Listen To This: "Free Bubbles" - Mista Cookie Jar (feat. Father Goose!)

"Free Bubbles" single cover

"Free Bubbles" single cover

Good to have Mista Cookie Jar back to offer us more kindie music from about 15 minutes in the future.  This brand new track "Free Bubbles"  might make you feel a little irie, thanks to two of the most positive kids musicians -- that's saying something in this genre.  It's the L.A.-based MCJ himself, teaming up with his New York-based cross-country doppelganger Father Goose.

There's a little more (OK, a lot more) Auto-Tune on this track celebrating free bubbles (soap bubbles, but also more metaphorical bubbles) than Father Goose probably experiences when he plays with frequent collaborator Dan Zanes, but that's just the way that Mista Cookie Jar rolls.

Now, you may have already heard this song getting some airplay on your favorite radio/satellite radio/podcast, for a limited time, starting this first day of summer, you can download the track for name-your-own-price (including free!).  Just follow the link below, and even if you stumble upon this later this summer or the midst of winter, give it a spin for more summertime vibes.

Listen To This: "Cats & Dogs" - Best Coast

Best Coast - "Best Kids" cover

Best Coast - "Best Kids" cover

I know, I know record labels are (mostly) dead [waves "Hi" at Bill], but I do appreciate that Amazon Music is using some of its bazillions of dollars not just to give away free bananas but fund the creation of some kids music that probably wouldn't happen otherwise.

The latest such album is the forthcoming album Best Kids from crunchy garage pop-rockers Best Coast.  The duo of singer/guitarist Bethany Consentino and multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno, took 11 songs, a mixture of classics like "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and "Rainbow Connection" and originals, and gave them their own Best Coast spin.  (There is, unsurprisingly, no banjo on their revved-up version of "Rainbow Connection.")

You can hear the whole thing exclusively on Amazon Music on June 22 (preorder it here), but you can listen to one of the originals, the friendship-celebrating "Cats & Dogs, RIGHT. HERE. NOW.

Listen To This: "Waiting for the Elevator" - Laurie Berkner (World Premiere!)

Laurie Berkner Waiting for the Elevator cover

Laurie Berkner Waiting for the Elevator cover

It's always nice to see new music from Laurie Berkner cross my desk, so when her latest single, "Waiting for the Elevator," popped in my e-mail inbox, I clicked "play" without reading anything about it.  It starts out simply, as Berkner songs often do, with an ear-wormy melody, Berkner's clear voice, and lyrics about riding up in an elevator.  Aside from the fact that she sings about riding up to the first floor (are we in Europe now?), it seemed like it was an appealing, albeit fairly conventional, song.

And then it got a little strange.

Not Inception strange, or in any way inappropriately, but what I'm saying is, listen to the whole thing.  (Your preschoolers will make you, anyway.)  I'm happy to be world premiering the track today right here, but you can also listen at your other favorite places (iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon, Google Play, Spotify).

Laurie Berkner - "Waiting for the Elevator" [YouTube]

Listen To This: "Skip To My Lou" - Dan Zanes feat. Chuck D & Memphis Jelks

Lead Belly, Baby! album cover

Lead Belly, Baby! album cover

If the sound of Dan Zanes singing "Skip To My Lou" with Chuck D and Memphis Jelks throwing in some (new) lyrics doesn't put a smile on your face (and whet your appetite for Lead Belly, Baby!, Zanes' upcoming Smithsonian Folkways album featuring his takes on the family-friendly music the blues musician recorded for the label decades ago), then... listen again.  Really good stuff, reminiscent of Zanes' best work.  Lead Belly, Baby! is out August 25.

Dan Zanes feat. Chuck D & Memphis Jelks - "Skip To My Lou" [YouTube]

Listen To This: "Colander Sun" - Lard Dog & The Band of Shy

"Colander Sun" single cover

"Colander Sun" single cover

So there's song about colanders and... well, that's all I really need to say, because, c'mon, do you really need to hear yet another song about puppies or holidays or friendship when you can hear an ode to colanders?  The number of kids' artists I figure as being up for a song featuring colanders is pretty small, and Lard Dog & The Band of Shy is definitely amongst them.

"Colander Sun" is part of the band's "Song-of-the-Month" project where they're releasing one song each month, given for free for the price of an e-mail address.  The song is, according to the band "in honor of Lard Dog's ancestry and in appreciation for this shiny, often over-looked option for a hat choice."  Yes, that's weird, but that's par for the course for the band, prepping its next full length album, Dreamers, out September 22.  Even ignoring the lyrical subject matter, it's got a nifty, blues riff on the guitar, and some fabulous vocals in the second half of the song from Sharaé Moultrie.  It's good for your spleen, or, at least, will cause no damage whatsoever.

Lard Dog & The Band of Shy - "Colander Sun" [Soundcloud]