By Ryan Cooper
As a part of being a socially conscious father, he set his sights on kids' music, and the result is Smile. A solid ska record with some serious horns, Smile is an album of fast fun songs with kid-friendly themes like "Wiggly Wiggly Worm," "Everybody Loves to Jump," "When the Light Turns Red You Stop." Honestly, ska is made for kids and adults alike, as the music makes you want to dance and none of the songs are any goofier than many "grown up" ska tunes. Seriously, none of this is any goofier than Mustard Plug's "Skankin' By Numbers," which remains a classic.
Jim Lindberg from Pennywise, belts out a fun, refreshing take on "Blitzkreg Bop," Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio does "Rock 'N' Roll High School," the Bouncing Souls' Greg Attonito delivers with "Do You Remember Rock 'N' Roll Radio?," and Blag Dahlia of the Dwarves (arguably the least kid-friendly group out there), has a great time with "Rockaway Beach." By the time it cthe legendary Jack Grisham of TSOL closes out Brats on the Beat with his take on "Bop 'Til You Drop", any kid within listening range will have become a Ramones fan.
With 85 songs on three discs (personally compiled by Ramones guitarist Johnny Ramone ) and the Lifestyles of the Ramones documentary DVD with videos and personal anecdotes and recollections on the band, it's an essential for punk fans and the perfect playlist for parents who want some fun fast tunes to play for their little ones. The first time a parent gets their child to sing along to "Sheena is a Punk Rocker" is a moment nobody ever forgets.
With songs about ice cream, tacos and a particularly fun punk trip to Old MacDonald's farm, Peelanders Yellow, Red, Green and Pink bring the frenetic energy of their spastic live sets to the album, producing music that will have you and the little ones bouncing around the house, singing along and attempting to replicate the band's thick accents.
With tunes about animals and babies, she pleases the little ones, but its the songs like the title track (which starts out "A is for apple, B is for Butt") and "Pee-Pee in the Potty" that appeal to the juvenile sense of humor that kids and grown-up punk rockers all have in common.
A series of classical lullaby interpretations of songs by punk, metal and classic rock bands, they have produced an extensive collection of soothing lullabies that are sure to relax all involved, yet hold onto to the original theme close enough that those old enough to know recognize the songs completely. The series, which includes CDs of lullaby versions of songs by the Ramones, Green Day, Nirvana and the Pixies, are the perfect gift for parents with a new baby, or for anyone who would like a little relaxing music with a happily familiar melody.
Both albums are available through the Jam Toast website, as are a handful of free songs for download.