First there was the idea -- pick a few artists, give 'em a title to base a song, and set 'em free to do what they do best. Then there was the picking of the title. Now, it's time for the album. It's called Green Beans Everywhere, and it features five fun songs from (in geographical order): Hullabaloo (San Diego), The Hollow Trees (Los Angeles), Charity and the JAMband (San Francisco), Matt Clark (Portland), and Johnny Bregar (Seattle). Some of the artists took a pretty simple approach (similar to what you might see at a typical songrwiting club night), some fancied it up a bit, but all the artists rose to the challenge of creating something out of the barest germ of an idea. Thanks to all the artists for participating. And, for a limited time (at least until we run out of free downloads), you can download the 5-song EP for free. Even if your kids (or you) don't like green beans, and even if one of these songs don't change their (or your) mind, you'll enjoy the album anyway.
It's time for the next stage in the first go-round of the Kindie Songwriting Club. As noted before, Hullabaloo's Steve Denyes went up and down the West Coast and picked these five fine songwriters (going up the coast from south to north): Steve Denyes from Hullabaloo (San Diego) Gregory Hollow Tree from The Hollow Trees (Los Angeles) Charity Kahn from Charity and the JAMband (San Francisco) Matt Clark (Portland) Johnny Bregar (Seattle) Readers e-mailed/commented/Facebooked their suggestion(s), and now I have three for you, loyal readers, to choose from. Here are the three song titles: 1) "There's Dirt in My Bed" 2) "Crunchy Munchy" 3) "Green Beans Everywhere" Your task is to pick your favorite via the voting widget below. All votes are due by 9 PM Friday night West Coast time (of course). One vote per day, please. The winning title will then have not one but FIVE songs written using that as inspiration. Such a deal. Go forth and vote!
Recently, Steve Denyes, the hardworking songwriter behind the Southern California duo Hullabaloo, came to me with a suggestion. He said that he'd participated in songwriting clubs where a group of musicians are given a song title or phrase and use that as a jumping-off point for writing a song. And, given my big interest in collaboration, he was wondering whether or not I'd be interested in hosting a songwriting club for family musicians. I think you probably can guess my answer. So I'm excited to announce the creation of the Kindie Songwriting Club and the first set of participants. Denyes went up and down the West Coast, picking some of his favorite songwriters and making some new friends, resulting in these five fine songwriters (going up the coast from south to north): Steve Denyes from Hullabaloo (San Diego) Gregory Hollow Tree from The Hollow Trees (Los Angeles) Charity Kahn from Charity and the JAMband (San Francisco) Matt Clark (Portland) Johnny Bregar (Seattle) The basic concept of the KSC is this: 1) Readers suggest a song title. Or two. Or twenty. Go ahead, stuff the ballot box! 2) I pick 3, then readers vote on their favorite. 3) The favorite having been chosen, the songwriters craft a song using that song title as inspiration. 4) They record that song however they'd like (though this isn't intended to require fancy studio time). 5) The songs get posted for your enjoyment. 6) World peace is achieved. (OK, probably not. But I'm not ruling it out.) So it's time for the first step -- your suggested song titles. Post 'em here in the comments, on Facebook, or even send me an e-mail (ksc AT zooglobble DOT com). Suggestions for this first round are due by Tuesday, May 31. And stay tuned for further details (voting on your favorite title, hearing the final results). Should be a blast.
Ah, Recess Monkey, look what you've done now. You've proven beyond all doubt that Mayor Monkey is indeed your secret weapon. Clearly the slightly bumbling and affable nature of Hizzoner is just a front, judging by the cover of the band's upcoming release FLYING!. That's a great photo, boys. (The rest of the album art is from Jarrett Krosoczka, creator of the Lunch Lady comics). Tracklisting for the Tor Hyams-produced album, due out June 21 -- along with the listing of a gazillion guest stars -- is after the jump.
Kindiependent continue to kick out the kids' themed supergroup jams. First it was "Vagabond Worms", and now it's "Kids' Table!," featuring Recess Monkey, Johnny Bregar, and Keeth Apgar from The Harmonica Pocket. Banjos, keyboards, trading verses, and a funny punch line. Apropos if you (like me) are starting to plan a big Thanksgiving get-together. Download the song at the Kindiependent home page. (Link to the video after the jump.)
At Kindiefest a couple weeks ago, one of the few sustained conversations I had was with the guys from Recess Monkey. We talked about how the key with the kids music genre is the continued sharing -- rather than fighting over limited pieces of a pie, try to make that pie bigger so everybody gets more. Especially if it's pecan pie. Mmm, I love me some pecan pie. But I digress. Anyway, the guys in the band said they'd been working with some of the other Seattle kids music bands to try to cross-promote their shows and music, but they didn't reveal their secret weapon, which is the most awesome name: Kindiependent, which almost makes me like the whole "kindie" name which I've never fully been able to embrace. It's a Seattle kids music collective featuring Recess Monkey, Caspar Babypants, The Not-Its, Johnny Bregar, and the Central Services Board of Education. Check out the cool poster art from Kate Endle (Chris Ballew's wife, who's also done both Caspar Babypants covers) -- with help from Johnny Bregar and Jack Forman -- for a show on June 13th. It's the record release party for RM's The Final Funktier -- apparently it's going to be one seamless set where each band's set overlaps with the one preceeding it. So, yeah, Seattle's totally going all for one, one for all, 5 Musketeers-style. (And maybe more, once other Seattle folks get the word.) Other areas might be thinking the same thing, but Seattle's taken the visible step. And secured the website.