Dan Zanes may be the godfather; They Might Be Giants, the legitimizer; and Laurie Berkner, Ralph Covert, and Justin Roberts the genre's superstars.
But Recess Monkey is the heart of kids music today.
There was nobody at Kindiefest who was in more places at once (except for maybe the organizers) than the band. (And that's not just because there are three members in the band.) Jack Forman appeared on a video panel, and all 3 of them were always engaged in discussion with other folks. They're successful enough to be emulated but not popular enough - yet - to be unapproachable. (Heck, they all still have "regular" jobs.) So they were approached - a lot.
And their commitment to the scene is total. I don't think there was anyone else in the audience who was as supportive of the other artists playing the Saturday industry showcase as they were -- if there was handclapping to be done, they did it. During their own Sunday showcase, they brought in Chris Wiser from Sugar Free Allstars to play on "Booster Seat," Johnny Bregar on "Knocktopus" and Tor Hyams on "Moon Boots." And although I'd left by then to head back home, they filled in for Aric Bieganek's stuck-in-traffic bandmates and played 5 songs with him during the Royal Order of Chords and Keys showcase later Sunday afternoon.
And the silver pants. Man, the silver pants. Commitment. Owning their stuff, indeed.
Fun set, fun guys. Kids music needs them, and not just because they rock.
Recess Monkey - "Booster Seat" (Live at Kindiefest 2010) - [YouTube]
One more video and pictures of the band and Mayor Monkey, the band's hand puppet band manager, after the jump.
Recess Monkey - "Marshmallow Farm" (Live at Kindiefest 2010) - [YouTube]