Monday Morning Smile: "Upside Down & Inside Out" - OK Go

Let's face it, OK Go aren't the unofficial video band for adults on Zooglobble... they're pretty much the official video for adults on Zooglobble.

You probably saw their latest video a dozen times on Facebook.  If you didn't, or if your kids didn't, you really should see this.  Filming a video in zero gravity could be a gimmick.   Or it could be brilliant.  This is brilliant.

OK Go - "Upside Down & Inside Out" [Facebook]

Monday Morning Smile: "I Believe in Little Things" - Diana Panton

I Believe in Little Things cover

I Believe in Little Things cover

What was it I said last week?  "More joy."  Well, Joe Raposo makes just about everything more joyful.

Canadian jazz musician Diana Panton turned to Raposo for the title track to her kid-friendly album I Believe in Little Things.  The album was originally released in September 2015, but is going to get a bigger push here south of the Canadian border in 2016, and with tracks like the title track, I think it'll be well-received in the kindie world.

The video for "I Believe in Little Things" is charming and whimsical, and Panton's warm and clear voice elegantly lays out Raposo's masterful lyrics, with Jacqui Lee's illustration a perfect fit.  Definitely an album to look forward to (or hear now, if you don't want to wait).

Diana Panton - "I Believe in Little Things" [YouTube]

Monday Morning Smile: "Life's A Treat" (Shaun the Sheep Theme, Rizzle Kicks Remix)

I'm not big on New Year's resolutions, but I think any time you make a resolution, "More joy" should be on the list.

And there are comparatively few pieces of pop culture that bring me as much joy as Shaun the Sheep, the claymation TV show from Aardman Animation.  The nearly dialogue-less cross-cultural humor of the show rivals, I think, the best of classic Warner Brothers cartoons.  The recent full-length Shaun the Sheep Movie was a good introduction to the series, and, next to Inside Out, my favorite animated movie of the year.

The show's theme song is a peppy little number called "Life's A Treat," and for the movie, British hip-hop duo Rizzle Kicks gave it a remix for the closing credits.  Could I listen to this five times in a row?  Probably.  More joy, folks, more joy.  (And if you like that, might I suggest "Feels Like Summer"?)

Rizzle Kicks - "Life's A Treat (Remix)" (Shaun the Sheep) [YouTube]

Monday Morning Smile: "Lightspeed" - Joel Henriques (World Premiere!)

This may be a first -- a combination Monday Morning Smile and world premiere video.  It's for the song "Lightspeed" from Joel Henriques.  You may know Joel from his own incredibly popular crafting website Made By Joel or the videos he's made for his sister Lori Henriques (I think my favorite is probably "Dinosaur").

Turns out, though, Joel's a bit of a musician himself, and seeing as there's some sort of Star Wars movie coming out later this month, he's gone an rerecorded a song he wrote about 20 years ago recounting the plot of the very first Star Wars movie (Episode IV, to be specific).  "Lightspeed" is a funk-rap with a furious guitar line that recounts the story of Luke, Han, Princess Leia, and a certain Wookiee.  Thrown in Joel dancing with a vintage Millennium Falcon t-shirt and simple animation based on drawings from his 8-year-old son, and it's a fun 2 minutes of pre-Episode VII hoopla.  Not written with kids in mind, but I feel fairly sure that kids'll dig it.

Joel Henriques - "Lightspeed" [YouTube]

Monday Morning Smile: "That Thing You Do!" - The Wonders

If you have a certain affinity for pop music, you probably have an idea of what the perfect pop song is.

For me, "That Thing You Do!" is one such (rare) example.  It's by The Wonders and... what's that? You've never heard of the wonders?  That's because they, er, don't actually exist.  Rather, they're the band at the heart of the 1996 movie That Thing You Do!, directed by Tom Hanks (and featuring him in a supporting role).  The movie tells of the rise (and fall) of The Wonders, creators of the titular song.  Unsurprisingly, the song appears many times in the movie, and here's the beauty of it -- it never gets old.

In reality, the song was written by Adam Schlesinger of the great power-pop band Fountains of Wayne, and featured lead vocals by Mike Viola of the the band The Candy Butchers.  Of course, in reality, the song hit the Billboard charts -- not as high as in the movie, but reaching #41 on the Billboard Top 100.

But ignore all that, and just listen with the family...

The Wonders - "That Thing You Do!" [YouTube]

Monday Morning Smile: "Furry Happy Monsters" (Sesame Street)

I know, I've posted before about R.E.M. performing a reworked version of "Shiny Happy People" on Sesame Street.  I don't care -- this is such a joyful and funny piece, nearly perfect in every detail, that I still think about semi-regularly.

R.E.M. - "Shiny Happy People (Furry Happy Monsters)" (from Sesame Street) [YouTube]