Video: "Frog Skin" - Molly Ledford

Aw, this is just such a sweet song.  It's from Molly Ledford, multi-hyphenate extraordinaire.  (You know, from Lunch Money! And Molly Ledford and Billy Kelly! And from Instagram and Facebook photos of her kids, who I feel should have a book deal or video deal or some deal from somebody because they're just awesome.)

At first she just wrote music for one puppet musical.  But now she's gone ahead and done it again, which I think officially makes her a puppet musical expert.  This time it's for the Columbia Marionette Theatre's production of the Russian folktale The Frog Princess.

Ledford's released a simple video directed by her husband and fellow Lunch Money conspirator Jay Barry that features Molly accompanying herself on the ukulele while puppeteer Mitra Salehi controls the Frog Princess marionette.  In 86 seconds, they say so much.

Molly Ledford - "Frog Skin" [YouTube]

The Kindie Rock Showdown: Week One in the Books, Week Two Underway!

Kindie Rock Showdown logo

Kindie Rock Showdown logo

Well Week One of the batteryPOP/Zooglobble Kindie Rock Showdown is in the books and...

Wait, you don't know what the batteryPop/Zooglobble Kindie Rock Showdown is?  OK, read this and come back.  It's OK, I'll wait.

So, yeah, last week a bunch of you voted and Danny Weinkauf's "Ice Cream" knocked off Caspar Babypants' "The Stump Hotel" while in a squeaker, Alphabet Rockers' "Dynamite" triumphed over The Bazillions' "No Homework."  Those two winners move on to the semifinals next week.

But this week we've got four new videos going head-to-head: Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band's "Blue Bear" vs. Secret Agent 23 Skidoo's "Gotta Be You" and Josh and the Jamtones' "John Jacob" (that's a lot of "J"s there) facing off against The Not-Its' "Haircut."  Some solid video action there, too.

You can read more about the videos and the matchups here.  And, just as she did last week, Laurie Berkner's providing some color commentary of her own on the videos.

So head on over, watch the videos, "POP" your favorites daily, and see who moves on to the semifinal round next week!

Video: "Thank You" - Vered

Hello My Baby album cover

Hello My Baby album cover

Vered's latest album Hello My Baby was an interesting album in that it featured songs that were both incredibly sweet and tender about the interaction of between mother and child as well as surprisingly raw about the emotional ups and downs of being a caregiver to a young child.

Her first video from the album, for the song "Thank You," resides in the former camp.  It's a simple video for a simple song, and if you (and your child) learn nothing more than the sign language for please and thank you, then the video's done its job.

Vered - "Thank You" [YouTube]

Video: "Robot Dance" - The Pop Ups

I watch a lot of kids music videos.  Some I like, others I don't, but for the most part into which category a particular video falls is more about execution and the song itself.

Every now and then, however, a video comes along which is so mind-blowing that simply to categorize it as good (or bad) seems not to do it justice.

Such is the case with "Robot Dance," the brand-new video from The Pop Ups.  The song itself is from the band's most recent album, the most-excellent Appetite for Construction.  The video is part of a video series the band is launching today, featuring a mixture of puppetry, live action, and animation.  The other four videos feature some new music, funny puppets, and what would appear to be regular "bits."

But this fifth video, for "Robot Dance," a "freeze" song, is... Well, the most accurate way I can put it is that it's bonkers.  Totally bonkers.  But in the best way.  So much love for this.

The Pop Ups - "Robot Dance" [YouTube]

The Kindie Rock Showdown Has Begun!

Kindie Rock Showdown logo

Kindie Rock Showdown logo

I told you last week about the impending re-boot of the KidVid Tournament, in which for several years I pitted kids music videos against each in friendly competition to determine one fan favorite.  The fine folks at batteryPOP have partnered with me to create the Kindie Rock Showdown.  For the next four weeks, eight great kindie bands and artists will compete to see who will claim this year's title.

The first two matchups went live yesterday, and if you missed it, well, you still have 6 days left to vote.  Literally -- you can vote once a day through Sunday.

Last week I told you who would be competing, but not the specific videos.  Well, now it can be revealed: it's Alphabet Rockers' "Dynamite" vs. The Bazillions' "No Homework" and Danny Weinkauf's "Ice Cream" against Caspar Babypants' "The Stump Hotel."

You probably know all about these fine artists, but if not, a few notes from me on the batteryPOP blog will clue you in.

So, again -- check it out, vote, and come back next week for the rest of Round One!

The Kindie Rock Showdown: Coming Next Week!

Kindie Rock Showdown logo

Kindie Rock Showdown logo

As many of you readers know, for a number of years I hosted a KidVid Tournament, which featured kids music videos released over the past year competing against one another in a friendly (I think) competition.  Fans and readers voted for their favorites, March Madness-style, with one band and video being named champion.  I last hosted the competition in 2012, but I had lots of fun hosting it the six years I did so.

But no good idea ever goes away for too long, and so I'm proud to announce that starting next week, there will be an entirely new way to enjoy the tournament.  The website batteryPOP features a ton of great curated video content for kids of a variety of ages, from preschoolers to tweens -- live action, animation, educational shows, shows just for fun, music, etc.  Why "batteryPOP"?  Well, if someone watches a video and likes it, they can "POP" it -- it's like upvoting for the kindergarten set.

I think you see where I'm going with this.

That's right, starting next Monday, May 11, batteryPOP will be hosting the Kindie Rock Showdown.  For the next month, they'll be hosting showdowns between 8 great kids' musicians:

Alphabet Rockers

The Bazillions

Danny Weinkauf

Caspar Babypants

Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band

Secret Agent 23 Skidoo

The Not-Its

Josh and the Jamtones

On top of that, not only will I be providing some color commentary, so will Laurie Berkner!  Yeah, that Laurie Berkner, who will give her own personal reactions to the videos.

The fun kicks off next week as the Alphabet Rockers will take on the Bazillions and Danny Weinkauf is pitted against Caspar Babypants.  The following week, starting May 18, Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band will go up against Secret Agent 23 Skidoo and the Not-Its will compete against Josh and the Jamtones.  The following week will feature the semifinals featuring the most-POPped videos, with the finals the week of June 1.

So tune in to batteryPOP starting next week with your kids to find out which videos are competing, support your favorite kids' musicians, and vote for your favorite videos!  (And you can even go there this week -- really, they've got a lot of great and varied content.)