Saturday, May 8, 2010

Five Short Articles about Kindiefest

It's taken me a week, but I am finally sitting down to write about Kindiefest. For the uninitiated, Kindiefest is a festival/conference for the Kids' Music industry. Kindiefest kicked off last Friday in Brooklyn NY. I flew in from Florida and stayed with my good friend Jess just a few long blocks away. From the perspective of a review blog author, I was excited to meet many of the people I have reviewed over the past 2 years. Recess Monkey, King Pajama, Bari Koral, Bill Harley were notable attendees who I was able to strike up conversation with. From the perspective of an upstart performer and fan, I was in heaven soaking it all in. I can sum up my impressions of the event in Five Short Articles about Kindiefest:

Not Kindlefest, not even Kidneyfest... it's Kindiefest!
The first time I made mention of going to Kindiefest online (probably on Facebook), someone responded asking "What's Kindle-fest" which conjured up images of people huddled together to read ebooks. I often have to explain the Kid-Indie music origins of the festival's title. Justin Roberts' band had a similarily humorous take:

The general concensus between other artists at Kindiefest was that there is no good term for the type of music we make. Kids' Music, Children's Music, Family Music or heaven forbid, Kiddie Music! None seem to quite fit. Which brings us to article 2...

Adult Music... Bowm Chicka Wow Wow!
As is the case with most kids' music artists, I try to make non kids' music as often as possible. At an event like Kindiefest there were time when the topic shifted to "adult" music which always brought some sort of joke reference to porno music (cue the wah wah guitar). If there is no perfect term for kids' music, there certainly is no good way to talk about the opposite. "Grown-up" music sounds even creepier, or like something on the Windham Hill Sampler. It made for some humorous moments during the conference.

A High School Dance With a Bar
The conferences were a great resource to budding artists, but I was really there to meet people, so the first evening's mixer was great. Dan Zanes encouraged people to butt into conversations and meet everyone. This was a trick as the lobo solo in the crowd. I felt a bit like I was at a high school dance and everyone grouped up like old friends. Thankfully, unlike a high school dance, there was a bar and that was the best place to meet people. Nothing to do but wait and chat. By the end of the night doing the "Dan Zanes Butt-in" was easier to do.

Summer Camp Friends
As a long time camper/counselor, I am familiar with the phenominon of summer camp friends. You show up to camp with a blank slate, you meet new people and make tight bonds and then get packed up and head home for the fall. Thankfully, there is Facebook so I don't have to send them a chain letter, but I met a lot of great friends in the industry. Next time I attend Kindiefest, I'll be hoping to see my good ol' summer camp friends like Splash n' Boots, King Pajama, Stacey Peasley, and Tim (and the Space Cadets)

Kids' Music for Adults
Originally, I had hoped to get In The Nick of Time on the roster for the Saturday showcase. It wasn't in the cards this year, but perhaps in the future. It was a funny sort of thing though. I was excited to see folks like the Hipwaders, Rhythm Child and Justin Roberts, but is was a kids' music show for adults, and not only adults, but industry folks. Nerve racking as it must have been. It was a great show. I was especially fond of Mr. Leebot whom I had not heard of before (from Austin TX). Sunday's festival performances were also great, but I missed some so I could get on a plane and fly back to my dear wife and sweet little dog (plus all the school chidren expecting to see me bright and early the next day).

Kid Quote of the Day: I am as hot as a burned up, rotten green bean ~Henry (age: 4)


Unknown said...


It was great hanging out at the 'Fest. Hope to see you next year!

Jason Blechman
King Pajama

Anne Deysher said...

It is fun to read the review of your experience. As a preschool educator,it is interesting to know about the world behind that music we enjoy with our students.

nina zeitlin said...

Great meeting you Nick! Summer camp friends, indeed ; )

Stacey Peasley said...

So nice meeting you! Can't wait till next year!