No Depression, The Roots Music Authority

No Depression, The Roots Music Authority, May 2013

There are bands and there are bands, but occasionally there are BANDS and No Small Children are right now proving that they are one of those. Elementary school teachers by day, they toss off the persona of schoolmar’m at night, donning pretty dresses, plugging in amps and rocking the various dives and bars to submission. Three ladies, not young (indeed, their song “Dear Youth” flat out states that age is just a number— “Who knew that forty-two could be so grand” are the words they use), rock like exuberant teens or maybe just because they love life. And music. The gods have a special place for people like this: The Top Ten. Not Billboard’s Top Ten. That was a joke a good twenty years ago. Your Top Ten and lets’ face it, these days, that’s the one that really counts.

I’ve been writing about these ladies for a number of months now and before that was writing about The Lisa Parade, Lisa Parade’s previous band. There is something about her that impresses the hell out of me and I kept talking her up among friends until they stopped listening.

Well, they’re listening now! Early in May, Lisa posted a song which by all rights should be right now climbing the charts and would be, if charts had any credibility these days. “Might Get Up Slow” is a rockin’ upper of a song, pounding rhythms and soulful vocals and screaming guitar daring you to try not to tap your foot or bop your head or, in my case, dance! That’s right. It even has an old fossil like myself careening around rooms, knocking things off of tables and sloshing beer on the carpet. You know how music people are always talking about the anthem of the summer? THIS IS IT!!! And if you think that’s overstating it, listen to this: Yeah. Listen to THAT a few times and tell me I’m wrong!

“Might Get Up Slow” is the first of what I hope will be a full albums worth of No Small Children. Up to now, they have given us the five-song EP Dear Youth, a study in… in… damned if I know. Straight on rock with a side of punk and one absolutely exhilarating rock anthem written by Lisa’s friend Jilly Blackstone, a cohort in their early band, Heidi. The production on the song (and indeed on the whole EP) is top-o’-the-line, if you get my drift, and is a more than fitting tribute to Jilly, who left us this before she rocked off this mortal coil.

Now, I know that there are those of you who question the promotion of music through this site. I get it. If I had some connection to the band or just wanted to help them sell albums, I wouldn’t write this. Truth is, I am doing this for you, my fine feathered friends, because these days it isn’t easy to find the good stuff among the mountainous piles of CDs and downloads and, yes (thank the gods), vinyl. I’m giving you a gift, just like No Small Children has given me. To say it is the gift of music is not enough for me. It is more than that. They give me hope. No negative messages, just good music. And in the case of “Might Get Up Slow”, great music. You have to hear it to get it. Consider it a dare.