Review In Brief: Kids Rock For Peas! - The Sippy Cups

sippycups.jpgHow best to describe the San Francisco-based The Sippy Cups? Perhaps they're what would happen if your favorite '70s cover band decided they just wanted to play for preschoolers. And added puppets and jugglers. On their 2005 debut album Kids Rock For Peas!, the seven-member ensemble (recorded live at the Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco) cover a wide range of '60s and '70s songs on the 47-minute disc, from the Beatles ("Dear Prudence") to the Velvet Underground ("Who Loves the Sun") to the Ramones, mostly ("I Wanna Be Elated"). You might ask, you know, those are pretty darn good songs -- in the original -- why in the world would I want to buy cover versions? Well, not that the Sippy Cups' versions are better than the originals, but the vigorous renditions of the songs and the occasional alterations to make them child-friendly (or child-friendlier) give them value in their own right. (They single-handedly rescue War's "Low Rider" from the clutches of beer commercials and "Jungle Boogie" from the clutches of Quentin Tarantino.) If the occasional song seems out-of-place ("Bennie and the Jets") or the live banter just slows the pace down, that's the risk one takes with a live package. (The presence of "Super Guy" will probably bring a smile to the parents' faces.) The songs are probably best for kids ages 2 through 6, though obviously any album covering the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and Neil Diamond will probably find fans whose ages reached double-digits long ago. You can check out some video clips here. Recommended, unless for some weird reason you think Lennon/McCartney (or, er, McCartney/Lennon) wasn't that great of a song-writing duo.