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Maya Bond

Pink Drums, Purple Lights (Business Deal Entertainment)

Tired of chirpy kids' music that sounds like it was composed by Christian youth group leaders on four hits of ecstasy? Here's the antidote.

I first heard Maya Bond on KTRU's Kids Show while driving around with my eight-year-old son earlier this summer, and they had us running from the car to the house when we got home so we would find out who she was. Later, when I got a copy of her Pink Drums, Purple Lights, each playing of the CD would draw a crowd of happy workmates to my office.

Bond, who was four years old when this album was made early this year, is a bilingual Japanese-American from Austin and Osaka. Her father owns a recording studio, and she informed her dad that she wanted to make a CD of her own.

And her own it is. Bond wrote all of the lyrics, on which she showcases the wondrous mind of a four-year-old -- one that is by turns affectingly loving, mildly scatological and delightfully morbid. "Cute Papa" is about Dad, while ghosts, teddy bears and pee-pee and poo-poo come in for mentions on "Ghost Waltz." There are also a few tunes that wouldn't be amiss on a Shonen Knife record, but the real hit here is "The Ghost Castle," in which a Vincent Price-style organ provides the backdrop as Bond superdramatically relates the improvised tale of a disobedient little girl who enters a haunted fortress against her father's wishes. Inside, an unspecified "beast" and "125 + 3 wolves" await, though whether she means 128 wolves or 125 Dungeons & Dragons-style +3 wolves is unclear.

Bond's singing is an absolute delight -- off-key, but with a real feel for music nonetheless. If you liked the Langley Schools Music Project, or wish that David Lynch had made a children's music record, pick this one up at once.

 
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