My So Charmed Life

The Naked Brothers Band + Other Hip Stuff for Kids



Last night Molly planned a TV date for us that included viewing The Naked Brothers Band movie on Nickelodeon Teen Teen Nick (says Molly, gosh mom quit embarrassing me) and the consumption of delicious baked apples, made earlier in the day (core apple, stuff with as much butter, brown sugar, cranberries & walnuts as possible and bake at 375 for 1-1.5 hrs depending on how soft you like them), then warmed up in the microwave. YUM. If I’m discovering this movie late, I apologize; I see it was released in 05, and I don’t know how I missed it. INGENIUS, hilarious, sweet and seriously rocking. If you have kids, or ever were a kid, do not miss this flick

I think most kids either want to be in a rock band at some point or at least hang out with kids who want to… and this movie (as well as the series which is coming to Nick soon) treats you to a mockumentary style send-up of those heady days. The film, by Polly Draper, stars her two sons Nat and Alex Wolff, ages 9 and 6 respectively. For my money, Alex, the drummer who wears a do-rag, steals the show. When asked how they boys came up with the band’s name they answer: Well, we liked playing music. And we were naked. And we’re brothers. The humor is sharp and deadpan, and the music is sweetly adorable.

My 1960’s suburban version of this story was hanging out in the garage across the street where some “older boys” practiced in their band, Steel Tangerine. Leader, Brad, was super sexy and we all had crushes on him. The Tangerine played at my bat-mitzvah party (incuding their 20 minute cover of Innagaddadavida Baby), a major throwdown held poolside at the Columbus, Ohio, Howard Johnson’s where the indoor pool was housed under an enoroums clear bubble. I kid you not, I am not making this up. Unfortunately, at that very party, the star of the show (moi) got into some serious trouble, but that’s another story for another time.


Another movie we’ve been into is Dinsey Channels Jump In, which is really just their “urban” (read: the actors are black and the film is shot with grittier [for Disney anyway] grafittied city rather than squeaky clean suburban sets) version of the ubiquitous and mostly intolerable Highschool Musical. Jump In is much better, and chronicles the trials of a rather lame all-girl double-dutch team whose boring routines are saved by Izzy, played by Brooklynite teen Corbin Bleu, who we think is trés awesome (see above) . Grown-ups will reasonably enjoy the movie once all the way through, but during successive viewings (if you have children you know they can watch stuff like hundreds of times until you want to kill yourself) bail out until the last scenes of the big double-dutch competition, which are wild and incredible to watch. Go Corbin! It’s Disney, so it’s not possible to call this film hip, but it has its moments.


Then there’s the über hip Pancake Mountain starring a puppet named Rufus Leaking (above), not a movie, but a local DC-cable TV show that is available on DVD and really worth the bucks. Filmed at cool live music venues around town when bands are here to play shows, PM features dance parties for kids ages 3+, skits, and lots of goofy fun. And the band line-up is most excellent, including Subways, Shonen Knife, and the Go! Team, to name just a few. Molly and I attended the taping of the Go! Team show at the Black Cat, and it was fun. Fortunately, ear plugs were handed out… I’ve NEVER in my life heard music played so ear-bloodyingly LOUD. Please, if you take your kids to rock shows, be a smart mommy and bring ear plugs; it’s actually even more dangerous for their hearing than for yours.

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