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Mar 5 2013

When Parenting Starts to Feel like Junior High

By at 3:58 pm

Dear Mom in Music Class,

For a brief second last week, I wanted to punch you in the face. True story.

Sure, I’m an overtired and overworked mom of four kids. I’ll concede that maybe I was a little closer to the tipping point than a normal, well-rested human being would be.

But when I came into the room and said “Hi!” to you, and you slowly and deliberately looked me up and down and then turned back to your friend, not saying hi, there was A Moment.

It was the kind of moment in which crimes are committed: a blinding flash of red rage that makes ears hot and blood boil. It was brief, and then it passed.

But in that moment, I swear: I wanted to put down my toddler, walk over to you and Punch. You. In. The Face. In my mind, I ran through a scenario that made that scene with Lucy Liu and Uma Thurman in Kill Bill look…well, like toddler music class.

In my brain, I Quentin Tarantinoed your ass. Read the rest of this entry →

Feb 8 2013

Friday Night: BAM BOOM! BAM BOOM! BAM BOOM!

By at 11:55 am

baby girl listening to music with headphonesThat is how my daughter says, “Bim Bam.” As in, “Bim, bam, bim bim bim bam, bim bim bim bim bim bam.” Sing it with me if you will. I know this song inside and out. In fact, I am kind of an expert. I sing this little ditty approximately 4,000 times a day. Baby G is 18 months old, and Bim Bam is rocking her world. Baby G does not want to sing it herself, of course. In fact, she doesn’t actually want to sing it at all. She prefers to have it performed for her. By me. And who could blame her? I am the Lady Gaga of Bim Bam.

Little kids love repetition. You know that thing inside us adults that finds about 99% of things in the world annoying if we have to hear them more than twice? Yeah, little kids don’t have that. In fact, it’s just the opposite. When little kids find something they like, they like the hell out of it. As in, “Let’s make that thing I like aural and visual wallpaper for every waking second of my life–and then, when I wake up from my nap, we’re going to do it ALL OVER AGAIN! YEAH!” Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 21 2012

Free Stuff Alert: Latkes, Schmatkes!–A Hanukkah CD

By at 11:31 am

latkes, schmatkes lauren mayer giveawayWe know, we know, Thanksgiving hasn’t even happened yet and we’re already talking Hanukkah. But the holiday falls early this year (first night=December 8th), and we’re here to get you into the Hanukkah mood. What better way than with a little Hanukkah music?

Songwriter/comedian/nice Jewish girl Lauren Mayer tackles the challenges of the season–including what it’s like to be Jewish in a secular Christmas season–through musical humor with her CD Latkes, Schmatkes! Songs range from “Don’t They Know (Not Everyone Does Christmas)” and “A Good Old Down Home Country Chanukah” to “The Jew-In-A-Gentile-World Blues.” You can buy the album on Amazon, iTunes, Picklehead Music, and CDBaby.

If you’d like to rock out with Lauren and your kids, we’re giving away a copy to one lucky winner. To enter, sign up for our newsletter by clicking here. Once you’ve done that, let us know by entering a comment below. If you’re already signed up for our newsletter, just skip to the commenting part. We will choose a winner next Monday, November 26th, so enter today. Good luck!

Sep 19 2012

My 3-Year-Old is Sexy & She Knows It

By at 11:20 am
lmfao band

WTF is LMFAO?

My husband and I have been disagreeing about the music we let our kids listen to in the car. Bryan’s concerned that kids today know too much too soon. Keeping their song choices “wholesome,” he continues to argue, will help them stay innocent and, well, wholesome a little longer.

At first I said he was being uptight. Furthermore, we have four kids ranging from 10  months to 8 years old. They all have different tastes and interests in music. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 29 2012

I’m In Love With the Jewish Justin Bieber

By at 2:56 pm

edon pichot america's got talent orthodox singerI maxed out on “reality” TV about 12 years ago, when my addiction to the then-new Survivor and its ilk bordered on unseemly. When you’re sneaking out of your law firm job in the evenings to watch “Temptation Island” at someone’s apartment, or cooking elaborate French dishes to serve at your “Joe Millionaire” finale party, (hypothetically speaking, of course) it’s pretty clear that you need help.

But now, I am in love. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 24 2012

12 Items to Pack in Your Hospital Bag

By at 1:36 pm

What to pack in your hospital bag for giving birthThis is the most pregnant I’ve ever been and I’m simultaneously elated and undeniably FULL of baby.

My doctor commented last week that I have a “sizable guy” (which I’ve chosen to ignore) and my husband lovingly pointed out that over the last few days I’ve developed “marshmallow feet.” Mmmm, marshmallows. I might look like a weeble, but I’m so happy to have made it this far–on my feet and still enjoying weekly prenatal yoga classes. Read the rest of this entry →

Jul 12 2012

Camping with My Kids & A Whole Bunch of Jam Bands

By at 4:23 pm

mountain jam festivalEarlier this year, I cooked up a plan for my family to camp out at Mountain Jam, a weekend-long music festival. My husband and I love live jam band music–it is one of the experiences which bonded us in our early days together. But family life is busy, and we don’t go to many shows. Our children knew about our passion for music and for outdoorsy fun. So, in June, with all three kids finally potty trained, we headed for Hunter Mountain Ski Resort with the whole family.

I was not sure how we would manage to keep the crew happy while roughing it on the mountain with thousands of hipped-out music lovers. Even the expense was hard to justify; a quick calculation revealed that suspending our housecleaning help could cover the cost. I was prepared to mop and scrub for a few months if my family was willing to join the jam! Read the rest of this entry →

Feb 22 2012

Free Fun Stuff for the Family

By at 2:03 pm

Dear Kveller Readers Outside of New York:

I know. You’re tired of me writing about all of the amazing things that happen in New York City for kids. The thing is, it’s really hard not to tell our New York readers about great programs when they’re happening right here in our backyard. So I’ll make a deal with you–tell me about the awesome programs happening in your neck of the woods, and I’ll write about them too, so you don’t feel left out. Meanwhile, the rest of this is for the New Yorkers. Sorry!

Dear New York Kveller readers,

Ignore that note above–we all know that NYC is the center of the universe for everything, Jewish parenting included. After all, that’s why our Kveller offices are here. Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 15 2011

Pop Quiz: Jewish Music for Kids

By at 8:42 am

Do you and your baby have an ear for music? Is the Hava Nagila your jam?

We’ve got a new pop quiz to test just how much you know about Jewish music for babies and toddlers. Taking the quiz is fun and quick, and it just may give you some ideas for rounding out what we’re sure is a very admirable music collection.

Once you’re done, check out our entire list of quizzes here.

Take the QUIZ now!

Nov 3 2011

Ke$ha Made Me Feel Old

By at 12:49 pm

ke$haI like to think I am a hip young mom. I am 35. I love Neko Case and the Avett Brothers. I am not scared of people with tattoos. I enjoy drinking and despise “the system.” I may not know much about technology or pop culture, but again: I like to think I am a hip young mom.

Then last month’s Rolling Stone came.

My husband likes Rolling Stone, but somewhere in the 1990s, it seemed the emphasis shifted to a lot more half-naked women being featured, while the monthly editorials tend to be on either a beautiful girl being murdered or the latest rich white kids who were peddling drugs and hiring prostitutes for their friends. The day my older son asked, at not even 4 years old, “Mama, why is that woman in her underwear on this magazine cover?” was the day I told my husband that I was no longer a fan of Rolling Stone lying around the house. I thumb through it once in a while, usually annoyed by the misogyny that seems to dominate its ads and articles, and occasionally amused by candid photos and lengthy interviews with Elvis Costello, Bruce Springsteen, and other such musicians that 35-year-old people sometimes like.

Back to last month’s issue.

Last month’s issue featured famous musicians listing their favorite music for different scenarios. Ke$ha (I feel so silly using a dollar sign for the “s” in her name, but whatever) was to list her favorite “Party Starters.” Sounds innocent enough, right?

Not so much.

Ke$ha, in one fell swoop, made me feel like an old lame mama. Here’s my top 5 reasons why. And for the record (by which I am not referring to an LP), I have nothing against her personally. I know nothing about her except that “Tik Tok” is sort of addictive.

1) Old people like cursing to be for cursing. Ke$ha uses curse words in more than half of her list. I don’t have a “no cursing” thing (I am, after all, hip and young, or so I thought), but I also disdain cursing when it’s blatantly unnecessary and non-specific. So Ke$ha says, for example, that a certain song makes her ”want to go fucking crazy,” but it’s unclear to me why “fucking” has become synonymous with the word “totally” or “completely” or “really.” Any of those words would not have made me feel old and lame, because some songs make me “want to go really crazy.” Why so much cursing, this old hag wonders.

waynes world2) Old people are elitist. Wayne’s World is her “favorite movie.” Okay, that’s just a knife in my heart.  I am not trying to be a snob, but I clearly am being an old lady when I want to say, “That’s your favorite movie!? Of all the movies in the world that one could love, Wayne’s World is your favorite!? It’s the best movie ever? It is so entertaining, so thrilling, so moving, that it gets the word “favorite” to modify it?!” Oy.

3) Old people like lofty heroes. Iggy Pop is one of her heroes. I don’t even know how to touch this one. I mean, he is innovative for sure. He is outrageous. He has a distinctive sense of style and music. But one of her HEROES!? Again, could I feel any older to be wondering why Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, or–for the love of God–Moses is not her hero?! Old people like heroes to be people like that. Or at least Bono.

4) Old people like to keep private things private. One of the songs she lists because she first heard it “while getting laid in the back of a car.” Now, I have been in the back of cars. I used to be young and sometimes young people do fun things in cars. But I would never in a magazine list a song as my favorite in reference to it first being heard as I was “getting laid in the back of a car.” Old people think those details are best left for private conversations.

the maccabeats

The Maccabeats

5) Old people like knitting. Activities she cites as part of her life, both past and present include: going to strip clubs, destroying hotel rooms while being “hammered,” and her and her friends giving each other “tattoos” on the inside of each other’s lips while drunk, ending in “a disgusting, bloody mess.” Old people don’t much like women going to strip clubs as an activity, destroying hotel rooms, or carving things on the insides of sensitive mucous membranes while drunk (or sober for that matter). We, apparently, like knitting, listening to Jewish a cappella music (preferably the YU Maccabeats), and studying the Talmud. Ahem.

I don’t even know what else to say. I guess I am officially old for those 5 reasons and more. Ke$ha says so. Totally completely really old. Dagnabit.

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