NYC band kicks off Kidzapalooza

If you are lucky enough to get Lollapalooza tickets, kids 10 and under are in for a real treat at Kidzapalooza this year as Lard Dog & The Band of Shy takes the stage both Thursday and Friday.

I chatted with Steven Erdman, the lead singer of Lard Dog & The Band of Shy!, about his Chicago debut at the giant music fest. Erdman, a New Yorker, has a special place in his heart for Chicagoland—he got married at the Unity Temple in Oak Park. Now Erdman, a dad of two, is bringing things full circle with the Windy City debut of his flat-out frivolous show.

Lard Dog & The Band of Shy’s live show is described an “all-ages welcome musical extravaganza that promotes positive messages of creativity, acceptance and frivolity – with massive amounts of absurdism thrown in.”

And for everyone who didn’t get Lolla tickets, Chicago Parent has a real treat. Lard Dog & The Band of Shy! will be joining Chicago Parent for a Facebook Live performance Friday morning.

Your act is called Life’s a Real Dream (LARD). What can parents expect to see if they bring their little ones?

… Our show is like a fun, frivolous, tight show. [It’s] almost on some level like a James Brown type thing but meets Pee-wee Herman. … Then you look and see this guy dressed in this kind of cartoon-character-come-to-life outfit. I have this look with these yellow shorts, and bug-eyed glasses. I have the LARD pendant. … There is like this revealing that LARD is actually not like a big overweight bacon eating thing … it is actually an acronym for a really beautiful thing [Life’s a Real Dream]. … I enter the show with kind of another cartoon character that I created called Giant Pretzel. … It’s basically a sculpture I have made of a giant pretzel with big eyes and wings. … Ultimately, we write catchy songs that have a lot of hooks, and you can’t help but move your feet and tap your feet. You are probably going to want to dance with your kids, too.

I see that you are an all-ages act. My toddler is about a year and half. Do you think he would be rocking out at one of your shows?

Oh yeah! … My philosophy about parenting from having two children myself, I have a 10-year-old and a 7-year-old, to me those early years are all about keeping the neurons happy and stimulated in a great way. Even though that child, your 2-year-old, your 1-and-a-half-year-old, your 3-year-old, is not going to be able to talk about it, I would love for your kid to turn 30 years old and be like I have this first memory of this guy in bug-eyed glasses, you know wearing this LARD logo just dancing this crazy dance—me somehow instilling a first memory is a goal!

Why should kids nag parents to buy your album [Dreamers slated to come out in September] as much as they would ask for sweets at the grocery store?

… I sometimes think of myself as the king of nerd rock. … I write things that I think would be very satisfying for the young mind and in ways provide them with information that maybe fill voids that they don’t even know exist. …

This year, Lard Dog has released a new song a month leading up to the Sept. 22 release of its new album, Dreamers. Listen to this month’s, Colander Sun. Kids who send Lard Dog a selfie wearing a colander as a hat by Aug. 30 will be entered to win a free T-shirt. Email or post on Instagram with hashtags #LardDogColander #LardDog.

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