A bunch of hot mamas on my Feather Sound street — including the Forever Fiancee — recently escaped to Naples for a weekend getaway. Most of the dads didn't care about the ditching; they simply contained their children in Chuck's Nerfed-out yard then relaxed in lawn chairs, the sound of young laughter blending with the fizzy opening of Bud bottles.
I, however, have the youngest tykes on the street: Kid Lulu, 6, and Mai-Mai, 2. Lu is a Daddy-clinger. Mai is a loner with all the decisionmaking skills of a squirrel scampering across a freeway.
In other words, my kids go rogue. So "Chuck containment" wasn't an option for me on this Momless weekend. Instead, the three of us spent far too much time at McDonald's and Toys "R" Us. We gambled at a Kentucky Derby party. We ate our combined weight in Willy Wonka Kazoozles. In my head I could hear the guilt-induced tsk-tsking from the Forever Fiancee and my own mom, Mary "the Diplomat" Daly, but truth be told, I didn't have the energy to do things the right way — the Mom Way.
Besides, we were having fun, no one was maimed yet — and we won $30 at the Derby party!
Our main bonding item was music, specifically the Glee: The Power of Madonna soundtrack, seven reworked Material Girl hits from the TV show. We must have played that sucker 30 times! Who knew Madge was such a swell babysitter? Upon her return from Naples, the FF asked what her family did all weekend. I was going to tell her about Madonna, but she cut me off after I confessed to the mass Kazoozling.
On a very tired Monday, I drove Kid Lulu to kindergarten. "I had a nice weekend with you," my daughter said. "Listening to Madonna was a lot of fun." Beaming and brimming with pride — See? Dads can run a household just as well as Moms! — I pulled into the car circle at her school. Lu's friends and teachers were on the curb. The sun was shining. It was like a Norman Rockwell moment! Chalk one up for Dads! You're the best, Madonna!
One of Lulu's school helpers came over and opened the door of my car. And as my wee 6-year-old stepped into the scrum of innocence, she pulled on her backpack and started to sing:
"LIKE A VIRGIN! TOUCHED FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME!"
I give up.
Happy Mother's Day.
1. Mama Tried, Merle Haggard
2. Julia, the Beatles
3. Surrender, Cheap Trick
4. My Mom, Chocolate Genius
5. Teach Your Children, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
6. Mother and Child Reunion, Paul Simon
7. Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys, Willie Nelson
8. Superwoman, Alicia Keys
9. Dear Mama, 2Pac
10. Mama Weer All Crazee Now, Quiet Riot
Album: Trans-Continental Hustle (American)
In stores: Now
Repeat after me: "Lela! Lela! Lela! Lela pala tute!" That, boys and girls, is the ecstatic sound of the sing-along of the spring. Who cares if I have no idea what it means! Mixing Ukrainian gypsy jams, Brazilian capoeira kicks and oi-aplenty punk, the multiculti madcappers in Gogol Bordello are the most strangely infectious consortium to hit the rock charts since the Polyphonic Spree. The myriad-piece band is led by the possibly insane Eugene Hutz, the Soviet-born wild child whose grasp on English is not unlike my 2-year-old daughter's or, for that matter, Yoda's: "What was here now is gone / Up and down like everyone." Love and lust is the key to life, and Gogol Bordello shouts, stomps and fiddles out frenzied songs involving outlaw couples (Rebellious Love) and thwarting authority with party power (Raise the Knowledge). Delivering the crazy since 1999, the group has whipped up a rep as a hair-raising live experience. But it gets pretty shaggy in the studio, too. Rick Rubin produces here, forgoing his trademark insistence on stripped-down sound and letting the riot rage on. On first listen, this record isn't for everyone; on third listen, even the dog will be happily barking along.
Download these: Pala Tute and Immigraniada (We Comin' Rougher)
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We [HEART] MOMS!
Sean Daly and his newspaper chums Stephanie Hayes and Steve Spears salute the all-time great mothers in popular culture — JoBeth Williams in Poltergeist! Mary Steenburgen in Parenthood! Roseanne Barr in . . . wait, what?! — on a new Stuck in the '80s podcast. As a bonus, the show includes a touching story of how Mary "the Diplomat" Daly once caught her young son smuggling a half-naked date into the family home. Download the show for free on iTunes or crank it up (preferably today, after brunch, before the mimosas wear off) at Pop Life online at blogs.tampabay.com/popmusic.