***The Sippy Cups*** DVD

If you're lamenting the fact that you never got to take your kids to see the Dead, or if you don't think your little ones are ready for a Flaming Lips show, don't get bummed, man, check out the Sippy Cups! In their first live DVD, Electric Storyland! Live at the Great American Music Hall, the band feature songs from their 2006 CD Electric Storyland!, an album that came in at #6 on the 2006 Fids and Kamily Poll.

The Cups also include on the DVD a new song, "Ladybug Beat", and a Ramones tribute from their first full-length album Kids Rock for Peas!, more or less a snapshot of their live show at the time, full of cover songs by the likes of Elton John, the Velvet Underground, War, the Beatles, the Monkees, and early Pink Floyd. In fact, the Sippy Cups cultivated their audience by putting on shows (but with a real live band) much like the Baby Loves Disco parties, where groovy oldies are played for family dancing fun.

And this ain't one of them one-camera, homemade deals, people: The whole thing was professionally and expertly directed and produced by Lou Weinert and Jim Iacona, and edited by Bob Sarles, filmed at San Francisco's Great American Music Hall, under Jeffrey Bihr's stage direction. The cynical might say nay to the Sippy Cups' over-the-top approach to kids' music, but hey, it looks like everybody is having a hell of a time! This is an incredibly interactive presentation, visually and performance-wise ... the band include members whose duties include juggling, unicycling, character portrayal (with lots of costume changes), and dancing, just dancing.

Equal parts carnival, magic show, vaudeville presentation, and musical happening, the Sippy Cups' concert dazzles the live audience and the viewers at home: Oversized puppets punctuate lyrics from several songs, a giant jellyfish glides gracefully across the stage, superheroes and robots make special appearances. Susan Verlander's illustrations fly superimposed across the screen while her husband Mark plays guitar and sings ... playfully trippy and impressively staged.

NOW, having said all that, the most important thing to remember about kids' music is ... TAKE YOUR CHILDREN TO SEE A LIVE SHOW! Nothing, not even the most mindblowing film of a concert, can beat hanging out with your kids while you listen to real music and watch musicians actually play their instruments. If it's a rainy afternoon, check out the Electric Storyland! DVD. Otherwise, take a walk to the nearest cafe, gazebo, park, or concert hall that features music for the whole family and rock out with your loved ones! I'm sure the Sippy Cups would agree.

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