Sound Off!

Winning Rock for Kids & Parents

by Kathy O’Connell

CD Discovery: Songs with No Character: Music for Grown-Ups and Their Children by ScribbleMonster expands the band’s kid franchise to grown-ups with a winning approach to rock. If the title “I’m a Utility Pole (The World’s Worst Dance Song)” intrigues you, you’re a candidate for ScribbleMonster’s “draw outside the lines” approach to kids’ music. Everything mixes together: male and female voices, different genres. One deliciously mixed up tune asks “Why Must Everyone Talk at Once?”

Book/CD set: Blue Moo by Boynton & Ford (various artists). A funny collection of “17 jukebox hits from way back never” is the foundation of this hardcover book/CD package. Give the book to the kids and pop the CD into your player. The secret to success for Boynton & Ford’s “renegade children’s albums” is the witty casting of these musicals.

On this 1962-ish themed collection, Sha Na Na joins icons Bobby Vee, B.B. King and Neil Sedaka as well as ’60s treasures Davy Jones (the Monkees) and Brian Wilson. Pop classic artists such as Steve Lawrence and Patti LuPone lend their musical comedy chops. Despite these well-known names, my favorite songs involve “The Uninvited Parade” by the Uninvited Loud Precision Band. This CD is practically perfect and perfectly silly.

Hairspray: the Musical pushes a message of being true to yourself despite obstacles. After “Blue Moo” familiarizes kids with early ’60s sounds, this bouncy fairy tale uses a chubby girl’s attempts to get on a teenage TV dance show to tell a story about integration and doing what’s right. I love the movie because “this heavyweight champion takes the prize.” Your kids will love the presence of Zac Ephron.

Kathy O’Connell is a contributing writer to MetroKids and host of the Peabody-award-winning Kids Corner, weekdays 7-8pm on WXPN 88.5 FM.