Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

Kindie rockers bring the cool

Seattle is ground zero yet again for a fun new music movement

I’m not talking about the long-haired, 40-ish singer-songwriter, but the newest music movement sweeping the nation. Kindie Rock began in Seattle with musicians who saw a need for original, quality music geared specifically to kids. Today’s music-savvy parents grew up when the Seattle music scene was exploding with Nirvana and Pearl Jam. They appreciated the uniqueness of the sound then, so it makes sense that they would seek something different for their kids now.

One such parent did more than seek it out. Chris Ballew, lead singer of the Presidents of the United States of America, assumed the alter ego Caspar Babypants and launched the Kindiependent movement here. Our city now boasts several nationally recognized groups that appeal to children. Songs cover topics kids can relate to, from playdates to homework to camping to lice, with clever lyrics parents will enjoy and musicianship they won’t tire of. The Kindiependent collective includes Recess Monkey (rockin’ grade-school teachers), The Not-Its! (tutus, hot pink and Vans), Caspar Babypants (the Presidents revisited), Johnny Bregar (jazzy/bluesy solos), The Board of Education (science in song), Brian Vogan and his Good Buddies (six-piece superstars) and The Harmonica Pocket (hula hoops, bass and a harmonica, of course).

Rarely a weekend passes in Seattle without a performance by one or more of these artists. They can be found at all major festivals, usually surrounded by a large crowd of very small groupies. If you haven’t yet heard or seen them, there’s no time like the present. Grab the kids and head to Mount Baker Community Club, where one of the bands will play every other Saturday through April. Or catch five of them in one day at Folklife in May. You won’t regret it, and your kids will realize that you are über cool.