Last Saturday afternoon, Emmett and I went to see the kids’ band Milkshake perform at the new 92nd Street Y in Tribeca. Milkshake has been a longtime favorite in our household. Their line about “goat stew” in the song “Breakfast Time” makes Emmett collapse in fits of laughter. When I started thinking about putting together a music CD to complement the Little Pim series, Lisa Matthews and her merry band were at the top of my crazy wish list. I felt like I had won the kiddie music jackpot when they recently agreed to work with Little Pim.
In the audience at the show, I was reminded of all the reasons Milkshake were my top choice as collaborators. They tend to be parents’ favorites in their kids’ music collection. Their songs are cheerful and contemporary, their lyrics a great balance of cutely cloaked lessons and unabashed silliness. The band exudes a contagious positive energy and has a unique understanding of how to capture childrens’ attention. On stage, dressed as a baseball player in a tutu, Lisa batted big blow up balls for kids to catch in the audience while playing “Baseball.” During “Bottle of Sunshine,” she held up a big plastic bottle and showered the kids with thousands of squares of yellow confetti – a little kid’s dream.
At one point Lisa addressed the audience saying, “Our drummer can count to ten in Spanish. Can anyone in the audience count to ten in other languages?” I was astounded at the number of little hands that flew up around me. Emmett was chosen to count in French, and another child in the audience rattled off one-to-ten in Spanish. A two-and-a-half year old behind me counted to ten in Chinese, effortlessly. I even heard shouts of Korean numbers, recognizing them from when I used to watch Emmett’s tae-kwon-do class yell them out together during their push-ups: “Ha-na, tul, set!”
I later joked with Lisa, asking her if she threw this element into the show for my benefit. Of course, multiculturalism is a big part of Milkshake’s winning formula, and it’s a big part of the reason I am excited and honored to work with them in the near future.