If you have children you probably have a cd or dvd (or a collection of them) by a band that start with W and wear skivvies. That’s ok. I’m not anti-Ws (if you say the name my nephew will want you to put the dvd on now). Not anti, just not really pro either. I can deal with small doses of the tv show or the cds. I can’t deal with the trademark on everything that moves phenomena. I just don’t want the Wiggles tent in my loungeroom (my mother has one in her loungeroom, and the kids love it, but I assume they would love a tent sans-Ws too).
The Wiggles Only music diet of some kids has me a little concerned, as concerned as I’d be if they were only ever offered potato for dinner. Potato is good, but on it’s own it’s not a great diet. So, in the interests of diversifying the musical diet I’m going for the opposite of ‘eat local’ and I’m saying ‘download global’ (legally, and paying actual musicians for their work, obviously, very important to obey the Tram Rule*).
So far my List of Kid-friendly Music that Doesn’t Make My Toes Curl and I wouldn’t mind if my kid received it for Christmas is:
The Mudcakes (Melbourne-based, formerly Nashville-based, members are in grown up bands too)
Woody Guthrie’s kid’s albums, including 20 Grow Big Songs
Jason Ringenberg’s Farmer Jason albums, he’s also a grown up muso with a (separate) kid-friendly persona.
Dan Zanes has lots of albums, you can even do what I did last Christmas and order a box set, divide it up and give one album to each neice or nephew. My kid currently has one album, he may be downloading some more.
Do you have any suggestions?
It doesn’t have to be labelled ‘kid music’ (or family music, or kindie rock) but it does have to avoid Adult Themes as they say in the television classifying world. I’d like him to hear stuff he understands and enjoys as well as all the long car trips where we make him listen to Paul Kelly and Mick Thomas and Gillian Welch. There really was a car trip where we could have sworn he groaned at Paul Kelly and it felt like we had a teenager. Only twelve years early. There are lots of performers I think should release a kid’s album, like Rebecca Barnard, but I fear blog-nagging wont be enough.
* Always pay to acquire music from any muso you could potentially see on a tram. This suggests it’s morally ok to burn a free copy of someone’s music if they are gettin’ around in limos on a regular basis, obviously that’s not legally true and I take no responsibility for you getting into trouble with the record companies.