The wonderful souls at Nettwerk records were kind enough to send me a copy of their disc For the Kids Three! whose tracklisting reads like a hipster’s wet dream and actually has some decent kids songs on it as well. It seems a little bit like they had a handful of sweet/cute sounding indie rock songs that they wanted to pull together along with a smattering of actual children’s songs (“The Itsy Bitsy Spider,” “The Other Day I Met a Bear,” “If You’re Happy and You Know It”) reinterpreted by artists on the Nettwerk roster.
Dad Winners:“I Want to Have Fun” by Of Montreal
and “See You On the Moon” by Great Lake Swimmers
: Two fuzzy neo-psychedelic tunes totally awesome for jumping on the couch when Mom isn’t looking.
“My Little Bird” by Rogue Wave: I love me some Rogue Wave. Nuff said.
“Does Your Cat Have A Mustache?” by The Format: Sloan-y pop jam with totally goofy Dr. Seuss lyrics.
“No Hiding Place” by Hem: Sweet and fun. I’d listen to a whole album of Children’s music from them.
“Small As Me” by Rosie Thomas with Damien Jurado: See Hem.
Kid Winners:“The Other Day I Met a Bear” by Barenaked Ladies
: Their kooky Kanuck aw-shucks humor translates well to this camp favorite.
“If You’re Happy and You Know It” by Anathello: My kid totally picked up on this song as it was playing in the background, doing the clapping and foot stomping and everything. A winner.
“Itsy Bitsy Spider” by O.A.R.: See above.
“Wheels On The Bus” by Kyle Andrews: Yep. He pricked up his ears at this one too.
Unfortunate losers:“The Babysitter’s Here” by Dar Williams
: Yes, technically babysitting is child related, but Christ this song is depressing as the hippy-dippy babysitter fights with her boyfriend and then leaves the kid to go to college
. Actually a bittersweet song, but not at home on this compilation.
“The Poopsmith Song” by Over the Rhine: Bonus points for hipster cred referencing a HomestarRunner character but the zombie monotony of the song bums my kid out.
“I’m A Believer” by The Sippy Cups: Sounds like these guys have only ever heard the Smash Mouth version at the end of Shrek…it ends up like a third or fourth generation photocopy: All of the detail of the original has been smeared and lost.
“My Darling Clementine” by The Submarines: Tries to hard to “shake it up” and ends up sounding like “Tom’s Diner” by Suzanne Vega…but not in a good way.
“The Lint Song” by MC Lars: A song about bellybutton lint, which creeps into your intestines via your bellybutton and infects you. Fucking gross and nightmare-inducing. I don’t want my kid terrified of his own goddamned bellybutton.
“Pure Imagination” by Jolie Holland: The song from Willy Wonka. Really beautifully performed with a unique interpretation. Needless to say, it is kind of a creepy song. When it comes on, my Hank just looks from one speaker to the other, squinching up his face and shaking his head “No” while looking at me pleadingly until I fast-forward.
Overall, a fine listen. Ideally set for ripping to your laptop and then deleting all of the songs that bug you. Or even better, download the handful of MP3s that really grab you from the Amazon MP3 store.
01. I Want To Have Fun — Of Montreal
02. See You On The Moon — Great Lake Swimmers
03. The Poopsmith Song — Over the Rhine
04. My Little Bird — Rogue Wave
05. Itsy Bitsy Spider — O.A.R.
06. The Other Day I Met A Bear — Barenaked Ladies
07. The Babysitter’s Here — Dar Williams
08. I’m A Believer — The Sippy Cups
09. If You’re Happy And You Know It — Anathallo
10. Does Your Cat Have A Mustache? — The Format
11. Sleep So Very Long — Moby feat. Chrissi Poland
12. My Darling Clementine — The Submarines
13. Wheels On The Bus — Kyle Andrews
14. New Shoes — Blitzen Trapper
15. Sunny — P:ano
16. Jellyman Kelly — Mates Of State
17. No Hiding Place — Hem
18. The Lint Song — MC Lars
19. Pure Imagination — Jolie Holland
20. Small As Me — Rosie Thomas with Damien Jurado