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Apgar says he feels that it’s important to fashion songs that will also please parents and teachers. “Having layers to the songwriting really helps. ‘The Simpsons’ had an additional layer of writing that was clearly over the heads of the kids, aimed at the grown-ups watching. So I try to have multiple layers to my storytelling. That’s a key difference between kids music in this day and age and kid music of 20, 30 years ago. “I love images, words that paint a picture in your mind. That’s something that I go for, whether it’s a kids song or a grown-up song.”.
Seattle-based Harmonica Pocket dance sneakers with arch support is playing California for the first time, Their dates include a free family show at Outer Space in Los Altos, They’ll be performing as a duo — Keeth Apgar and his wife, Nala Walla, Guitar, ukulele and vocal harmonies are the music’s main ingredients, Apgar says, “Nala, my partner and wife, is a hula hoop and dance artist, so she sprinkles in all sorts of really fun stuff.”, The show they’re performing is called “A Is For Apple.” It features many songs from their newest release “Apple Apple.” Among the album’s clever, catchy highlights are “Diaperman,” “Monkey Love,” “Bare Feet,” “Apple Eyes” and “Supermoon.”..
“I wouldn’t call it a concept album,” says Apgar, “but there is a very loose thread. Many of them are nature-based tunes, songs that reflect on playing outside or growing food or eating food, things like that.”. Interactivity is part of the show’s design. “We try to find creative ways to really engage the kids, and their grown-ups, to get involved, to sing along with the tunes, to count, participate in call-and-response. We want it to be fun for everybody. We want to enjoy it ourselves, because, when the musicians on stage are smiling and laughing, it makes it more enjoyable for the audience.”.
Originally from New York, Apgar, 37, was attracted to glam and Van Halen in his youth, But he was drawn to the softer tunes, the power ballads on those records, That grew into an appreciation for acoustic music, In high school, he began writing songs, admiring the quirky tunes of David Lowery (Camper Van Beethoven, Cracker), Harmonica Pocket began in 1999, The lineup varies, often featuring drums and bass, sometimes a saxophonist, Their excursion into children’s music began as a happy accident, Apgar says, “In 2004, I was visiting a neighbor, and she was having tea with a friend, She said, ‘Oh, Keeth, you play music, come sit down and have a cup of tea with us.’ This acquaintance was the director of a preschool and they had recently had a cancellation of one of their performers, so they needed a sub on short notice, They asked if I would do it, So I said, ‘Sure.’ I didn’t dance sneakers with arch support really know what it was all about, but Nala and I assembled, as best we could, what we thought would be fun and interesting, And that was our first kids show..
“After the show, the school director came up and said, ‘Wow! That was the best 60-minute performance we’ve ever had here. You guys are amazing!’ We just shook her hand. But on the way home, we were laughing, going, ‘Really?’ We just put a bit of thought into it and went out and had fun.”. Now occasionally teaching music, Apgar had worked in a preschool for a while. “That part of my life, my childhood, was beautiful and magical, so it was a big pleasure to revisit that time, to get down on the carpet and play with bugs and play monster. I remember coming home from those early days, working at that preschool, and saying to Nala, ‘I can’t believe they’re paying me to do this! It’s so fun.'”.
He finds that education works both ways, “I learn so much, not only basic stuff, but big personal observations about myself and how I treat other people, It’s definitely not a one-way street, being a teacher.”, Harmonica Pocket continues to perform adult shows, as well, “I decided a few years ago, when things started getting more serious with kids music, that I would just keep one band, basically like They Might Be Giants, They have their kids material and they have their grown-up material, And it’s all released under the same band name, Just because I’m an indie artist and dance sneakers with arch support totally DIY operation, I decided it was too much to manage two brands.”..
Apgar and Walla live on a tiny island, 90 minutes outside of Seattle. “We have a big garden,” he says. “I’ve planted a lot of trees. We get rainwater off our roof. We have a little solar electric system.”. They also have a 2½-year-old son, Montana. Apgar says, “I’m not a scientist, but I know that the brain, in all of its developmental stages, really responds to music, the sounds. I notice it a lot with my own son. When he was in utero, we were playing, taking time to actually play him music a lot while he was in the belly, and also after he was born. And he just loves it. He has a ukulele and a little electric guitar. Music is just a part of his life. It’s a creative way for kids to play, to actually have their hands on an instrument. Toddlers are famous for wanting to use their hands. And I think it’s great to put an instrument in the hands, really, of any age human being.
“For kids, it’s a great way for them to spend their time and work on muscle coordination, learning chords on a piano or guitar fretboard and just experimenting.”, Apgar says, “We hear from parents how a song or an album of ours has become a part of their family’s life, for instance, part of the bedtime routine, dance sneakers with arch support That blows me away, gives me chills, leaves me with a sparkly feeling, That’s a sweet thing for any artist to hear, that their music had made an impact on somebody.”..