Music is a large part of our travels. It's amazing how much a four hour drive can be livened up by having a family sing-a-long of the latest Carly Rae Jepsen song. It's also extremely handy to know that, should I need to discuss something with my wife privately, all I have to do is turn on a little Flock of Seagulls and watch the kids scramble to plug their headphones into their iPads. I'm not sure if my kids aversion is to the techno-synth of the 80's or to the amount that I stretch my vocal limits while singing along, but either way I get the peace and quiet that I'm looking for.
It's not just the radio and digital downloads that provide the soundtrack to our journey though. We try and work as much live music as we can into our travels, but live music provides it's own set of challenges. I can preview a music track and know what my kids are about to be exposed to. It's a little tougher to know if a concert situation is going to provide an appropriate atmosphere for my children. I want my kids to get a chance to see their musical heroes live, but I don't need their childhood memories being things like Ozzy Ozbourne biting the head off a bat (Yeah, thanks for letting me go to that show Mom & Dad).
Still, we've done some of the groundwork and learned a few lessons. It seems like the least I can is to share that knowledge with you. Here's a quick look at some of the shows we've seen, and a child appropriateness score out of 10.
Is she a Disney princess? Are most of her songs about being yourself and trying your hardest? Is she dating Justin Bieber? If the answer to all of these questions is yes, then you're in about the safest place you can be. Ideal for pre-teens, it would have been a perfect score except for a three minute dance tribute to Britney Spears.
Child Appropriateness Level - 9/10
The bad news is that most of her songs are about romance and finding Mr. Right. The good news is that she'll set your daughter's standards so high that no boy will ever measure up. Her show is pretty safe, but loses marks for singing about stuff like sneaking out the bedroom window and hiding things from your parents. Selena would never do that to us.
Child Appropriateness Level - 8/10
The songs are fairly safe and catchy, but you know what happens when you put boys on a stage. A whole lot of silliness, crudeness, and plenty of posing designed to get the attention of the girls. Which must be hard when you look more like a church worship leader than a rock star.
Child Appropriateness Level - 6/10
Lets see...she sings about kissing girls, skinny dipping, and getting married in Vegas in a drunken haze, then she shoots whipped cream out of her bra. Actually, the whipped cream from her bra was in the video. In concert she uses a giant whipped cream cannon (which I may or may not be interested in purchasing from her now that the tour is over).
Child Appropriateness Level - 3/10
Don't. Just Don't.
Child Appropriateness Level - 0/10
Written by Steve Pratt