Well, of course not. I mean, I'm sure a Halloween kids music video will come out next year that will knock number 5 below out of the list. [Ed.: Heck, I forgot one already, added as #6, that should've been in the top 5.] But they're
five videos six worth your family's 15 minutes or so.
5. John Hadfield - "Robot Monkey Head" [YouTube]
OK, technically speaking this isn't a Halloween video. But it darn well should be.
The list continues...
Seattle's Brian Vogan released his family music debut album Little Songs in 2008; though I never reviewed it here, it was not without its charms. (It also spawned an amazingly cute video for its song "That's How a Pumpkin Grows".) For his follow-up, Vogan recruited a new band, the Good Buddies. The result, Sing a Little Song, is a strong second album, fuller in sound, and more confident in its stories. The songs here are still somewhat movement-oriented, reflecting Vogan's experience in preschool music programs. But they're more fleshed out here -- the leadoff "How To Fly" starts off as a very simple movement song, but by the time that Visqueen's Rachel Flotard joins in, and then the full band and synthesized strings, it becomes a very catchy movement song. Standard kids music subjects show up here -- counting ("27"), vehicles ("Tow Truck"), dinosaurs (uh, "Dinosaurs") -- but there's enough of a unique take (numbers 1 through 20 get barely cursory notice, for example) to hold the interest of a listener who's heard enough of the standard take. He pulls out a couple long narrative songs (the aforementioned "Dinosaurs" and "Last Thanksgiving," featuring the world's largest turkey). He wraps up everything in an indiepop sheen (I particularly adore "Gray Dog") with enough attention to detail (the car sounds on "Cross the Street") to stand up to repeated spins. The songs are still targeted mostly at preschoolers, so it's most appropriate for kids ages 3 through 7. You can hear clips at the album's CD Baby page or "How To Fly" at his Facebook page. Sing A Little Song is fun, effectively translating preschool circle-time topics into full-fledged pop-rock for the home or car or, hey, maybe even preschool dance time. Recommended.
The newest video from Brian Vogan isn't the masterpiece of "That's How a Pumpkin Grows" but rather a live video from Seattle's Labor Day weekend Bumbershoot festival. Here he is with his new band, the Good Buddies, doing the pensive counting song "27" from his new album Sing a Little Song. Brian Vogan and his Good Buddies - "27" (Live at Bumbershoot) [YouTube] Bonus video (just in time for fall and flu season) after the jump...
Wow, that was a lot of voting. So many great videos, but only one can be called KidVid Tournament 2010 champion. That would be Brian Vogan's gorgeously animated video for "That's How a Pumpkin Grows" from his Little Songs album. Vogan's new as-yet-untitled album is tentatively set for release in mid-July and will feature songs about such topics as "dinosaurs, hungry frogs, shuttle rides to outer space, and cardboard box time machines." (It would make me very happy to discover that's a Calvin & Hobbes reference.) Also: guest vocalist Rachel Flotard from Visqueen (among others), so, woot! Thanks, everyone, for watching, voting and spreading the word. Not to mention, thanks to all the artists for participating and making such excellent videos. So here, for the last time, is the championship-winning video. After four rounds of voting, hopefully you'll be ready to watch it again by Halloween... Brian Vogan - "That's How A Pumpkin Grows" [YouTube]
The time is at hand for the KidVid Tournament 2010 Championship. From the beginning, this has been a very Seattle-focused tournament, like those years when the Big East or ACC gets a bajillion teams into the tournament and 3 teams into the Final Four for the NCAA basketball championships (or the WCHA in the Frozen Four). Except those teams generally don't cheer for or even assist their conference mates, as many of the Seattle bands did when they weren't actually competing against one another. As they are today. This matchup pits a couple Seattle artists against each other for the right to be called KidVid Tournament 2010 Champion -- Caspar Babypants and his "Itsy Bitsy Spider" video from More Please! against Brian Vogan and "That's How a Pumpkin Grows" from his Little Songs album. That title and $3.75 will get you coffee at Starbucks, I suppose. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below, but the official results are based on the poll at the bottom of the page. One vote per person, please. One vote per person! (Please note, however, that I've got the IP monitoring cranked up on high so if you vote at a company and someone else there votes first, your IP may be blocked. Sorry for the inconvenience.) Votes due by noon tomorrow (Tuesday) East Coast time (or 9 AM Seattle time). Finally, I'm happy that so many fans of both artists are voting, but please remember to keep your comments respectful, and, heck, watch both videos. They're both entirely different (simplicity, style, song type), but each quite effective. You might just find a new artist worth following. Caspar Babypants - "Itsy Bitsy Spider" [YouTube] Brian Vogan - "That's How A Pumpkin Grows" [YouTube]
The other semi-final matchup of KidVid Tournament 2010 is an all-Seattle affair. (We've had a number of those this year.) It features the Leadbelly Regional winner Recess Monkey and their "Marshmallow Farm" video from Field Trip -- the video defeated the Not-Its in an epic Round 2 Seattle-based matchup. That video's going up against the Woody Guthrie Regional winner Brian Vogan and "That's How a Pumpkin Grows" from his Little Songs album -- it defeated a Readeez video in Round 2.