The Five Best Halloween Kids Music Videos... Ever?

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...

Share: Free Music from Justin Roberts, Bloodshot Records, VeggieTales (and more)

FunForAllAges.jpgNot really sure what Amazon's been thinkin', but somebody last month must have said, "Hey, you know what would be cool? Free kids' music!" And, then, actually followed through on that idea, because now there are a handful of free EPs for the digital downloading, with easily 15 to 20 good songs worth your time. Justin Roberts leads the pack with his, er, Snack Pack EP, featuring songs from 5 of his albums. You probably have some of these already, but maybe not the earlier songs ("Little Raindrop" or "Billy the Bully"), and if you don't have any of them, then get over there pronto. The real find in the craziness is Roberts' fellow Chicagoans Bloodshot Records' Fun For All Ages sampler, which includes seven tracks from four fine albums, Songs for Wiggleworms, Wiggleworms Love You, Animal Crackers, and The Bottle Let Me Down. Do not hesitate in picking up this album, the Alejandro Escovedo track is especially lovely. But that's not all. VeggieTales aren't for everyone (particularly if you're not religious and you're listening to their Bible-based stuff), but their silly secular stuff can be fun no matter your denomination or lack thereof. Their Five Super Silly Songs EP is exactly that; it includes versions of a couple songs that were big hits on Kids Place Live, "The Hairbrush Song" and "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything." What's that? You want more? How about some Sesame Street? Their Amazon sampler has a more energetic version of "Ladybugs' Picnic" than you might be familiar with (but it's still good) and also features "What's the Name of that Song?" You can also pick up an EP from the Wiggles as well as a Cedarmont collection and a sampler from a Rockabye Baby-style knockoff called "Cradle Rock." Not my thing, those last two, but your mileage may vary.

I Like Justin Roberts Concerts. But Especially This One.

Justin_Roberts_WNSM_Flyer.jpgIt doesn't take a lot to get me excited about a Justin Roberts concert. He plays an awful lot of them, though, so I rarely make mention of them here. However. Katy Lloyd, one of the first loyal Zooglobble readers, and for a number of years, actual real-life friend to my family, has made good on her promise years-ago to bring Justin to her hometown of Seattle for a Why Not Sea Monsters? concert. What is "Why Not Sea Monsters?" Well, it's a pair of albums Roberts recorded a number of years ago with Liam Davis -- they tell stories in song from the Old and New Testament. Lest you think that it was some idle, quick cash-in recording, Roberts' graduate degree is in theology, so he knows of which he speaks. Or sings, whatever. In any case, Roberts is going to be performing a Why Not Sea Monsters? concert on Friday, August 19 at Fauntleroy UCC Church in West Seattle at 6:30 PM. He doesn't do a lot of these shows -- I'd guess he averages maybe one a year -- so if you're in the area, it's a chance to hear him do songs you don't normally hear. (If you wonder what they're like, here's a review of the disks.) Even better than seeing a reader coordinate a show in her community is seeing the other good work the concert will create -- it's a fundraiser for Family Promise of Seattle. The organization works with area congregations to provide shelter, food, and transitional assistance to homeless families, a segment of the homeless population that is often underserved. Good friends here in Phoenix helped start the group here, and our family has supported the Phoenix operation with both money and as well as helping whenever own congregation hosts families. So. Great artist, great cause. If you're in the Seattle area, it's a wonderful (and rare) opportunity. Go!

Big Changes Afoot in Two Kindie Bands

Jack_SPL.jpgJackieandDave.jpgIn a move that stunned many kindie music observers, late last night the popular family music bands Justin Roberts and the Not Ready for Naptime Players and Recess Monkey exchanged their bassists. Under the terms of the deal, Roberts' longtime bassist Jacqueline Schimmel will head west to join Recess Monkey while founding RM bassist Jack Forman will head to Chicago to join the NR4NP. Financial terms were not disclosed. Neither Schimmel nor Forman were immediately available for comment; their bandmates did not respond to press requests, either. Sources indicate to Zooglobble, however, that the primary driver in the trade was that Schimmel's contract with the NR4NP was nearing an end, and rather than have Schimmel potentially leave due to free agency, Roberts was looking to retain some rhythm section value.

KidVid Tournament 2011: Day 4 (Pete Seeger Regional)

KidVid11_logo2lowres.jpgIt's final first round day of KidVid Tournament 2011 action. The last regional host is Bill Childs at the venerable Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child radio show. He's hosting two matchups for the Pete Seeger Regional: -- Keller Williams, "Hula Hoop to Da Loop" (1) vs. Justin Roberts, "Obsessed by Trucks" (4) [vote here] -- Recess Monkey, "Black Hole in My Room" (2) vs. Jamie Broza, "Waters of March" (3) [vote here] Vote today, and if you need a second (or first, or seventh) opinion, Jeff Giles over at Dadnabbit is providing commentary on the whole bracket. Read his take on today's matchups here.

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.