Friday, November 30, 2012

Finding Caspar Babypants (It's Not Hard)

Caspar Babypants is the Mormon of children's music (in a good way). If it's been nine months, there's another Babypants CD in the mail pile! His sixth CD, I FOUND YOU! just made its way to our iPods this past week.

Chris Ballew, frontman for The Presidents of the United States, is the rare musician who has turned his sideline project (kids recording artist) into almost as big a deal as his "day job." Of course, these days that means expanding his cachet with books as well (artwork by his talented wife, Kate Endle). Guest artists on I FOUND YOU! include Mudhoney guitarist Steve Turner and singer Rachel Flotard, formerly of Visqueen.

Unlike Kepi Ghoulie, who references his punk past in some of his songs, you find none of that malarkey with Caspar Babypants. These are straight ahead, tongue-in-cheek quirky tunes for tots. Ballew's specialty seems to be taking traditional songs and redressing them. On I FOUND YOU!, listeners get new verses for "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and "Row Row Row Your Boat." Bet you didn't even know those songs needed extra verses. Well, two-year-old Matt did, and promptly requested a replay of "Twinkle Twinkle" so he could attempt to memorize them.

When the blazing sun is gone and the moon is up and on,
Then you shine your little light what a small and happy sight,
Twinkle twinkle little star how I wonder what you are.

"Yes and No" provides explanations to some daily quandaries that might baffle kids. For an 11-year-old reading for a science test on liquids, solids, and gases, this song acted as a rest break AND a study aid.

Water is so liquidy it flows around my shoe
But in the winter time that water can be solid too
Yes it can no it can't yes it can no it can't it is both yes and no.

We've seen Ballew in concert and he's a genial guy who invites sing-alongs. I FOUND YOU! provides ample opportunities for you and the fam to join in on choruses and share the silliness of "Too Dirty To Love" and "Say Farewell (to the baby worm)."

There's one guitar solo (from Turner) and fewer double entendres within the 19 songs on this new collection. And we can expect another Babypants to come tumbling down the babypath some time next fall. We'll look forward to it, as always.

Here is the video from an older Caspar Babypants tune, "More Moles," a favorite on SiriusXM Kids Place.

I FOUND YOU! is available from CDBABY, Amazon, and iTunes. Find lyrics and video links on his website.

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