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Now Hear This: Mommy Says No!

Ugh. Kid music. Who wants to listen to faa-laa-laas and cheeriness worthy of Disney 24/7?

Sorry.  I gotta be honest with you: Not me. If you fancy yourself a sassy and hip parent, sometime the Raffi can be a little hard on the ears. And right about now, you may be planning the big family trips: what to listen to on the way to the campsite?

But I found the perfect sound, dubbed a “postmodern jug band” and “Hee-Haw for hipsters,”in Asylum Street Spankers,

You only love me for my lunchbox, baby.
You only love me ’cause it rules.
You only love me for my lunchbox, baby.
‘Cause it’s the coolest one in school!
Now all the other kids are standing in line
‘Cause they ain’t never seen a lunchbox so fine
And everything inside it tastes so divine!

We were delighted to find that such a rockin’ folk-punk band, Asylum Street Spankers, produced a kiddie CD.  “Mommy Says No!” is an awesome mix of bluesy folk sounds with lyrics more in the genre of Dr. Suess and Maurice Sendak than Mickey Mouse.


Hailing from Austin, Texas, the Spankers blend a bit of New Orleans style in with their country funk. And the best part? In the tradition of all good kid stuff, there’s adult humor to me found in “Mommy Says No!” Try this tongue-twister on for size:

I am a pleasant pheasant plucker. I pluck mother pheasants. I am the most pleasant pheasant plucker to ever pluck a mother pheasant.

Pure hilarious gold.

Of course, the beauty of this band is that most of their discs are adults-only.  Their language is even a “bit too naughty” for NPR Music, and you won’t likely hear them on most radio stations unless they clean up their sailor talk.

But that’s part of the fun.  You know that they have plenty of  mischief in their hodgepodge talent, but can tone it down as a tribute to the kiddos. And everyone in my family–from the 30-something parents to the 13-year-old to my one-year-old–loves rockin’ out to “Mommy Says No!

It’s one of the few CDs that I can always say “Yes” to.

A word of caution? When you’re lucky enough to discover that the Asylum Street Spankers are headed to your town, make sure they’re playing a kid-friendly show before piling into the Prius. Their curse-peppered lyrics from their other CDs aren’t exactly for your 8-year-old.  Though make it a date night, and I assure you that parents will have fun.


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