Be a Pain: An Album for Young (and Old) Leaders
Alastair Moock’s new album, Be a Pain, is a joyful, musical rallying cry for young (and old) leaders in these turbulent times. It looks to the heroes of our past (Dr. King, Harvey Milk, Billie Jean King, Pete Seeger, Cesar Chavez, Rosa Parks, Malcolm X) and our present (Malala Yousafzai, the Parkland student protestors, climate change marchers) to inspire our kids to move the ball forward. The album features guest performances from a powerful and diverse group of musicians and change-makers, including Sol y Canto, Alisa Amador, Reggie Harris, Mark Erelli, Melanie DeMore, Kris Delmhorst, Rani Arbo, Crys Matthews, Sean Staples, Heather Mae, Boston City Singers, and producer Anand Nayak.
Moock’s plan is to give away free copies of the album –– along with free programming on social justice history –– to underserved schools in the Boston region and beyond. So far, the fund has raised over $13,000 towards that goal. More info here.
Alastair Moock is a 2013 GRAMMY Nominee, three-time Parents’ Choice Gold Medal Winner, and recipient of the ASCAP Joe Raposo Children’s Music Award. Long one of Boston’s premier folk artists, Alastair turned his attention to family music after the birth of his twins in 2006. The New York Times calls him “a Tom Waits for kids” and The Boston Globe declares that, “in the footsteps of Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie, Alastair Moock makes real kids’ music that parents can actually enjoy.”
*UPDATE: Be a Pain was nominated for a 2020 GRAMMY Award. Moock and two of the other nominees –– in conjunction with the Family Music Forward racial justice collective –– decided to decline their nominations in protest of the year’s all-White slate, and given the ways the genre has historically overlooked women, performers of color, and especially Black artists. Here’s an NPR story.
I felt this news article about Alistair Moock was appropriate for two prompts today. Instead of accepting a Grammy Award nomination in children’s music, he and others decided to try and overhaul one of our institutions. Finally someone is standing up to wrest the good ol’ boys to provide more diversity in award nominations. Good for them, and a good example for children!