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Jude’s garage setup comprises half a junked Casio, two multitouch screens, a vintage Rock Band controller trailing split leads, garbage cans, a cymbal, and what Amanda’s fairly sure is a potato, perforated by alligator clips.

It sounds, collectively, an awful lot like a banjo.

“Your dad’s guitar makes music too,” she murmurs.

Jude nods absently, lost in headphones.

“And he can carry it in one hand. How are you going to ensnare girls on the quad with all this paraphernalia?”

Jude narrows his eyes. “That’s not the point.”

She grins. “How do you think he landed me?”

Jude rolls his eyes.


Jude, seriously, how many chili dogs are necessary to get you born?

So your dad asked us to write you about songs that are going to matter, in the future, when you’re ten or fifteen. Besides the obvious (the ones you’ll write), Jon gave me almost all my music, so this is kind of pointless coming from me. But still: “Maybe You’re Right” by Barenaked Ladies. Our world loves its irony, but even if 2021 is a better year, we’ll need our protest singers.

Also, “Still Not a Player” by Big Pun (ft. Joe), which will teach you everything about love.