Video: "Sea Turtle" - The Whizpops (World Premiere)


Montana kindie band The Whizpops have had an increasingly educational bent to their songs as their career has progressed and on their third album Sea Blue Sea (out tomorrow, August 19th), they tackle -- oh, I'm pretty sure you can guess the subject.  Ten songs about marine life (not just animals, because coral reef gets a song of its own), and one of the catchiest is "Sea Turtle."  Learning about the carapace has never been this much fun.


I'm happy to present the world premiere of the video for that track, created by Zooglobble favorites eg design.  The animated video packs in a lot of useful information, and its bright marine palette will draw in the youngsters.  And, yes, you will learn what a "carapace" is.

Photo credit: Bea Hufman

The Whizpops - "Sea Turtle" [YouTube]

Weekly Summary (8/11/14 - 8/17/14)


Blog blog blog blog Bloooooo-g.

[That's funnier if you read it to the melody of TMBG's "Bed Bed Bed"]

Blog Listen To This: "Craft Night" - The Pop Ups (World Premiere), Itty-Bitty Review: If We Must We Must - The Good Ms. Padgett

Videos:  "Shake Your Pirate Booty" - The Boo Hoo Crew

Listen to MusicNone this week

Free MusicNone this week

Kids Music Reviews:  Buy One Get One Flea - Dog on Fleas

iOS Apps:  None this week

Upcoming Releases: Constantly updating...


Kindie Week in Review:   None this week

My Other Other Gig:  None this week

Bake Sale:  None this week

Itty-Bitty Review: If We Must We Must - The Good Ms. Padgett


As kindie music families go, the Littletons are talented.  There's Daniel Littleton, an integral part of You Are My Flower, AKA Elizabeth Mitchell (Littleton's wife), not to mention their daughter Storey, who also appears on their albums.  There's also Daniel's brother Miggy, an integral part of The Good Ms. Padgett along with Anna Padgett (Littleton's partner) and 7-year-old daughter Penelope Littleton.

Of course, in both cases, the women are the ones in front singing and writing the songs.  And on The Good Ms. Padgett's third album If We Must We Must, Padgett takes a page out her sister-in-law's playbook by mixing in some choice covers amidst her originals.  Compared to the folksier and often hushed Mitchell, however, Padgett cranks up the volume, if not to 11, at least to 8 or 9 on a few tracks.  It's hard to go wrong with Jonathan Richman, and her take on his "Hey There Little Insect" is nicely crunchy.  "Mommy's Lips," a reimagined version of the Vaselines' "Molly's Lips" (made famous via a Nirvana cover), is sweet and swirly and indie-poppy.  Padgett's originals can be roughly divided into two camps -- rocking songs like the title track and "Tattle to the Turtle" that tend to have a lesson to share, and mellower songs like "Beach House" and "I Love Your Heart" that tend toward the more atmospheric and simple.  I tend to prefer the latter, but the energetic and organic sound of the band (which also includes Daniel Littleton on a number of instruments, Elizabeth Mitchell on vocals and "poncho coordination," Jean Cook on violin, and Tara Jane O'Neil on "ecstatic tambourine") makes those tracks listenable for far longer than those types of "teaching" songs usually are.  (Side note: LOVE the cover, designed by Tae Won Yu.)

You can stream the 33-minute album, most appropriate for kids ages 3 through 6, here.    If I had to choose between the two bands, I'd still pick You Are My Flower (hey, we've been listening for more than a decade), but If We Must We Must is The Good Ms. Padgett's best album yet, and it stands up entirely on its own.  Recommended.

Listen To This: "Craft Night" - The Pop Ups (World Premiere)


Yay for new music from The Pop Ups!  Their new album Appetite for Construction is set to be released a week from today on August 19th and they're rolling out premieres for the songs all over the kindiewebs.

As part of that virtual tour, I get the pleasure today of offering you the world premiere of "Craft Night," the synthesized, dare I say glittery, track celebrating, well, craft nights.  (Stream it via the widget below or go directly here.)  I know that Hall & Oates were great, but how often did you get to make your own flag craft to the strains "Maneater"?  If you like the beautiful things in this song, there's more where that came from (preorder the album on iTunes and Amazon).

Weekly Summary (8/4/14 - 8/10/14)

Review: Laurie Berkner Lullabies - Laurie Berkner


When asked to name a Laurie Berkner song, most parents in the midst of the Berkner phase of their life would probably name "We Are the Dinosaurs" or "Pig on Her Head" or any of the peppy songs that I'm sure are still garnering lots of views on Sprout or Noggin or YouTube or wherever it is these the young turks are watching their music videos.

But Berkner's also written and perform some lovely lullabies over her kindie career.  For my money, "Moon Moon Moon" is one of the best songs she's written, period.  Given that she hadn't focused as much on slower nighttime songs, the decision to record Laurie Berkner Lullabies, her latest album, released earlier this summer, isn't that surprising.

Let's get the worst thing about the album out of the way -- the title.  I can deal with the awkwardness of the title (the grammatical pedant in me keeps wanting to rename it "Laurie Berkner's Lullabies"), but I should warn you that this is probably not the soothing album you'll listen to quietly as you feed your infant at 2 AM or something your preschooler listener will drift off to sleep to.  There are too many songs that are -- for a lullaby -- a bit too exuberant.  In other words, taken as a whole, this album may not always work to aid sleep.

But if you reframe your perspective, if you instead think of this as a "cool down" quiet time album with songs that reassure the young listener that they're sounded by love, then on that level the album succeeds admirably.  There are a number of new classic songs -- "Fireflies" most immediately comes to mind, but so does "A Lullaby" and "Stars Are Shining" -- that more closely approximate the more hushed tone I think of when the word "lullaby" comes to mind.  She covers classic lullabies "All Through the Night" and "Little Boy Blue" and "I Gave My Love a Cherry (The Riddle Song)," all well done (Berkner's daughter Lucy duets with her on the latter).

Berkner's desire to revisit some of her classic tracks yields mostly positive results -- "In the Clouds" has too much production value to be an adequate lullaby, but it undoubtedly sounds better than the 15+-year-old version on Berkner's debut album Buzz Buzz.  (I also like Berkner's duet with sometimes Laurie Berkner Band bassist Brady Rymer on a slightly simpler "Under a Shady Tree.")  I don't like how Berkner complicated the simplicity of the original track of "Moon Moon Moon," but I understand why she wanted to try her hand at a new version.  As always, Berkner's voice is a strength of the album, and she manages to avoid the overly precious approach that dooms a lot of lullaby album from repeat listening.

The 21-track 52-minute album will be most appropriate for kids ages 2 through 7.

I liked Laurie Berkner Lullabies quite a bit once I stopped insisting it be the perfect lullaby album.  Berkner fans (and kindie fans generally) will not be disappointed -- it's an album that lets Berkner stretch some other songwriting muscles and show her playfulness in a more relaxed set of songs.  Definitely recommended.

Note: I was provided a copy of the album for possible review.