Band first. Trout Fishing in America (Ezra Idlet and Keith Grimwood) are far and away the best children's band out there. Their songs are catchy and entertaining, and accessible for children. But the songs are structuired like regular songs. What I mean by that is that they have all the musical complexity of pop songs aimed at an adult audience, so they don't bore ears trhat have spent decades listening to music. Another thing that I like can best be described in terms of what it's not. A lot of other performers of children's music are very self-conscious about being educational. And they make the music educational at the expense of the music itself. TFIA don't do that. The music is the music. And it's damn good. In one song they're counting the wheels on a truck, and the kids are enjoying it. But it's so catchy that adults are going with it too. Another song is about a space alien that made it's way into the singer's nose. The kids are amused (OK -- some are grossed out), but the song sounds like something from the early new wave (circa 1980), and adults are loving it. I'll note that TFIA is not strictly a children's band. They do "serious" "adult" music as well, and their CDs are generally split into the adult and children's categories. I tend to like their kids music much more. But that's just me.
Now for the venue. The theatre at LICM, in Garden City, New York, is one of those underappereciated and underattended gems. They have some great shows there (not all music, mind you) by great performers. Off the top of my head, I can remember shows by Chinese Theatre Works, Ken Waldman, Nappy's Puppets, and Chip Bryant. There have been others. These are high quality shows by great performers in an intimate environment. There's not a bad seat in the house. Today was the first time that TFIA played there. Theatre manager Jim Packard told my wife that getting TFIA to the theatre was on his bucketr list. Another thing that I appreciate about the theatre at LICM is the price point. The show was $3 per ticket. Admittedly, that was the member price. I think the nonmember price was $4. Having a family of 5, I really appreciate that. There's lots of activities where the price seems reasonable until you multiply by 5. We' have seen TFIA in other venues where the cost for the whole family runs in the $100 neighborhood. Jim, if you're reading this please don't take it as encouragement to raise the prices.
"16 or 17 Hours of Sleep." This is a new song I hadn't heard before today. It's from the new album, whcih comes with a book wrapped around it.