Entertainment

Rock O’Clock Band Rejoices in Childhood

Alexei Wajchman began playing music for the band Blind Willies right out of high school in San Francisco. For more than 10 years, Alexei has taught music to kids in the Bay area. Now he has compiled the songs written through those interactions and released Tell Everybody, using the band name Alexei and the Rock O’Clock Band.

‘Tell Everybody’

The difference between writing songs for children as opposed to adults is the endless innocence and amusement. Parents—and other adults—have heard so much that it’s often difficult to make that connection with them. But kids can make playing in the rain an adventure, as in “Hot Dog Cold Dog.” 

Every time Alexei played songs for children, he processed their reactions and opinions, adjusting the lyrics and tempo. Their comments also helped him shape new material that appears with a gentle, soft-rock feel that harkens back to 1980s “MOR” (middle of the road) radio stations. The unreliable narrator explains how he hasn’t misbehaved on the rocking “You Don’t Have to Spank Me Twice.” Frustration with parents is amusingly dealt with in “Mom Says No,” including flutes and strings. Burgeoning self-awareness and realizing one’s own abilities are celebrated in the acoustic “I Can Do It All by Myself”:

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Yesterday I felt trapped in a trance
I was too shy to sing, I was too clumsy to dance
Now I know everything useful to know
I can do anything, come watch my show

Tell Everybody rejoices in the commonality and banalities of childhood, reminding parents that they went through much of the same stuff. If anything, they should be jubilant that, post-pandemic, kids should be able to return to lives of mundane annoyances, with masks and vaccinations being the least of their concerns.

Tell Everybody is available on June 10 from Alexei and the Rock O’Clock Band’s Bandcamp page.

Here is the video for the band’s song “Big Bad Werewolf”:

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This post was last modified on June 9, 2022 2:04 pm

Jeffrey Cohen

Born and raised in New York (with a brief sojourn in New Jersey during his preteen years), Jeffrey Cohen lives in New York with his two sons. He has reviewed children's music for the past 14 years on his own blog. Jeff's podcast, "MrJeff2000 Explains It All" is available through iTunes.

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