Sunday, January 21, 2007

Dr Stringz

Andrew Bird is Dr. Stringz

Children's programming seems so mindless, and I always feel it's part of our job as parents to steer Eli in the direction of the good stuff - that is of course when we're not steering him clear of television all together. One program that I actually encourage him viewing has been Jack's Big Music Show, which has all sorts of great music lessons, but is easy for Eli to swallow 'cause there's puppets. For instance, Andrew Bird made an appearance this morning playing a character called Dr. Stringz, an instrument repairman magically called in to fix a broken hammer dulcimer. Before fixing the aforementioned instrument, Bird treated us to a song, featuring him on the guitar, mandolin and violin... I guess showing why he holds a doctorate in, well... stringz.

While many of the artists appearances in the past have been fairly safe (past guests include Buddy Guy, Yolanda Adams, Milkshake, Hot Peas 'N Butter, Cathy Richardson, and Sweet Honey in the Rock to name a few,) Jack's appears to be making a leap this season, as next week there will also be an appearance by Jon Stewart (The Daily Show) along with Steven Drozd (Flaming Lips) backing old Blues Clues star Steve Burns in a special Groundhog's Day episode.

This is happening a lot, now that Generation X'ers have kids. Children's culture is having a renaissance of sorts. Music (Dan Zanes, the occasional Kidz Bop song,) television (see also Pancake Mountain) and books are all being tailored, in part, to reflect the parents taste. Reminds me of the 1970's, when the Baby Boomers started paying attention to kids and we got The Electric Company and Free to Be You and Me.

Of course, the majority of the programming and music is still crap, but you can find something palatable without having to search too hard now.

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