Thursday, February 25, 2010

The World of Kids Music Part 3

So, the Seattle kids music scene.  I said I'd talk about it, so here goes.

Oh yeah.  Remember I said back in part 1 that I am not a hip and cool mom, so what I know about the Seattle kids music scene is not a lot.  But, I still want to talk about it, because, well, I think it's really cool that there is a Seattle kids music scene.  How many cities can say that?  Okay, okay so it's getting to be more common place.  Still, if you're going to start a kids music scene in a city, Seattle is definitely the place to start, right?  You can't deny that some pretty great music has come out of Seattle, no matter what your taste happens to be.  What is also really cool is how much Seattle has embraced this much needed change in music. 

As I said in part 1 I am also not the kind of Mom to just pack-up the car and drive two hours north just to attend a one hour preschool concert.  So, forgive me that I haven't actually done that.  However, I have listened to all of the groups I'm going to talk about and I have read several magazine articles and blog posts about said groups.  Stick with me here.

Just so you know, I get most of my insider information from Stefan at Zooglobble (I want to call him "Steve", but he's Stefan).  I've looked at a lot of blogs that involve kids music, but his is the best in my opinion.  A bonus is that he posts just about daily so you know that your kids music news is as fresh as fresh can be.  If you're truly interested in finding out more about kids music or want to learn more about the bands I will mention in a moment, go check out his site.  You'll be so overwhelmed, but then you'll just keep coming back for more and more.  Trust me.

So, kids music.  In Seattle.  Well, what I can tell you is that everyone around here in the general kids scene is talking about four main groups right now.  They are (in no particular order) Recess Monkey, The Not-It's!, The Board of Education, and of course, Caspar Babypants.  An interesting ensemble of names at the very least.  I have listened to CDs, watched video upon video, and read several online articles (all saying pretty much the same thing) about all four of these groups.  But, I've only seen one of them live.  I know, sad.   Most of these groups only have shows in the Seattle area, and while I would love to go see them, I just can't fathom driving for two hours for a kiddie concert.  Wait, I said that already.  Moving on.  I have seen Caspar Babypants live and I can tell you that it was a fun little show.  That said, I plan to talk more about Caspar Babypants in an upcoming post.

I think it's best that I not tell you how I feel about these bands and instead let you make your own opinion of them.  With all that the internet has to offer these days, it's pretty easy to find really cool, fun videos to share with your kids.  I'll share a few of those videos here with you and you can make the call.

This group of three teachers has been together since 2004 and has five albums.  What strikes me immediately about these guys is just how goofy looking they are.  I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one to say that too.   Here's a video by Recess Monkey that my kids and I had fun with.  It's called Marshmallow Farm.  If you've ever told your kids that those big bales of wrapped hay are giant marshmallows, you'll probably find this video pretty funny.

Five parents who are all currently in, or have at one time been in, an adult band (that sounds really strange and dirty for some reason).  All the articles I've read mention lead singer Sarah Shannon as having been a former member of the band Velocity Girl. However, if you read the bios on their website, you'll see everyone's been in a band, so why the distinction?  I don't know and it probably doesn't matter.  The Not-It's big thing seems to be the giant pink tutus that they wear at all their concerts.  Fans of the group can pay $27 on their website to get their own (kids sizes only, bummer).  I'd love to see these guys live.  They currently only have videos of their live performances, but I thought that this one was pretty good.  Here's the Not-It's live at Bumbershoot singing When I'm Five.
(The Not-It's! now have an official video on YouTube, see it here.  I still like When I'm Five though.)

From what I've read about these guys they are aimed more at the tween set.  However, that doesn't mean that you and your preschooler won't like them.  I can't really explain them since I haven't had much opportunity to listen to a lot of their songs, but what I can tell you is that they seem to be a mutant hybrid of School House Rock! and all the educational They Might Be Giants albums.  That's the best I can come up with.  If you want to know more in depth, Steve will tell you.  What I can tell you is that this video is pretty darn funny, despite the prolific dictionary definitions.  My son's favorite part is when the bitter blueberries (yuck, bitter blueberries) say to the tomato, "Oh come on!  We're high in anti-oxidants too!  We're not like, 'ooh look at me, I'm so healthy!'"  You've got to love anthropomorphic fruits and vegetables.  Here is The Lonely Tomato by Central Services presents the Board of Education.

Thus ends part 3 of The World of Kids Music.  Music doesn't end here though.  My plan is to show a music video each Friday that my kids and I have enjoyed.  Yeah!  Now, you have something to look forward to each Friday!  Oh, you already look forward to Fridays?  Well, now it's going to get even better!

P.S. - Don't forget too that I'll be talking about Caspar Babypants and the little show that we saw him at recently.  It involves a giant head, a strange instrument/toy, and great acoustics.  It'll be fun!


  1. I'm completely baffled why, in Marshmallow Farm, you don't actually get to see the marshmallow's up close! I've always said they were marshmallows, but no one ever believed me!

  2. HA! I thought that was weird too! You get to see the farmer picking marshmallows off of what looks to be toasting sticks, but you don't get to see the big marshmallows up close. You do however, get a close-up on a very dirty sheep.