Video: "Pretty Crabby" - Caspar Babypants

Me? I'm a big fan of Caspar Babypants. And a big fan of Charlotte Blacker.

And, as you might expect, a big fan of when the musician and the artist combine for videos.  (See here and here.)

So when CB and, er, CB get together to release a brand new music video, um, yes, I shall post it.  Blacker joins with Mark Taylor to create a another spiffily kinetic and knitted animation for "Pretty Crabby" off Caspar's brand-new album Rise and Shine!   My favorite bit is the crabby band.

Caspar Babypants - "Pretty Crabby" [YouTube]

Review: Sing As We Go! - Charlie Hope

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Singer-songwriting Charlie Hope has a bright, clear voice that appeals to many ears.  In attitude, temperament, and vocal quality, I've previously compared her to Raffi, and I think the analogy still holds.

On her recent release, Sing As We Go!, Hope continues with the formula that has won her fans on both sides of the Canadian-United States border.  Take a batch traditional songs, mix in a handful of poppy folk originals, add a dash of kindie royalty, and stir.  Hope's voice and producer Dean Jones' unfussy musical choices give a fresh spin to the traditionals.  A simple touch like the toy piano on the old camp chestnut "I Love the Mountains" helps give the song new life to the adult listener who may have heard the song more times than they probably should.  While some of the titles like "When the Ice Worm Nests Again" and "Little Rooster" might not sound familiar, the melodies probably will, with Hope occasionally writing some new lyrics for the songs.

The originals here are lovely -- from the lost '70s AM-radio tune "With You" (co-written and performed by Hope and Gustafer Yellowgold's Morgan Taylor) to Jones' "Harmony" (a duet between Hope and Elizabeth Mitchell) and Hope's own gentle ode to the parent-child bond "From You" -- and feel just as timeless as the actual classics they're next to.  (And speaking of kindie royalty, Molly Ledford, Randy Kaplan, and Chris Ballew aka Caspar Babypants also appear on the album.)

The album is most appropriate for kids ages 3 through 7.  You can listen to extended clips from each song on the album here.  Also, I happen to find the album art here particularly delightful, an artful mix of hand-drawn, computer-drawn, and knitted illustration from Zooglobble favorite Charlotte Blacker.

I first listened to this album months ago, set it aside as real life took over, and when I came back to it recently in preparation for writing this review, I was struck by just how delightful this is.  It's traditional but not musty, sweet but not cloying, engaging but not pandering.  It's a gem of an album, definitely worthy of a comparison to Raffi.  Highly recommended.

Video: "From You" - Charlie Hope

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Charlie Hope, who in her warm-hearted simplicity and clear voice, I sometimes think of as the latter-day, female equivalent of Raffi (though with a Juno and without the Daniel Lanois connection), has a new album coming out next month.  She's just released her first video from Sing As We Go , an animated video for "From You," and it's a tender, computerized felt-like creation from UK animator Charlotte Blacker.  (We are big Charlotte Blacker fans 'round here.)  It bodes well for the album as a whole.

Charlie Hope - "From You" [YouTube]

Video: "Too Dirty to Love" - Caspar Babypants

Caspar Babypants and Charlotte Blacker, back together again for kindie video goodness.  Last time it was knitted bears, this time it's collage-y grungy worms.  It's for "Too Dirty to Love" (featuring vocals from Rachel Flotard), off the brand-new and excellent CB album I Found You!.

Caspar Babypants - "Too Dirty to Love" [YouTube]

Video: "Stompy the Bear" - Caspar Babypants

There's a pretty simple reason I continue to post Caspar Babypants videos here on the site.  It's because they continue to be awesome.  This one is for one of my favorite songs of his fine new album Hot Dog!, "Stompy the Bear."  It's by Charlotte Blacker and it's knitting awesome.  (Does the animation look familiar?  Maybe that's because you saw this video here last year.)

Caspar Babypants - "Stompy the Bear" [YouTube]