February 8, 2012

The Afternaps

You know it's a good party when they clear away the tables so there's more room to dance.

That's my baby, deep into a freeze dance at Empresso Coffeehouse on the Miracle Mile, where every Tuesday around 5:30, The Afternaps have a show.

The Stockton-based kids band plays songs you want to sway and sing along with - "Baby Beluga," "The Cat Came Back," "Down by the Bay." Only folkier. Bluesier. Definitely hipper. But still really warm and friendly.

(There's a mandolin. And a ukulele. Did I mention the kazoo?)

I happen to think that kids music for grownups (a genre that is well-represented locally) can be pretty fantastic stuff. It's not the same thing as grown-up music for kids; I have a heard some lullaby arrangements of Cure songs, and I'm just not crazy about them.  Nor is it grownup music that kids might also happen to like - for months, I sang Alice to sleep with "Thunder Road." That's cool. But I wouldn't call it kids music.

Bands like The Afternaps are playing for kids. But they aren't trying to get your kid's attention with a lot of flash - just an essential respect for fun and wonder. And that's super appealing.

Give them a listen. Then put on your dancing shoes.

(Video by YouTube user bambinajade).
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