Reviewed by Ali
Grady and I saw the Alphabeticians play once over the summer at Mocha Momma’s coffee shop. We all had a blast, including Grady. (You can tell by his “please stop trying to take my picture mom I’m listening!” look.)
So we had been meaning to see The Alphabeticians again for a while now, and finally got a chance to catch them at Flying Cat Coffee this morning. (I’ve written about Flying Cat Coffee before here - it’s a fun coffee shop with great coffee, food, and atmosphere – you should go.)
Mr. E and Mr. Hoo – who together make up the Alphabeticians – are two local dads. They have a casual vibe together. You can tell that they are great friends by their friendly riffing on each other and easy back-and-forths.
Their easy manner extends to their interactions with the kids. For instance, at the show today they managed to get a few kids up to the front of the stage to make their scariest monster faces! (They were pretty scary, too!) Their vibe works, and they have gotten quite a following, as you can see by the legions of groupies at their feet here.
The picture doesn’t capture how completely packed the space was today. Kids were stretched all the way to the back of the shop – it was quite a scene!
The Alphabeticians perform some classic songs, like I’ve Been Working on the Railroad (complete with train whistle). But they perform mainly original songs. They live up to their name by playing a number of alphabet-related songs, and even one or two where they sing the alphabet backwards! They also sing songs about metaphors, monsters, and staying up too late, among others.
Their style is reminscent of They Might Be Giants - they have a similar sound – slightly nasally with tight harmonies. But they most resemble them with their smart, funny lyrics. Some of the songs are laugh-out-loud funny. Here are my favorite lyrics:
There’s a monkey on my shirt and he’s playing guitar
If you’ve never seen a monkey playing guitar
Then you’ve never seen my shirt!
Grady thought that was pretty funny, too.
The Alphabeticians have only been on the kids’ music scene since 2009, but because of how well Mr. Hoo and Mr. E perform together, it seems like they’ve been around a lot longer. This is a show you will enjoy as much as your kids. I would definitely recommend seeing them soon.