Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Randy Kaplan has a new children’s CD! This is big news at our house. Describing music in writing is very much like tap dancing on the radio, as the old saying goes. Or like cooking shows on tv. But I’ll do my best to describe why his music is so awesome.
Things that make me cringe in children’s music: the music itself is substandard, they attempt to cover every musical genre available with each song without doing any of them any justice (ie: the first song is blues, the second is rockabilly, the third is Tuvan throat singing, etc.), the lyrics are boring or very hard to make out, the musicians are taking themselves very seriously and seem to have no sense of humor, or, worst of all, they have a lofty message and they want to brainwash their young audience into more civilized behavior. (Hey, don’t put mom out of a job!) Sometimes they just give up and try to put the kids to sleep. It is amazing how often a children's album proves to be another variation on one of these themes. I give them all a raspberry!
So Randy Kaplan makes children’s music that is none of the above. He’s obviously having a great time writing these hugely entertaining, goofy, offbeat, and truly wonderful songs. He’s an incomparable storyteller, and each song is its own little world. His new album is called “The Kids Are All Id”. It’s just become available on CD Baby, which is our local Portland musician-run music distributor. I try to buy from them whenever possible, because it’s a great way to make sure most of the money you are paying for the CD actually goes to the musicians. You can listen to samples there. http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/RandyKaplan They also have his two previous children’s CDs, “5 Cent Piece” and “Loquat Rooftop”. It would be very hard for me to say which is the best as they are all consistently good.
My only complaint about this new CD is that it is kind of driving me nuts. The grownups in this house want to hear the whole album over and over again, whereas Jasper wants to hear each song over and over again, so that it takes approximately 3 hours to finally hear them all! http://www.randykaplan.com/