Video: "Chocolate" - Sonia de Los Santos

Mi Viaje album cover

Mi Viaje album cover

After the ubiquitous "De Colores," I'd guess that the traditional Mexican children's tune "Chocolate" is the Spanish-language song that appears most often in our kids music collection.  Simple enough for preschoolers of any language + sugar = generations of children's music longevity!

Sonia de Los Santos included a nice rendition of the song on her album Mi Viaje: De Nuevo León to the New York Island, and now it's got an simple but artfully crafted video to match.  The illustration is from Mexican-born illustrator Rafael Lopez, and if you and your family enjoyed de Los Santos' album, or Dan Zanes' music and overall family music aesthetic, y'all will dig this.

Sonia de Los Santos - "Chocolate" [YouTube]

Video: "You Were Meant To Be" - Renee Stahl and Glen Phillips (World Premiere!)

(from left to right) Rich Jacques, Glen Phillips, Renee Stahl

(from left to right) Rich Jacques, Glen Phillips, Renee Stahl

I suppose it's always time for songs of unconditional love and acceptanace around these parts, but with Mother's Day coming up this weekend, it's especially that sort of time.  So this brand new video for "You Were Meant To Be" from Renee and Friends' Simpatico album seems very timely.

That album included duets with a number of Renee Stahl's friends and acquaintances, and "You Were Meant To Be" features vocals from Glen Phillips of Toad the Wet Sprocket.  (That's Phillips with Stahl in the picture to the left, along with producer Rich Jacques.)  Stahl was a long time fan of Phillips in addition to being a friend of his.  Phillips said he and Stahl wrote the song, whose message is one of welcoming and belong in good times and bad, at a time of personal transition for him -- "it was wonderful to take some of that uncertainty and view it through the lens on a parent/child relationship."  For me, the result is one of the album's highlights.

Glen Phillips recording

Glen Phillips recording

The animation for the new video is from Jon Izen, whose line art of bird-like humans (or human-like birds) and amuted color palette also graced Renee and Jeremy videos for "Share" and "Yellow."  I loved his work on those videos, and the retro vibe and art direction for this new song is another excellent fit.

So, regardless of whether you're a mother, a father, or neither -- like, for example, a kid -- I think you'll enjoy this world premiere.

Renee Stahl & Glen Phillips - "You Were Meant To Be" [Vimeo]

Photo credit: Renee Stahl Dektor

Video: "Beautiful Day" - Red Yarn

Wake Up and Sing cover

Wake Up and Sing cover

Today is the release day for Red Yarn's new album, his third, titled Wake Up & Sing.  I can think of no better way to celebrate new music from the Portland musician and puppet impresario than to feature the first video from the album.  It's for the leadoff track, "Beautiful Day," and it features a whole host of puppet friends.  Don't let the horse drive the bus! (Or car.)  A beautiful day, indeed.

Red Yarn - "Beautiful Day" [YouTube]

Video: "Helen's Song" - The Que Pastas

Meet You By the Moon album cover

Meet You By the Moon album cover

I'm not one normally to post videos featuring user-submitted photos and videos because I don't tend to find them particularly compelling.

But this new one from The Que Pastas features lead singer/guitarist's Gene Davis' own photos and videos from, like, just about his entire life.  It gives his song, or rather, "Helen's Song," already lovely in audio form, that much more "oomph."  This one's probably more for the dads (and moms) in the audience than their kids, but the older kids looking for a soundtrack for a Father's (or Mother's) Day video could do much, much worse.  The song's from the brand new album from the Texas band, Meet You By the Moon.

The Que Pastas - "Helen's Song" [YouTube]

Monday Morning Smile: "Ma'agalim" - Jane Bordeaux

Got an e-mail the other day from Lori Henriques the other day which just included a subject line -- "Thought of you :)" -- and a Vimeo link.

Turns out Henriques has me pegged pretty well.  The link was to this video for "Ma'agalim" by Jane Bordeaux.  The Jane Bordeaux Band plays "Americana Hebrew Folk Country music," so be advised that unless you're a Hebrew speaker, you're not going to understand the lyrics.  But the lovely video from director Uri Lotan will likely cause you and your kids to stare slightly slackjawed at the gorgeous animation of a penny arcade machine that tells a years-long story.  Full of wonder.

The Jane Bordeaux Band - "Ma'agalim" [Vimeo]

Video: "Black Footed Ferret" - The Whizpops

Last fall, I clued you in to a sweet animated video for "Manta Ray" by Montana kindie band The Whizpops.  The video was premiered on the SciShow Kids channel, and nearly six months later, the band's getting a second video premiere from fellow Montanan Hank Green and his merry band of YouTube educators.

The video is for "Black Footed Ferret," and I think it's an even better match of song and video than the first pairing.  In addition to the song, which veers from Billy Joel/Steely Dan jazzy piano pop to rap and back again, the video neatly complements the story the song tells about black footed ferrets' tenacious and tenuous grip on survival as a species.

Also, in addition to the animation, there are also puppets.  I am ALWAYS thinking of the puppets.

In any case, the song is from The Whizpops' forthcoming album, Ranger Rick's Trail Mix Vol. 1, due out May 20, and the band is clearly continuing down the nature-tainment path they've forged on their recent albums.  Hopefully there are a couple more videos as cute as this one on the drawing board.

The Whizpops - "Black Footed Ferret" [YouTube]