E's Academic Records #3

As a father, I feel it is my duty to impart any worldly wisdom I have acquired upon my daughter. Music has played a huge formative role in my life; it's helped me through break ups, break downs and the like. It provides me with joy and comfort and puts an extra spring in my step on dull days. Sharing music with Evangeline is one of my favorite parenting duties. When I buy a new record, I often wait until she comes home to open it so we can have a listening party. The following four photos are accompanied by brief stories about her associations with the music pictured.


Clockwise, from left:

1. Yo La Tengo – And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out, 2000

While listening to this record one night during dinner, I pointed out the bass line in the song "Night Falls on Hoboken" to Evangeline. Earlier that evening, I had shown her my bass guitar and explained how it worked; strings, notes, frets, etc. She loved it. So, while we were listening to the song, I asked her what she thought of it and the bass line in particular. She thought for a second and said, "Dad, it sounds like bubbles, Dad."

2. Tom Waits – Bad As Me, 2011

Evangeline's first intelligible word was algae. Her 64th intelligible word was Tom Waits. Okay, so that's two words, but you get the point. For some reason, she was drawn to his voice and music and would request it be played multiple times a day. She nagged my mom so much that I had to make a mix CD for them to listen to during lunch at her house.

3. Jim James – Regions of Light and Sound of God, 2013

Of all the music we have introduced to Evangeline, Jim James' solo album has had the most impact on her. She is constantly asking to listen to it. The highlight of last summer's Newport Folk Festival was watching Jim James perform. Evangeline was over the moon about it. It took a song or two for it to sink in that she was watching the actual Jim James singing the songs on her favorite album. She still talks about it to this day and thinks that Jim James lives at Fort Adams.

4. Hot Water Music – Forever and Counting, 1997

About a year ago, I went to see Hot Water Music play at The Met. For the next week or so after, I played all their records at home. Their music had a huge impact on my life in my early twenties. Though it's not always the most popular music in our house, Evangeline took to it pretty well. So much so, that one afternoon I got a frantic phone call from Jacqueline telling me that that Evangeline was having a meltdown in her car because she didn't have any Hot Water Music on her iPod. Proud parenting moment for sure.

Do your kids have a Tom Waits or Jim James? Did you have a music obsession when you were a kid?

Images and text by Eamon Kelly. You can view the entire photo series on Instagram.

Jacqueline took this photo of us while we were watching Jim James perform at the Folk Festival last summer: