Sunday, August 12, 2012

L.A.'s Kindie Rock Sensation: Ellen and Matt

Ellen and Matt - It's Love
As a super fun family of five, one of our favorite distractions in the car is listening to kindie rock on Kids Place Live channel on SiriusXM satellite radio. Wikipedia defines kindie rock as:
"A style of children's music that "melds the sensibility of the singer-songwriter with themes aimed at kids under 10."
To be honest, I've enjoyed listening to kids music ever since I was a kid myself (the number of years to remain undisclosed). In the 80s, we used to listen to Raffi and other silly kid songs on the bus going to field trips, sing fun songs at summer camp and in choir at elementary school.

I love listening to kids songs as an adult because they are so cheerful, funny, folksy and whimsical. Unlike the saccharine sweet, inappropriate pop songs you find on the Radio Disney channel. I strongly feel that children should not be influenced by Disney media corruption that ultimately leads to train wrecks like Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears. I believe that kids should enjoy their childhood innocence for as long as they can; forever if possible.

Some of our (my) favorite modern kindie rock bands are Laurie Berkner Band, Justin Roberts, Caspar Baby Pants, Kimya Dawson, Elizabeth Mitchell (with Lisa Loeb). The chickadees especially love Todd McHatton's I Think I'm a Bunny, Jontathan Coulton's The Princess Who Saved Herself and Annette's Pineapple Princess, which ended up being a great theme song for their recent joint birthday pool party.

Daddy-O (my husband) especially loves Harold Arlen's Walk Around the Block, Joe McDermott's Kitty Fight, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo's Space Cadet, Randy Kaplan's Little Bee and Don't Fill Up on Chips, (artist unknown) Water and Chris Rice's Billy Joe McGuffrey.
"Now Billy Joe McGuffrey was a really clumsy kid
On the first day of first grade, I'll tell you what he did
He tripped over a pencil box, flew up in the air
Landed on a kangaroo who pulled out all his hair

First aid in the first grade
First aid in the first grade
First aid in the first grade
You could buy a zoo with all the doctor bills he paid"
The ongoing trend in all these irresistible songs is that they are so playful, lyrical and contagious. There is nothing more fun than when we all sing in unison in the car making a total scene. The only downfall is when you get one of them stuck in your head - you really can't get it out.

I even read about this presumably new music trend (although not new to us) in Alaska Airlines' August issue of their inflight magazine: Rocking the Cradle - Kindie Rock Amps Another Generation, written by Lora Shinn of Seattle. I am immediately smitten with this stellar writer/photographer, a kindred spirit from the Pacific Northwest, my motherland. She also blogs at Cascadia Kids; I'm adding her to my Google Reader now.
"This music is aimed at a hip crowd - hip tall on most adults, at least. It's "kindie rock," a kiddie indie-rock style offering high-tempo tunes and cleverly conjured lyrics with subject matter appealing to children and grown ups alike."
Recently, as a perk of being a blogger with MomsLA, Ellen Kennedy sent me a copy of their new kindie rock CD by her and her husband's band, a fun musical duo, Ellen and Matt, It's Love.

This Los Angeles kids band, who also perform live at local events, consists of:

Ellen Kennedy - vocals
Matt Kennedy - guitar, vocals
Pat Goddard - lead guitar
Jason Duplissea - bass
Shane Lindsay - drums
Allan Moon - keyboards

My immediate impression was that I loved the retro 70s design and it gave me comfort thinking I would be listening to something as appealing as everyone's all-time fave Schoolhouse Rock. The song titles appealed to me as well: Playground, Sleepover, Ticklebug, Shadow, It's Love, Climb a Rainbow, Drive Thru, Teddy Bear and Little Songbird. They resonated with the promise of playful fun.

The next time we were in the car, I popped it in the player and cranked it up for the chickadees. Yep, the CD title is appropriate - IT'S LOVE! After two cycles of play on the stereo, I heard my little songbirds singing along in the backseat - that's a sure sign that a kindie rock song has a hold on you.

Maybe one day soon we will hear Ellen and Matt on Kids Place Live - we hope so!

Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of Ellen and Matt's CD, It's Love to review. I was not paid for this post and all opinions and insights are my own, immature as they may be.

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