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The Boogers And Play Date Make Punk Rock For Kids

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The kids' music scene reminds me a bit of the punk rock movement — both are steeped in a DIY attitude and unconcerned with mainstream success. So it was probably inevitable that punk — in all its forms — would find its way into kids' music.

Chicago-area band The Boogers are one group combining the two genres. The Boogers are old school: three, maybe four chords, with songs clocking in at about two minutes. On the band's latest album, Extractum Victoris, the influence of The Ramones is impossible to miss, but chief songwriter and parent Paul Crowe also has a Ph.D. in developmental psychology, so there's a positive message to go with all that pogo-ing.

Families who prefer their punk mixed with pop may find the debut album from Play Date more appealing. The band is fronted by the lead singer of New Jersey punk stalwarts The Bouncing Souls, but Play Date's album, Imagination, features a less aggressive sound. Gone is the rebellious attitude of punk — Imagination features songs about numbers, letters and daydreaming.

For parents who grew up on The Clash, Green Day and other punk bands, these albums are another way to share that musical passion with their own kids. But genre aside, there's always been a strong sense of self-discovery and independence in good kids' music, and both of these albums have that for the punk rocker in training.

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