This weekend in New York City, Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth is evidently slated to give a lecture to kids between the ages of eight and twelve titled "A Dissertation on White Noise." This news got us to thinking: What other musicians would we like to see teaching our children? We came up with a few other possibilities after the jump.
10. Cee-Lo (Gnarls Barkley, solo) Okay, this might seem a little creepy at first, what with the whole "run children, run for your life" line from that Gnarls Barkley song "Run," but the more we think about it, Cee-Lo strikes us as a giant teddy bear that's totally probably pretty awesome with kids. And call us, ahem, crazy, but we're guessing he'd give a lecture that at least -- if not more so -- engaging than "A Dissertation on White Noise."
09. Karen O Karen O already looks like an elementary school art teacher. So she's got that going for her. And the way we figure it, combine that look with her soundtrack to Where the Wild Things Are, and you have a gal ready to teach kids about stuff that's a hell of a lot more interesting than noise, uh, like maps.
08. Jónsi (Sigur Rós, solo) There aren't many artists in the world that exemplify child-like innocence as much as Jónsi does. Sure, we have no idea what half of his songs are even about, but someone with this much whimsy is bound to be a good with kids -- even if he gives awkward interviews.
07. Jonathan Coulton Jonathan Coulton is an unabashed dork, and that's okay. Kids love that shit. Sure the song above features a hefty F-bomb, but science is science, dammit! And besides that, we'd love to see what Coulton conjures up to get kids interested in stuff like programming and the Mandlebrot Set.
06. Emanuel Lundgren (I'm From Barcelona) If there is a catchier, cuter or more adorable song written by an adult about the joys of building a treehouse, we haven't heard it -- and frankly, we don't want to. This one is damn near perfect and more than enough suggest that Lundgren would make a fantastic guest teacher at an art school.
05. Mos Def If Mos Def the actor has proven anything, it's that he can be serious and quirky all in the same breath. And children love quirky dudes, especially the sort that can toss up a faux-British accent. Step that up with his great story-telling and rhyming abilities, and you have yourself a great teacher.
04. John K Samson (Weakerthans) There is something comforting about Samson's voice. Sure, last time we saw him, he was smoking weird Canadian cigarettes and talking about politics, but you know what? He can weave a pretty darn good yarn. The Weakerthans music videos (some of which contain first person penguin dancing) are always adorable. So really, we can forgive the smoking.
03. John Flansburgh and John Linell (They Might Be Giants) File this one under: Obvious. These dudes make rock music as well as they make children's music. Give them a collection of children, and we're pretty certain the kids are going to have a great time and even learn some stuff.
2. Daniel Smith (Danielson) If gigantic felt costumes don't scream ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PLAY, then we don't know what does. Besides, we're pretty sure Daniel Smith is about the most wholesome rocker on this list -- you know, if that's something you care about.
01. Tom Waits There is nobody else on the planet we'd want teaching our children on a day-to-day basis than Tom Waits. Sure, that might sound a little weird, but he's like the creepy, but not too creepy, uncle that tells weird stories. His stories are funny, too, and full of strange absurdities that could only make sense to a child. Don't believe us? Listen to the second disc of Glitter and Doom. Case in point: "I've never known a shrimp to give anything to charity ... basically they're shell fish."
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.