The latest release from kindie-rock band The Not-Its is an album that will have both the band’s young audiences and their parents raising their hands and singing along with this fun new record. Parents and children alike will enjoy this fifteen-song album thanks both to its poppy tunes and their equally fun themes. The whole thing is anchored by a song that is sure to impress any parent in the form of the retrospective ‘Hey 80s.’ The song asks what happened to the era that many consider to be one of the best in America’s rich history. There’s also the playful opener ‘Funniest Cat Videos’ that pokes fun at all the cat videos currently making their way around the internet. And ‘Nose in a Book’ celebrates literacy, much like that of fellow kindie-rocker Mister G’s latest album, The Bossy E. There is also a song that emphasizes manners in the album’s title track and plenty of purely playful songs along the way, too. Whether it be for those songs or for those more specifically noted here, there is plenty on this record to have listeners of all ages raising their hands happily and singing along.
So much kindie-rock tends to be aimed primarily at younger audiences. Yes, there are some songs and bands out there that offer something for parents specifically. But they are few and far between. Enter The Not-Its’ song ‘Hey 80s.’ This song is for many parents, a fond homage to an era that they would consider to be one of the best in America’s rich history. Lead vocalist Sarah Shannon sings fondly of that era as she sings, “Hey 80s/Where’d you go so fast/You are my past/And I gotta make you last/I know somewhere/With my baby I’ll share/All my stories, old glories/I know you’re gonna care about neon tutus twirling so pretty in pink/Lucky Star was playing at the roller skating rink/I can’t solve this rubik’s Who am I gonna call?” And yes, she even references directly The Ghostbusters from here, as well as Donkey Kong, Bill Cosby’s famed sweaters, MTV and Michael Jackson’s moonwalking among much more. It’s essentially a musical love letter to an era gone by. Any parent that happened to grow up in the 80s (such as this critic) will most definitely appreciate this poppy song and be thankful for its inclusion on the album.
‘Hey 80s’ is a great piece that any parent and product of the 80s will appreciate. It’s not the only one that they’ll appreciate on this record, either. Any parent that denies having ever scoured YouTube and Facebook for the latest crazy cat video is not telling the truth. Remember kids, it’s not good to note tell the truth! The album’s opener, ‘Funniest Cat Videos’ playfully pokes fun at the whole fad that is people posting videos of their cats online. Shannon sings in this piece that even the cat gave the subject of the song a look that sent a direct message. She sings, “Followed her around with my camera phone/She looked back at me as if to say go spend your time in a better way.” From here, the subject of the song exhibits what is likely the same behavior of all the people trying to get their fifteen minutes of online fame as she sings, “I tried to make the funniest cat video/I tried and tried but it didn’t turn out right/I guess I’ve got to accept the fact that/I tried and tried but she’s just not funny.” It would be no surprise if some listeners have friends or family that have done exactly what the subject of this song tried to do. The reality of that situation only makes this song all the funnier both for parents and children alike, but especially for parents.
The parent friendly songs included on Raise Your Hand are but two examples of what makes this album so enjoyable for listeners of all ages. It’s nice to hear songs aimed more at grown-ups than just at younger listeners on this record, especially since most kindie-rock is aimed mainly at younger listeners. This album has its own share of music for kids, too of course. Case in point ‘Nose in a Book.’ This song celebrates childhood literacy. And as with Mr. G’s new album The Bossy E, this song is an especially welcome opus considering the fact that young people are increasingly turning to the digital world even for books rather than just cracking open a good book. As Shannon sings here, her subject is devoted to reading. The only problem is it causes its share of problems. It causes her subject to run into a friend by accident. It makes her subject’s parents try to get said individual to go to sleep. And her subject is even reprimanded by a teacher for reading so much. Even through it all the subject of the song defies everyone and everything. As Shannon sings of her subject, “I don’t know if I’ve got a new disease/Maybe they’ll name it after me/Cuz I can’t stop reading-I won’t stop reading.” She goes onto sing of the joys of getting from chapter to chapter in a book, thus ending the song. That focus on childhood literacy is such a welcome addition to this and any album. There are so many children out there that can’t read and parents that won’t encourage their children to read. It’s a sad situation, the increasing reliance on technology aside. Keeping that in mind, this song becomes an increasingly welcome addition to Raise Your Hand. Along with the other songs noted here, and those not discussed, it is one more piece that will have listeners of all ages raising their own hands and singing happily along.
Raise Your Hand is available in stores and online now. Fans can also purchase Raise Your Hand now at any of The Not Its’ live performances. The band is currently on tour in support of its new album. It will be at the Steamboat Springs Music Festival in Steamboat Springs, Colorado June 24th. The band’s most current tour schedule is listed online at http://www.wearethenot-its.com. Audiences can also check out the band’s Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/TheNotIts for all of the latest news from the band. To keep up with all of the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.