Baby Jams


Today we’re surviving children’s music. While some children’s music is better than others, most of it can drive you crazy after multiple listens. To find out how to keep our musical sanity after children, we turn to Townsquare 49 contributor, local DJ, and brand new father Spencer Shroyer.

Shroyer is a new father of twins.

DJ SpencerLee
DJ Spencer Lee takes his ways with music to the crib.

“They’re doing great. It’s kind of funny because the last time I was in here we were talking about Valentine’s Day music, which is essentially baby making music. And now I’m back and we’re talking about music for babies,” Shroyer laughed.

Shroyer, who also goes by the name DJ Spencer Lee, has been thinking about music for his boys ever since he found out he was going to be a dad. His wife wouldn’t let him do the headphones-on-the-belly thing while she was pregnant, but he did sing to them.

“I don’t know why but it was stuck in my head and I thought it would be sort of funny to sing The Eagle’s ‘Hotel California’ to them. Like the Hotel California, they were stuck in a situation; in my wife’s stomach for a while,” Shroyer said.

And now that his sons have arrived, he’s been thinking about the music he’s going to play for them. They’re only about two weeks old, but he’s already made his first baby playlist.

Check it out here:

“I thought about music specifically made for kids. So I found some psych-rock from the ’60s, and a cool Chromeo song that’s kind of contemporary that they did on Yo Gabba Gabba. I just put stuff on there that wouldn’t drive me crazy and that the kids could sing along with.”

But Shroyer says as fun as these mixes are he’s not going to shy away from playing his music for his kids, even when they get a little bigger.

“I think that’s good to school them on the classics. I’m going to do that in an annoying parental way. They might roll their eyes, but I’ll say ‘alright, here is where we go through the first four Led Zeppelin albums, because this is part of your musical education.’”

Shroyer says you could get away with playing most classic artists for your kids.

The adult content is often subtle, and if the kiddoes end up liking it, everybody wins. No “Wheels on the Bus” over and over again.

“Like the Beatles or the Rolling Stones. I think there’s plenty of stuff in those catalogs that your kids could dig and that you could listen to. Even if they’re older it wouldn’t be potentially offensive, although you don’t want to play some Rolling Stones songs. You don’t want to play ‘Some Girls.’”

And that brings up an interesting point; we all have “that song” or “that album” we never want our children listening to. And for someone like Shroyer who has literally thousands of records strewn across his house, he’s ready for the worst.

What albums might someday make the kids say, ‘wow,my dad is into some weird stuff’?

“There are some land mines in there. I think if the kids find a 2 Live Crew record, something that was basically built on shock value, that could be crazy,” Shroyer said.

“My mom would not be happy about that; her grandkids listening to 2 Live Crew.”

But Shroyer says you don’t have to give up the music you love for fear of enraging grandmas, or scaring your kids. He suggests buying edited albums on iTunes, or in some cases, just getting creative.

“I have a friend who is a huge Metallica fan. He and his wife are expecting a kid now, and I’m thinking ‘what is he going to play for his kid?’ Because he’s going to need his Metallica fix. He probably will do some of that symphonic Metallica. They have classical music covers of Metallica, and that would be a good way for him to introduce his kid to what he’s into.”

“And then you pull out …And Justice For All after they’re used to hearing the orchestral version and then boom, you might blow their minds.”

On second thought, maybe just stick with “Wheels on the Bus.”

Faubion Waldron

Dave Waldron began his radio career in 2000 as a volunteer DJ at UAA’s radio station KRUA 88.1, where he hosted a weekend music show. In 2004 he was hired as the station’s music director, and held the position until his graduation in 2007. He was hired by Alaska Public Media in 2008 and since then has worked as an audio engineer, editor, and producer. He currently runs his own small business AK Audio Pro, and is a host of Alaska Public Media’s Hometown, Alaska.

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