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 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
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 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Various Artists
See You On The Moon: Music For Kids of All Ages
Paper Bag

Rating: 6/10 ?

April 6, 2006
It was only a matter of time. Whoever it was who came up with the idea of movies that entertain parents as well as their kids is a very rich person by now, assuming it was one person. The most successful children's movies coming out are those that keep the adults in the crowd awake with little bits of humor that go over kids' ponytails and toe-heads. Movies like Shrek and Finding Nemo are a million times more interesting than Barney, the Telitubbies or that infallable dork from my childhood, Raffi.

The same trend has leaked into the music world with See You On The Moon, an album ostensibly marketed towards children but featuring some of indie's finest: Broken Social Scene, Alan Sparhawk of Low, the mighty Soofyawn. While the kiddies bob there heads to silly songs about lice and silver elephants in the backseat, aging hipsters turned mom and dad can share a smile, satisfied that they are secretly listening to something cool. It's not a bad idea; music made for kids is pretty terrible, especially those CDs with kids singing along to bland pop hits of the last 20 years. Leave it to the crafty Canadians at Paper Bag Records to put together this comp that could make car rides bearable for those in the front seat.

From an adult perspective, there are plenty of highlights on See You On The Moon, like Montag's spacey instrumental "Bonne Nuit Etienne" and Mark Kozalek's acoustic heartbreaker "Leo and Luna," a song about two annoying cats. And then there's the heavyweight champ of the disc, Sufjan Stevens, who chimes in with a traditional Christmas carol all banjoed and recordered-up. Never mind the theme of the compilation, these are some excellent exclusive songs worth collecting in their own right.

But kids don't care about rare tracks or names like Sufjan, Sparhawk or Kid Koala (though they may like the sound of that last one). Kids' music is generally catchy and chipper, and most importantly, memorable. Kids like goofy simple songs because they are easy to remember and they can sing along. Complicated, weird or otherwise "indie" songs won't hold much interest to children who just want to let the dogs out. As perceptive and bright as children are, I think they would just be frustrated by these strange, slow (albeit decent) songs. Junior Boys' "Max," Detective Kalita's "Baby Brother" Hot Chip's "I Can't Wake Up" and Broken Social Scene's remake of the classic "Puff The Magic Dragon" may put the little ones to sleep, but it won't have them holding their breath until you put See You On The Moon back in the CD changer. On the other end of the spectrum, songs like "24 Robbers" by Apostle of Hustle and "Fruit Belt" by Kid Koala sound too manic and unkempt to keep short attention spans interested.

The best songs on See You On The Moon are those that have simple melodies with lyrics aimed at children. The title track provided by Great Lake Swimmers is such a track: the song is about all the things you can be when you grow up, like a farmer or an astronaut, and the melody is fun and catchy. "Voices Are Your Best Friend" by Glissandro 70 is a cute little number about expressing yourself, complete with silly voices and sound effects. These songs prove that a compromise can be met between demanding hipster parents and their soon-to-be-snobby offspring, but unfortunately See You On The Moon only has a few of these "kindie" tracks. Don't be fooled by the Crayola cover art; this album was made for the sake of parents and not for kids, which puts it in direct violation against the "No Child Left Behind" policy.

Reviewed by Andy Brown
A regular contributor to LAS, Andy Brown lives in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, but doesn\'t think he has an accent.

See other reviews by Andy Brown



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