Parenting Blog

It’s Not All Grown Up Music

Raise Your Hand grown up music

I still produce the monthly OWTK music podcast (new episode for April 2016 is now live!) but the volume of kid’s music being played in my home has decreased significantly over the course of the past few years.

At the height of my and my family’s decade-long involvement in the indie kid’s music scene, I’d guess that upwards of 80% of the music played in the house and in the car came from the likes of Gustafer Yellowgold (our happy accident introduction to kindie), Justin Roberts, Recess Monkey, Okee Dokee Brothers, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, Frances England, The Not-Its and the rest of the vibrant kindie music community. Today, songs and albums from those bands account for maybe 15% of our family’s soundscape. Maybe. This isn’t a sad story though, because 15% or thereabouts is still a lot of music, and my girls, both technically out of the target demo, still love a lot of it and have a lot of it on their phones. The equilibrium is ever changing but the benefits we’ve received from kindie music are still abundant and abundantly clear. My kids are still kids, thanks largely to those bands and those albums. It is a debt I’ll happily be paying off until the end of days.

I once did a blog post series called Driveway to Driveway in which I would highlight the songs spun on the drive to school each morning. It’s been a while since I thought to publish on of those and in fact, on many days the girls and I are talking about stuff like ‘did you get your homework finished’ and ‘don’t forget you have choir practice after class today’ with the bluetooth disconnected and the stereo powered down. There is no soundtrack to those short car rides. It’s just the three of us navigating life together.

On the way to school today, I’ll tell you real quick because it aids with the climax of this story (in so much that there is one), the girls and I jammed to Lucius (“Truce”), St. Vincent (“Digital Witness”) and Santigold (“Chasing Shadows”). Now THAT was a rad start to this sunny Thursday morning. I’m properly obsessed with that last song.

So here’s the payoff, finally. The whole family is going to see Lucius in Philly on Saturday night and the girls, who have seen hundreds of bands, both kindie and grown-up, perform live in concert are stoked. Then on Tuesday the Bear and I will head back to Philly (on a school night!) to see Pokey LaFarge play. Clearly the live music needle has moved as well but not completely.

Lucius Live in Philly Tickets grown up music

Just yesterday I discovered that Bill Harley, a legendary all-ages storyteller and musician, and one of our all-time favorite people, is playing a free show in Media on Wednesday night. We are so going to be there and when I told the girls about it at the diner table last night there was much rejoicing. I think the Bear did a dance and the Mouse gave out hi-fives to all comers.

Bill Harley Live at Kindiefest 2010

Bill Harley Live at Kindiefest 2010

Grown up music that is all-ages appropriate rules the day, and there is no going backward, but my kids are still kids thanks to talented souls like Bill Harley, who continues to bring my daughters, my wife and myself much happiness.

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joc