Fun.

With all of this chilly weather, we need something to keep us in high spirits, and Booker T. does just the job with his song "Fun" off of the most recent album "Sound the Alarm" released in June of 2013. At 69 years old, Booker T. Jones is still in full force as a soul musician, the career he started at the age of 16.

This song doesn't have any vocals, other than the backup singers, singing "Fun, fun" throughout the course of the tune. Who needs more lyrics when the musicianship and composition are so great? Find yourself back in the 60's with this one, a song that's almost impossible to not dance along to.

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Remember the good old days?  When everybody got up early and started working?  Even the kids?

Well, today on Cool Kids, we've got a song that celebrates good, old fashioned hard work.

The band Freelance Whales released their debut album Weathervanes in 2009 and it chronicles childhood memories and adult dreams of bandleader Judah Dadone.  Today's selection, "Generator ^ First Floor", builds in intensity and features a pleasing voice and and even pleasing-er banjo riff.

Watch Freelance Whales perform "Generator ^ First Floor" for NPR at SXSW in 2010:

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Today's Cool Kids selection comes from Ingrid Michaelson's 2009 album Everybody.  The record features 12 "completely autobiographical snapshots of her life".

The title track is one of the brightest, most memorable songs on the album and coveys a pretty universal sentiment:  Everybody wants to be loved.  It's a great song to sing along to and Michaelson's soothing voice will give you a warm feeling all over.

Watch Ingrid Michaelson and her band perform the song "Everybody" live on the Rachael Ray Show:

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The catchiest (and usually the most memorable) part of a pop song is the refrain.  It’s usually the easiest part of a song to sing along to and we know that kids looooove to sing along!

Today’s Cool Kids selection comes from the Swedish band The Cardigans and features one of the catchiest and most fun refrains in all of pop music to sing along to.  Yes, we’re talking about “Lovefool” with its simple, yet profound cry of “love me, love me, say that you love me!”  This song became an international hit after being featured in the Baz Luhrmann’s “Romeo + Juliet” film in 1996.

Take a listen (and shout along) to The Cardigans’ “Lovefool”:

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It comes as no surprise that children love reggae.  The genre's mix of rhythm and blues, jazz and rocksteady with hints of African and Latin American influences is naturally suited to dancing.  And we all know that kids love to dance!

If you're ready to introduce your child to the wonderful world of reggae music, a great song to start with is "Three Little Birds" by Bob Marley & The Wailers.  Originally released in 1977 on their album Exodus, this song has become timeless.  The song is thought to be inspired by birds that would visit Marley's home when he was a child.

This is a fun song to move to and its theme of "every little thing is gonna be alright" is a wonderful message to help calm a young, worried mind.

Listen to Bob Marley & The Wailers "Three Little Birds":

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The Cars' most popular party song - Shake It Up - is pretty popular among the younger set, as well.

Today we heard from Sarah Harmon, a listener from Baden, who told us about her son Gideon's love of dancing:

"My 4 year old son Gideon and I love dancing to the entire Cars greatest hits collection, but the song that really gets him shaking his groove thing, and all of his friends', is Shake It Up by The Cars. I've yet to meet a child who's bum doesn't start shaking when that song starts."

Take a listen - and shake it up - with your cool kid!

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Article-699920-fun2013

 

For the second time in two years fun. has graced Pittsburgh’s Stage AE with their presence.  The first time around, back in 2011, fun. performed a sold-out indoors show.  Although fun. has not released any new material recently, they have gained much recognition and grown significantly in popularity.  In the last two years, fun. have toured all across the US, performed at major festivals, and most importantly won two GRAMMY awards – for both Best New Artist (for Some Nights) and Song of the Year (We Are Young).

fun. brought the synth-pop rock duo Tegan and Sara along with them this time.  For those who are unaware, Tegan and Sara have been around the block.  The Canadian sisters have been making music since 1995.  That being said, the duo brought the skill and overall musical tightness that you would expect from a tenured band.  The duo fed off the energy from the sold-out Stage AE crowd.  From what I saw, most of the crowd was familiar with Tegan and Sara’s material.  The crowd sang along loud and proud during the duo’s set.  Tegan and Sara also both exclaimed their excitement and gratitude to be opening for fun..  Tegan and Sara’s set included a lot of their well-known songs including “Living Room,” “Closer,” and “Drive Me Wild.”

After a high-energy performance by Tegan and Sara, fun. took the stage.  The upbeat indie rockers came out on stage with a bang, opening with “Some Nights (Intro)” and going straight into “One Foot.”  fun. brought their full bag of tricks with them.  Lead singer, Nate Ruess had the crowd in the palm of his hand from the second he took the stage til the final encore.  The entire crowd was singing along with every lyric.  Fun. played a set that was almost an even split between their debut album Aim and Ignite and their critically acclaimed Some Nights.  fun. did not limit themselves to just their album material though.  After Ruess commented on the gradual transformation and expansion of the band’s fan base, they broke into an impromptu cover of Carlos Santana’s “Smooth.”   Ruess also acknowledged that Jimmy Buffet was in town performing and the band went into a cover of their own and no, it was not Margaritaville, it was Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”  After performing their mega hit “We Are Young,” fun. left the stage for the first time.  After only letting a few minutes pass, fun. came out and performed “Some Nights” and closed out with “Stars.”  fun. more than lived up to the expectation anybody in the crowd could have had going into the concert, myself included.  In a night where the Pittsburgh Symphony was performing the music of Led Zeppelin and the icon Jimmy Buffet were also in town, those who were fortunate enough to attend the sold-out fun. show were treated an outstanding concert and treated to quite a fun time.  Sorry.  I had to...

-- Drew Frichtel

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