September 27, 2004

I Get It. Dan Zanes Does Cool Kids' Music

rocketshipbeach.jpgOr so I was led to believe by just about every commenter on every music -related post I've done. Dan Zanes is a rock & roll musician who's out and proud about his folk music interests. He was in the Del Fuegos, which may mean a lot to a lot of people.

Now, though, he's got a string of CD's that parents listen to even when their kids are out of the room, and a record label, festival five, that is focused on smart, great non-insipid music for kids.

After I read this interview with him in Pif Magazine (huh?), I thought, wow, this is a thoughtful, talented guy, a dad, who does cool kids' music! Only, on the last page, he says, "I hope that I won't be perceived only as 'the guy who does the cool kids' music.'" Now I feel bad.

Make Dan (and me) feel better by buying his CD, Rocket Ship Beach at Amazon.
Oh, he's got a million more, like Family Dance, which does just what it says.
Dan Zanes interviewed [Pif Magazine]
festival five records, the seat of Dan Zanes power


Dan Zanes is a lot of fun and fortunately has a great repeat playback value for when you need to sing to keep the the crying down in a car...

We've got Family Dance and Rocket Ship Beach as well as Sea Music (a new release on a sub label designed more for adults)

Dan Zanes is actually performing this weekend - at Symphony Space

Having spent too many hours (could've been minutes, but they were long ones) driving around in family cars listening to kids becoming the family DJ, I've imposed a strict ban on any music written specifically for kids. Why subject myself to that when any kid would love the real stuff? So far, on our (10 week old) son's playlist: Gato Barbieri, The Classics IV, Bobby Darin, John Coltrane, and his favorite, Ray Charles (particularly "One Mint Julep").

Am I missing something? Can someone explain to me the value of music written for kids?

Absolutely right. After being sickened by the "children's music" cd's we got as gifts or bought ourselves at BBB, I made my own playlist on itunes, including Taj Mahal, Dire Straits, Susannah McCorkle, Nina Simone, Miriam Makeba (kids LOVE "Pata Pata") and so on. Working on a second collection now--Louis Prima, Allisan Krause, Mahalia Jackson--like that. Why shouldn't kids hear GOOD music?

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