I will admit freely that I live in a musical bubble. As the sole controller of minivan song selections, the carpool playlist consists of 1980s hairbands, Broadway showtunes and what my husband exasperatedly calls “Sissy Rock” (i.e. Journey, Air Supply, Toto).
In an attempt to circumvent a life absent of pop music, my boys have taken to learning their favorite tunes on the piano. When Danny and Jack first discussed studying “Radioactive” and “Centuries,” I thought they were talking about new findings from school.
With a musical dictatorship firmly in place, I was shocked by a recent coup against my supreme benevolence. While happily surfing the radio, I halted briefly on some Little Richard-sounding tune, heavy on the brass section.
That was when the entire second and third row of my minivan went NUTS. My kids and their friends began shouting:
“GO BACK GO BACK GO BACK GO BAAAAAAAACK!”
“WHAT?!?” I asked, thinking maybe I had inadvertently driven by the house of a kid I was supposed to deposit.
“IT’S UPTOWN FUNK!! UPTOWN FUNK!!”
The desperation was palpable. For once, I acquiesced.
Then those six boys got their R&B on and danced as well as boys can dance while strapped in a minivan with a mom who listens to The Monkees.
The fervent devotion and subsequent dialogue about this Bruno Mars guy took me right back to the sixth grade. Michael Jackson. Thriller. VINYL.
What kid back then didn’t covet the red leather jacket, the sparkly white glove and the ability to break up a knife fight simply with some fancy dance moves?
Intrigued, I investigated further. I realized I actually knew and liked several songs by this Bruno person: “When I Was Your Man,” “Just the Way You Are” and “Marry You.” Excited about my newfound hipness, I called my husband at work.
“Do you know what this means?” I asked, ready to inform him how very rad I was.
“Yes. It means you still like Sissy Rock.”
“But Sissy Rock from THIS MILLENIUM!”
“Awesome. Now go listen to some Taylor Swift, dear.”
“OK! I’m on it! But first …”
“Who is he?”