My kids don’t need another reason to zone out in front of the TV which is why the energetic new DVD from Dan Zanes, great god of the kids’ indie rock movement, is okay by me.
Part live show, part music video The Fine Friends Are Here! practically demands that we get up and dance along with the audience as he rocks, jumps and grooves through an hour of his favorite tunes. And it isn’t just Dan: there are some killer violin, banjo, accordion, mandolin, rap and breakdancing performances from his friends too.
Shot at the Jalopy Theatre in Brooklyn in a classroom-size space, the show has an intimate party feel with a devoted audience full of super-stylish, colorful kids, moms and dads. And it is the kids who are the stars of this video: adorable, super-enthusiastic, they jump and cheer throughout and seem to be having a blast.
However Dan Zanes is in fine form in front of the camera performing favorite songs like Let’s Shake and Catch That Train, with his big smile, crazy hair and bright-red suit. It was refreshing to hear him really singing the songs, not doing that fakey lip syncing, even if his voice did sound a bit raspy toward the end. Heck, so would mine if I had to entertain so many kids. We especially love the quick-beat, Spanish-language songs El Canario and Colas, although my kids are happy to be in their living room when a giant paper-mach� headed canary wanders through the crowd for El Canario.
Interspersed throughout the live performance are three neat-looking music videos that give us a chance to catch our breath and just enjoy the show. And the video for Night Owl at the end of the DVD is a gorgeous, mellow ending to the party. Best off, you won’t even have to drag your tired bodies home afterward. -Christina
Congratulations to Katie B., lucky winner of a copy of Dan Zanes’ new kids music DVD!