Monday, October 16, 2006

Daddy A Go Go

When my latest CD, Snow Day!, was reviewed by The Lovely Mrs. Davis, she referred to me as being in the "goofy dad" sub-genre of children's music. Her description of that was: The "Goofy Dads" are trying as hard to make kids laugh as they are trying to make kids sing and dance. They have (a) high-energy, laugh-a-minute approach to music, and sometimes push the boundaries of appropriateness. She named me in conjunction with other apparent "Goofy Dads" including Trout Fishing in America, Yosi and Daddy A Go Go. Not bad company, I must say, and sure enough, those other artists are right up my kid musical alley. Having finally given a good listen to Daddy A Go Go, I have to say that in some respects he's a goofier dad than I am, and I would have some catching up to do if I wanted to attain his level of "Goofy Dad"-ness.

The latest Daddy A Go Go album is called Eat Every Bean and Pea on Your Plate. If you say that instead of just reading it, you should get the humor of that (and I hope you're not drinking any milk when you do). It's the kind of joke that seven year-old boys everywhere will laugh their heads off at and tell all of their friends, possibly getting into trouble from their teachers for repeating it over and over. And seven year-old girls will all go "Ewwww!" but still probably laugh, at least privately. After all, girls are much more mature than boys as they grow up (eventually boys may catch up to girls in maturity, when they're about 64 or so). Clearly John Boydston, the daddy behind Daddy A Go Go, has not turned 64 yet, and that's great for kids everywhere. John has a terrific sensibility for rock 'n' roll and a very consistent sound and style to his songs. Most of his music has the rockabilly meets country tone of BR5-49, with some of the edgier twang of the E Street Band, and a sprinkle of surf rock a la The Ventures.

Eat Every Bean... is such a great title, because it instantly lets you know exactly what you're getting; fun music with clever wordplay and some great humor. And that translates through to all of the Daddy A Go Go albums. In the Dylan-esque song "Scaredy Cat Cowboy Pt. 1" from Mojo A Go Go, the second verse goes off out of the rhyme and rhythm scheme for a brilliantly bizarre description of the cowboy's 'operaphobia'. I like that he took a turn that wasn't expected, and yet it still worked within the context of the song. He has several songs that are sort of parodies, at least in the wordplay sense, as in "Nice Mare on Elm Street" and "For Those About to Walk (We Salute You)", though I was a little disappointed that the latter wasn't an actual parody of the Ack-Dack anthem. He can be really clever with words on things like "Pink Floyd Saves Hugh Manatee", an Elvis-y number about a flamingo named Sigmund Floyd, where he creates an alternate universe story with lots of little jokes mixed in for the adults. He can even be poignant and funny at the same time, as in "Get Off the Computer" from Big Rock Rooster: You know I’m looking everywhere trying to find my mom/She’s sitting in her chair shopping everything dot com/I said Hey Mom, get off the computer/Come and look – I just got cuter/Hey Mom get off the computer now. Daddy A Go Go also offers some interesting covers, including Spinal Tap's "Listen to the Flower People" (though I missed the "ahhh"s), and The Partridge Family's "Come on, Get Happy", as well as several instrumental covers like "Linus and Lucy" (the Peanuts theme) and "To Sir, with Love", all in his trademark super twangy style.

The humor of Daddy A Go Go ranges from wryly intelligent stuff all the way down to the lowest common denominator - silly puns. And no doubt kids love it. This 37 year-old sure does, though maybe I'll have to hide my amusement when I'm 64.

Daddy A Go Go website

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