I hope you did your duty and participated in the first round of voting yesterday — Out with the Kids embedded those videos all nice and pretty for you, and if we don’t exercise our voting rights, that just invites unscrupulous people to come and take advantage of the process. How do you think Raffi won all those Grammys? (Note: I don’t know if Raffi has actually won any Grammys. But he seems shifty.)
Anyway, today we’ve moved on to the Ella Jenkins Regional, and four more videos fighting to make it to the next round. Let’s watch, and then head over to Ages 3 and Up to vote!
#1 Seed: John Upchurch and Mark Greenberg, “A Counting Error”
I don’t know how I’ve missed hearing this song until now, but it’s great — and my kids, who both giggled for about 45 seconds straight when it started playing, agree. The clip is charmingly lo-fi in a pleasantly retro way — in fact, the numbers/letters segments remind me of something I might have seen on Sesame Street during my long-ago youth. If I didn’t live in the middle of the woods where there’s no cellphone reception, I’d make “A Counting Error” my ringtone. Bravo.
#4 Seed: Sugar Free Allstars, “Cars and Trucks”
I love these guys, and I think they’re doing an important public service by bringing some funk to an overwhelmingly poppy genre. That said, “Cars and Trucks” just kind of chugs along like the objects in its title; there isn’t a lot of dynamic to the song, and even though the video contains some nifty animation, there isn’t much for the Allstars to do besides ride in cars and trucks and planes and jets and…you get the idea. They’ve got an uphill battle to fight against “A Counting Error.”
#2 Seed: The Not-Its, “Green Light, Go!”
The Not-Its are kindie’s answer to the the question the AV Club posed in its recent series Whatever Happened to Alternative Nation? — if you came of age in the buzz bin ’90s and miss the days when Smashing Pumpkins shared the airwaves with Del Amitri and U2, they’ll fill you with a warm, nostalgic glow. As for me, well, the ’90s were the first decade that made me feel old, although I do miss Beavis and Butt-Head. Either way, “Green Light, Go!” is a pretty clever track, accompanied by a video that follows the tried-and-true “band shots leading up to performance footage” narrative arc you may remember from the days when MTV (wait for it) actually played videos.
#3 Seed: Essie Jain, “What a Big Wide World”
Here’s another track — and another artist — who’s new to me. How am I missing all this good stuff? Don’t you people know who I am? Ahem. Anyway, this is a lovely track and a hypnotically pretty video — it reminds me a little of something that might have fit in on the first Renee & Jeremy record. My daughter loved it, and cooed things like “What a beautiful bluebird!” My son, meanwhile, preferred “Green Light, Go!” These are two worthy opponents, in other words, and your vote might just depend on whether you’re feeling mellow or rowdy today. And speaking of voting…go vote!