Radio Playlist: New Music July 2016

No new music playlist in June -- that's what happens when you post on May 31 -- but let's start July with a half-hour of new music for your family's listening pleasure.  (If you want to catch that list from May, 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 right here in you're in Spotify).

**** New Music July 2016 (July 2016 Kindie Playlist) ****

"It Ain't No Fault of Mine" - The Hollow Trees

"Don't Knock It 'Til You Try It" - Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could

"Do You Talk to Yourself" - Dean Jones

"Diez Pajaritos (feat. Nathalia Palis)" - 123 Andres

"Phone" - Eric Herman and the Thunder Puppies

"Made to Fly" - Chibi Kodama

"Hole in My Bucket (feat. Jazzy Ash)" - KB Whirly

"Glitter Bug" - Animal Farm

"The Musical Cat" - Genevieve Toupin

Video: "Feufollet" - Katy Hobgood Ray and the Confetti Park Players

This is a video that's probably more appropriate for the last day of October than the last day of June, but no matter.  It's for the song "Feufollet," off the album We're Going to Confetti Park.  What is Confetti Park?  It's a kid-friendly radio show and podcast featuring New Orleans culture led by New Orleans musician and producer Katy Hobgood Ray.  Their first album features songs inspired by New Orleans and a children's chorus.

This song, "Feufollet," is a little spooky in a kid-friendly way, with the art and animation by Gustavo Wenzel and Santiago Germano a perfect atmospheric match.  With swamps and flickering lights and danger of the will o'the wisps, watch this now... and bring this back out around Halloween.

Katy Hobgood Ray and the Confetti Park Players - "Feufollet" [YouTube]

Podcast Review: Short & Curly

Short and Curly logo

Short and Curly logo

In the still-small field of kids podcasting, it doesn't take much to stand out.  Short & Curly stands out in not one but two ways: it's 1) Australian, and 2) about ethics.

Item #1 -- its Down Under nature -- I mention in part because the hosts' accents are a novelty to North American ears, but there's a more significant component as well because the program is produced by ABC.  The Australian Broadcasting Company, that is, and the fact that their national broadcaster has devoted its resources toward producing this podcast for kids serves to highlight, in a small way, how the American and Canadian broadcast systems haven't produced such a program on a national level.

Accents and national differences in the production of radio aside, what makes Short & Curly more interesting is its subject: ethics.  And not just simple questions with obvious answers like, "is stealing bad?," but more complex ones like "Is it ever okay to lie?," "Should chimps have the same rights as kids?," and "Is Dumbledore as great as he seems?"  These are not easy questions to answer, and exactly the sort of thing that ethics is supposed to tackle (well, Aristotle didn't address the last one, but you get my point).

The program is hosted by actress/writer Molly Daniels and reporter Carl Smith -- the two of them have a jokey interaction, often role-playing the ethical question at hand.  Dr. Matt Beard from The Ethics Centre appears in every episode to provide some context and ways to think about the question.  And, of course, there are kids' voices as well, though one of the nifty things about an ethics podcast -- where there aren't necessarily right answers in the way a science podcast might have -- is that rather than the kids asking the questions, they're the ones answering the question, or at least giving their ethical perspective.  And while most of the episodes have thus far followed a fairly uniform structure (question, possible answers, experts), the just-released Season 2 had a little more variety -- the aforementioned Dumbledore-themed episode was structured as a trial.  It's also designed to be interactive, as at least a couple times per show the hosts ask listeners a question and suggest that they pause the podcast to discuss.

The podcast is most appropriate for kids ages 6 through 12.  The iTunes link for the show is here, Soundcloud here.  Episodes are generally about 20 minutes in length and are completely ad-free.  There are a couple "seasons," both released this year, so the 10 episodes (plus trailer) are easily digested.

I really like Short & Curly because it encourages discussion, treats serious issues lightly enough for kids to not be turned off, and is breezily entertaining.  The accents are just a nice little bonus.

Video: "Entomology" (feat. Liz Vice & Laki Karavias) - Big World Audio Theatre

Entomology cover

Entomology cover

It's new music from Big World Audio Theatre!  That's right, the Portland, Oregon-based crew who gave us the big story of the Peculiar Tales of the S.S. Bungalow are back, with a look at the very small world of bugs.

Or, for those of you who like to use big words for small things: "Entomology."

The band's got a brand new jazzy, big band song about our 6-legged friends (or non-friends, depending on you or your child's attitude toward the bugs), with Liz Vice taking most of the vocal duties and Laki Karavias a small professorial part.  Karavias also directed the very slick animated lyric video, one of the nicest kindie videos I've seen in a while.  You can pick up the single on iTunes here, or just enjoy the video below.

Big World Audio Theatre - "Entomology" (feat. Liz Vice & Laki Karavias) [YouTube]

Video: "I Had a Rooster" - Red Yarn (World Premiere!)

Wake Up and Sing cover

Wake Up and Sing cover

Once you've woken up to a "Beautiful Day," what are you gonna do?  Eat, of course!  And so Red Yarn in "I Had a Rooster" visits all the animals on his farm, feeds them the greenberry tree, and all the animals are vocally responsive.  (You know, "meow meow... neigh neigh...")

I really like the uptempo Red Yarn take on the traditional barnyard song from his Wake Up & Sing album, and his video once again features many puppet-y friends.  My favorite this time is the horse jammin' out on the drums.  Enjoy this video (directed by Jeff Speetjens and featuring a bunch of puppeteers) for "I Had a Rooster," world-premiered here!

Red Yarn - "I Had a Rooster" [YouTube]