Coop and I thought we'd give mom a break today so we headed to the Beverly Hills Library for a little father/son time. I read him a book about five unclean monkeys, then let him play with some toys for a bit. This was followed by the real reason we went—to check out a bunch of CDs. Here's a rundown of everything we checked out, and our conversations while we looked through their selection.
1. Paul McCartney: Band on the Run and John Lennon: Imagine
Me: These guys were the two main songwriters in the Beatles.
Cooper: Which one does "Yellow Submarine"?
Me: That's Ringo.
Cooper: Which one does "Octopus's Garden"?
Me: That's Ringo too.
Cooper: "Act Naturally"?
Cooper: Do they have any Ringo albums here?
2. Neil Young: After the Gold Rush
Me: They have three Neil Young albums that we don't have already: Zuma, Harvest Moon, and After the Gold Rush.
Cooper: I hear good things about Harvest Moon.
Me: Me too, but I have this thing about filling in the older stuff before I get the newer stuff.
Cooper: I get that. I have this thing about needing a pacifier before I can fall asleep at night. Sometimes you just need to do things in a certain order, you know?
- Neil Young: Only Love Can Break Your Heart
3. High Places: s/t
Cooper: I thought you didn't like the High Places songs you downloaded.
Me: I'm sort of hoping I'll like them more in context. I mean, it's on Thrill Jockey!
Cooper: What's that supposed to mean?
Me: Thrill Jockey is a great label; I owe it to them to listen to the whole record.
Cooper: You seem loyal to a fault.
Me: I'm loyal to you.
Cooper: And I appreciate that. But I think you're wasting your time with High Places.
4. No Age: Nouns
Cooper: This album has a lot personal relevance for me. It really resonates.
Me: Oh yeah? Why's that?
Cooper: "No Age." No age, you know? Did you know that on official forms, until I hit the one-year mark, my age is zero? I mean, that's crazy. I'm alive! I exist!
Me: Officially, they just want to know that you're under one.
Cooper: And, like, I'm not going to have any memory of this year, down the road. My memory's just not really developed right now. So, like, do I exist? I'm not trying to get heavy with you. This is just the kind of stuff I think about.
Me: Cooper, you exist. I promise. We've got the videos to prove it.
Cooper: Thanks Dad. Also, one question.
Cooper: What are nouns?
- No Age: Teen Creeps
5. Black Sabbath: Master of Reality
Cooper: Ooh! Master of Reality! Now I'll get all the references when you read me John Darnielle's book at bedtime.
6. Marvin Gaye: What's Going On
Cooper: This is another one, like No Age.
Me: What do you mean?
Cooper: In the sense that every day—every single day—I have no clue what is happening. Sometimes I think you and mom are magicians and the world is some kind of weird, surreal fun house. I just don't get it.
Me: You will.
Cooper: Does Marvin figure it out?
7. Burial: Untrue
Cooper: Dad, I've got a confession to make: I am Burial.8. Justice: t
Me: Cooper, this album came out in 2007. You were born in February.
Cooper: That's why people had such a hard time figuring out my identity. I'm Burial, Dad.
Me: You're lying.
Cooper: I know. It's untrue. Get it? Untrue!
Me: For a six-month-old, you have a very sophisticated sense of humor. However, you have a long way to go.
Cooper: Do the thing where you cough. That is hilarious.
Me: I have one song by these guys already. It's okay. Maybe more "dance" than I really like.
Cooper: It's true—you like your electronica more abstract. I like a good jam though. This'll get me psyched for crawling.
- Justice: D.A.N.C.E.
9. The Clash: London Calling
Cooper: Oh my God Dad—you don't have London Calling!?
10. Bonnie "Prince" Billy: Lie Down in the Light
Me: I used to be such a fanatic for Will Oldham.
Cooper: What happened?
Me: It's weird, you know? But I loved I See a Darkness so much that I just didn't want to ever hear another song by him again. It felt too perfect.
Cooper: That is ridiculous.
Me: I know, I know.
Cooper: Will I inherit your quirks?
11. She & Him: Vol. 1
Cooper: Daddy, I'm the most adorable thing you've ever seen, right?
Me: Yes, absolutely.
Cooper: Not Zooey Deschanel?
Me: You are more adorable.
Cooper: I want to believe you.
12. Tangerine Dream: Electronic Meditation
Me: Really surprised by the number of Tangerine Dream albums they have. This one was recommended to me.
Cooper: What are tangerines?
Me: Fruit. Like oranges, kind of. You're not ready for solids yet but you will be soon.
Cooper: I like having something to look forward to. What are dreams?
13. Pauline Oliveros/Stuart Dempster/Panaiotis: Deep Listening
Cooper: What's this one all about?
Me: Don't really know. Oliveros is on that "Pioneers of Electronica" compilation I've got.
Cooper: I hope it reminds me of the womb.
14. Rufus Wainwright: Release the Stars
Me: I've been meaning to get this ever since it came out a couple years ago.
Cooper: Oh yeah?
Me: I have all his others.
Me: Your mom got me into him back when we first met.
Cooper: Can you do that thing where you blow in my face and make it feel like it's windy? I love that.
- Rufus Wainwright: Going to a Town
15. John Hassel & Brian Eno: Possible Musics
Cooper: You're looking through the New Age section?
Me: You never know where they're gonna file things here. Look! Brian Eno and John Hassel. See? I knew they had more than the two Eno albums in the Rock section. I wonder if there's more in the Classical section.
Me: You never know!
Cooper: The Classical section is huge.
Me: Just a quick check.
Cooper: I'M HUNGRY.