Now, Kidzapalooza will rock Chicago August 3 through 5 (for more details, see here). But the previous weekend is, well, pretty darn good in its own right if you'd rather fight local neighborhood throngs than fight the Pearl Jam and Ben Harper-obsessed throngs in Grant Park. I've been waiting to post about the Summer on Southport festival on the 28th and 29th because I wanted to know the times, and I'm glad I did... check out the lineup. Not only does it include Lunch Money... and ScribbleMonster... and Justin Roberts, it also includes, well, see for yourself: Saturday Lunch Money 10:00 am Seussical the Musical 11:00 am Scribble Monster noon Little Nashville 12.30 pm Girl Authority 2:00 pm Justin Roberts 2:00 pm Sunday School of ROCK 11:30 am Ralph’s World 2:00 pm Girl Authority and Justin Roberts will be playing on different stages Saturday, though the '80s references on Roberts' classic Meltdown! might be a little bit up their alley. Hey, Chicago, did I miss anybody?
There are two kinds of critic-proof kids' music albums. The first kind are albums from, say, Barney or the Wiggles or Baby Einstein. Setting aside whatever you (or, more importantly, I) think of the artistic merits of their music (and it's not necessarily what you think), clearly critical opinion won't move the sales meter one iota, up or down. (Note: I'd love to see what Oprah would do with kids' music, though.) The second kind is an album such as this one, Road Trip, the second album from the Boston-area group Girl Authority, released earlier this week. Now, seeing as their first album has reportedly sold more than 100,000 albums -- if not High School Musical-type sales, certainly more than enough to hold their own with the Dan Zanes and Laurie Berkners of the world -- there's something of the first kind of critic-proof-ness in here. But the bigger reason this album is critic-proof is this: Your kids can -- and do -- buy this album. Listen, if every parent who claims to be sick of the Wiggles just stopped buying their CDs, their sales would drop dramatically. Why? Because 3-year-olds aren't walking into their local Target, plunking down their credit card, and buying the latest CD. This album, however, isn't targeted at you (or me). It's targeted at your 9-year-old daughter. Who, while she probably doesn't have a credit card (unless you've got a waaay different approach to parenting than I have), does probably have an allowance and could pick this up at the mall or ask you to get it the next time you order something online. And, let's face it, you're probably not going to listen to the CD very much as she'll listen to it in her room or with headphones on. Still, you (or some well-meaning relative) might be interested in knowing, well, is it any good?