Saturday, March 24, 2007

Kidmusic @ Jalopy

Two things I took away from tonight's kidstock at Jalopy in Brooklyn:

One - I really, really, really, really hate going anywhere without my wife and baby.

Two - David Weinstone said (I'm paraphrasing here), "If yer in this business (children's music) to make money, write mediocre songs. If you write great kids' songs, yer not gonna do so well."

'Nuff said.

5 comments:

Eric Herman said...

Uh, hmmm... Justin Roberts, Ralph's World, Dan Zanes... Mediocre songs? Not doing so well?? ;o)

Warren Truitt said...

OK, OK, I admit there are anomalies like those dudes, which goes to show that any theory has its glitches. You only have to listen to Justin's "Our Imaginary Rhino", Ralph's "Hideaway", or Dan's "Catch That Train", to prove your point.

BUT, I agree with David's statement in that the majority of kids' performers who receive the most attention from the general public (because of shrewd marketing, megacorporation alliances, and product endorsements/tie-ins) cannot hold a candle to people like Doug Snyder (Jellydots), Jamie Barnett, Frances England, David Alexandrou (Mr. David), Jim Gill, etc., etc., etc.

BUT (another big but) a shift has begun: I really believe that not only will people like Dan, Justin, and Ralph become the norm, but kids' performers will also use them as springboards to elevate their own works to new heights. One may not agree with David's statement, but I believe that every year, with each new wave of children's musicians, his statement will become less and less true.

Eric Herman said...

Ah, gosh... I just don't agree with the premise, I guess.

When I think of all of the kids' music artists who are getting some major attention I can only think of maybe one or two that I would personally call 'mediocre'... and that's so subjective anyway. And even then, they're certainly not as mediocre as a lot of what's out there that isn't getting much attention. And then there are many more who are getting major attention whose music for the most part I would definitely not call mediocre. I really think the 'not-mediocre' outweighs the mediocre on the list of well-known kids' artists. Sure, there are some others with music as good or better who are not as well-known, so then it's really just a question of promotion.

But even then, all the shrewd marketing in the world won't make something successful for long... the best of the best will remain popular because they deserve to be popular, because people genuinely like what they do. I might buy a bag of potato chips in a fancy package that I saw on a funny Super Bowl ad, but I won't buy them again if they taste terrible. Good product plus good promotion will equal the best success, but one without the other can only go so far.

So anyway, I think his statement hasn't been true for quite some time now in the kids' music biz.

Anonymous said...

Raffi did really well....

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