Three Circus Songs for Kids: Mates of State / Kitty Wolf / Ralph's World

Why not? Here are a couple of circus-related songs for kids. Neither of them are "Miss Mary Mack," nor do they feature elephants jumping over the fence, but your kids may enjoy 'em. In any case, watching them is free, unlike your local Cirque du Soleil show. The first video comes from Mates of State with another song from TV show Yo Gabba Gabba!. It's called "Circus Town," and while the embedded video is merely an extended excerpt, it's fun enough to include here. Mates of State - "Circus Town" (excerpt from Yo Gabba Gabba! [YouTube]

Live Video: "Bo Diddley" - Elizabeth Mitchell with Mates of State

Elizabeth Mitchell. Mates of State. In concert, together. Bill Childs has posted a few songs they performed together in concert this weekend on his YouTube channel, but this is the one that made me smile the most -- I love the energy in this one, the excellent tambourine-ing from MOS' Kori and Jason's eldest daughter, and the patty-cake at the end of the song by Mitchell and Storey. (Not to mention the Bow Wow Wow mashup, which I've actually heard before.) Elizabeth Mitchell with Mates of State - "Bo Diddley" [YouTube]

Video: "No One Likes To Be Left Out" - Mates of State

Yo Gabba Gabba! is pegged at your resident 3-year-old, so the song lyrics lack any subtlety. Of course, when they're as catchy as Mates of State's take on inclusion -- "No One Likes To Be Left Out" -- nobody really minds. How much do I like this song? I'm willing to link to it, even though embedding is disabled. (Boo!) Oh, and I totally think they ripped off one of the band's own videos... Mates of State - "Fraud in the '80s" (kid-safe, I think, and an awesome song)

Interview: Jason Hammel (Mates of State)

Jason_Kori.jpgThe band Mates of State consists of just two members -- the husband-and-wife team of Jason Hammel (drums) and Kori Gardner (keyboards), though the two seem like such equals that I could've just as easily called them the wife-and-husband team of Kori and Jason. Their excellent fifth album Re-Arrange Us was released this spring; it finds the duo broadening their sonic palette in a bunch of hook-laden songs. Lyrically, the songs cover relationships -- no surprise there -- but more so about the hard work of relationships after the initial attraction fades. In addition to their rock albums, Gardner is known for writing a blog about her experiences recording and touring with Gardner's and Hammel's two kids, Magnolia and June. They also covered "Jellyman Kelly" for the For The Kids III compilation and are going to be appearing on Yo Gabba Gabba! this season. All of which is why I talked with Jason Hammel last for this kids music website. He chatted with me for a few minutes by phone last week. Read on to find out his first 7" record, daughter Magnolia's favorite song off the new album, and what prevents them from recording a kids album. Zooglobble: So what music did you have around the house growing up? Jason Hammel: We had that holiday Snoopy album, and my Dad had some Monkees albums... My first 7" record was the theme from The Greatest American Hero... That's a great song! Yeah, I remember taking it to school in first great and thinking it was so great to have my teacher play it there in class. You and Kori made the band a full-time thing in 2001, but did the birth of your kids somehow change how you approached your musical career, business-wise or otherwise?