Photos by Steve Neuharth
It is 11 a.m. on a -5 degree Saturday morning. Inside the Cedar Cultural Center, little girls and boys are twirling and dancing, small arms and legs akimbo and flailing around the crowded room. Parents are smiling at each other.
This morning Adam Levy, dressed in a goofy white jumpsuit and black top hat, is the ecstatic pied piper leading the merry band -- Bunny Clogs are rocking the house in celebration of the release of their first CD entitled More! More! More!
Bunny Clogs is the new love-child of Adam Levy of Honeydogs and Hookers & Blow fame. This band is truly a family affair: Levy's ethereal daughters, 10-year-old Ester and 7-year-old Ava Bella, and Levy's 6-year-old nephew, Isaac, provide sweet harmonies on background vocals. Levy's 18-year-old son, Daniel, an MCAD student, creates the band's super-cool artwork and also joins in on stage. And the lively Hookers & Blow crew are Levy's backing band.
Bunny Clogs were born organically. "I would be writing songs with my kids in the room and they would just start chiming in," says a cold-suffering Levy over coffee. "What if this little culture that I have at home with my kids, that I happen to think is really funny -- the names we come up with, the characters -- [could] create something that you can share with people?"
Bunny Clogs take Beastie Boys' cool, Prince's groove, and Flaming Lips' wackiness and serve it up kid-friendly-sweet. For those of a certain vintage, Bunny Clogs will bring to mind some classics: "There are some kids' records that I will still pull out occasionally, Really Rosie by Carole King is one that I love," says Levy, "and of course, Free to Be You and Me is a classic. It is part of your childhood conscious. Those songs were so good."
Their covers, like The Jackson Five's "ABC," are perfectly chosen to keep both kids and adults groovin'. But Bunny Clogs' true strength is their originals -- not only bootie-shakers, these songs have heart, addressing issues like eating healthy, respecting the environment, and helping out those less fortunate. In the true spirit of community, the proceeds from the online sales of Bunny Clogs tear-jerker single "Song for Powderhorn" go to Minneapolis Parks and Recreation/Powderhorn Park.
At the Cedar Cultural Center, as the show reaches its pinnacle, Levy calls for all children to hop on stage for the shows finale, "Shpilkas," which he explains is Yiddish for "ants in the pants." As the pied piper leads the chorus "I got ants in my pants and I got to dance!" to a room full of rosy-cheeked faces and squirmy bodies, Bunny Clogs achieve a perfect smile-on-your-brother moment -- you know that there is no place that anyone in this room would rather be.
Watch Bunny Clogs perform live: