It takes a special kind of person to make children’s music. Even rarer are musicians who devote themselves to the pursuit so completely that they become a character and embrace the comedic silliness the role sometimes demands.
Sometimes I feel like I missed out on something since neither of my kids really fell in to the whole “children’s music” scene. Targeted children’s music was never on heavy rotation in our house. Both kids had favored nighttime music (my son still listens to this one every night), but they were more than happy to listen to whatever we had on at home or in the car. John Coltrane? Sure. Wicked soundtrack? Fine by them. John Williams’s Star Wars music? Best of all!
So I have to admit to being more than a little curious when I received the latest CD from Lard Dog & The Band of Shy, Life’s a Real Dream (due out on March 11). I didn’t really know what to expect. But I’m not sure I was expecting what I got.
Lard Dog is the alter ego of Steven Erdman (and the “lard” in his name is actually an acronym for “life’s a real dream”). Remember what I said about musicians who fully embrace the silliness? Yeah, this is your guy. Lard Dog can usually be found in mismatched socks, bright yellow shorts hiked up to his chest, a “LARD” nameplate hanging around his neck, an aviator’s cap, and a goofy grin.
Officially, he “descends from planet Belopio on a Giant Pretzel, taking families on a musical journey of absurdism, frivolity, and unbridled joy.” Lard Dog has been a brainchild character in development by Erdman for more than 20 years, and it actually began as a stand-up comedy routine for adults. The lineup has changed over the years and at various times has included the likes of Norah Jones and Andy Richter.
The music is free-form silliness and has been described as “delivering a rockabilly sound with a Devo sensibility,” and I don’t think I can be much more accurate than that. The songs are catchy, and the beat really encourages little ones to get up and dance along.
But don’t take my word for it. Here’s a GeekDad exclusive premiere of the video for Lard Dog’s “Catch That Pretzel,” directed by Anton Esteban.