recess radio program

    by John Cech

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That's my one-and-a-half-year-old grandson with his daily chorus of "no's" -- one of his favorite words these days. It's the title song for the new family music CD from the alternative rock group, They Might Be Giants. Here's a sample.

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There's just about everything else in this surprising and delightful CD: fantasy songs like "Fibber Island," and "Where Do They Make Balloons"; pure nonsense in "Wake Up Call" and "Four of Two"; clever slices of domestic life about a broom, a grocery bag, and a finnicky eater; and onomotopoetic riffs like "Violin" and "Clap Your Hands" -- one of the best rhythm songs to come along for kids in years.

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This is a group that happily plays everything against the children's music grain-- what might be a lullaby in another group's catalog is an unexpectedly grungy send up of the process of getting ready for bed, which they make sound like a rock 'n' roll anthem. Which for many kids today is exactly what it is.

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Copyright 2006 John Cech

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Monday, 28-Aug-2006 15:06:33 EDT

"Recess!" is a co-production of the University of Florida's Center for Children's Literature and Culture and WUFT-FM, "Classic 89."