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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this CD is a compilation of favorite songs from the New York City-based music program, Music for Aardvarks and Other Mammals. Focused around urban topics such as taxi rides, street music, bagels, and park carousels, the album has a cult following (Jon Stewart is said to be a fan) and is filled with silly songs about things recognizable to those living in and outside urban areas.
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What's the story?
David Weinstone, the force behind Music for Aardvarks and Other Mammals, has been writing songs for his interactive music classes since 1997, and TAXI is a compilation of the favorite tunes from these classes. Many of the topics -- from cab rides and bagels to park carousels and street noise -- are a celebration of growing up in urban environments. But kids living in cities and the suburbs alike can relate to lyrics such as \"I crack me up with the silly things I do / I'm a monkey in the zoo / I crack me up with the silly things I say Foopeebopoopee and bonk\" (\"I Crack Me Up\"). The CD follows a format created for music classes, so many of the songs are interactive, with directions for following along. \"Big Old Tree\" is one example: \"I'd do a little bump, I'd do a little twist / I'd do a little jump and wiggle just like this / I'd do the funky chicken / silly yes I know / then I'd pack my trunk and hit the road.\"
Is it any good?
The interactive songs as well as the diversity of music styles contribute a whole lot of fun to listeners of this CD. It may seem disjointed to cover rock, folk, rap, indie rock, and even a Latin beat on one album, but somehow Taxi pulls it off with creativity and a sense of humor. Fans may want to visit the Music for Aardvarks and Other Mammals Web site to see about music classes in their area.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about things that you find living in big cities: What's it like to ride in a taxi or live in an apartment? Families with older kids can also research the Big Apple to see what kinds of kid-friendly places exist there. Are there children's museums? What's a fun park to go to? Where can you buy yummy bagels? On a musical note, families can talk about the variety of styles, and figure out which ones are more inclined to get you dancing. Folk? Tango? Rap? Rock?