One of the other dads bends down to hear my daughter over the band’s acoustic euphony. She blurts out her excitement, her phone chord curls bouncing in time with the beat.

“{{I have magic in my hands and I can touch the walls and turn them different colors but ACTually the magic is in my WHOLE body and if I want to I can BLAST it all out but there will always be moooore!}}”

She improvs a pirouette and darts back to reunite with the gaggle of kids hopping and twirling and otherwise gettin’ down at the foot of the stage, their faces painted in bliss.

At-Home Dad Matters

My weather app lied to us today and we couldn’t be more pleased. The week’s humidity lifted and an early gray has moved away.  Above us there is just Crayola “Sky Blue” and a pristine mid-summer sunlight colors Redwood City’s Courthouse Square. Onstage, Alison Faith Levy rocks the Kidchella Family Music Festival, showering her audience in bubbles and sweet sound; the band decked out in bright, inspiring colors that stimulate the young imaginations in the crowd.

SF Dads Group

Images via: The indefatigable Andy Z

Unbeknownst to us, Redwood City’s Public Library and Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department put on Kidchella last year, too, and my guess is this year’s won’t be the last.  In fact, the amazing Kindie concert we caught was just the second in this summer’s three part series. When I first heard about it, I immediately set about scheduling the event as a Meetup for our SF Dads Group. Ten of us dads were able to make it out with our kids.

We met outside the Fox Theatre across from Courthouse Square and made our way into the gathering crowd just as Andy Z wrapped up his solo opening set and Alison Faith Levy and her Big Time Tot Rock band launched into their inevitably crowd-pleasing, “Like A Spinning Top.”  My toddler, J, was beyond elated as all of the parents and kids were compelled to spin, jump, wiggle and fly, in turn, as per the song’s instructions. If, like me, you hadn’t heard of Alison Faith Levy or the Kindie Rock movement, then you’re welcome. And you’re late. Lace up your sneakers and spin, jump, wiggle, and fly your way into this super groovy, kid tested, and Dada approved, genre.

From Alison’s website: “Alison Faith Levy, best known as “Sippy Alison” of legendary kindie trailblazers The Sippy Cups and the songwriter behind such Sippy hits as Magic Toast, The Jellyfish, Move Your Pants and One Day Soon, is a beloved children’s performer, bandleader, composer and educator based in the San Francisco Bay Area. 
After spending five years criss-crossing the country with the psychedelic rock n’ roll circus for kids that was The Sippy Cups, performing in such venues such as Symphony Space in NYC, Lollapalooza, House of Blues, Central Park Summerstage and Austin City Limits, Alison Faith Levy took a break from performing for children and found success with her “grown-up” Americana band, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, with songwriting partner Victor Krummenacher (of Camper Van Beethoven). They performed with the likes of Rosanne Cash, Cracker, and Built to Spill, and released an acclaimed album Time for Leaving.”

It wasn’t just her rock cred and stage presence that blew us away. Alison Faith Levy keeps it real for the kids. She “saw” my selfie request and “raised” me a whole-group photo.

SF Dads Group

SF Dads Group


Together with band mates John Moremen, Karla Kane, Khoi Huynh and Josh Pollock,  Alison Faith Levy jammed through her spectacular set list while my daughter and the rest of the knee-high throng boogied with abandon. There were kiddy ditties like, “Move Your Pants” and “One More Cupcake.” Her lively but precise rendition of “Yellow Submarine” held us parents in rapt, nostalgic, attention. The giant inflated slide and jumpy house just outside the courtyard became afterthoughts as kids and parents alike lost themselves in the magic of the music.

Rest assured The At-Home Toddler Daughter and I will be frequenting scenes like these, often, from now on.  As newly appointed Co-Organizer for SF Dads Group, a City Dads Group affiliate, (Did I mention that? I smell another blog post!) I will be rallying the troops to family-friendly events like these all over the Bay Area, including our upcoming event at CuriOdyssey in San Mateo.

If you are an active, doting dad in or around the San Francisco Bay Area, or know someone who is, consider joining SF Dads Group here. Like and follow and share our organization on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to help us get the word out about modern fatherhood.

To hear more of, from and about Alison Faith Levy, click here, here and here.

To hear more of, from and about opening act and next month’s Kidchella headliner Andy Z, click here, here and here.

We hope to catch you at a show! (Hint, hint.)

Ciao for now,

Dada Mike.