Kickstarter and Kids Music. Again.

250px-Kickstarter_logo.pngThe list of crowdfunding posts here is lengthy, and it's about to get even longer. It had seemed to me that the mania for family musicians to fund their projects through sites like Kickstarter had calmed somewhat, but it's started up again with a vengeance, with at least 5 projects worth your time to check out, several of them with hip-hop flair. First up is Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, who's drumming up support for his third kid-hop album Make Believers. The project just launched, and at the higher funding levels you can get the shirt off Skidoo's back! (OK, not really. Just his coat. Or his hat.) Anyway, here's the video with Skidoo's whole family pitching in. Kid-hop option #2 is from Boston-based artist RhymeZwell, and it's to fund the filming of a new video for the first single off his upcoming second album Robots on the Dance Floor. And while the implication in his promo video that there's nobody doing kid-hop is, erm, well, see above and below, we'll just chalk that up to the sales pitch. And judging by the concept video's production values (and the song itself), I think the final result may be pretty slick.. Rewards include copies of the album. Kid-hop #3: Big Don (aka Don Robinson) is an Austin-based hip-hop artist who's raising funds to print and distribute Big Don's Brand New Beat, his second album for kids. (I remember getting a copy of his first album randomly placed in my hands at an Austin City Limits Festival a few years back; it was a lot better than most albums randomly placed in my hands.) As you might expect, rewards include copies of the new album. Hip-hop not your family's thing? Well, there's more...

Share: "Back Home" - Secret Agent 23 Skidoo

SA23mic.jpgIt just premiered on Sirius-XM's Kids Place Live, and now you can have it for your very own. Yes, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo world-premiered "Back Home," another slice of kid-hop, this afternoon, but you can download it for free. Perfect for all those kids heading off to a new school... Skidoo is in the studio now recording his third album, scheduled for release in spring 2012. He has not lost his touch...

Radio Alert: Secret Agent 23 Skidoo / Elizabeth Mitchell. And NPR. And Me.

SunnyDay.jpgUndergroundPlayground.jpgLate notice, perhaps, but I'll be on NPR's All Things Considered this afternoon/evening with a review of Underground Playground and Sunny Day, the latest albums from Secret Agent 23 Skidoo and Elizabeth Mitchell, respectively. I hadn't really thought of it because I didn't focus on it much in the review, but perhaps Skidoo's daughter Saki and Mitchell's daughter Storey should get together to record a track, given how integral they are to their parents' latest album. If you're stumbling onto this website for the first time after hearing the review, welcome. Lots of other great music here, such as Lunch Money's new album Original Friend or Frances England's new album Mind of My Own. Or even Many Hands, a great compilation featuring those four artists and more. Anyway, thanks for stopping by.

Secret Agent 23 Skidoo Recycles a "Road Trip"

RoadTrip.jpgSo remember that Egg / Secret Agent 23 Skidoo collaboration "Look Both Ways"? Well, that's not the only thing that came out of this most recent collaboration. The leadoff track on the upcoming Skidoo disk Underground Playground is "Road Trip" and it was born out of "Look Both Ways." Skidoo came up with the idea for "Look Both Ways," Jeff Fuller and Egg wrote and recorded it. After Skidoo recorded his vocal take for the Egg song, Fuller sent him the separate studio files. Skidoo says he "grabbed the guitar and bass lines, chopped 'em up on my drum machine, and built a whole new song around them, thus resulting in this song... So 2 songs were born, with the thematic overlap that they're both sort of about roads, which was coincidental." Anyway, if you want to download the song (which is a fun, ever-so-slightly mellow ska-tinged tune) in time for your own summer road trip prior to its Aug. 31st release date, grab it at iTunes here. (And I plan to play it on my Live365 station later this week.) Just as with the Coal Train Railroad / Readeez collaboration I mentioned earlier, it's this long-term trading of ideas and songs and appearances that will, in the long run, give the sense to the public at large that this is a genre, not a fad. Children's book authors and illustrators trade off and collaborate all the time -- why shouldn't family musicians? Track listing for the album after the jump...

Video: "13 O' Clock" - Secret Agent 23 Skidoo

Here's the second of two Secret Agent 23 Skidoo videos from his forthcoming Underground Playground album. (Here's "Chase the Rain".) Who knew that Skidoo had friends in Cirque du Soleil? This is a story/imagination song more along the lines of "Hot Lava." Secret Agent 23 Skidoo - "13 O' Clock" [YouTube]

Video: "Chase the Rain" - Secret Agent 23 Skidoo

Secret Agent 23 Skidoo's second album of kid-hop Underground Playground has a release date -- August 31st (woot!). More importantly, the songs are starting to trickle out. "Road Trip" has started to hit radio airwaves (look for it on my Live365 station this week) and he's got a couple videos out. The video for "13 O' Clock" is definitely the more interesting visually, but I love this song. For those of you who really dug "Luck." Secret Agent 23 Skidoo - "Chase the Rain" [YouTube]