Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Kiddie rockin'

I just put up a long post on my other blog about the free concert I took The Pumpkin to in early June at which the Barenaked Ladies performed from their new children's album, Snacktime. The Pumpkin frickin' loooooves that CD, and it's hardly ever come out of the car since I got it for her [okay, okay, and for me too]. I love how, except for how short they are, some of the songs could totally just be regular cuts from one of their "for adults" albums. I mean, have you heard the lyrics to "Raisins"?

Raisins come from grapes,
People come from apes,
I come from Canada.

I came in first place,
In a non-existent race,
To rebuild the Parthenon.

The Parthenon’s in Greece,
Or was it in Grease 2?
I can’t keep my movies straight.

When I make mistakes,
I use a lot of salt,
Salt makes mistakes taste great.

I don’t want to be a bother, but I think the phone’s for you.

(Whistling verse) x2

I’ve got orange pants,
I wear them when I dance,
But I don’t get out that much.

You are just too loud,
I passed you in a crowd,
Thank you and keep in touch.

I don’t speak Chinese,
Not even words like ‘Please’,
‘Thank you’ or ‘How are you’.

But I can parle Francais,
I parled a bit today,
It seemed like the thing to do.

I don’t want to be a bother, but I think you’re in my seat.

(Whistling verse) x2

I mean, how is that any more or less kiddish or grownupish than "If I Had a Million Dollars" or "Another Postcard from Chimpanzees", right? That's what's awesome about this album, and again, The Pumpkin absolutely loves it, and loved seeing them perform live. We even got them to autograph her CD and her copy of their lyrics-as-picture-book. BTW, she can't pronounce Barenaked Ladies, so it comes out something like "Bear Kid Ladies." Maybe that makes more sense to a 3-year-old.

Now, this being Rice Daddies, I have to take the opportunity to mention that, among the throngs of fans with and without children swarming the fake park thing in the middle of The Grove in LA, there were a lot of Asians. I mean, you know, enough to notice, if you're obsessed like me. And right near me, up at the front near the stage, where I crouched in order to stay near The Pumpkin, who was in the middle of the couple rows of tiny chairs they put out for some of the kids, were two families with Asian American dads, white moms, and two kids each. [One of them even blogged about the concert and how he taught his son to go up and ask for the set list after the show.] Also right near me were at least a few more Asian American kids with various parental units hovering nearby. What does this have to do with anything? Context, my friends, context.

So at one point, after watching my babygirl patiently waiting in her seat for almost an hour-and-a-half (cuz if we didn't get there that early, she wasn't sittin'), amusing herself by "reading" her copy of the picture book of the lyrics and singing along to the CD copy they had on the speakers, I finally squeezed through and convinced her that no, we wouldn't miss the beginning if I took her to the Nordstrom to go potty before the show. And this blond mom with a couple of kids in the row behind The Pumpkin, one of several adults who didn't quite get the concept that the fact that the chairs were tiny meant that they were supposed to go to the kids, looks at me and says, "You're doing a wonderful job with all these kids."

At first, I don't quite get it. I mean, it's crowded, it's loud, I'm trying to get my daughter to follow me to go pee. I just said, "Thanks," and tried to squeeze back out to the sidewalk. Is this another "wow, look at that dad actually parenting" kind of thing? And then it hit me. All the kids directly in front of and to one side of The Pumpkin—Asian, with no discernable Asian parent nearby. Um, did this lady actually think that all the Asian kids were mine? I mean, cuz, what, I was the only Asian dad she saw and they all had to be related, right? OMFG.

So maybe I'm wrong. But for the life of me, I can't think of another explanation. I mean, I was only ever talking to one kid—my one kid. Heh. I got a good laugh out of it, at any rate.

Anyway, go check out the photos and videos [one for each song they performed, though, unfortunately, I didn't have a good angle to get special surprise guest accordionist Weird Al Yankovic on camera during "If I Had a Million Dollars"] I have up on my blog at my new work project,, and enjoy.


Anonymous said...

You should check out They Might Be Giants, Here Come the ABCs & Here Come the 123s. Great stuff.

daddy in a strange land said...

No worries, Ka_Jun. Current Rotation: BNL, TMBG, and the Dino 5:

Anonymous said...

um, they thought they were all your kids?

FilmFather said...

Hi there...came across your blog from a link at The Blogfathers.

I'll have to check out the Snacktime CD. My kids can't get in the car without listening to Barenaked Ladies' "One Little Slip" from the Chicken Little soundtrack, so maybe they'll like a whole album of BNL kiddie songs!

Anonymous said...

Hi, delurking here.

BNL has a kiddie album? Wow, that's so cool. (I'm so out of it) Thanks for the tip!