Thursday, October 9, 2008

Our Soundtrack....

I LOVE music. Not making (as my parents and sister can attest after 8 years of saxaphone), but listening. I never was a trend setter, or felt the need to know the most obscure "cool" bands. I still don't! In fact, my own musical interests haven't changed much since my senior year of college when I tended toward "angry chick" and music that reminded me of home.

What has changed a great deal is my listening habits. Where it was never a big deal to listen to Snoop Dogg or Ani DiFranco as I cruised around town or cleaned the house, I now find myself becoming quite the prude about the language that the boys hear in the songs I sing along with in the car. Especially once Max started repeating back some of the lyrics.

So, often I find myself feeling relegated to the world of children's music. For the first couple years of Max's life, I was convinced that meant years of cringing to the cheery-but-annoying strains of The Wiggles and Raffi. I could survive it, but often chose silence over having to listen to "Toot Toot Chugga Chugga" one more time. I missed music.

But I'm writing today because, once again, I am in love with the soundtrack of my current life.

My ipod is still playing lyrically appropriate tunes - but now they are the joyous strains of three fabulous musicians. And because they make my rainy days brighter, I have to share them with you, too. Turns out that there is a whole world of non-annoying music to which my boys and I can sing and dance:

Dan Zanes - I first learned about Dan Zanes from Jessica Sprague's blog. Then I caught one of his songs on the Disney channel, and I fell in love with his goofy, non-creepy attitude. It turns out that his music is just as fun, ranging from classic folk songs to current tunes like "Thrift Shop". Max often asks for Dan Zanes, and he can almost always inspire a dance party. Our favorite CDs are Nighttime, Family Dance and House Party.

Elizabeth Mitchell - Gotta say that I'm not sure where I first learned of Elizabeth Mitchell. May have been over on SouleMama. But what I do know is just how much I am taken with her calm, quiet voice that is both simple and true. Where Zanes is dance party, Mitchell is for lunchtime and moving into nap - or any time my boys need a calming influence. Can't choose a favorite album, any of the three are delightful.

Frances England - This is my most recent. I've only got her first one, but the second is on the way from Amazon right now. Her sound is more indie-rock, but with kid tunes like "Diggin' in the Dirt". Have turned it on even when there are no kids in the room. And a fun fact? Her first album, "Fascinating Creatures" was originally done as a fundraiser for her child's preschool.

One of the greatest things about all three of these artists is the fact that their cds were available at our local library! I was able to check them out without investment, and now support them constantly by giving their cds to new parents I know. SO fun.

SO, check them out! And if you've got any other suggestions for me, I'm all ears - Max has recently fallen in love with Kool and the Gang's Jungle Boogie, and I need a good excuse to turn it off!


Martina said...

cool idea! my bil says the bare naked ladies have a really good kids cd out too. i'll have to check out your tunes! :)

Brimful Curiosities said...

I so love Francis's almost like you're not listening to children's music. We love Zanes too (saw him in concert), plus we listen to Laurie Berkner. Also, my daughter likes Milkshake.

emily said...

snoop dog--- hahahahah! Can't picture it!

But I am CHERISHING E. Mitchell this autumn. LOVE the mood.