Drive time used to be your own. But now, even your Sirius/Spotify/actual CDs have given in to the tidal wave of kid. Yes, you've got to feed the beast. But there are ways to keep the kids content without losing your mind. If the Frozen soundtrack has you thinking about an ice pick to the brain, here's a playlist both you and the kids can love.
"Godzilla," Blue Öyster Cult
Giant mutant dinosaur, destruction, driving bass and a simple chorus. Your little kaiju will love this one. You can scream the lyrics pretty tunelessly, and when your kid shouts the "oooooooh" part, you'll have to hold back the giggles. So cute you'll make them sing it at parties for your half-drunk relatives.
"Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots," The Flaming Lips
Small girl fights robots: gender equality and android warfare. You can get away with the rest of the album, too, and have a decent conversation about music theory during the instrumentals. But you don't want to think. You just want to listen to the Flaming Lips.
"Little Ghost," The White Stripes
Awww, just like Casper. This song has an easy chorus, a catchy beat, and quick wordplay. Your kids will, however, sing it unendingly, and tunelessly, and probably make you long for "Let It Go." That is, until you give in and sing along with them. Just like Frozen.
You really can't top Meg White for super-simple catchy drums. This song starts with getting a baby. Try to make the kids clap along! And forget that you, too, have opinions that don't matter, and a brain that feels like pancake batter. In fact, if you're really at a loss, just pop in a White Stripes album and pretend you're in college again. Those people shrieking behind you? They're just drunk and sucking helium.
"Bohemian Rhapsody," Queen
Big, outsized emotions: kids get that. See if you can get them to do the voices. Succeed, and you automatically become the coolest mom of all time. Then make them sing it at parties.
"Sink to the Bottom," Fountains of Wayne
It's simple. There's an ocean, and about three lyrics. My kids really, really love to scream this one. Which is sort of disturbing if you think about it too hard.
"Psycho Killer," The Talking Heads
Yes, it has the words "psycho killer" in it. But once you get past that, there's a great beat and some easy lyrics. It's also an essential part of any budding hipster's musical education. Make them clap along, and bonus points if you teach them what "qu'est-ce que c'est?" means. See? Your kids learned French!
"Space Oddity," David Bowie
It's about an astronaut! Your kids will remember this part, and not the sense of crushing isolation and suicidal elation. Your kids need David Bowie, mostly because everyone needs David Bowie, and again: hipsters.
"Beat on the Brat," The Ramones
My sons sing this gleefully and loudly: it's just transgressive enough to be fun. They also sort of adopt the Ramones' weird version of staccato British accent. If the suggested violence offends you, go for "Sheena is a Punk Rocker."
"Boss of Me," They Might Be Giants
You know this as the theme song to Malcolm in the Middle. You didn't know it was performed by musical titans They Might Be Giants, better known for such tunes as "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)." "Boss of Me" is a good, kid-friendly intro to the must-hear band, but only if your kids already know the phrase "You're not the boss of me." Otherwise, this song will teach it to them. Bad idea.
"Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," The Beatles
You can play the song. Or just channel high school and play the whole damn album. Somehow, the LSD weirdness meshes well with childhood. Later in life, your kids will think about you playing this and ask if you inhaled.
What adult music do your kids love?