OK, it's not exactly brand spanking new, but until the whole world is listening to No!, I refuse to rest. To fans of goofball omni-pop --- both of us --- They Might Be Giants are giants, and need no introduction. For the rest of you, TMBG are Johns Flansburgh and Linnell, strange men who play lots of instruments and write very silly songs with titles like "Road Movie to Berlin" and "Statue Got me High." They put lots of songs on every CD, and then give you more on their website (www.tmbg.com).
No! is their first CD explicitly for children, but listening to it and reflecting back, it's clear that John and John have always been headed in this direction ("Birdhouse in Your Soul" from Flood is the greatest rock lullaby ever). So, here we have songs about broken clocks, robots, balloons, violin lessons, grocery bags, and going to bed, delivered in a monstrous variety of styles with good humor and aplomb.
It's my two-year-old's favorite CD. It's my five-year-old's favorite CD. It's my eight-year-old's favorite CD. My 12-year-old niece, halfway through hearing it for the first time, pronounced it, "the best CD ever." After a year of hearing it almost every day, I'm not sick of it. It is, proverbially, fun for the whole family.
On the opening cut, they sing, "Here on Fibber Island, no one sings along," but, well, they're lying. You will.
--- Adam A. Wilcox
This week for families:
Cool Kids Thurs, Sept 16. Wild wings, Genesee Community College, 1 College Rd, Batavia, 7 p.m. Free. 637-3984, www.generationcool.biz
Hispanic Month Events Wed, Sept 22. Hispanic heritage night, Carter St. Community Center, 500 Carter St, 6-8 p.m. 428-7890
Interfaith Forum Essay Contest Deadline: Oct 29. Theme: Building community, bridging our differences, grades 9-12. Info: www.ggw.org/buildingcommunity
My School's a Zoo Sun, Sept 18. Book signing and discussion with author Stu Smith, Barnes and Noble, 3349 Monroe Ave, 2 p.m. Free. 586-6020
RMSC Strasenburgh Planetarium 657 East Ave. Pink Floyd Laser: Sat 9 p.m.; A Trip to Saturn and Pluto: Sat 1 p.m.; Pulse: A Stomp Odyssey: Wed-Fri 4 p.m.; Sat 2, 3, 4, 8 p.m.; Sun 1, 2, 3, 4 p.m.; I See the Sky: Sat 9:30 a.m.; The Sky Tonight: Sat 10:30 a.m.; Tix: $4-$7. 271-1880
Rochester Museum and Science Center 657 East Ave. BUBLT Project Mission, Sat, Sept 18, underwater science, ages 12 and up, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. 473-7112. $16, $13 kids | Surprise! It's Science, through May 2005. | Rochester's Frederick Douglass, through January 2006. | Live Science! demos and theater, Wed-Fri 3:30 p.m.; Sat 2, 3, 4 p.m.; Sun 1:30, 2:30, 3:30 p.m. Sat 3 p.m. show sign-interpreted. | Ongoing exhibits include: AdventureZone, Carlson Inquiry Room, At the Western Door. | Hours: Mon-Sat 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun 12-5 p.m. Tix: $5-$7. 271-1880, www.rmsc.org.
Seneca Park Zoo 2222 St Paul St. Family Bunk with the Beasts, Sat, Sept 18, 5:30 p.m.-9 a.m. $20 kids, $18 adults. Preregister. | Christopher's Teddy Bear Parade, Sat, Sept 18, 1-4 p.m. | Hours: daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tix: $5, $4 seniors, $2 kids. 467-9453, www.senecazoo.org.
Strong Museum 1 Manhattan Square. Zoom, zoom, zoom, Sat, Sept 18, trucks day, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. | Long-term exhibits include National Toy Hall of Fame, Can You Tell Me How To Get To Sesame Street? and Super Kids Market. Hours: Mon-Thurs 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Fri 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun 12-5 p.m. Tix: $7; $6 seniors, students; $5 children. 263-2700
Am I my mother?
My husband, Rob, is turning into his father, Jack. I've seen it coming for years, but it was made clear during a recent family walk. Rob and his dad strolled a few paces ahead of my mother-in-law, our daughters, and me. Suddenly, we broke into laughter at the sight of these men, one an identical but younger version of the other.
Both walked with hands thrust into pockets of shorts that skimmed the tops of knees. Their socks --- one pair white, the other, black --- poked out of the tops of their sneakers. Their walk, posture, and even the way they tilted their heads as they chatted were all so similar.
Pet phrases of Jack's like, "Golly Ned" and, "and stuff like that" are creeping into Rob's vocabulary. I've even seen Rob wandering around the yard, hands in pockets, looking around for the next project or inspiration, just like his father.
Rob is quick to point out that I am also becoming my mother --- in looks, speech and mannerisms. We've come to the conclusion that this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Our parents are fine role models, if a little bit goofy.
Our children are amused by our gradual transformations. But just in case they enjoy it too much, I like to remind them that they too are a part of this gene pool, and their children will have the last laugh.
--- Marjorie Sangster Rolleston