The second quarterfinal matchup of KidVid Tournament 2007 features the final in the Ella Jenkins Region, pitting the #1 seed "Pieces of 8ight" from Captain Bogg & Salty against the #3 seed, "Ya Gotta Have Pep" from John Lithgow. Vote in the comments below. Rules: Video with most votes wins. One vote per e-mail address, please. Votes due by Friday 11 PM-ish East Coast time. "Pieces of 8ight" - Captain Bogg & Salty "Ya Gotta Have Pep" - John Lithgow Click here here to choose the format you want to watch on Razor & Tie's website or click below:
Well, Day 1 of Zooglobble's KidVid Tournament 2007 is in the books and while there was no equivalent of the VCU upset over Duke, we already have a slight upset -- John Lithgow's #3 "Ya Gotta Have Pep" winning out over Laurie Berkner's "Farm Song". In the other matchup, #1 seed Steve Burns and Steven Drozd's "I Hog the Ground" handily beat a #4 seed, Farmer Jason's "Forest Rhymes." Today's contests are a pair of 2-vs-3 matchups: Frances England's "Tricycle" going up against Sir Jerry's "Bees, Butterflies and Bugs" and Gustafer Yellowgold's "I'm From the Sun" against AudraRox's "I Hope My Mama Says YES!". Go forth and vote there by Saturday noon-ish East Coast time. And if you haven't yet voted for the as-yet-unfilled 16th video slot, go here and do so. (And, yes, "Pieces of 8ight" is already in the other 15 videos.)
The second competition in KidVid Tournament 2007 pits the #2 seed in the Ella Jenkins Region, "Farm Song" from Laurie Berkner against the #3 seed, "Ya Gotta Have Pep" from John Lithgow. Vote in the comments below. Rules: Video with most votes wins. One vote per e-mail address, please. Votes due by Friday noon-ish East Coast time. "Farm Song" - Laurie Berkner To view this video, go to Jack's Big Music Show player. Click on the right-facing triangle, roll over the picture of Laurie in a yellow shirt and click. "Ya Gotta Have Pep" - John Lithgow Click here here to choose the format you want to watch on Razor & Tie's website or, if you prefer, on YouTube.
The nominations for the 49th Annual Grammy Awards were released today and, as always, they included two children's-related fields. Regular readers of the site will have a "one of these things is not like the other" moment.
I work with someone who has a goal of learning something new, however small, every day. In that spirit, what I learned from "Getting To Know You," the opening track on John Lithgow's third album for kids, The Sunny Side of the Street (2006), is that his last name is pronounced as rhyming with "Miss Go" rather than "Hoosegow," which is how I'd always heard it in my head. So that, however small, was what I learned upon first listen. What I knew already going in, and what the album shows repeatedly, is that Lithgow is a fabulous performer. His theatrical background is perfect for these songs, written for vaudeville or musicals in the '20s and '30s. On the best tracks, such as "Baby!" or "Ya Gotta Have Pep," Lithgow lets loose with theatrical abandon (I love the "whampa..." Lithgow unleashes in the middle of what has heretofore been a very mellow duet with Maude Maggart on "Baby!"). Lithgow has a sweet duet with Sherie Rene Scott on the closing track "Lullabye In Ragtime." The tunes are a nice selection of familiar and less-well-known, and the frisky orchestration is stellar, making the songs sound, while not modern, not 80 years old, either. Downsides? Well, the duet with Madeleine Peyroux on "On the Sunny Side of the Street" (which I had hopes for) never really gels. It's interrupted by a bunch of kids, which is akin to asking Monet to paint some pretty cathedrals and then having some 7-year-olds from Rouen come in to make some improvements to the canvas. The kids chorus is fine, and in some cases gives Lithgow somebody (or many somebodies) to play off of, but my favorite tracks are those where the kids don't appear. And while some of the less-well-known songs are a joy to discover ("I Always Say Hello To A Flower"), others are much less interesting ("I'm A Manatee.") I'm gonna peg this album as being of greatest interest for kids 3 to 7, though obviously most of these songs were originally written for adults and people of all ages. You can hear samples of the 37-minute album at the usual online suspects and see Lithgow's antics in the video for "Ya Gotta Have Pep". The album will not change the mind of anyone who doesn't care how bright the lights are on Broadway -- if you are a rockist, you will not like this. Lithgow has recorded some fabulous renditions of these tunes, however, and while it's probably not going to be your favorite album, it's definitely worth trying at least once. Think of it as learning something new, musically at least.