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SXSW Reviews

Reviewed by Marrit Ingman, March 16, 2007, Music

The Jellydots

Hey You Kids!

When Austinite Doug Snyder's young guitar students didn't want to play the standards, he wrote songs with them instead. "Race Cars Go" and "Bicycle" are straight-ahead rock, the latter an ebullient power-pop anthem that's as fun as playing hooky on a sunny day. The rest of Hey You Kids! tries on different modes – "Mr. Cookie" is slinky ska, embellished with kazoo and toy piano, while "Lake Rules" champions outdoor play with reggae – so it doesn't feel quite organically whole, but it follows the appropriate kids-album trajectory: transitioning gradually toward bedtime songs. Of these, the closer, "My Blanket," is as tender and sincere as anything in mom's Elliott Smith collection, an influence Snyder wears proudly in his songwriting and whispery voice. From the deceptively simple animal paean "Ralph the Cat" emerges a heartbreaking bridge: "I wish you could stay small forever, but everything must grow." This is way beyond Kid Rhino. (Saturday, March 17, Town Lake Stage @ Auditorium Shores, 1:15pm)


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