Sometimes I think I exist on the fringes of cultural illiteracy. In the past few years, I have been introduced to more musicians via children’s programming than any other source.
In spite of the fact that I am (shamefully) a ticketholder to an upcoming (sold out) Fresh Beat Band concert, I have to say that I have discovered a few really good musicians via kids shows.
Any parents of little ones out there watch “Jack’s Big Music Show?”
I saw this video, and thought damn. This is not your average “children’s music.”
So I googled the Andrew Bird, and I am really hooked. His lyrics are smart and weird and laced with references to global warming and natural selection and the apocalypse. And his music wanders in and out of a wide range or genres as if he is on some cerebral journey through time and space.
Now I swear I am not making this up. I was watching this video, and my daughter came over and said “I know that guy” and ran away. Given that I had discovered him on one of her tv programs, I was not surprised. But she ran and got the old, hardcover copy of Cosmos by Carl Sagan (which was blasphemously being used to weight down a piece of her art that had gotten wrinkled in her backpack), and pointed to the back cover.
Another musician I discovered on Jack’s Big Music Show is Cathy Richardson. Here she is with the puppets.
And here she is covering Grace Slick with Jefferson Starship. And playing Janis Joplin on Broadway and covering Janis with Big Brother and the Holding Company. Damn. This woman has a complex voice!
Even though I discovered her on a kid’s tv show, it turns out she is a lesbian icon and activist, who (I imagine) broke a lot of lesbian hearts when she got married a few years back.
So even if I am so old and out of it that I need to find new musicians via children’s tv programming, (and this thread), I’m quite impressed with some of what I’ve found.