's a very good soprano, raised a few kids, sang in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for two decades, now she plays harp music and guitar and old favorites for hospice.

She taught me to love that stuff too. And maybe indirectly about a ethos regarding taste in music that's as non-conforming as punk rock but with less pretense about what it means about who is listening to it.
posted by weston at 7:18 PM on May 8, 2015

Linda Ronstadt.
posted by mynameisluka at 7:36 PM on May 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

My mom was born in 1960 and her primary "mom rock" growing up was CCR, Bananarama (!), John Denver, and Gordon Lightfoot
posted by aydeejones at 7:41 PM on May 8, 2015

My mom was country, old country. She was in her 70's when she first heard Nirvana. She loved them till day the she died. She had me put them on during her last hospital stay.

posted by bjgeiger at 7:42 PM on May 8, 2015 [22 favorites]

That is a really charming interview.

For my mom, Gilbert and Sullivan all the way. And she likes TMBG's Flood.
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:45 PM on May 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

CTRL+F for "Heart"

I forgot Heart, and Fleetwood Mack
posted by aydeejones at 7:51 PM on May 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

Do moms listen to My Chemical Romance? If I'm ever a mom, I'm gonna.

But yeah, mom rock is Juice Newton's "Queen of Hearts," the white Capitol Records logo on the purple label going 'round and 'round on the turntable with that cone a-glowing...
posted by limeonaire at 8:02 PM on May 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

My mom has really excellent taste in music. When I was a kid, it was Bob Dylan, Cream, Bob Marley, Lou Reed/Velvet Underground.

When I started getting into music on my own, my mom would often get into the music I liked, too. Nirvana, Pearl Jam, etc. Which was SO ANNOYING at the time, but really cool in retrospect. I remember when my brother and I decided that Rage Against the Machine would finally be the band my parents hated and we could be cool and rebellious. But then my mom read the lyrics and got into them for their leftist politics. You can't win when your mom is cooler than you are.

I feel like there are often sexist undertones whenever we talk about things that "moms" like. As if it's automatically assumed that anything mothers like is going to be lame. This piece avoids that trope, thankfully.
posted by lunasol at 8:21 PM on May 8, 2015 [19 favorites]

This is the best post and the best thread. Thank you all.
posted by motty at 8:23 PM on May 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

My Mom loves Queen. I love Queen. My wife (a Mom) loves Queen. Our kids love Queen. They will hopefully pass this on for a thousand generations.
posted by Cookiebastard at 8:34 PM on May 8, 2015 [21 favorites]


I remember my parents' vinyl collection prominently featured The Works alongside Thriller. Now it's primarily choral music and occasionally the Dixie Chicks.
posted by Existential Dread at 8:42 PM on May 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

My mom liked a lot of pretty good, albeit fairly mainstream classic rock & lefty folk stuff, though she did mystify me once I started working in a record store in the mid-80s by asking for a 45 of Apache by The Shadows.
posted by talking leaf at 8:43 PM on May 8, 2015

My dad rocks the Bach and pretty much nothing by anybody who hasn't been dead for over 100 years. My mom though is a 50s sock hop kind of girl from Tennessee. So I have her to thank for introducing me to Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Johnny Cash. As she gets older her taste is running a lot more toward country music but she likes anything that channels that rock n roll sound. She loves that one Bob Seger song. You know the one I mean.
posted by wabbittwax at 8:47 PM on May 8, 2015

Peeking in at my wife's pandora, "Mom Rock" is Kongas, Bloody Beetroots, Kavinsky, Sleigh Bells, 16 Horsepower, and Air Supply. Lots and lots of Air Supply, and also Lady Gaga.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:01 PM on May 8, 2015

There were many things that Jeremy's mom Kathy said that I love, but in particular this was really beautiful, I thought:

(Jeremy:) Yeah, so if you were to describe mom rock songs, you would describe them as healing songs that you have a personal relationship to?

(Kathy:) I would call them songs that I could relate to with my children. It doesn’t necessarily have to be their songs, it’s songs that all of a sudden connected us together.

She is a really cool mom and a really cool person. I love how she thinks about and experiences music. It also reminds me a lot of how my mom, her sisters, my own sister and my female cousins on that side of the family have always related to music--many of them have a very similar appreciation for and relation to music as something that provides a connection to their families and shared experiences, as well as something physically engaging or cathartic, as well as something that provides a voice for women and a way to share experiences as women.

It's striking when I think about my own experience as a teenager and college student and how music provided an identity, a way to shield myself, assert my superiority by allowing me to disparagingly judge others' musical choices...but at the same time a release and an escape from the emotional challenges I was going through (I suspect there is a lot to be said here about the differences between how boys and girls, men and women are expected to relate to music in U.S. culture...but that's a different, longer essay and I digress). I was a music performance major in college so my relationship with music was complicated for a long time, and remains complicated--but as I've gotten older I understand how many different ways there are to relate to music, and all the different things it can mean to different people.

I really appreciate this interview, and I really appreciate hearing about how richly Kathy experiences music and how much that seems to have been a unifying thread in her relationship with her son and in her life in general.
posted by dubitable at 12:49 AM on May 9, 2015 [4 favorites]

Ha, and in a flash I just recalled my mom listening to Wagner's overture from Tannhauser, and me snootily giving her crap about liking Wagner because Nazis and her being a bit hurt by that...seriously, I was such a little shit.

Sorry mom! You can like whatever you want to like, especially if it gives you joy!

posted by dubitable at 12:54 AM on May 9, 2015 [2 favorites]

Mom: Metallica, Aerosmith, and Volbeat. I especially remember the latter from riding in her new car and she cranked it up and pressed the speeder.. I clung to my seat. Bizarrely she also likes Shania Twain.

There's one rock'n'roll party girl in my family and it's not me.
posted by kariebookish at 12:56 AM on May 9, 2015 [2 favorites]

I just remembered that for some reason my Gegorian chant-loving mom also dug Irma Thomas. My dad was a jazz musician. Now I'm a music professor.
I was so lucky.
posted by spitbull at 2:45 AM on May 9, 2015 [2 favorites]

Related: mom wine.

I'm so confused. "Mom wine varieties include: Pinot Noir, Merlot, Syrah, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc."

What's left beside Prosecco and Gewurztraminer? Chiantis? Riojas? Tempranillo? I guess? But is there a big common differentiator to these other than the area of wine store shelving devoted to them? And who seriously wants to drink Gewurztraminer?

Are all of those really mom wines, because that's 90% of the wine I drink. Well, we do knock back a lot of chianti but I don't get what the criteria is.

Source: I am a mom. So perhaps this is obvious to everyone else. I can't wait to hear my drinking habits are the equivalent of mom jeans.

BTW in our house New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is referred to as Mom Crack.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 5:22 AM on May 9, 2015 [5 favorites]

I actually meant to respond the article...

'Killing the blues' by Allison Krause and Robert plant, 'Folding Chair' and 'Ne Me Quitte Pas' by Regina Spektor, and 'Kind and Generous' by Natalie Merchant are all mom songs in my book. I like the way this is defined by the connection with enjoying the songs with your kids. I love listening to those songs with my six year old daughter. She likes them so much. I'm cooler on the Natalie Merchant song than she is but she likes it so much I'm totally in.

'Killing the Blues' intoxicates me.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 5:25 AM on May 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

My parents were kind of snobs, and they despised rock music, and almost all other popular music. There was some kind of folky exemption to this, though, so "The Weavers' Greatest Hits" got burned surprisingly deeply into my soul. It may have worsened my nascent melancholia, with songs like "Go Tell Aunt Rhody", which I can recall being deeply saddened by: the old grey goose is DEAD, and nothing, nothing can bring it back.
posted by thelonius at 5:49 AM on May 9, 2015 [2 favorites]

My mom divided all rock music into two categories, "Sounds like Tom Petty" and "Sounds like Elvis Costello."
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 6:30 AM on May 9, 2015 [8 favorites]

My mother loved girl groups from the 60s, musical theater stuff (older ones - think Sound of Music, not Rent), and Patsy Cline. After she passed I have gotten more into the girl groups stuff.

My stepmom loves awful Irish music played by non-Irish people and I hate it.

My parents also hated Simon and Garfunkel because when they lived on an Army base in Germany during the early 70s that's all the Army radio station played apparently.
posted by dismas at 7:17 AM on May 9, 2015

I'm part of the older demographic. Dad listened to Glenn Miller and Louis Armstrong and dixieland. Mom listened to Ella Fitzgerald and Tennessee Ernie Ford.
posted by a person of few words at 8:04 AM on May 9, 2015 [2 favorites]

This thread makes me so happy. My mom liked Disney songs, anything with a violin or fiddle, Enya, Gloria Estefan, KD Lang, and the GoGos. We used to vacuum to "I Won't Say I'm In Love" from Hercules and "Rhythm Is Gonna Get Ya" all the time. 😆
posted by Hermione Granger at 8:25 AM on May 9, 2015

My mother's one musical downfall is her undying love for Neil Diamond. She grew up in Brooklyn in the 70s and 80s, and cries every time she hears Brooklyn Roads. My father hates Neil Diamond like none other.

My folks got married in 1985 right after my dad graduated from college, and then they stayed in Boston for a few years. Neil Diamond apparently was playing in Worcester right around my mom's birthday, and as a present my dad got her two tickets to go see Neil Diamond. And my mom said that was very sweet, but if he wanted they could sell back the second ticket and she would go alone. So my dad drove her out to Worcester, and read in the car full of joy that he was not at a Neil Diamond concert. And my mom went to the concert and yelled out "BROOKLYN ROADS!" at a lull in the music, and apparently he played it. So they all went home happy.
posted by ChuraChura at 8:31 AM on May 9, 2015 [5 favorites]

My mom's favourite: Billy Ocean. She played "Get Outta My Dreams, Get into My Car" at top volume repeatedly when I was growing up (and may still do - it wouldn't surprise me).

More recently, "Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On)" (Robert Plant/Alison Krauss, from Raising Sand) was a favourite. I think she got through 5 or 6 repeats when we were in the car once before my dad wrested her hands away from the stereo controls.
posted by minsies at 9:03 AM on May 9, 2015

My parents were Depression era kids so I grew up with Dad listening to country (he liked country harmony like the Statler Brothers) and Mom was into lounge lizards and show tunes. And of course, Lawrence goddamn Welk was a must. I remember watching so damn many variety shows and them praising the tolen pop acts like Simon & Garfunkel or Petula Clark. Yeah, there was a reason that Keith Richards had such an appeal.

My wife fits the baby boomer mom rock stereotype exactly. No hard rock, very little rock, lots and lots of singer-songwriters so sensitive you could grow sympathy breasts just listening to the stuff, a little country, lots of folk, lots of pop. I used to kid her for having only a few volume settings: background, James Taylor, and RONSTADT (which could easily crack support walls and ceilings). We have no children but my guess is that if we had, their complaint would be the same as the daughters of my wife's BFF: "it's totally unfair that we know the lyrics to every James Taylor song". Now my wife is into ambient. At least Eno makes that palatable.

Me, I confuse the hell out of my nephew and twenty-something cousins. Seguing from Zeppelin to Mingus to War on Drugs to Samuel Barber to Stevie Ray Vaughan just doesn't compute. Kids these days don't know how to jump genres.
posted by Ber at 9:27 AM on May 9, 2015 [3 favorites]

Did I get this far and manage to be the first person whose mother has not, in the last twenty years if not longer, listened to anything but Christian pop music? When I was a kid there was still a lot of folk music around, but mostly that's my aunts now. Of course, I'm not a mom, but I'm in my 30s and my musical tastes are pretty eclectic, but anything my aunts like is pretty good in my book, lots of folk and singer-songwriter sort of stuff. (None of my aunts are moms, either, of course.) But I can't even picture growing up in a house where one's mother listened to anything like popular music. How weird.
posted by Sequence at 9:52 AM on May 9, 2015 [2 favorites]

Okay, I have to vindicate Mom now, because I've just remembered that she was also really into SONGS IN THE KEY OF LIFE.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:13 AM on May 9, 2015 [6 favorites]

My mom was also a huge early Stevie fan. "Superstition" is pretty much the soundtrack of my kindergarten days.

Later on she got into New Wave. At first because she thought it was funny, then because it annoyed my dad, and then because she grew fond of it.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 11:34 AM on May 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

I don't think my mom had any rock influence on me. I grew up in the 60s and came of age in the mid-70s. She and dad were for a long time into country (especially Jim Reeves and Johnny Cash), and the traditional crooners -- Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra.

But mom influenced me heavily in the non-rock portion of my psyche. She adored Rogers & Hammerstein, and I will forever love musicals. She loved other movie music as well, and I got a healthy dose of Maurice Jarre (via the Dr. Zhivago soundtrack) that keeps me buying soundtracks to this very day. And her love of Tchaikovsky was a critical gateway to my love of classical music.

So I had to form my own preferences for rock. But that's OK, because she started me off with love for a wider variety of music than what I could pick up off AM radio and school dances (but I love all that stuff too).
posted by lhauser at 11:36 AM on May 9, 2015

The Beatles, Leonard Cohen, and Kenny Rogers ( :( ). She's never bothered too much with collecting or playing music intentionally, but responds to folk music from most places (including American country). She especially likes soulful-sounding songs with strong melodies, in minor keys, in 3/4 or 6/8 time.
posted by cotton dress sock at 11:36 AM on May 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

Oh and Aretha Franklin, Aretha makes her cry. (Very sensie, my mom.)
posted by cotton dress sock at 11:43 AM on May 9, 2015

The big ones I remember my mom being really into when I was a kid were Eddie Rabbit and Abba (her "cooking music"). She had a brief foray into crappy new age stuff like Kitaro and John Tesh, which I swiftly corrected with an introduction to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and the Luaka Bop catalog.
posted by brand-gnu at 11:46 AM on May 9, 2015

First of all, the mom in this article is great!

I'm in my 40s and Black, so "Mom rock" to me is R&B and Soul, from Motown to Disco.

When I was in my 20s back in the 90s during the first vinyl resurgence, one a trip to my mothers garage, and I had an immediately heroic record collection. That was when I truly realized what great taste my mother had in music. All of the standards were there of course, Marvin, Aretha, Diana Ross. But also, all the Stax stuff, TSOP, Miles Davis, Billie Holiday,Santana, War, Funkadelic. And the female greats like Ronstadt, Carly Simon, Carole King. She also had all the Cheech and Chong Albums, and all the Richard Pryor albums. It was pretty great to discover at 25 how cool my mother was, especially in light of the epic battles when I was a teen over her hatred of the music I liked at the time (Fishbone, Public Enemy, etc)

I'd say the 3 albums that most resonate as far as what was played in my house growing up were Stevie Wonder's "Songs in the Key of Life", Donna Summers "Bad Girls", and Bob Marley's "Survival"

For my generation, Black "Dad Rock" is Sly and the Family Stone.

I don't have kids, but judging by the 20 somethings I come in contact with, their idea of Black Parent Rock is 90s R&B. Jodeci, Mary J Blige, Boys To Men, and the like.
posted by billyfleetwood at 12:25 PM on May 9, 2015 [14 favorites]

From my observations, Earth Wind & Fire qualify as well.
posted by jonmc at 12:27 PM on May 9, 2015

My mother was a Frank Sinatra fanatic and also loved Johnny Mathis. If I hear, "Chances are" I sort of go catatonic. But, for some reason, my mother loved my bootleg Grateful Dead tape of a show from I think the Felt Forum with the New Riders when they sing Cold Jordan and a few other acoustic songs.

I once gave her a ride to a cousin's house, 4 hours long, and she was amazed and so happy that satellite radio had its own Frank Sinatra channel. 4 hours of Frank. The things you do for your mom. Happy Mother's Day, mom. I love you.
posted by AugustWest at 1:31 PM on May 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

My adoptive mom, it's hard to say what she liked vs. what records she owned- she gad a weird mix of New Christy Minstrels, sing along with MItch Miller, and the soundtrack to Victory at Sea. Oh, and broadway original cast recordings of Camelot, My Fair Lady, West Side Story, Oklahoma, etc. The latter of which, I find, have stuck with me over the years, whether I liked it or not. (I do now, it's fine. )

And I could never get over that, she'd been the right age to get into Elvis, but the only thing she had by him was a single with the Jordanaires. But what it turned out she really liked was whatever they played on country radio in the 80's- Statler Brothers, Oak Ridge Boys, stuff like that. We were able to bond over Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson later on, so that was cool.

My birth-mom, on the other hand, who I just met a couple of years ago, a couple of years after I was born she was getting sick of being a Cute Girl backstage at Dead shows, and just generally seeing a lot of music in SF around the time of Altamont or so. Which, if I'd known all that when I was a teenage hippie I would have plotzed! (I doubt she would have appreciated all the Black Flag and stuff I also liked then but who knows.) I did get a chance to take her to a Richard Thompson show which she loved, so I guess that's some of her Mom Rock.
posted by hap_hazard at 3:37 PM on May 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

When I was a kid, "mom rock" in our house meant Fleetwood Mac, 1970s folk music, and the Grateful Dead.

I don't know how it happened, but when I was about 13 she discovered AC/DC and played it constantly. There was nothing more embarrassing at that age than bringing over some friends and finding your mom in the living room rocking out to "Highway to Hell" with the volume turned way up. (In retrospect it was way more awesome than it seemed like at the time.)
posted by Dip Flash at 4:38 PM on May 9, 2015 [2 favorites]

The only album I can ever remember my mom expressing fondness for in my presence was, for some reason, the soundtrack to the movie The Commitments.

(My dad likes all the Dad Rock standards, but there was also that time in high school that I found an Avril Lavigne CD in his office and was like 'why on earth would you buy me this,' only to discover that it was his CD, thankyouverymuch. He's also surprisingly into the music a lesbian slightly younger than him would like-- guy owns a lotta Indigo Girls.)
posted by nonasuch at 4:58 PM on May 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

My Mom had an awesome LP/45 collection (don't know what every happened to it). The Beatles (Just ask, she'll tell you what she was doing when the Beatles were on Ed Sullivan), Stones, Dave Clark Five, The Animals etc... tons of Motown and Stax/Volt, Bay Area stuff (Janis Joplin, Santana and so on). Shit, the list goes on and on...Elvis, Bobby Vee, Gene Pitney, Roy Orbison, Buck Owens(!), Van Morrison, Boz Scaggs, Rod Stewart and on and on. I got quite the musical education from that cabinet full of vinyl she bought in the '50s, '60s and '70s.
posted by MikeMc at 5:03 PM on May 9, 2015

My mom had decent taste in music when I was growing up but said taste was very eclectic (everything from Elvis to Emmylou Harris to the Irish Tenors).

She will, however, always earn cool points in my eyes for suggesting I write about Sacco and Vanzetti for a school project and then playing me the song to start. I suppose it's worth mentioning that my mom is a conservative. She undoubtedly didn't realize it at the time but listening to that song was one of several key moments for Little Lefty-to-Be librarylis.
posted by librarylis at 7:00 PM on May 9, 2015

My mom was too old and square for most rock - Andy Williams was more her speed. I suspect but can't confirm that she had a soft spot for Elvis and the Beatles -- she was absolutely horrified when John Lennon was killed. Joan Holloway from Mad Men would be a contemporary of my mom's if she were a real person.

I listened to the Clash, Specials, Blondie, Lene Lovich... and I'm a mom myself so that also qualifies as mom rock. I'm thinking of giving the boy "London Calling" for his sixteenth birthday because I think every teenager should hear that album.

Styx's "Renegade" has to be the Mommiest rock ever. Love the s--t out of that tune still.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 8:14 PM on May 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

Styx's "Renegade" has to be the Mommiest rock ever.

No, that's your thief back-stabbing the everloving Christfuck out of an insanely up-leveled foe who really had it coming music. See also: The Who's "Only Love Can Make it Rain" for similar mounted Paladin moments, and Jethro Tull's "Songs from the Woods" for Ranger/Cleric half-elves.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:19 PM on May 9, 2015 [3 favorites]

I'm a mom and don't really even understand what this is about. I listened to current music in the 70s, and also in the 80s, and also in the 90s, and also in the 00s, and I still listen to current music. I'm not saying it's anything to brag about (definitely not an elitist, I will happily listen to Imagine Dragons or Kongos or Beyonce or Muse as well as various indie bands....) but I can't stand "classic rock" or oldies or any of that other stuff. So this is just weird to me. Oh and get the hell off of my lawn.
posted by the webmistress at 10:50 AM on May 10, 2015 [4 favorites]

I grew up listening to Roberta Flack, Simon and Garfunkel, and Leonard Cohen during the rainy winters in northern Virginia. It never occurred to me that the music you grew up with wouldn't be the standard by which you judged everything else.
posted by docpops at 2:23 PM on May 10, 2015

Oh yes. Mom was born in '52. Neil Diamond, Gordon Lightfoot, and Bob Seger all over the place. Also, that song "Wild Thing" is, like, 100% the song I associate with my mother (she loved singing it really loudly in the car when she was driving my friends around; so embarrassing!) At my wedding she was a fairly calm and proper mother of the bride, until "Summer of '69" came on and she came running onto the dance floor to totally rock out with me.

I predict my daughter will be upset by how much I love the Spice Girls, Lady Gaga, Melissa Etheridge, P!nk, and a variety of other totally eclectic things I enjoy dancing around my house singing to. She'll also have an appreciation for Willie Nelson, Simon and Garfunkel, John Denver, Peter, Paul, and Mary, and Jimmy Buffett, because I am not completely over the oldies my parents loved. At the moment, though, she mostly just thinks the yodelling song from Sound of Music is hilarious so what I intend for her to associate with me and what she will associate with me may be two very different things.
posted by olinerd at 2:51 PM on May 10, 2015

I don't know how it happened, but when I was about 13 she discovered AC/DC and played it constantly. There was nothing more embarrassing at that age than bringing over some friends and finding your mom in the living room rocking out to "Highway to Hell" with the volume turned way up. (In retrospect it was way more awesome than it seemed like at the time.)
Then I woke up, Mom and Dad
Are rolling on the couch
Rolling numbers, rock and rollin'
Got my KISS records out
Mommy's alright
Daddy's alright
They just seem a little weird
But don't give yourself away
posted by Sys Rq at 7:57 PM on May 10, 2015 [8 favorites]

My mom took me to my first concert when I was five or so. LIBERACE. It was fabulous in the way that only a Liberace show in the late 70s could be.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 9:25 PM on May 10, 2015 [3 favorites]

My mom rarely did anything special for herself. Finances were extremely limited, and anything extra went to the kids and our interests. But she really really really really wanted to go to a particular concert. Which happened to be the day before my birthday (I was, I think, eleven). Which is how I got to be the kid who received the second of the two tickets, and how my first concert was in the company of my mom. We saw Elvis.

What impressed me most about that day was the sheer intensity and solidarity of the audience. Primarily adult women, coming to celebrate something that they loved. I don't think I'd ever been in such a large group of people before. And the heavily female balance of the huge crowd? I'd never even seen that on TV. I don't remember much about Elvis onstage, but watching those women be themselves as individuals (rather than moms, wives, girlfriends) was a formative experience for me.

When Elvis swept onto the stage, all the women surged to their feet. They filled my field of vision. Many of them were crying from the intensity of their feelings. It was my first time experiencing this kind of heady group emotional merging, and over later days, and even years, I thought a lot about that energy, and the commonality of those women. They were so beautiful.

My mom died a couple of years later. Her last years were consumed by cancer. I am profoundly thankful that time is dulling for me those brutal memories of her painful decline, and that when I think of my mother, my first thought is no longer that awful hospital bed, but rather a darkened concert hall, and a glowing young woman lifted from her seat by joy, and that she shared that with me.
posted by theplotchickens at 6:20 AM on May 11, 2015 [14 favorites]

How about Ricky Nelson, Earth Wind and Fire, and Buck Owens? Also, according to my mother, back in the day you were either an Elvis fan or a Beatles fan. She preferred Elvis.
posted by cass at 6:25 AM on May 11, 2015

My mom listens to sports talk and news, mostly. I (fondly?) recall her and my sister arguing over the radio every car trip, with the inevitable consensus that my sister controlled the radio (hour):10 to (hour):59, but from :59-:10 we listened to the news. So to me, "mom rock" is the little jingle that preceded the top of the hour station identifier.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 7:38 AM on May 11, 2015

The two songs I think of - "mandy" and "afternoon delight". on 8 track, in the room with the white shag carpet and baby blue bedspread.

When i was in high school and going to concerts that ranged from AC/DC to the Kinks to Howard Jones, my mom was sure all sorts of deranged things were going on when we were at these events. Her solution to make sure we were safe - buying herself a ticket to a Bob Seger concert. Cracks me up to think of her, perfectly dressed and made up in high heels and the latest hair style, wondering what that weird smell is and why everybody is her age and not mine.
posted by domino at 8:23 AM on May 11, 2015

Oh, man, I keep remembering all sorts of random "oh, yeah, I think Mom listened to that too" things that just do not seem to fit with how she typically operates now - like Aja, or Prince's first album (On 8-track). There was also the Stop Making Sense soundtrack, but the whole family was into that one.

Maybe it's because I don't really remembering Mom treating music as a thing to sit and listen to, or a thing to dance to. It was "background noise while I do housekeeping stuff", so it was kind of all interchangeable.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:52 AM on May 11, 2015

These days, my mom's jam is opera, but back in the day it was the Beatles. As kids, we wrecked a number of her original Beatles disks by playing them obsessively (and one of them by leaving it in the play room in a patch of sun. I didn't know that it would get warped, honest!)
posted by tavella at 12:54 PM on May 11, 2015

My Mom's rock as I remember it: Neil Diamond, John Denver, Kenny G, Michael Bolton, Michael MacDonald, Billy Ocean, Lionel Ritchie...
posted by entropicamericana at 1:53 PM on May 11, 2015

My mom loved everything from The Eagles to Black Sabbath and everything in between. She also especially loved Joni Mitchell and stuff like Peter, Paul and Mary (the first song I remember ever hearing was "Puff the Magic Dragon," which she used to sing to me as a lullaby; that was when I first fell in love with music).
posted by saulgoodman at 2:20 PM on May 11, 2015

If we're limiting the discussion to rock, then for my mom it was pretty much just Fleetwood Mac. Otherwise add Julio Iglesias.
posted by invitapriore at 3:20 PM on May 11, 2015

My mom's rock is the Street of Fire soundtrack.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 7:49 PM on May 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

Not so much rock in the house when I was growing up, but I do remember the hell being played out of Boney M's Christmas album around the holidays.

I remember finding Dark Side of the Moon in the record rack, but I think my uncle Greg left that behind when he was babysitting sister and I once.
posted by Klaxon Aoooogah at 8:51 PM on May 11, 2015

The only times my parents ever left us home for the evening when we were younger was when my mom wanted to see a Moody Blues or Steve Winwood concert at Star Lake. And she had The Moody Blues' greatest hits cassette on steady repeat in the car. I could probably still sing along to "Your Wildest Dreams".
posted by GrapeApiary at 10:01 AM on May 12, 2015

My mom liked Ray Charles and he was the only musician/band we both liked.

When I saw him waiting for a plane at LAX, I went over and shared that with him.

What a smile on his face.
posted by ambient2 at 10:11 AM on May 12, 2015 [3 favorites]

Ooh, I wonder about the tangent of Mom Christmas Music? Because that was when Mom REALLY took over the playlist for the house when I was a kid. And in that instance it was always either the Beach Boys Christmas Album, a Johnny Mathis Christmas Album, and the Barbara Streisand Christmas Album, all of which finally drove the rest of the family thoroughly mad when I was twelve.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:45 AM on May 12, 2015

My mom graduated from a segregated high school in 1953. Her "mom rock" was:

* Fats Domino
* Chuck Berry
* Little Richard
* Ray Charles
* Otis Redding
* Marvin Gaye
* Aretha Franklin
* anything from Motown and Stax Records
* as much Sam Cooke as she could get her hands on.
* and Lou Rawls. Dear God, Lou Rawls. No matter what Rawls did, my mother was there for it. I probably knew by heart the man's entire catalog by the time I was thirteen, and could sing his part in the song "Bring It On Home To Me". My parents had an understanding--if a legitimate offer came through, Daddy would leave the marriage for Lena Horne, and Mama would leave it for Lou Rawls.
posted by magstheaxe at 12:31 PM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

My Mom loved Ochichornia and sang it all the time. She grew up in the Russian section of Cleveland and didn't speak English till she entered school at 7. We also listened to a lot of Tchaikovsky.
I don't know why it never occurred to me to look it up online. I always thought it was a Russian military song, sort of a dirge the soldiers sang while marching, but it's a love song. Kind of a dark, steamy love song at that. Here's some translations if anyone else is interested
Thanks so much for asking this question, my Mom died when I was 10 and this gives me another, kind of earth shaking, perspective on her.
posted by BoscosMom at 4:03 PM on May 16, 2015

Steely Dan. These songs (among others) are on a mix tape that was an integral part of my childhood, and which I can finally listen to again since I recently bought a car with a tape deck.
posted by coppermoss at 7:23 PM on May 17, 2015

My mom was all about Neil Diamond. Even went to his concerts.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:26 PM on May 18, 2015

Bon Jovi, so much Bon Jovi, and apparently Train? Though every now and then she'll say something like, "what's that band, Arctic Apes? Arctic Monkeys? I like them" and I have literally no response at hand.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 11:41 AM on May 19, 2015

My mother was a semi-competitive pianist and organist in her youth and will play air organ to Arcade Fire's Intervention. She's also said she likes Ted Leo. I plan on keeping her.
posted by koucha at 6:14 AM on May 20, 2015

My parents, including my mother, listen(s) to heavy metal, actually. Metallica, Mudvayne, Sevendust, Godsmack, Shinedown, Pop Evil, etc. My mother has the latest Skillet and TFK CDs, while my father has every Breaking Ben and Shinedown CD. My mother turns up Shinedown, when it's on Octane.

These are 2 old favorites of my mother's: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4iXrhjiebR0 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0B-xRO-vPPo

she also somewhat likes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWR-SGHqWrU
posted by Grease at 9:26 AM on May 20, 2015

I was at a show of plays by fifth graders last week, and one of them was about a boy meeting Elvis and the Beatles. I suspect mom rock may have played a role there.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 9:49 AM on May 20, 2015

Mom loved the songs Dream Weaver by Gary Wright and Bad Day by Daniel Powter.
...and the Bee Gees Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.

She was also a big Metallica fan. Loved the Metallica S&M record.
posted by and for no one at 10:19 AM on May 20, 2015

My mom used to listen to some god awful Irish show bands. Utter crap. If you don't know what show bands are, be grateful.

On the other hand, my mom likes The Beatles, Buddy Holly, Johnny Horton, Johnny Cash, Buck Owens, Emmylou Harris, Luke Kelly and The Dubliners.
posted by echolalia67 at 9:00 PM on May 23, 2015

The Jersey Boys soundtrack, Shania Twain, Bette Midler, and the posthumously-recorded duets album du jour.
posted by emelenjr at 4:47 AM on May 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

My mom never really listened to music of her own, but was always around my little brother and his music. I'll never forget walking in and seeing her vacuuming the living room while cheerfully singing along to some Death Metal on the stereo. "I hate you motherfuckers, I hate you motherfuckers..."
posted by arcticwoman at 7:57 AM on May 24, 2015 [2 favorites]

My mom divided all rock music into two categories, "Sounds like Tom Petty" and "Sounds like Elvis Costello."

Elvis Costello and Steely Dan are touring together this summer. That makes me feel as vindicated as I felt when Rush started ripping off Andy Summers' guitar sound.
posted by thelonius at 5:09 AM on May 25, 2015

I feel like there are often sexist undertones whenever we talk about things that "moms" like. As if it's automatically assumed that anything mothers like is going to be lame. This piece avoids that trope, thankfully.

I'd say it's pretty even with 'dad' as an adjective; affectionately mocking of basic baked in the bone dorkiness.
posted by Sebmojo at 9:45 PM on May 26, 2015

My mom (born 1949) has had the same favorite singer (and actor) since pretty much forever and her name is Cher. (I can't believe no one in this thread has mentioned Cher yet.) The only other concerts she has ever been to are Bruce Springsteen and Sheryl Crow. Someday she would also love to see Mariah Carey perform.
posted by hush at 6:39 PM on May 31, 2015

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