Wiggle your ears

A nationally known ’90s alternative rock group will headline the first, free “kindie” music festival Sunday at Bicentennial Park, 500 Couch, to promote health and fitness for the whole family.

Michigan-based band The Verve Pipe will perform songs from Are We There Yet?, its second full-length album of children’s music released in July following the group’s break into the genre in 2009 with A Family Album. The headliners, with six other musical acts, will provide a kid-friendly, indie-certified soundtrack to Wiggle Out Loud, a daylong outdoor festival from the mind of Sugar Free Allstars frontman Chris Wiser, of Oklahoma City.

“Our goal is to create an energized environment where families can play and be active together and enjoy great music and just spend the day in a gorgeous park in downtown Oklahoma City,” Wiser said in a media statement.

Rock act The Verve Pipe and others on the bill played for adult audiences for years before entering the world of kindie music, he said. The most significant change for those bands when playing for younger audiences is the lyrics, not the instrumentation.

For Brian Vander Ark, lead singer of The Verve Pipe, moving to a kid-friendly realm actually meant more freedom to experiment with sound and genre.

“With kids, you can pretty much do anything you want [musically],” said Vander Ark. “You can put an oboe in a rock song, and then kids who play oboe are going to go, ‘Oh my gosh! There’s an oboe in a rock song.’ So it’s that kind of freedom that we wanted.”

With two daughters of his own, Vander Ark said he easily found lyrical inspiration for Are We There Yet? tracks like “When Grandma Says No,” “It’s a Great Big World” and “Homework Blues Stomp.”

The Verve Pipe

“Kids don’t have any problems plugging their ears and running away screaming, so you have to get over that in the first place (when performing),” Vander Ark said. “It’s a harder audience to please.”

“We want to be able to show
families that they can attend a community event like this and be
physically active, eat healthy food that tastes great, exercise their
minds with art/ music activities and have a blast while doing it,” Wiser
said. “At the same time, it’s exciting for us to think that we may be
exposing our young audiences to styles of music they might not otherwise
have ever heard, and that they may someday actually want to seek out
music by the artists that have influenced us.”

Wiggle
Out Loud also will include hands-on art and music activities for
children, as well as parent and child yoga, a relay race and a scavenger
hunt.

Sunday’s lineup
will include the Red Dirt Rangers and live music on two stages with a
side stage for children performers. Find a full schedule at
wiggleoutloud.com.

Hey! Read This:
Sugar Free Allstars interview
Soundcheck: The Okee Dokee Brothers

Molly Evans

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