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Boogyin' with Baby

Thanks for the recent email from a mama looking to the rest of the urbanMamas for true & tried musical hits with the pint-sized wonders:

My daughter is enthralled with music.  She comes from a long line of shower  singers.  She is coming up on 11 months, and she is already a "singing" and dancing fool! She loves especially to hear familiar songs.  We have a couple of good compilations that papa has made, and three other CD's  that are both parent and child friendly:Baby_loves_disco

1) The Bottle Let Me Down--alternative musicians doing children's music
2) the beautiful and local 'Pink Martini'
3) hilarious children's songs by Joe Scruggs--- 'Traffics Jams' is my favorite album

Does anyone have any tried and true favorites? I'm sure that by the time she is three, I'll be listening to the same song for the hundredth time. But for now, I'd like to give us as much variety as possible!

And, in honor of groovin' to some beats kid-style, we'd love to give all commenters on this thread a chance to win a pair of tickets to next upcoming Baby Loves Disco (on October 14, 12N at the Crystal Ballroom).  We've got two pairs to gift away, so let us hear who your sings or plays favorite tunes!


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Be sure to check out the Feb 2007 post and many, many commnts about peope's fave music: http://urbanmamas.typepad.com//urbanmamas/2007/02/an_anecdote_to_.html

Some of the favorites at our house:

For the Kids – mix of songs/covers
Elizabeth Mitchell
Curious George Soundtrack aka "george music"
any and all Dan Zanes
any of the Putamaya Kids cd’s
Happy Feet Soundtrack
Any Beatles
I Am Sam Soundtrack - Beatles covers by the likes of Amiee Mann, Eddie Veder, etc
Ralph’s World

Oooh, tickets to Baby Loves Disco! I'll bite:

Dan Zanes is fabulous. Our kid LOVES Laurie Berkner, but I find her kind of 'meh.' The Dirty Sock Funtime Band rocks. We really dig The Imagination Movers, as well. And, of course, all the kid music by They Might Be Giants is a huge hit around here.

We're a They Might Be Giants household, too. And Dan Zanes. But we also have a kid-friendly playlist on the iPod of old '70s and '80s songs: Hey Mickey, beach boys, Mark Knopfler, Poi Dog Pondering, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Elton John...plus some cuban and french tunes thrown in for brain aerobics. Also we love KMHD 89.1 for jazz and blues!

Embarrassingly, my 2.5 year old is obsessed with the soundtracks to 50s musicals. (Okay, that's my fault as my car only has a cassette player, and those are the only tapes I still have these days.) But they're peppy, have easy to make out words, often lush gorgeous voices, and sometimes he's even able to follow along the story (well, the abbreviated story as I've relayed it). Currently, his fave is The Pajama Game. Who'da thunk that a story about union workers protesting low wages would be such a hit with the toddler set! :)

Just a disclaimer: This list is not for the light-hearted. I have 2 boys who have loved to "ROCK OUT" and "MEGA ROCK OUT" since birth. They do not listen to "kid music;" they prefer hard-hitting, bass-driven rock-and-roll. That being said, this is their current list of preferred music:

Black Sabbath, esp. "Iron Man"
any Led Zepplin
The White Stripes
The Ramones
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Queen, esp. "We Will Rock You"
T.Rex--awesome, everyone should listen!
David Bowie
Jack Johnson
Otis Redding (kind of a departure from their usual selections...even rockers need to settle down sometime, I guess!)

I am a huge Steely Dan fan. I once subjected my older son to one of their albums. He said, "They just wish they were the Beatles with jazz. Someone needs to show them rock-and-roll." He was 2 at the time.

Now that the boys are a little older (5 and 3), there are songs we skip over. Although, I have noticed they don't normally listen to the lyrics as closely as I do, so there haven't been any awkward questions about certain words or what the songs mean...yet. :)

My daughter loves -

Jazz for Kids: Sing, Clap, Wiggle, and Shake (Ella Fitzgerald singing Old MacDonald is her favorite)
LMNO Music with Enzo Garcia (Ten in a Bed is her favorite)
Little Miss Ann music for tots - (edamame is her fave)
The Jellydots
The White Stripes
The Ramones
Gogol Bordello on the Everything is Illuminated soundtrack
and (According to my husband) ACDC

My upapa is a music producer, so baby likes the beats. Sure, she loves Yellow Submarine as much as the next kid, but she has also become oddly attached to certain Bjork, M.I.A. (we've had to phase that one out since she's old enough to follow and repeat the lyrics now), PJ Harvey, Sleater Kinney and, like her mama, she loves the drum and bass. She'll wander into daddy's studio during the day while he's polishing up the production on this or that electronic or heavy hitting progressive hip-hop track and just start shakin' her groove thang. Gotta love it! I encourage her by reminding her that dancing is good for the body, and for the spirit, and by getting my groove on right along side her.
As far as music specifically for kids, there is a jazz for kids album that has jazz legends like ella fitzgerald and louis armstrong singing children's songs (old macdonald, the muffin man, etc). It's fantastic. My advice is to go the itunes route though, and buy single songs that you can make into your own kid-friendly, adult-tolerable cd. There are several lists of children's music that people have compiled on itunes as well, and are often full of tried and true favorites for all ages.

My 3 1/2 yr old likes to listen to Bed bed bed by They Might Be Giants at all hours of the day. He's been into "daddy's bike ride music" on our laptop, heavy on the fast tempos-Matisayhu, Chumbawumba,Len etc. and every month is open for Christmas music by the Neville Bros.
So glad I can borrow music from the library to strech his ears.!

Little Miss Mags loves just about all music. I took her to a Pink Martini concert at the zoo and she started bopping her little head to the music. The people around us started cracking up. It was so cute...

My daughter is the original Baby Loves Jazz babe, esp. but not limited to Duck Ellington ("he always comes through"). We've had great luck w/ the books & music from that series and mama and dad can groove along to the music as well.

This kid is good at shakin' what her mama gave her and also loves King Sunny Ade, Fela Kuti, and AfroPop generally.

But her fave performer is... her one & only mama! It's so gratifying when she hears one of our songs and says "Mama fiddle!" and dances toddler-style.

In addition to many of the recommendations so far (esp. queen's "we will rock you"!), I highly highly recommend the Jimmies! Take a look at their two videos on their website - one of them has successfully taught our two year old to cover her mouth when she coughs. http://www.gimmejimmies.com/videos.html

Our little guy loves the Flaming Lips! Especially the "Yeah yeah" song, and "Fight Song".

And like every American 3 yr old boy, he's massively into the Disney Cars movie soundtrack.

I don't really have much more to add, except my daughter digs Mozart. She does love Pink Martini (I love the Lilly song myself...) and she loves live bands no matter what they are playing, as long as there is a beat. And she love to sing and make up lyrics. We come from a long line of musical performers and I think it skipped 2 generations from her great-grandma who sang in yiddish, right to her. Look out American Idol, 2023!

We all love TMBG, but there's a party music radio station at the top of the dial that sends my son into dancing craziness whenever we try to flip past it... (The "Feel Good" station? I don't recall the call letters or number of the place.)

My 4mo old loves Paul Simon, Mana, Latin Jazz, 80s (hee hee), and any good Mexican corrido (Chalino Sanchez, Valentin Elizalde). Our bedtime cd is SIENTE, he falls asleep by song #2 and I'm about out by song #4.

Buckwheat Zydeco has a fun CD just for kids. Also have a great Spanish/English kids CD by a group called Sol y Canto called "Doble de amigos." My daughter's dad is a native spanish speaker, so he has found her lots of traditional kids music in Spanish. Cepillin, Cri Cri, etc.

I have a 2 year old and a 7 year old and Dan Zanes has been our soundtrack for years. They recently found a new obsession: DEVO 2.0! The 70's band DEVO put together a band of 12 and 13 year old kids to play their songs. It comes with a CD and DVD. I bought it for my daughter after hearing that it was a good antidote to the girly tween "music" she was getting sucked into. It worked! Real kids playing real instruments, a strong female lead actually singing-excellent! We get some weird looks in New Seasons when my two year old son yells out "Whip it! Whip it Good!" But it's worth it.

My kids (4-1/2 and 1-1/2) are singers and dancers as well and I'm always on the lookout for good music for them.

They love local lads Captain Bogg & Salty, who can be seen live (and often for free!) at venues all over town--most recently at the Portland Pirate Fest. Check 'em out www.eatalime.com. They rock! "Pegleg Tango" is full of riotously funny and extremely danceable songs. Even when I'm the depths of a "gotta get this blog-written-bill-paid-tub-scrubbed" zone, I can't help but stop and pogo with my kids when Pieces of 8ight starts playing.

Another family favorite is San Francisco band The Sippy Cups, who do kid-ified covers of The Beatles, Elton John, the Ramones, Sid Barrett, and others those of us "of a certain age" know and love. We saw The Sippy Cups at the Alladin last spring and they put on an awesome show! We love "Kids Rock for Peas," a live album that my daughter especially enjoys as it's so much like the show we saw.

Finally, I love every single song on "For the Kids," a compilation that includes Cake doing the Muppets tune "Mahna Mahna" that gets my toddler practically jumping in his carseat, Sarah McLachlan doing a rendition of "The Rainbow Connection" that brings tears to my eyes, and Barenaked Ladies singing about all the lovely, lilting words that start with the letter L. I love love love it!

We love the Kink Live CDs. You can get Kink Live 10 at Starbucks right now. We bought 9 last year and it didn't leave the CD player in the car until we bought 10 this year. My 3yo also loves to rock out to Hey There Delilah on my ipod. Nothing cuter than dancing babies!

Hooray for kid's music that parents can enjoy too!!! We've listened to most of the above and will be searching for the unfamiliar to add to our listening repertoire. One of our favorites is the Johnny Cash Children's Album and the song Ah Bos Cee Dah which is an alphabet song that I'm still trying to get it right when I sing along.

My kids are way into the Music Together CD's, which I love too because they are not at all insipid. They also love U2, REM, the Cowboy Junkies, Wilco -- and I caught my 2 year old the other day with the white man's overbite, jamming out to the White Stripes in the back seat.

We love the Rockabye Baby! series -http://www.rockabyebabymusic.com/web/page.asp- we have U2 and The Cure, perfect for sleepy time. We also have School House Rocks for the not so sleepy times and she's perfectly content listening to whatever we happen to have on the radio at the time. We look forward to trying out some of the other choices listed here too!

I can't believe there's someone else out there who loves THE JIMMIES!!

I've been waiting for them to make it big!!

We got the CD as a birthday party favor months ago and not only is it my kids'(3-1/2, 5 and 8) favorite album, but my husband and I listen to it when they're not around.

We also love Elizabeth Mitchell, Ralph's World, Mr. David and Jack Johnson, but seriously, I think The Jimmies are the next big thing.

Wow! Thanks for all the great suggestions!

In the search for transgenerational (is that a word?) music, I came across something you all should check out. Look up 'Mother Goose Rocks',and check out the song 'Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes' by ME2. Hilarious!

Oh yes, Mother Goose Rocks! We love them: http://urbanmamas.typepad.com/urbanmamas/2005/12/mother_goose_ro.html

My girls sure do love Laurie Berkner, probably because she is so folksy and soothing and fun to sing to. I double plus are those rare instances we let them watch some Noggin and Laurie Berkner will do a piece!

My girls like pop music too: Mariah Carey, Beyonce, that girl who was the first American Idol (forget her name), and some other new pop artists I don't even know.

My little boy loves music. He will dance to anything. The Shins, Sleater-Kinney, Modest Mouse, Just for Kids Album, Curious George Sound Track, The New Pornographers, Built to Spill. We have a Music Together cd which is always a big hit. I've thought about taking him to Baby Loves Disco ever since some fun lovin' 20 somethings brought some dance music to Jamison Square. My son hasn't stopped talking about "cold water dancing." Is it worth going?

Justin Roberts is our favorite kid musician, and we are thrilled he'll be at the Aladdin at the end of the month. He has fun clever lyrics, and I find myself happily sining along! Another favorite kid album is Under the Jewelberry Tree. We also love the Banana Slug String Band. My kids are also fond of anything with fiddling (think bluegrass), Beatles tunes (regardless of the singer) & lots more.

Wow i definitely need to get the Johnny Cash kids album. Jerry Garcia and David Grisman have a great kid's album called "not for kids only." It's more on the mellow side, but lots of great sing alongs.

Also, for the mama's looking to put the rockin' babies to bed, my son falls right asleep to this beautiful 2-disk album called "Far Away Trains Passing By" by Ulrich Schnauss. I think he's kind of a German hipster, but boy is this a beautiful record. for mamas, daddies, and babies alike!

I sing to the kids at night before bed. These are the songs I sing: Silent Night, Away in the Manger, ABC Song, Twinkle Twinkle... We are all tired on the same (Christmas) songs. I'd like to find an artist or a compilation of some pretty sing-a-long ready bedtime songs. Anyone have ideas?

Our girls have been listening to the Beatles slow tunes. "Here comes the sun" is a favorite right now, thanks to the "Bee Movie".

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