Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Forget the Timing, Little Rockers In for the Count

Timing is an amazing thing. When Ben Stiller made ZOOLANDER, he didn't realize a simple two-second shot of the Twin Towers would cause the film to be slightly delayed following 9/11. When Ben Stiller (him again!) made a film called NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH, the producers didn't count on a nudnick named George Zimmerman would claim his shooting of an unarmed teen as being part of a neighborhood watch program. Hence, the film became THE WATCH.

On a smaller level, the Little Rockers Band did not expect a mildly snarky tune about Mick Jagger to become a topical issue right as they release their new CD, COUNT ME IN! Yes, "Old Mick Jagger" is just a take-off of "Old McDonald." And it's such an obvious idea that I can't believe no one else had recorded a song with that title. The fact that Jagger recently suffered a tremendous personal tragedy kind of sucks the fun right out of the song...right now. Definitely the topic is one to be revisited, in a few months.

In the meantime, The LRB fills its third CD with a collection of tunes that are topical for tots (and not their adjacent grown-ups). "Fortune Cookie" delights in the nature of the specialty dessert treat. "Me and My Dog" is a pet-loving stroll. "In the Bathtub" is, well, exactly what you'd expect from a bathing tune (mostly, get in their and clean yourself while playing with some toys).

The band is comprised of Jessie and Chris Apple, Jersey shore residents on a mission to educate (through their Little Rockers music classes). With backgrounds in show tunes (Jessie) and rock (Chris, who appeared on Nickelodeon's DON'T JUST SIT THERE), the duo and cohorts Liam Moroney and Billy Papenberg has entertained local gatherings and gotten the kids on their feet since 2009.

The LRB (not to be confused with the Little River Band) strive for community, enthusiasm, and singalong choruses. They even attempt a one-two classic rock punch with "Old Mick Jagger" into a cover of "Me and Julio (Down By the Schoolyard)." There's a slightly ominous air to the guitar-fused "Little Deer," however:

Little deer, do you want to play or run away?
Don't run so fast. Little deer, don't run away from me so fast.
Don't run so fast, little deer.

The deer is followed up by a cat and a bird, all very anxious to get away from poor Jessie. Do they know something about little Jessie that the rest of us don't know? Perhaps that's just my projection, from decades of rock songs with hidden meanings, backwards messages, and political undertones. The average five-year-old just hears a song about animals. And the average five-year-old is right in the LRB's sweet spot. As far as kindie rock is concerned, count them in.

COUNT ME IN! is available from the band's website, Amazon, CDBABY, and iTunes.

Here is the video from the band's song, "Wild Wild West":

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