Friday, January 11, 2013

They're It! (Despite Being the Not-Its)

There's a lot of rock music out there and there's a lot of children's music out there.

That doesn't mean, when you mash it up, that there's a lot of GOOD children's rock music out there.

Fortunately, the Not-Its! have returned with KIDQUAKE!, another sonic boom of kidtastic tunes for your little ones. It's perfect for them to flail their long (isn't it about time for a haircut?) hair and shout (but with an inside kind of voice).

The Seattle-based quintet carved their baby teeth on the 90s indie-pop scene. Lead singer Sarah Shannon was lead vocalist for Velocity Girl.  Rhythm guitarist Danny Adamson is a former punk rocker-turned-social worker. Guitarist Tom Baisden teaches special needs children. New members include indie band vet bassist Jennie Helman and drummer Michael Welke (formerly of Harvey Danger).

We were disappointed that the last time the Not-Its! played on the East Coast, it was at the Kindiefest showcase (the evening one for the adults). Ben had been selecting the band's songs over and over again for his playlists and I decided against telling him he would NOT be seeing them in the near future.

KIDQUAKE is stuffed with 11 songs in less than 30 minutes. You get all the rock and none of the "experimental" filler. You won't find a three-minute guitar solo to use as a bathroom break (although your kids might need one before playing the entire CD).

Topics include the wry ("Participation Trophy") and instructional ("Rock Paper Scissors"). You also get school-related creepiness ("Tarantula Funeral") and all-out fun times ("Busy" and "Let's Skateboard"). Anyone with a sibling will recognize the antagonist of "Temper Tantrum":

He's about to blow better hit the deck
You never know where the pieces of his rage will land
It's really getting out of hand.
How was I to know? No one can predict his lava flow.
It's getting hot. Is that the temperature? - no.
Must be a temper tantrum.

The Not-Its! remind me of a West Coast version of the Jimmies, similar rock tendencies and attitude. And they have their own version of a "posse" in the Kindiependent collective that includes Caspar Babypants, Recess Monkey, and the Harmonica Pocket. With friends like those, it's easy to see what inspires the band to continue their mission to entertain the tykes. If your kids play the CD and the floor starts rocking, it's going to be tough to contain them. I guess that's what they mean by a KIDQUAKE!

KIDQUAKE! will be available on Tuesday, February 5 through the band's website, Amazon, CDBABY, and iTunes.

Here is the video for the band's song, "First Kid in Outer Space":

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