Share: Free Halloween Tunes from Ratboy Jr., Todd McHatton, and Mr. Ray

OK, really, it's two free songs and one free...ish song. Halloween songs for 2011 trickled out slowly for awhile -- there was Roy Handy back in July, then there was Skelly and the Punkins late last month. But now, like a group of zombies running down the street to catch the bus, three Halloween tunes were released within 24 hours of each other. Let's start with the "free...ish" song. It's called "Perfect Pumpkins," and it's from California psychedlic kid-popster Todd McHatton. It's a very sunshine-y tune that the Linus (or Matthew Sweet) fan in your family will appreciate. It'll cost ya 50 cents, but it's free for a limited time with a download of McHatton's new album Galactic Champions of Joy. Spin it below... Moving on to upstate New York, Ratboy Jr. offer up a free track called "Where Do Monsters Go?" It features the duo's signature lo-fi sound and a rap from Frankenstein. You heard me -- Frankenstein raps. (And if the player below doesn't show up for some weird reason, just go here.) DoYouBelieveInMonsters.jpgFinally, if that song frightened your little one -- unlikely, I know -- New Jersey's Mr. Ray offers up a more confidence-building pop song, "Do You Believe in Monsters?," which might help encourage the more timid of trick-or-treaters to overcome basic monster fears. You can download the track for free here, or learn more about a video contest he's running here.

Austin Kiddie Limits 2008 Preview: mr. RAY

We're nearing the end of our ongoing series of previews of the artists who will be playing the Austin Kiddie Limits stage at the 2008 edition of the Austin City Limits Festival. Today it's mr. RAY. (Previous artists: Buck Howdy with BB, Uncle Rock, Jambo, The Jimmies, Big Don.) First, the technical specs... -- Official Website (or here if you're British) -- Videos -- Myspace page -- Zooglobble archives. mr. RAY might just be the biggest artist to play the AKL stage this year... if you're British. That's right, the New Jersey-based mr. RAY (aka Ray Andersen) is signed to Universal Records for the UK and Ireland and has a big following across the pond. Here in the US, his fanbase isn't quite as big yet, perhaps, but those of you in Austin next weekend will get a chance to hear his Beatles-y pop for preschoolers and see what'll definitely be the coolest guitar on stage barring the surprise appearance of Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen. mr. RAY plays 1:30 Saturday, 2:30 Sunday. mr. RAY - "Roy G. Biv" One more video after the jump.

Austin Kiddie Limits: Schedule Set, Let Schedule-Balancing Begin.

A few weeks ago, the Austin City Limits and Austin Kiddie Limits lineup was announced, now comes the hard part -- figuring out what shows you're gonna see at this year's ACL Festival. Austin Kiddie Limits lineup after the jump. Now updated for a totally revised schedule. Oh, and I hope you're not a big fan of both Beck andRobert Plant and Alison Krauss, 'cuz your Saturday night will now be fraught with confusion...

It's Never Too Early To Start Thinking About Summer Music Festivals

I've hear rumors of particular bands being booked for C3's twin titans of summer kid-friendly music festivals, Kidzapalooza and Austin Kiddie Limits, and some of those rumors would appear to be inching toward the realm of reality. Austin Kiddie Limits has posted some new tracks on its Myspace page. New to the page are The Jimmies, Buck Howdy, Uncle Rock, and Mr. RAY. These artists would all appear to be on the bill for AKL, set for September 26 through 28. (Buck Howdy already has AKL dates on his live calendar.) And The Jimmies have a Kidzapalooza date set on their calendar. (Kidzapalooza is set for August 1 through 3.) These aren't all the bands I've heard rumors of, so more will be announced at some point, to be sure. But, hey, it's only February -- ACL is 7 months away, after all. Now you can plan your summer 2008 road trips accordingly.

Review Basket: Christmas CDs

Here are a handful of new Christmas CDs that have crossed my desk that might be worth your time... and even possibly in time for you to listen to before, you know, Christmas... For the most part, the CDs below are going to be of greatest interest to the artists' fans, but if you're looking for a Christmas album that might be especially of interest to kids, you might want to start here. (If you're looking for Christmas CDs in general, by all means go here -- goodness, that is impressive.) Austin's Biscuit Brothers released their first Christmas CD, Have a Merry Musical Christmas, this year, and fans of the slightly goofy and slyly educational TV show will not be disappointed. For the most part, it's Biscuit Brothers originals -- a funny Tiny Scarecrow on "The Best Christmas Ever, " a sweet and jazzy "Together (a Christmas Waltz)," an expanded vocal role on "Have a Merry Musical Christmas." It's all appealingly goofy. Might not be the best entry point for a listener unfamiliar with the Brothers, but it's a fun cookie of a CD nonetheless. From the folks who brought you 2006's awesome Family Hootenanny CD comes Holiday Hootenanny, a 2007 collection of tunes from Detroit-area artists benefiting Detroit's Capuchin SoupKitchen. Definitely not a traditional CD in most senses of the word -- if you're looking for a swinging Ella Fitzgerald or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, keep looking because even the most traditional tunes sound off-kilter in Danny Crow-Haw's brief interludes here. While not as awesome as the first CD, the last 3 tracks -- American Mars' Dylanesque "The Little Baby Jesus," co-producer's Deanne Iovan's band the Come Ons' "More," and Ultimate Ovation's awesome rendition of "It's Christmas" (which reminds you where Motown was founded) -- are almost worth the price of the CD by themselves. Sample here. And there's more...