Jefrey Au-Go-Go is an Aussie turned New Yorker whose upbeat, fast-paced music keeps listeners on their toes. I’ve mentioned before that Sunshine and Lily are fairly harsh music critics; if they don’t like a CD within the first minute, they’re quick to ask for “kids music please” or “skip this song please.” When I put in Jeffrey Au-Go-Go’s new CD, there was silence in the truck through seven tracks—then Sunshine said, “Can we hear that song again please?”
The CD kicks off with “Peter the Pushy Puppy,” one of the girls’ favourite songs on the CD, which is “a great example of wild and zany vocal delivery that rollicks through at least three very entertaining, silly octaves.” It’s also a good way to talk with children about how to play nicely with friends. Jefrey has also released a music video for this song. The song Sunshine always wants to listen to twice is “Nelson,” a song about a little boy who has too many toys and eventually has to make a choice between his toys and his friends. Again, I liked the food for thought in that song.
Other songs on the CD are just plain fun, with great beats, funky tuns, and lyrics that you really gotta listen to more than once. One of my favourites is “Chunky Alligator,” a slightly spooky song about alligators that like nibbling toes, but there’s something in the tune that keeps it sticking in my head even after we’ve turned the music off. “Mountain Called Change” is a story of bears living on a mountain that is constantly changing, which made me think of my own life as we get ready for Move #7.
Jefrey began working on these songs while living in Sydney, Australia. As he tells it, “I was babysitting my three-year-old nephew for the first time, and he was getting a bit cranky. I tried pulling out all the stops to entertain him, but nothing worked until I picked up a ukulele. I’d watched Downton Abbey the night before, so I started singing in an exaggerated Maggie Smith/Dowager Countess British accent. This brought a round of giggles and toddler applause! When my wife came home and I showed her what we’d been up to, she laughingly said, ‘Ah! The Jack Black of children’s music!’ That was the beginning of Jefrey Au-Go-Go, the performer, and Jefrey Au-Go-Go! the album.”
Jefrey was born and raised in North Caroline but lived in Australia for ten years. His wife is Australian and they recently moved to Brooklyn. Jefrey has three rock albums for adults, Yellow Means Infection (2012), Clemente … Whilst Honey Hums (2008), and Clemente … Teeth Measure the Need (2005). You can find out more about Jefrey by visiting his website or following him on Facebook.