REVIEW: ‘Recess’ for kids and their parents

Jul. 18, 2013 @ 05:35 PM

This grown-up reviewer has played “Walkie Talkies,” the song off Recess Monkey’s newest CD, “Deep Sea Diver,” many, many, many times at the request of a young fan. Many. It’s memorized now, along with “Shrimp.” Recess Monkey, a trio of teachers turned kindie rockers, entertains kids with simply great songs. The best part for parents is they like them, too. The Seattle-based band will perform Saturday at the ArtsCenter in Carrboro.

“Walkie Talkies” is a funky song, perhaps the best on a CD that really is for the whole family. A cool family at that, because of all the funk and rock and layers of sound in songs both funny and catchy.

“Deep Sea Diver” is Recess Monkey’s ninth studio album. Among the sea-themed musical offerings is the put-it-on-a-loop “Fish Sticks,” which showcases the work of drummer Korum Bischoff. The rest of Recess Monkey is Drew Holloway, lead vocals and guitar, and Jack Forman, bass. Bischoff and Forman sing, too. On “Deep Sea Diver,” other musicians contribute Wurlitzer piano, mandolin, trombone, trumpet, violins, violas, cellos and even flugelhorn accompaniment.

The songs have easy to learn lyrics, with plenty of lines worth shouting out, or along with. When kids like something, they often want to experience it over and over and over. It’s enough to drive parents bonkers. “Deep Sea Driver” won’t drive you bonkers. You might even play it when the kids aren’t around.

“Choral Reef” as a song title on a CD about the sea is a must, and the lyrics actually say, “So sing right along, with this choral song. So sing it, coral.” And the “coral” makes the kinds of sound coral might, if it could. It’s silly and kids love it.

Parents who watch cartoons with their kids know when a show’s writers are working to entertain and amuse the grown-ups, too. This is that in band form. 

WHO: Recess Monkey

WHEN: 11 a.m. Saturday

WHERE: The ArtsCenter

300-G E. Main St., Carrboro

TICKETS: $9/adults; $7/youth, free for children 2 and under. or 919-929-2787