The Ketchup Report, Vol. 11

It's time for another roundup of all things ketchup related... OK, not really, it's just a variety of stuff that caught my eye (and ear) since, well, the last Ketchup Report. This one is an all-video edition. Except for these words right here. And the ones below. First off, this is how you do a promo for a kindie album. A very effective teaser for Alastair Moock's forthcoming album These Are My Friends featuring Moock and Annad Nyack. If there was a tagline for the teaser, it might be "It's just crazy enough to work!"

Now Hear This: "Kansas City Rag" - Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer (w/ Adam Hurt)

Swam this morning, but didn't feel that excited about it. If only I'd seen this simple back-porch video of Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer, joined by Adam Hurt on fiddle, playing "Kansas City Rag," before my workout, I'd probably have lasted a few more laps. Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer with Adam Hurt - "Kansas City Rag" [YouTube]

Interview: Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer

Cathy&Marcyw-Instruments.jpgDo family musicians have long careers because they have lots of ideas, or do they have lots of ideas because they've had long careers? While you're pondering the chicken-and-egg nature of the question, you can read this interview with Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer, who might be exhibit A for consideration of the question. Over the course of more than 25 years of making music together full-time, they've got a lot of different plates spinning - albums, concerts, ukulele orchestras, creating musical curricula, and much more. Their latest endeavor is called Sing to Your Baby, a book/CD set designed to encourage parents, grandparents, and other caregiver to, er, sing to their babies. The idea that everyone should sing to and with their kids from the get-go is an important one to me, so I wanted to spend a few minutes chatting with Fink and Marxer about the project. And, as if to emphasize the duo's reach across the broad spectrum of family music, we started out chatting about one of kindie music's hot new groups, the Pop Ups, and ended by talking about living legend Ella Jenkins. Zooglobble: Good morning! Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer: Good morning... so are you looking forward to going to Kindiefest? I am. You? We don't think we're going, but if plans change, we'll try... We're excited that the Pop Ups will be playing there. As am I... It was interesting to me the first time I listened to this random CD and found out that y'all were on one of the songs. Yes, and now one of the two, Jacob Stein, his father, Michael Stein, is the male vocalist on our album. Really? [Checks his copy of the book.] Wow. Hadn't made the connection. Cathy: Yes, he was in Country Current, the Navy's country band, when I first met him in the '70s. Later he performed and wrote songs for the Dinosaur Rock series. More recently, he became a cantor out in California. OK, so I usually start out interviews by asking people what their earliest musical memories are. In this particular case, I'm wondering what memories you have of music-making and singing by your parents.

The Ketchup Report, Vol. 1

Lots of interesting stuff crosses my (virtual) desk. Sometimes it grabs my attention and feels worthy of a full post all by itself and I have time and I write a post. Boom. But sometimes it's just interesting, or I don't get to it immediately, or I don't have time to write something long and witty. (Or at least long.) So I'm going to start what I'm calling "The Ketchup Report." Why ketchup? It's because it's for things you (or I) should catch up on. Get it? (I could have also called it, all apologies to Justin Roberts, the Mustard Report for things that must be heard. Ach, I'm having a meltdown.) Expect it semi-regularly. -- Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer are celebrating more than 25 years in the family music business with a new 3-song EP, Triple Play -- preview and buy it here. They also have their 25th Annual Family Music Party -- when Ella Jenkins chooses to show up for a party, you know you've got it made. IWantADog.jpg-- Jamie Broza has a new album out soon -- I Want a Dog! -- and he's also got a Halloween-themed single "Trick or Treat" which, until Halloween 2010 can be downloaded here for free. -- Matt Clark joined the illustrious group of musicians who've submitted their music to Click and Clack's "Dean of Auto-Music and heard their tune on Car Talk. A snippet from "Car Seat Blues," a song from his first album, was included on last weekend's show. -- Finally, this video (and song) from DidiPop is the best bagel-related video since, well, this one.

Review: DVDs for Road Trips

I saw "for road trips" not because these are travel-themed but because there are seven of them. Seven seems like enough to get through at least a day or two of your drive across or through the country. Let's get to it, then. FieldTripsWithRecessMonkey5-8.jpgI don't think the guys in Seattle's Recess Monkey actually sleep. They already release more CDs than just about anybody else, and now they're cranking out a DVD a year, too. Like their first volume, Field Trips with Recess Monkey Episodes 5-8 features a combination of band "field trips" (Sirius-XM studios, Ella Childs at Spare the Rock, illustrator Jarrett Krosoczka), live shows, and their stellar videos. The videos are the highlight of the DVD ("The Teens" and "Sack Lunch" in particular) -- should episodes 9 through 12 be in the works (knowing the trio, they probably are), the band should consider creating a menu that'll allow viewers to just access the videos. Recommended. OrganicFarm.jpgThe Nields' Organic Farm DVD is, as you'd expect, an appealingly low-fi (dare I say "organic") affair. It's mostly a collection of tunes recorded in front of a live audience, and features the Nields singing a number of hits from their two family albums. As they were on record, the Nields sisters are joined by their father on a few songs. Among the non-live tracks are a couple songs showing how a parent or teacher might use a song as a simple teaching tool. It's a nice little bonus treat. Recommended.

Hopefully This Contest Will Cause You No Frustration

For those of you heading back to school with your elementary school young'uns, Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer have a contest to get their (and your) rhyming skills back into shape. They've got a contest to write new lyrics for their song "Jubiliation" from the Banjo to Beatbox EP with Christylez Bacon. If you read the lyrics to the song, I think it's pretty obvious what they're looking for. Details are at the link above, but the top 5 winners get a free Cathy & Marcy CD of their choice plus a washboard. Entries due Sept. 30th. Now... is Zooglobblation a word? Anyway, to get you in the mood, here's a mood for the song featuring lots of puppetation. Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer with Christylez Bacon - "Jubilation"