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When Musicians Become Parents

Friday, July 16, 2010

We look at how the experience of becoming a parent changes how musicians approach songwriting and performance. Guests include singer-songwriter Dan Zanes, who leads the popular children’s ensemble Dan Zanes and Friends, and Evelyn McDonnell, author of Mamarama: A Memoir of Sex, Kids & Rock'n'Roll.

Today's Playlist:

1. John Lennon- "Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)"

2. The Del Fuegos- "Backseat Nothing"

3. Dan Zanes and Friends- "Polly Wolly Doodle"

4. Mates of State- "HaHa"

5. Mates of State- "My Only Offer"

6. Animal Collective- "My Girls"

7. Britney Spears- "Gimme More"

8. Patti Smith- "About a Boy"


Evelyn McDonnell and Dan Zanes

Comments [10]


Jerry Garcia is not the first person who comes to mind as being "kid friendlY. However, "Not For Kids Only" by Jerry Garcia & David Grisman is quite possibly one of the best all ages albums ever made.

Jul. 19 2010 02:30 PM
Danielle Jensen from upper wet side

I would allow only one song from a musician about their child or becoming a parent. That's all your listeners want!!There is nothing more tedious than parents who obsessively want to share stuff about their kids.As for Lennon,though Beautiful Boy is very sentimental(personally I sing it to my dog-I do have ahuman child who was too old to sing that to by the time it was written),my heart goes out to Julian who not only did john ignore but was a big enough jerk to write a lullaby to his the son who got all his attention!

Jul. 16 2010 02:47 PM
Michael from Brooklyn

It's cool that we've been working on our children's album from a while back and now my son, who's two, is my most important fan. I sing our music to help him fall asleep, but having him around has inspired some new ideas.

Michael Chabler (from Treehouse 10)

Jul. 16 2010 02:35 PM
Boss Tweed from UES

String quartets are a bastion of family life-meets-work life situations. Several quartets like the Miro, Pacifica, Cleveland, etc. have/had married couples who had kids in them. The other 2 members become "uncles" and "aunts."

Jul. 16 2010 02:32 PM
Donna Pope from nj

I second the mention of Liz Phair. Also Ani DiFranco, Dar Williams.

Jul. 16 2010 02:28 PM

Elizabeth Mitchell can't go unmentioned - her albums and live performances are treasures. Natalie Merchant cited her, along with Dan Zanes, as rare examples of wonderful kids' music. She and her husband Daniel Littleton had a pre-kids act as well, Ida. (hi, all - it's me, Megan!)

Jul. 16 2010 02:25 PM
BPage from NH

I have pretty mixed feelings about this. To me, the rocker-does-a-kids-album is pretty gimmicky. It seems like a "market-driven" easy-out, which seems very un-rock 'n' roll to me.

Also, I'm a parent, my kids are 19 & 21 now. I always felt like rock & roll was my escape from the frustrations of parenthood-- I never really wanted to hear musicians singing about their kids-- I got enough of that at home, I was looking to get away from that. Every parent needs a break.

Jul. 16 2010 02:25 PM
Janelle Ivry from Ramsey, NJ

Liz Phair!!! From "F*ck and Run" to "Dig, Little Digger." Changed a lot...but still true to her tough girl she's a tough mamma.

Jul. 16 2010 02:23 PM
dawn from Brooklyn

Let's talk about the juggling! My partner Dave is a musician and I am a music publicist. We have a 5 month old little girl and are constantly trying to juggle playing gigs, going to client shows, etc. It's SO not the 9-5 schedule and people who aren't in our industry think we are crazy when we tell them what we do. But I will say, it changed Dave's music for the better..for sure.

Jul. 16 2010 02:21 PM

Bruce Springsteen....while he was raising his kids in the 90's he disbanded the E Street Band and put out little memorable music (e.g. The Ghost of Tom Joad....need I say more). The kids are older, the E Street Band is back together and his concerts and new music are great, though in a different way from his 70's and 80's output....There is something a little pathetic about a 60 year old pining about his old girlfriends....

Jul. 16 2010 02:21 PM

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