The (mis) adventures of our (sort of) young family

Posts Tagged ‘Music’

It’s Not a Problem. It’s an Idea Emergency.

Continuing on the theme of finding music that Jordan loves and that we like, we’ve found a great Disney show called Imagination Movers.

Jordan loves the Imagination Movers. And so do we.

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Imagination Movers is a New Orleans band composed of Scott Durbin, Rich Collins, Dave Poche, and Scott “Smitty” Smith. The Movers work in the Idea Warehouse with their friend Warehouse Mouse looking for new customers that need help solving problems–which they call Idea Emergencies. Despite their efforts to get new customers they mostly wind up solving their own problems. In the process they annoy their beige leisure suit wearing, dull-as-dishwater neighbor, Knit Knots and get help from his niece Nina.

Not only do these guys play their own instruments, they write their own songs and are incredibly versatile. Playing styles that include ska, alternative rock, disco, rap, funk and country, they never fail to give a convincing and credible performance.  Sometimes its Red Hot Chilli Peppers meets Mr. Rogers. Other times its Tower of Power meets Captain Kangaroo. No matter what though they never “talk down” to kids with their comedy or music and they don’t forget about the parents who are listening as well.

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The quartet started out small as a local garage band with each of the band members maintaining full time jobs. That all changed when Hurricane Katrina came along and destroyed the homes, possessions and jobs of three of the band’s members. Mover Smitty, a fireman by profession, was involved in search and rescue operations immediately following the disaster.

The group had a very strong local following that helped keep the group together and moving forward despite the setback that Katrina had dealt them by destroying all of their instruments and much of what they had created until that point. A local charity dedicated to rescuing the music culture of the gulf coast, Music Rising, provided instruments to replace what was destroyed by Katrina.

Disney, who had been working on a deal to bring the Movers to their roster, concluded their deal after the hurricane. The Movers convinced Disney that the show should be produced in New Orleans which helped to provide about 75  jobs for the local economy. With the exception of Rich, all of the other movers have been able to return to New Orleans.

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At 17 months, I don’t think that Jordan gets the nuances of the problem solving model that the Movers demonstrate, but he is riveted by the music, the dancing and the Movers. We’re starting to find that Jordan is a very musical child. He’s not talking a lot, but he loves to dance and sing. Surprisingly enough, he’s got a pretty good sense of pitch and rhythm.

I highly recommend that parents introduce their kids–and themselves–to the Imagination Movers.


Jordan Meets Pink Floyd. Emerges Unscathed.

If you’re a parent, you know that there is a lot of really bad children’s music out there. If you’re not a parent, just try to watch 5 minutes of an episode of Barney and you’ll get what I mean. What parents will tell you is that bad music has a terrible “multiplier effect” because kids listen to music over and over and over again inserting the lyrics deeply into your brain without your knowledge or permission.

Who among you have been caught at work or in some sensitive situation singing absentmindedly….

I love you. You love me.
We’re a happy family.
With a great big hug and a kiss from me to you,
Won’t you say you love me too.

Don’t lie! You know you parents have all done it at some point.

A bad piece of kids’ music will–and I’m not making this up–melt your brain.

Here’s a secret that no one will tell you about kids’ music. Kids don’t require their music to be crappy in order for it to be enjoyable to them. So we look for music that we can all enjoy as a family and that can begin to give Jordan some idea about the cultural importance of good music. We’ve learned that even the most simple and “juvenile” music can still be really great.

One series that we have found to be generally good is Rockabye Baby! which adapts rock music to children’s lullabies. We’re currently listening to Rockabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions of Pink Floyd.

Jordan has loved it,..and so have we.

Here’s an excerpt of “Speak to Me/Breathe” from the Rockabye Baby CD.

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For those of you who don’t remember what the original of this song sounds like…

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Now I know that it might seem a little weird that my kid is now listening to music as a lullaby that was previously used back in the day as the mood creation for some fun but illicit activities. (I know you haven’t forgotten what you used to do to this song.)

But I think that we can all agree that Dark Side of the Moon is one of the greatest albums that has ever been made and to be able to introduce it to Jordan in this way has been great for us.

The Pink Floyd lullaby renditions are rich without being complex. They manage to capture the spirit of the original music without being depressing or too dark (as many of us may recall from our more adult encounters with Pink Floyd).

The Rockabye Baby! series is very big and includes music from Bob Marley, The Cure, The Eagles, Green Day, Radiohead, Coldplay, and The Beatles with future releases of Stevie Wonder, Prince and David Bowie.

They’re not all great and in some cases maybe a bit superfluous. Cheryl makes a great point that you don’t really need a lullaby version of The Beatles. But I think that they are a great way to introduce your kids to the music that really represents the true bedrock of our musical culture without having to suffer dancing purple dinosaurs.

We have also purchased a Rockabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions of Radiohead recently and will do a review of that when we get a chance.

(The music on the page is owned by the respective copyright holders)

Follow the picture to Amazon if you want to buy.