Friday, June 12, 2009

Pump It Up

When Bob was still tiny, my friend Shelley gave me this excellent advice, “Never play ‘kid’s music’ in the car.” She warned that hearing Raffi, Kermit, Barney, et al, while driving would cause me to want to repeatedly beat my head against the dashboard, especially when stuck on the 405.

We have mostly heeded this advice. When we have not, we always regretted it. We give Bob a wide range of choices and he narrows it down by some mysterious set of criteria known only to him. Being in charge of the first tier of choices is a good thing. I’d much rather hear Harry Belafonte, Radiohead, Iggy Pop, and the Beach Boys than the big purple dinosaur.

We have also tried a CD of music for kids, recorded by not-for-kids musicians. Although Colours Are Brighter features artists including Belle and Sebastian, Snow Patrol, and Flaming Lips among others, it’s still music written for kids. It’s an OK half way point between music-you-would-voluntarily-listen-to and the gun-to-your-head variety. (Although I’ve heard “Go Go Ninja Dinosaur” by Four Tet so many times now that I am both a ninja and also a dinosaur.)

I understand that kids love repetition and at this age, that’s how they learn. I also understand that one can be the biggest David Bowie fan in the world but when one’s kid wants to hear “Jean Genie” for the 124th time in a row “one” can be a wee bit tempted to hurl the Diamond Dogs CD out the sunroof of the speeding station wagon. Nevertheless, the 2,000th time you hear Elvis Costello’s “Pump It Up” is still better than the first time you hear “Callie the Race Car” from the Kindermusik CD.

I'll take it.


  1. I found we all enjoyed Bare Naked Ladies when the kids were small. Postcards from Chimpanzies made us all laugh.

  2. but then how DO the wheels on the bus go round and round?

  3. We can certainly relate. I somehow stumbled upon a Foo Fighters children's potty song a while back. Most. annoying. song. ever.

    Of course, my daughter requested it be played in constant rotation.

  4. If you want to lean a little more towards the kids side of the music tracks, we (and our kids) really enjoyed "Dog Train" by Sandra Boynton. It has well known artists such as Blues Traveler and Allison Krauss doing songs written by Boynton, and comes with a song book illustrated by Boynton.

  5. Yes! We have Dog Train... for home use. It's lovely!