Yesterday we went to Noggin's kid-music-fest Jamarama, only because Dan Zanes was headlining. I say only because I'm not a fan of that Milkshake band. I know other folks who like a lot of the same stuff I do like them, but it's still too hokey for me, without any payoff. And the opener was bloody awful, a "band" called the Ohmies. I can't begrudge my daughter for smiling through the craptastic set or admiring the lead girls' butterfly outfits. I myself was a big Bugaloo fan in the 1970s and really, are the Ohmies any worse than anything the Kroftt's churned out? Maybe, maybe not. Still, you won't be getting any Ohmies mp3s from me.
But back to Dan: he's a full fledged rock star to us. I know I'm all about the adult music for kid thing and I think that's what Dan does but with a twist. He's the Pete Seeger of our generation and then some, only modern with a slight punk rock undertone to the whole proceedings. He does the kid thing so darn well, I think it's just a respect for everyone and their intelligence and taste. Even though his set was short (too short, way too short) it was still quite the party and I enjoyed it as much as my daughter, which is to say a lot.
The other thing I did this weekend was finally see "I Walk the Line." I didn't want to see it all that much, I just assumed for many reasons, I'd be let down. Well I was wrong. I thought the performances were so darn good they certainly overshadowed any script issues for me. And it got me thinking... are there any Johnny Cash songs good for the youngins? Why, of course!
Dan Zanes, "All Around the Kitchen" (with Loudin Wainwright III)
Johnny Cash & June Carter, "Daddy Sang Bass..."
The Bugaloos, "Theme Song"
See the Dan Zanes videos for "Smile" and "Hello, Hello" on Noggin. (Scroll down half way.) *And that's my daughter holding the balloon at the end of the Smile one!
Most everyone with kids already knows about Dan Zanes, but if you're an uncle or aunt or friend of a new parent, the best gift you can give would be one of his many CDs. They always feature a few other artists like Lou Reed or John Doe or Aimee Mann or Roseanne Cash on a song or two. You can find Dan Zanes at Dan Zanes.com and his CDs are available on CDBaby and Amazon. You know where to find Johnny Cash.