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August 26, 2014 - 1:46pm -- Alison

There’s Magic In The Music: Alison Faith Levy’s Big Time Tot Rock

One of the other dads bends down to hear my daughter over the
band’s acoustic euphony. She blurts out her excitement, her phone chord
curls bouncing in time with the beat.

“{{I have magic in
my hands and I can touch the walls and turn them different colors but
ACTually the magic is in my WHOLE body and if I want to I can BLAST it
all out but there will always be moooore!}}”

She improvs a pirouette and darts back to reunite with the gaggle of
kids hopping and twirling and otherwise gettin’ down at the foot of the
stage, their faces painted in bliss.

My weather app lied to us today and we couldn’t be more pleased. The
week’s humidity lifted and an early gray has moved away.  Above us there
is just Crayola “Sky Blue” and a pristine mid-summer sunlight colors
Redwood City’s Courthouse Square. Onstage, Alison Faith Levy rocks the Kidchella Family Music Festival,
showering her audience in bubbles and sweet sound; the band decked out
in bright, inspiring colors that stimulate the young imaginations in the
Images via: The indefatigable Andy Z
Unbeknownst to us, Redwood City’s Public Library and Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department put on Kidchella last year, too, and my guess is this year’s won’t be the last.  In fact, the amazing Kindie
concert we caught was just the second in this summer’s three part
series. When I first heard about it, I immediately set about scheduling
the event as a Meetup for our SF Dads Group. Ten of us dads were able to make it out with our kids.
We met outside the Fox Theatre across from Courthouse Square and made our way into the gathering crowd just as Andy Z
wrapped up his solo opening set and Alison Faith Levy and her Big Time
Tot Rock band launched into their inevitably crowd-pleasing, “Like A Spinning Top.”
 My toddler, J, was beyond elated as all of the parents and kids were
compelled to spin, jump, wiggle and fly, in turn, as per the song’s
instructions. If, like me, you hadn’t heard of Alison Faith Levy or the Kindie Rock
movement, then you’re welcome. And you’re late. Lace up your sneakers
and spin, jump, wiggle, and fly your way into this super groovy, kid
tested, and Dada approved, genre.

From Alison’s website: “Alison
Faith Levy, best known as “Sippy Alison” of legendary kindie
trailblazers The Sippy Cups and the songwriter behind such Sippy hits as
Magic Toast, The Jellyfish, Move Your Pants and One Day Soon, is a
beloved children’s performer, bandleader, composer and educator based in
the San Francisco Bay Area. 

After spending five years
criss-crossing the country with the psychedelic rock n’ roll circus for
kids that was The Sippy Cups, performing in such venues such as Symphony
Space in NYC, Lollapalooza, House of Blues, Central Park Summerstage
and Austin City Limits, Alison Faith Levy took a break from performing
for children and found success with her “grown-up” Americana band,
McCabe & Mrs. Miller, with songwriting partner Victor Krummenacher
(of Camper Van Beethoven). They performed with the likes of Rosanne
Cash, Cracker, and Built to Spill, and released an acclaimed album Time
for Leaving.”

It wasn’t just her rock cred and stage presence that blew us away. Alison Faith Levy keeps it real for the kids. She “saw” my selfie request and “raised” me a whole-group photo.
SF Dads Group
Together with band mates John Moremen, Karla Kane, Khoi Huynh and Josh Pollock,  Alison
Faith Levy jammed through her spectacular set list while my daughter
and the rest of the knee-high throng boogied with abandon. There were
kiddy ditties like, “Move Your Pants” and “One More Cupcake.” Her lively
but precise rendition of “Yellow Submarine” held us parents in rapt,
nostalgic, attention. The giant inflated slide and jumpy house just
outside the courtyard became afterthoughts as kids and parents alike
lost themselves in the magic of the music.
Rest assured The At-Home Toddler Daughter and I will be frequenting
scenes like these, often, from now on.  As newly appointed Co-Organizer
for SF Dads Group, a City Dads Group
affiliate, (Did I mention that? I smell another blog post!) I will be
rallying the troops to family-friendly events like these all over the
Bay Area, including our upcoming event at CuriOdyssey in San Mateo.
If you are an active, doting dad in or around the San Francisco Bay Area, or know someone who is, consider joining SF Dads Group here. Like and follow and share our organization on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to help us get the word out about modern fatherhood.
To hear more of, from and about Alison Faith Levy, click here, here and here.
To hear more of, from and about opening act and next month’s Kidchella headliner Andy Z, click here, here and here.
We hope to catch you at a show! (Hint, hint.)
Ciao for now,
Dada Mike.

Mike Heenan
Publish Date: 
Tuesday, August 12, 2014