Friday, October 04, 2013

Clean Music a Wash for Dirty Socks

Is it possible for a children's act to have too much fun? The Dirty Sock Funtime Band says no, emphatically.

When the DSFB has something to tell you, don't expect the subtle brush strokes of Frances England. Nor should you anticipate the Americana roots simplicity of the last artist I reviewed, Red Yarn. The Dirty Sock Funtime Band is as subtle as Gallagher's sledgehammer and kids like them that way.

A DSFB performance is a spectacle. I brought the kids to Kindiefest this past spring, where the Dirty Socks were the headliners. Good grief. At one point, I counted 13 people on stage. That's the equivalent of a preteen Earth, Wind, and Fire concert. They are high energy, high concept, and heightened fun. A confession: We came late to the party. A (then) friend asked me 10 years ago if we'd seen the band live. Based on their raucous rep, we'd passed.

Bands spring from many growth points. The Dirty Socks came from Kids Creative, a non-profit New York City-based rock and roll education program. As part of the curriculum, kids write and perform their own musicals. Founding brothers Stephan and Adam Jacobs turned their passion sideways, concocted the DSFB in 2003, and never looked back.

The band's new CD, THE DIRTY SOCKS COME CLEAN, perpetuates their winning formula. It's 18 tracks of no-holds-barred mayhem (with some downtime for ballads for mothers and pets – "Mama's Song and "Lenny the Cat," respectively).

In a fitting turnaround thank you, Laurie Berkner appears on the group's "We're In Love." Berkner and the Dirty Socks shared the spotlight on Nick's belated Jack's Big Music Show. Other highlights include "National Hiccup Day" and the anthemic "Cheese World," the bane of the lactose-intolerant:

Where there's a cheddar cheese castle with a sharper cheese moat.
And it's filled every evening by one overworked goat.
The Holy Swiss Church sits on the river Gruyère
And the blue trees are melting on all the tune in there.

While they'll make you dance (you practically have to), the Dirty Socks are hardly an intellectual band, unless you count thinking on your feet. But as "Robots From The 4th Dimension" will attest, music goes hand in hand with affection, trust, and love. And there's plenty to love about the Dirty Sock Funtime Band.

THE DIRTY SOCKS COME CLEAN will be available October 29 from the band's website, Amazon, CDBABY, and iTunes.

Here is the (bad) video that I shot at Kindiefest of the title track:

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