OWTK Kindie Music News

A Kindie Question

The girls and I saw a kid’s concert this morning – a small affair at our local Barnes & Noble.

We’ve seen many a children’s performance so it’s strange that this thought hadn’t struck me before today:
Shouldn’t each and every kid’s musician who even remotely identifies themselves with #Kindie say, at the end of each and every one of their concerts, something to the affect of:

“There’s something exciting going on in kid’s music right now and I’m so happy to be a part of it.  If you love music, and you likely do because you’re here, there’s no better time to raise a family.  Google KINDIE and find out what all the buzz is about”.

Okay, that was first draft stuff but you get the point.  The biggest problem this cute little sub-genre of music has isn’t quality or diversity, it’s legitimacy.  Not enough folks – parents, magazine people, booking agents, etc. – take Kindie seriously yet.  It’s getting better, but there’s much progress still to be made.

I contend the flower on this bud will not start to fully bloom for another generation, when the children who grew up with TMBG “Here Come the ABC’s”, Dan Zanes “Rocket Ship Beach”, and Justin Roberts “Meltdown!” in their ears have children of their own.  This, I believe, is sorta what happened with indie rock.  The youngsters who grew up with Fugazi, Neutral Milk Hotel and Built to Spill grew up and got jobs.  They became influential cats in the world of marketing, advertising and business.  This natural progression played some role – I’d argue a big one – in legitimizing the oft angular, discordant, and odd world of college/alt/indie/whatever you want to call it/ music.  I mean, Marriott Courtyard uses Throw Me The Statue in their current TV ads…and it’s so freakin’ perfect!

In short, my theory goes like this: once the cool kindie kids who are between 9-13 now start families of their own, then this thang is gonna blow up.  Bands like The Verve Pipe getting involved certainly adds heavy artillery to the fight but still, we’ve likely got another decade or so to push the boundaries the hard way.  I’m in. You?

Anyhow, kindie musicians can help with some kind of simple statement during or after their sets.  Even if 1 adult leaves each show curious enough to poke around on ye olde internet and stumbles across Zooglobble, Spare the Rock, or dare I dream this very site you’re on now, and happens to give Flannery Brothers a spin, or Dog on Fleas a try…that’s a great, great thing.   And all it might take is a sentence or two to spread the word, share the love, and create a new devotee of Kindie.

Thoughts?

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4 Comments

  1. hi jeff. I appreciate this question a lot. Personally I feel like we have a very dedicated audience that is always growing but when I reach out to my audience on facebook, etc about other great music out there- I just don’t get much back! I just did a big show at my preschool where everyone knows me and I said “ask me, email me, etc, about a ton of free super great shows for your family this summer” and I think maybe one person asked me- what should we see? I have for sure recommended other bands- though I love the idea of suggesting you, etc as well. Also I recently played after tom chapin at the Clearwater Music Festival and that was great. he had generations of folks in his tent! children that grew up to him, now as woman joining him on stage singing the songs they grew up with. boy was that inspiring! so it’s already happening to some degree- cause look at tom chapin, he’s playing for new and newer generations. I also think it’s just a matter of time till someone like sheryl crow etc, makes a kids album. Jewel did a few- I agree verve pipe in the mix is a lovely addition and can bring some attention. I think the whole thing is ready to burst and it’s SO fun being part of something that is just expanding and expanding. I think it’s possible it could happen with this generation- but it will be amazing to see what happens when these children who were all jammin to “hey ducky” today in madison square park-what happens when they have their own children? of course I’ll be oh my goodness, older and hopefully able to perform, but my albums will still sound the same! Good thoughts jeff- thank you! :) bari

  2. Interesting idea, Jeff. I do think it is a long term proposition. Another way to make introductions to our respective audiences is to cover each others songs. Recently, I’ve been performing Bicycle by Frances England in my shows. I try not to do a lot of chattering between songs, but as I reflect on my last few gigs, I realize I have given that number (and by extension, Frances) a thorough introduction. Don’t know if it sinks in, but who knows.
    rudy

  3. Hey Bari, thanks for the thoughtful comment! I believe something substantial would have to occur for the ‘boom’ to happen in this generation. Something like Pres. Obama or Oprah heaping praise on the genre by name or by individual band. Unlikely. But great coverage in the NY Times, TIME, USA Today, et al is slowly building the national foundation for the moment when kindie is king in kid’s media. Just like quirky indie rock…our time will come (yes I’m adding myself, a non-musician, to this group).

  4. Rudy, I do think that that kind of stuff sinks in. Now, when a parent is scrambling to corral their child maybe it’s not landing square in the center of the mind but I’ve decided that it’s all about the aggregate not the individual. Meaning, mentions on my site, Zooglobble, a spin on Bill’s radio show, coverage in the USA Today…it’s all more powerful together. Like Voltron.

joc