Listen To This: "Hey Matt" - Walter Martin (with Matt Berninger)

My Kinda Music album cover

My Kinda Music album cover

It's been nearly three years since the kids music world had a family music album from Walter Martin.  We're All Young Together was an appealingly shaggy collection of songs inspired by Martin's memories of growing up in a family with lots of music playing, both at home and on road trips.  While "appealingly shaggy" applies to a not insignificant percentage of favorite kindie albums at Zooglobble HQ, We're All Young Together also featured something more unusual among kids music albums -- serious indie cred.  When you can get Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Alec Ounsworth from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, among others, to play on your album,  then you definitely have some sway.

Those weren't the only artists on the album -- Martin also roped in Matt Berninger from The National on "We Like the Zoo," which received one of the more unique videos in recent kids music video memory.

Well, news this morning that Martin has a brand new album coming out called My Kinda Music, and in addition to a duet with Laura Gibson, Martin also duets once more with Berninger.  It's for the song "Hey Matt," a celebration of unique voices in music.  It's goofy, and features a second verse plot twist (for lack of a better phrase) that might confuse the kiddos but will greatly amuse the older music fans in the audience.

My Kinda Music is out May 5th.  Can't wait.

Walter Martin (with Matt Berninger) - "Hey Matt" [YouTube]

What Is Music? Let Christian Robinson and Some Kids Tell You

I stumbled across the video below recently, and I was completely charmed, both by the voices of kids but also -- and probably even more -- by the animation from Christian Robinson.  He uses a variety of styles to accompany the voices of kids answering the question "What is music?" and other musical inquiries -- pen-and-ink (there's a touch of Ed Emberley there), stop-motion cutouts, photograph-and-drawing mashups.  Sure there's humor in the kids' occasional off-balance response -- "My favorite kind of jazz is... Michael Jackson" says one boy with a well-placed dramatic pause -- but the animation is made with heart.

Robinson graduated from CalArts in 2008 (his "Dinosaur Song" from that year is worth checking out as another winning meld of subject matter and varied animation styles) and over the past nine years he has, not surprisingly, had an impressive set of authors to illustrate for: Margaret Wise Brown, Mac Barnett, and Matt de la Pena for Last Stop on Market Street, for which de la Pena won the Newbery Award and Robinson a Caldecott Honor.  And, to bring it back to kindie for the moment, he also illustrated Justin RobertsThe Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade.

But all that was in the future when Robinson made this video.  It's charming and worth your time.

Christian Robinson - "What Is Music?" [Vimeo]

Listen To This: "The Cardoons" - Pointed Man Band (World Premiere!)

As the drabness of winter hangs on, the thoughts of kids (and their parents) turn to sunshine and outdoor explorations.  As an unofficial theme song to this run-up to spring, might I suggest "The Cardoons"?  It's the first single from Portland's Pointed Man Band forthcoming album Between the Waves and the Cardoons, and the track is a particularly joyful celebration of enjoying youth, not only from the perspective of the young ones themselves, but also their parents.  For this, the album's closing track, PMB mastermind Dan Elliott also brought along Jack Forman (Recess Monkey) and Josh Shriber (Josh and the Jamtones) to sing along on the chorus.

"From the firewood / To the neighborhood."  Indeed.

I'm pleased as punch to offer up the world premiere of "The Cardoons" today (along with that sweet GIF).  Between the Waves and the Cardoons is released on March 3, and you can pre-order the album here.  Enjoy the song!

Free Music for Valentine's Day (2017 Edition)

I haven't tried to put together a list of kids songs for Valentine's Day, mostly because songs about love, while not necessarily 85% of all songs like it seems music for adults can be, make up not a small portion of kindie output.

Luckily, Beth Blenz-Clucas with Sugar Mountain PR has put together a list of songs appropriate for Valentine's Day which have the added bonus of being free for the downloading for a limited time.  That's right, through Valentine's Day itself, next Tuesday, you can gather for your family a nice selection of tracks from artists like Justin Roberts, Recess Monkey, Little Miss Ann, Frances England, Raffi, Lucky Diaz and more.

You can play the entire playlist below, and, through Valentine's Day, click through to get the free download.