Wham Bam Thank You Fam kicked off its first family friendly daytime disco last month. After a sell-out debut, the Wham Bam Thank You Fam team (Laneway Festival co-founder Jerome Borazio and Mikey Cahill aka DJ Joey Lightbulb) are throwing another one in October. Kids get DJ lessons, are allowed to draw on walls with Sharpies, make their own pizzas, do a Sprouts Yoga session and dance like it's their first rave. Here, DJ Joey Lightbulb shares his top five songs for kids that aren't kids songs.
Frontier Psychiatrist – The Avalanches
This is an irresistibly childish record. Before The Avalanches and Dexter [Fabay] had an almighty falling out this song cast him as an elusive truant; subverting hip hop braggadocio for actual old school cred. The title comes from a Wayne and Schuster spoken word album from 1959 and kids get caught up imitating ghosts, cowboys, a loquacious parrot, even a talking turtle. Makes The Wiggles sound weak.
Frontier Psychiatrist was part of the “plunderphonics” genre at the time, a pigeonhole which, like Fudge hair product, LCM breakfast bars and the word “chillax”, has thankfully fucked right off. The Avalanches' Robbie Chater and Tony Di Blasi dropped it at Primavera Sound laaate in 2016 and it turned tired festival goers into pogoing kids. Tension, meet release:
Like Some Dream I Can’t Stop Dreaming – Daniel Wang
This wild house jam got another lease on life 19 years after its release when Aziz Ansari tweeted in 2010: “Listen to Daniel Wang - Like Some Dream (I Can't Stop Dreaming).” Little people are taken aback when you hit them with this – the yelping, punk vocal gives them the heebie jeebies. Then they ask to hear it again because it scares them and they like that and then everyone is dancing to house music all *night long.
Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter
*afternoon with several breaks.
Apartment – Custard
Similar to Wang’s whelping Whamthem, Custard’s 1995 smash is full of shrill, ai-yi-yi-yi cuckoo moments. Evidence? The second lap of the following line (which omits the word “lonely” for maximum swinging-on-a-Tarzan-rope-into-a-lake exhilaration): “I’ve got a new apartment baby and it protects me from the whistling… STREEEETS!” Dave McCormack really catch us off guard and, um, HELLO McCormack is Bluey’s dad. Play this banger to a Bluey fan and then tell them its Bandit Heeler and you’ve got yourself a Custard fan for life (take that Jimmy Giggle).
Flat Beat – Mr Oizo
Mad respect for so many Rage guest programmers picking this jerky gem. I recall hearing it at a loose Berwick house party when I was still in my teens and it tearing my head straight off when the drop kicked in: “bwarrr bwarrr bwarrrr bwarrr." The clip is the clincher, kids love puppets and Flat Eric is a mustard colour, post-Kermit, cabana smoking, record label OG. Youngsters imitate his head banging until they're dizzy. Flat Eric gave no fucks before giving no fucks was a thing.
Suffragette City – David Bowie
Kids love David Bowie. Both my daughters Juno (6) and Romy (2) pore over our giant Thin White Duke books, asking “Is it all the same man and woman?” Suffragette City has instant urgency, a call and response “Hey man”, a sick-yet-steady guitar chug and Bowie inventing a new way to compliment a woman: “Well she’s a total blam blam.” The piano gets the bairns up and about and little tackers love the fake ending which rah-heally goes up a notch: “Ahhhhh, wham bam thank you ma’am.” Nice segue...
Wham Bam 2: Rocktober Edition, The Line & Lickety Splits takes place at 2 Yewers St, Footscray on 6 October. Tickets are on sale now (entry is free for adults with any children's ticket purchased). Head to theGuide for all the info.