Like most children, Miles has always exhibited an interest in music, and we’ve tried our best to lean into this as much as possible in the event he wants to pursue this far enough to learn how to play an instrument, from playing a wide variety of styles for him to enrolling him in regular classes at Bach to Rock. We were talking with a musician friend of ours this weekend, and among the advice he gave us was a nugget I would not have gotten to on my own: “Have him listen to Steely Dan.” That band, Pete said, would provide more subconscious insight to music fundamentals than just about any other he could listen to. So, when Miles requested “rock ‘n’ roll” music on the way to school this morning, I figured this would be as good a time as any to start this particular part of Miles’s education.
Important side note — when we initially got in the car, the song that started up was Republica’s “Ready to Go,” which immediately hooked Miles with its propulsive tempo. It was after this that Miles requested…another song, but said that, afterwards, he wanted more rock ‘n’ roll.
We were listening to “Bodhisattva” when we rounded the exit onto 277, where traffic gets a bit heavier, when Miles said he wanted to listen to something else.
“Do you like this?” I asked. He had seemed to be getting into it.
“Yeah,” he admitted, “but I want ‘fast getaway’ music.”
While I do hope this isn’t a sign that Miles is already thinking about robbing banks, I did oblige, throwing on The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion’s “Bellbottoms,” which had worked well enough as a getaway track in the movie Baby Driver. We pulled up to school as the song was winding down.
“What do you think?” I asked. “Did that song help us get here quicker?”
“I think so,” Miles replied.
We’ll give Steely Dan another try later.