Today I read two articles (thanks Zooglobble) about kids music or referred to as “kiddie” music and let me tell you at first I got really angry! One was by an artist who made a “kids” CD but is not a kid artist and the other was a music reviewer on Deadspin.
Laura Veirs is a respected artist who makes good music and I got to say I really like what I have heard. She delves into an old folk music children’s CD (Tumble Bee) and does it well. But in her own words she says she made a “kids album” and is not a kids artist. She is playing kids show at Old Town School of Folk Music in support of the new CD, a detour as she calls it… But I digress. She said the “bar is kind of low ” in children’s music and… I would have to AGREE. IF you had only listened to what the mainstream offers (Wiggles, Dora, Barney, and Kidz Bop, etc). The offerings are really pretty lame. Which is what the article in Deadspin by Dadspin writer Drew Magary states quite graphically (he minces no words so be warned). This is why the whole “kindie” movement was born! But how many people subscribe and listen to Kids Place Live on Sirius/XM (home of the kindie movement) or follow shows like Saturday Morning Cereal Bowl, Imagination Parade, Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child and others which usually play once weekly. Kindie radio is only a tiny segment of the entire broadcast world. Most kids music people hear these days is on the TV and most of it is pretty lame. Now they (Laura and Drew) might of meant all kids music but I find that hard to believe (I may be wrong). Because the bar set by bands like Recess Monkey, Justin Roberts, Grenadilla, Brady Rymer, They Might be Giants, The Not-Its, The Boogers and Trout Fishing in America, etc, is pretty darn high. Because the quality of their music is really, really good. I know cause I am trying to reach the bar right now as I make another CD. So while I fervently disagree with a blanket statement over kids music being ”lame” or “the bar is kinda low” that’s the perception we as “kindie” artists try to change every day. Whenever we play a show, a DJ spins one of our tunes on the radio or someone listens on iTunes. That excellence in music is excellence in music whether your playing for kids, punks or folkies. Or as my friend Jim Cosgrove put it… “ I love the Beatles and when my daughter plays I Saw Her Standing There over and over, it gets annoying. But, so what. If it touches her soul and keeps her dancing and singing, who cares what I think. It’s not about me. The Barney theme song may drive you or me to shove pencils into our ears, but if it brings joy to a child, that makes it worthwhile music.” Which I agree with except for Barney. Really Cosgrove? You had to go with Barney?