A New Concert Fan Is Born: What Will Baby Calvin Experience?

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I’m beyond excited to share the news that this week we welcomed a new concert fan in to the world!

While many of you were rocking out at your favorite shows on Tuesday night our first child Calvin Christopher made his grand entrance onto the world’s stage.

Over the last nine months I’ve thought a lot about how this little amazing dude would change our lives forever. And even before that, as you can see below, my curiousity has taken me down some very interesting paths as I wondered about how live music influences, impacts and inspires the growth of babies and children, and how parents and families evolve through the process too.

Here are some of the thoughts that have been running through my mind. It’s a mix of posts and Live Fix Radio episodes that feature chats about the relationship between babies, kids, families and live music.

We’ll be sharing more about our concert experiences with Calvin, and until then, go ahead and dive into these explorations and post your responses to the questions in the comments below.

What About These Thoughts?

  • What show should be Calvin’s first?
  • How will the shows, like this one and this one, that we went to while Calvin was still cooking in the oven influence his love for live music?
  • How do parents who are concert fans introduce live music to their kids?
  • What was the first show that you experienced with your kids?
  • What type of live music experiences did you have while you were pregnant?

Check out these explorations:

 

 

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What Will Rock the Family System?

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NOAIRpicfamilysystemWelcome to Part 3 as we revisit my conversation with No Air Guitar Allowed author Steve Weinberger. In Part One, we questioned Why Mosh Pits exist, in Part Two we crowd surfed through the mind of Foo Fighter Frontman Dave Grohl,  and in this final post we’re going to explore the impact of concert culture on the family system. If you’re just joining us, I suggest taking a trip through Part One and Two to get an idea of the purpose here because I’m going to jump right into our final topic.

 

What Will Rock the Family System?

Ever since their dawn and during their proliferation and commercialization over the last fifty years, rock concerts have had an age stigma attached to them making fans who pass a certain age feel left out, or like their passport to rock has expired.  And on the other end of the age stigma spectrum, becoming a part of  live concert culture has also evolved into a rite of passage for kids coming of age. 

So what happens when these polar opposite age stigmas and rites of passages occur within the same family? What do you do with kids trying to earn their rite of passage by separating from their parents who love going to concerts? What’s a family to do when both the kids and the parents love live music? Do the parents back off and let the kids have their space and earn their rite to rock?  Do the kids let the parents tag along and pretend like they’re not in the venue?  Or do both the parents and the kids find a way to meet in the middle and throw the age and rites of passage rules and stigmas out the door?

I started wondering about these questions when I read  how families are using summer music festival as a new kind of summer vacation. And I began forming questions when I read how Steve had created characters in his book who deal illustrate and poke fun at the stigma and rites of passage that live within the family system. I was curious to get his take on things.  

LF: As the concert culture evolves, do you think concerts will ever become an event that will truly unite the family system?

Steve: In the current economy, I think there are so many things that are ahead of it on the list. But it could happen.

It was a short economically based answer from Steve, but nonetheless it made me wonder even more.

I’ve seen festivals make the concert environment more family friendly notably Lollapalooza’s  and their Kidzapalooza section. And I always see a handful of parents pushing strollers or with their babies slung over their shoulders at festivals, too.  When I come across those situations I look at the infant (who usually has some kind of large ear protecting headphones) and wonder what would need to change about concert culture to make it a more accepted event within the family system when the kid gets older?

But am I just being naive and foolish in thinking that concerts will ever be a place where  the “cool” barrier doesn’t exist and parents and kids and co-exist and enjoy live music together at any age?

Of course, the crux of this co-existing and concerts influencing the family system depends on what band is playing and if both the parents and kids are getting the same amount of pleasure from the music.

Well, what do you think?

Do you have kids?  Do you take them to concerts? 

Would you go to a concert with your parents?

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Who's in Your Musical Family System?

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Ever wanted to return the favor after a great show and help an up-and-coming band save money and catch some z’s after the show?

Then you might want to check out one of the web’s most used hospitality sites couchsurfing.com.

From the Grateful Dead and Phish followers to punk rock communities, bands have been—formally and informally—crashing at fan’s houses while on tour ever since the dawn of Rock ‘n Roll.

And this SPIN story by Ragan Sutterfield about couchsurfing.com puts the historical couch-surfing practice in context with the current economic-hard-times in the music industry as the next generation of the musical family system extends into the social media realm.

Sutterfield reports that one of the site’s creators Jesse Fenton and worldwide users say that “the best part is meeting people.” Sutterfied also notes that “the failing economy has been a boon for the site, sending its membership soaring in the past year. More than half of the 900-plus bands that use it joined in 2008.”

The Live Music Family System

When my wife and I talk about the influence of tough economic times on the family system, she always points out that our society might head back towards a closer knit community where on a larger scale families will live together to save money. Though I love my family, her point always freaks me out for many reasons.

So I took her idea and this SPIN article and combined them to see how they impact the “family communities” built around live music.

When I think about it, in many cases the relationships we make while covering live music does function as an extension of our standard family system. We cover a wide range of music and I often think about how different the jam-band community is from the hip hop or indie-rock communities.

Each “community” has it’s own qualities and social codes and I would guess that if a hip hop band couchsurfed in a jam-band house there might be differences but I would also imagine that some type of musical style swapping would occur in the homes, too.

I haven’t taken a deeper demographic dive into couchsurfing so I wonder:

Among those 900 that SPIN cites, are there indie-rock than hip hop bands, more punk bands than jam bands? What’s the overall breakdown of bands and what have some of the experiences been like?

Knowing a bit about system psychology I would be very interested to see how much of an impact couchsurfing has on the evolution of the live music family system.

Have you used couchsurfing.com as a band or fan? If so, drop a comment and let me know how it went.

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