The Ketchup Report, Vol. 12

Time for the Ketchup Report, kids' music favorite collection of news bits and videos I couldn't figure out how to write about on its own or didn't have the time to do so! (Yay, adequacy!) But I feel confident that at least one of these items will be of note to you... GalacticChampionsOfJoy.jpgTomorrow, Todd McHatton will be guest-hosting Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child, which, well, y'know, wouldn't be something I'd normally note. But in honor of the guest spot, McHatton's also donating 100% of profits raised this week from his new album Galactic Champions of Joy to the Haitian People's Support Project, the beneficiary of Spare the Rock Records' excellent Many Hands: Family Music for Haiti compilation. Go here, name your price (at least a buck), and get a download of the album and benefit a worthy charity. The offer ends tomorrow, October 8th. So tarry not. -- Jim "Mr. Stinky Feet" Cosgrove has done the crowd-funding thing, now he's doing the crowd-sourcing thing, looking for fans to produce his next video. He's encouraging everyone -- including families -- to give it a shot for one of four songs from his most recent album Swimming in Noodles. And in addition to "fame, glory, [and] warm-fuzzy feelings," Cosgrove is also offering cash prizes for the top three videos. Finished videos are due November 14th. All the details are at the link above. A video and a very long-form video after the jump...

The Ketchup Report, Vol. 7

I see a lot of stuff. I don't always have time for a separate post. Here, then, is a collection of random pieces of information -- videos, downloads, news -- that never made it into its own neatly-titled post. -- Aaron Nigel Smith is offering up a free mp3 of his song "In a Book," a slow reggae jam not featured on his forthcoming Let's Pretend album. Pick it up here. Los Plumabits-- I'd read somewhere -- probably a comment on its Facebook page -- that there was going to be a Kidzapalooza in Chile this year. That struck me as odd, but sure enough, yes, there is. April 2nd and 3rd, while Lollapalooza entertains a whole bunch of folks in Santiago, acts such as Achú, Cuchara, Fractal + Joe Vanconcellos, Los Pulentos, Los Plumabits, and Magictwins will be rocking the Kidza stage (though in the case of the Magictwins, I'm not sure "rock" is the word, even though they rock... magically). Kidzapalooza co-founder Tor Hyams reports he is indeed making the trek down to South America to produce the stage, a trek which makes the cross-country flights folks like Hyams and myself will make for Kindiefest seem like small potatoes. And, Tor, please see what you can do about bringing Los Plumabits -- featured on a Chilean kids' TV show which seems to be somewhat analagous to Yo Gabba Gabba! -- to the States. Los Plumabits - "Disco Laser" [YouTube] More -- much more -- after the jump.

Thanksgiving Feast, Family Music-Style

First you'll need to get to where you're going. Jim Cosgrove is offering up a free download of his song "Gobble Across the USA" here (enter "gobble" as the checkout code). As Cosgrove notes, it's not really a Thanksgiving song, but it features a lot of gobbling and a lot of food, which seems appropriate enough for me. Then, once you get there, the prayer, courtesy of Bill Harley. His poem is called "Thanksgiving Prayer" and regardless of your religious affiliation (or lack thereof), I think you'll appreciate it. [And here's a second blessing of sorts, this one coming from the Harmonica Pocket -- it's called "Give Thanks" and you can download it here.]

Share: "Peanut Butter" - Jim "Mr. Stinky Feet" Cosgrove

Suitcase_Cosgrove.jpgDo you have any favorite sandwiches? Typically, I like my peanut sandwiches without additions, but perhaps you'd like a PEANUT BUTTER AND FREE sandwich. Jim "Mr. Stinky Feet" Cosgrove is offering a download of his song "Peanut Butter" from Mr. Stinky Feet's Road Trip to celebrate "National Peanut Butter & Jelly Day." (Who knew?) Anyway, it's today, April 2, so I think the free download code for the groovy song (there on the page above) Jim's offering won't last for long...

Interview: Jim Cosgrove (Mr. Stinky Feet) on Crowdfunding

Suitcase_Cosgrove.jpgA couple days ago, Jim "Mr. Stinky Feet" Cosgrove sent out his latest newsletter with a most interesting proposition -- please help fund his next CD:
As some of you may know, the landscape of the music industry has changed dramatically over the past five years. As the giant labels have faltered or collapsed with the rapid decline of retail album sales, independent artists have emerged as the leaders of the changing tide. Where some see a shriveled industry on life support, I see opportunity and challenge. And I love challenges. So, I'm asking you to join me as we embark on an adventure into new territory. I have a goal of raising enough money to pay for outstanding musicians, promotion, production, and a Grammy-nominated producer for my new record. Please help me make this dream a reality. You've already been a big part of my success, so please consider taking part in the production of this project. You'd buy the new CD anyway, right? So, consider this a pre-purchase plan.
His specific funding levels start at $20 (get an autographed copy of the album), move up to $50 (autographed CD, t-shirt, and bonus CD), and go up from there -- my favorite title is the $150 "Now You're Just Showing Off". (Go here for the complete list and/or to make a contribution.) While this sort of "crowdfunding" has been around for awhile (I wasn't the only one for whom Kickstarter came immediately to mind), it's the first time it's been explicitly used in the kids music scene. (The closest Kickstarter project was this successful project which sought funding to make a soundtrack by a tween indie rock band to accompany a tween indie rock novel.) So when I got the newsletter I immediately shot off some questions to Jim, whose answers I think are pretty much required reading for artists (and probably family music fans in general), regardless of whether or not they want to follow Cosgrove on this particular path. Zooglobble: Aside from the general upheaval in the music industry, what specifically led you to crowdfund your next CD? Jim Cosgrove: Challenging times call for creative solutions. So, rather than putting the whole thing on credit, we looked at other models and found that many bands in other genres have been successful in getting their fans directly involved. I meet parents all the time who thank me for my music and for the fun we bring to families, and they ask me if there is anything they can do to help. Now, I'm calling in those offers. And I really think people want to help and like to help and want to be part of something that is fun and positive. Is there a particular dollar amount you have in mind?

Interview: The KC Jiggle Jam

JiggleJam08TMBG.jpgReminder: Go here by tonight for a chance to win free Jiggle Jam stuff -- you don't have to live anywhere near KC to enjoy the shirt, hat, and compilation CD! I was totally impressed with the lineup for the 2009 KC Jiggle Jam, to be held this upcoming Memorial Day weekend. When I saw Jeni and Jim Cosgrove at KindieFest 2009 in Brooklyn a couple weeks ago, having as much fun if not more so than the kids on hand, I had some small idea of the enthusiasm and passion the two of them bring toward putting together a most excellent kids music festival. But I also wanted to get a sense of just how much work and planning putting on an event like takes. So I decided to ask them (in the midst of their final preparations). Jeni and Jim, along with Keli Wenzel, answered a few questions about Jiggle Jam's past, present, and future... Zooglobble What was the genesis of the Jiggle Jam? Jeni Cosgrove: Jiggle Jam Family Music Festival is a non-profit, 501c3 agency committed to gathering generations and communities together to experience musical performances and educational activities in a positive atmosphere that the entire family can enjoy. The idea of Jiggle Jam began with three people who shared the same vision, Jim and Jeni Cosgrove and Keli O'Neill Wenzel. Jim has been leading the children's music scene in Kansas City for more than a decade. Jeni Cosgrove has been there right beside him as a wife, booking agent, tour manager, and event planner. Jeni had successfully organized five smaller children's music festivals prior to Jiggle Jam. Keli Wenzel works under the umbrella of O'Neill Communications, a public relations, marketing and event management firm. Keli is also the Executive Director of the highly successful Kansas City Irish Fest -- the city's biggest and most awesome festival. After casually discussing a family music fest for several years, the three of us finally sat down together one day in September 2007, and decided to make it a reality. Crown Center, a shopping, dining, and hotel complex adjacent to the headquarters for Hallmark Cards, gave us the push we needed. They too wanted to see some kind of family festival on their grounds. They knew Keli made it happen with Irish Fest, and they knew Jim and I could pull together some of the best acts in children's music. Jim Cosgrove: Jeni and I produced our own music fest -- Family Peace Jamboree -- for three years. It was all local acts performing on a big stage in a local school parking lot. It was successful (about 1,000 people the first year) and a lot of work. Just when we decided we couldn't do it by ourselves anymore, Hallmark/Crown Center approached Keli and us about creating a signature event for them. Crown Center has the perfect festival facilities. Keli knows festivals (and how to squeeze corporate dollars) better than anyone. Jeni and I know family music, and we know what families want and how artists deserved to be treated. It's a winning combination. Jeni: The three of us reached out to more close friends and formed a tight board of directors who pounded the pavement, reached out to the community, and made the details come together. It's a team effort.