Radio Playlist: New Music November 2014

As we hurtle into the fall/winter gift-giving season, there are a lot of albums that have crossed my desk recently.  I've got a fortnight's worth of songs for your family's enjoyment (if you listen to one track a night, which would be kind of weird). If you missed October's list, you can see that playlist here).

As always, it's limited in that if an artist hasn't chosen to post a song on Spotify, I can't put it on the list, nor can I feature songs from as-yet-unreleased albums.  But I'm always keeping stuff in reserve for the next Spotify playlist.

Check out the list here or go right here if you're in Spotify.

**** New Music November 2014 (November 2014 Kindie Playlist) ****

Moona Luna – Together (feat. Secret Agent 23 Skidoo)
The Laurie Berkner Band – Magic Box - Full Band Version
Music Inrichment – Down the Stream
In The Nick of Time – Road Trip
Splash'N Boots – Go with the Flow
Mista Cookie Jar & the Chocolate Chips – Gratitude
Eric Ode – Possibly the Possum
The Wanna Bees – Valerie Vet
Key Wilde & Mr. Clarke – Katy Caterpillar
The SqueeGees – Outer Space
Papa Snow – Jimi Crack Korn
Alex Mitnick – In the Right Place
J. Cohen – Nightingale Waltz
Suzanne Jamieson Selmo – Lullabye (Goodnight My Angel)

Radio Playlist: New Music January 2013

Onward into 2013, and time for a Spotify update for new music (see December playlist here).  As always, it's limited in that if an artist hasn't chosen to post a song on Spotify, I can't put it on the list, nor can I feature songs from as-yet-unreleased albums.  But next month's playlist is only, er, a month away.

Check out the list here or go right here if you're in Spotify.

**** New Music January 2013 (January Kindie Playlist) ****

Ratboy Jr. – High 5 Your Shadow
Channing Banks – Rock My ABCs
Papa Crow – All the Things That Fart
Oh! Ogopogo! – Pirate Boy's Lament
Breed Street Rookies – In This Together
The Hipwaders – Just Not Me
Rissi Palmer – Best Day Ever
The Bramble Jam – A Dirty Kid's a Happy Kid
Bruce Barnes – Humps, Hooves, and Horns


Laurie Berkner's New Show: Sing It, Laurie!

SingItLaurie.jpgThe biggest news to come down the pike yesterday was the first public steps toward Laurie Berkner's return to TV. Oh, sure, Jack's Big Music Show is still airing on Nick Jr. But it's been years since new episodes have been made. So it's a big deal that Little Airplane Productions (The Wonder Pets!, Small Potatoes) is partnering with Berkner to create Sing It, Laurie!, a new animated preschool TV series. The series is about a little girl named Laurie who loves to sing and play her purple guitar. In each 11-minute episode, Laurie, along with her dog Jamaica (Jam for short), will explore one theme, such as family, community, or nature. That's Laurie and Jam flying in the Wing Dinger, a "unique one person helicopter that's just the perfect size for Laurie and Jam." Each episode features Berkner's music, some of it newly composed for the show, some of it from Berkner's past albums. The announcement noted that the educational curriculum was written by Dr. Christine Ricci (Dora the Explorer) and will focus on three core themes: creativity, curiosity and music appreciation. What's missing, of course, is the announcement of a TV distribution agreement, so it'll be awhile before we'll see Laurie and Jam figuring out how to solve childhood obesity with a guitar and a helicopter. (OK, we'll probably never see that episode. Which is probably a good thing.) But given both Little Airplane and Berkner's track record, this has a better shot than any other kindie-musician-with-a-script of making it onto a TV channel near you in the next year.

Mamma Yamma: The Canadian Foofa (Or Is It Toodee)?

mammayamma.jpgI recently got a note from reader Susan suggesting I check out Kids' CBC, because they "seem to be doing a Yo Gabba Gabba-type thing by inviting Canadian indie musicians to jam with the character Mamma Yamma, who is a large, ebullient yam. In particular, Susan directed me to this video which featured musician Joel Plaskett doing a kid-friendly take on his song "Fashionable People." Joel Plaskett - "Fashionable People" (from Kids' CBC) [YouTube] Goofy, and kinda cute, even if you don't know the pretty-much-not-kid-friendly original. Though I'd been vaguely familiar with the show (it even has a CD of songs), I hadn't paid too much attention. My loss, I suppose. As I watched this video and dug deeper into the Mamma Yamma archives, I got not only a YGG vibe, but also a Sesame Street feeling. That show's been inviting musical guests onto its street pretty much from the get-go forty years ago. Admittedly, it's generally gone for more mainstream musical guests than Brobee, Foofa, Toodee, and the rest have on their own show, but they've occasionally dipped into slightly more off-center artists. (See: Feist.) In fact, Mamma Yamma has her own Feist-ian equivalent, with Kathleen Edwards reworking her kid-unfriendly (albeit pretty awesome) "Cheapest Key" into a very kid-friendly (and still pretty awesome) song "Eat the Alphabet". (Sorry, for some reason it's cutting off early, but you get the point. If you want to listen to a live version, Bill played it before at Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child, perhaps he'll do so again, hint hint.) And here's one more complete one to finish this off. Any show that features Tegan and Sara gets a thumbs up in my book. Tegan and Sara - "Alligator" (for Kids' CBC) [YouTube]

The Ketchup Report, Vol. 10

The Ketchup Report hits double digits! It's summer, time for festival season, and I think it's safe to say that until a kindie act rocks the Pitchfork Festival (and maybe even after then), DidiPop has the coolest festival gig, playing a set for families at the Wilco-curated Solid Sound Festival at the MASS MoCA museum (yes, I know that's redundant) this upcoming weekend. SMBC_LunchMoney.jpgAttention, good people of Chattanooga, Tennessee and environs, Dave Loftin and the Saturday Morning Cereal Bowl radio are sponsoring a show with Lunch Money on Sunday, July 10. I'm a fan of radio folks putting on concert series, so I hope this does well. Plus, the show will be ten tons of fun. More details here. I know, I'm a big fan of Kindiefest, but the Children's Music Network has been around for a long time, and if you attended Kindiefest, you might also get quite a bit out of attending their annual conference, which is in Cape Cod this year from September 16 through 18. Barry Louis Polisar, who has a lot of opinions about the current state of the genre and isn't afraid to share them, delivers the keynote. More details here.

The Ketchup Report, Vol. 8

Time once again for all the news that didn't fit into a separate post due to time, interest, contractual, or legal obligations -- it's your favorite pun-titled file folder of a blog post, the Ketchup Report! Yaaay! (Cue Kermit the Frog wild arm-flailing here...) WorldOfHappiness.jpgThe World of Happiness single, the "We Are the World" of the kids' biz, "A World of Happiness," is here. Except your kids might actually want to listen to this new song when they become parents themselves. Sales of the single, produced by Tor Hyams and Joanie Leeds, benefit Autism Speaks. The single includes a whole host of folks besides Leeds and Hyams -- Molly Ledford (who gets the honor of leading off the track), Frances England, Ralph Covert... it just goes on and on. A bunch of the participants will be recording a concert later this month for broadcast on Sirius/XM Radio later on. Anyway, it's $1.29 well-spent right here. I could probably start a whole separate post listing all the recent crowdfunding projects in the kids music world. Heck, it's almost getting to the point where I could start a blog listing all the recent crowdfunding projects in the kids music world. I've been partial to Kickstarter, of course. The two most recent projects have been a Professor Banjo and his successful second-album project and Ryan SanAngelo and his not-one-but-two-Kickstarter-projects. But other sites do the same basic thing. Van Oodles didn't quite succeed in making a video for a song of his, but LA indie-rockers Ellen and Matt and Chicago's Laura Doherty are both looking for funds for their next disks. Should you feel so inclined, help out Ellen and Matt here and Laura for her new album Shining Like a Star in the widget there to the side. -- For a limited time, Doctor Noize's "Bananas" iWhatever app is free. Download the ever-so-slightly-educational app here. (Note: may no longer be free.) -- Finally, with Earth Day coming up, a it's time for Earth Day-related tunes. Dan Zanes has a new, original tune, "Hail the Creatures" written by Zanes for a new exhibit at the Philadelphia Zoo. You don't need to be near Philly to enjoy the track, just near an iTunes-enabled gadget that can download this, with proceeds benefiting the Zoo. (More details on the tune and the Zoo's new exhibit here.)... Bill Harley is offering a free download of "Keep It Green" from his 1996 album Big Big World -- you can get it here... And finally, DARIA is offering a mini-CD of 6 "earth friendly" songs, free just for the price of an e-mail address (and an earth-friendly suggestion).