You Get a Present for Spare the Rock and Zooglobble's Birthday

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So ten years ago this week, this humble little website was born (more on that a little bit later this week).  And nine years ago earlier this month a humble little radio show, Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child, first aired.  In that time, I've written hundreds of reviews and featured hundreds of reviews, while Bill Childs and his kids have played thousands of songs on air (and internet).  We've done lots of other stuff separately and together, and we each have new and exciting projects in the works, but my site has always been at the heart of what I do, and I'm sure Bill feels the same way about his show.

I thought it might be fun to celebrate both this site's birthday as well as Spare the Rock starting its tenth year on the air, something that might span a year's worth of time.  And, yes, Bill was very much onboard.

So we're pleased as punch to announce the first in a series of free kids music tracks for you to enjoy.  Bill and I are talking to some of our favorite kids' musicians, both those making music for kids even before we hopped onto the Internet as well as newer artists continuing to shake up the genre, asking them if they'd be willing to write a song to give away.

But in the spirit of collaboration Bill and I have often shared, we're asking them to write and record those songs with another kindie musician.

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Our first track is called "When I'm Ten" and it's from Seattle-area bands and friends Recess Monkey and The Not-Its.  It's bit of a nod to the Not-Its' song "When I'm Five," but it's got a crunchiness (and slightly older perspective) all its own.  Recess Monkey bassist Jack Forman reports that "writing the tune with Drew [Holloway from Recess Monkey], Sarah [Shannon] and Danny [Adamson, both from the Not-Its] was totally organic - like we'd all been in a band for years."

Play the song below or download it -- for the next month only -- here.

(Recess Monkey photo credit: Kevin Fry)

Radio Playlist: New Music July 2014

The July playlist is a little smaller than the June playlist (see that playlist here), but this is a nice 20 minutes or so of tunes.

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 go right here if you're in Spotify.

**** New Music July 2014 (July 2014 Kindie Playlist) ****

The Not-Its! – Raise Your Hand
Bill Currier – Old Macdonald Family Band
Jon Samson – Mockingbird (Something to Say)
Daisy Uke – Watering Can Can
Raffi – Love Bug
Mista Cookie Jar & the Chocolate Chips – My My My
Sara Hickman – Beautiful Boy

Weekly Review (6/30/14 - 7/13/14)

Video: "Haircut" - The Not-Its

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Seattle's sartorially-superior schoolhouse rockers The Not-Its are releasing their fifth album Raise Your Hand in a couple weeks and judging by their brand new video for "Haircut" (premiered this morning over at USA Today's Pop Candy blog), they have chosen to not cut their hair until the album actually drops.  This will amuse the kids and parents for different reasons -- the kids for the silly hair, the adults for the silly... OK, it'll amuse 'em for the same reason.  (Is it churlish to wish they'd also thrown in a Pavement reference?)

The Not-Its! - "Haircut" [YouTube]

Share: Mother's Day 2014 Playlist (free music!)

Ten tracks of maternal kindie goodness from a variety of artists, courtesy of them and kindie publicist Beth Blenz-Clucas.  The Not-Its, Lisa Loeb, Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band, Brady Rymer, Danny Weinkauf (with Laurie Berkner), Zee Avi, the Okee Dokee Brothers, and Suzi Shelton offer up some mom-related tracks in time for Mother's Day.  Includes tracks from forthcoming albums like those from the Okee Dokee Brothers, the Not-Its, and Brady Rymer, too, so even if you don't care about downloading because you've already supported some kindie musicians, there's some new goodness to enjoy as well.

Download the tracks for free by clicking on the individual track and then on "View track."  But do it quickly, 'cause it's only up for a week or so!

(And, as always, please get your mom something besides free mp3s!)

My Favorite Kids Music Videos of 2013

It's been a couple years since I last tackled the kids music video world.  After years of organizing KidVid Tournaments, I think I just needed a break.  Plus I was organizing a talk on great kids music videos and my video curation energies went there last spring.

That doesn't mean, however, that I've lost interest in finding great videos to share with your family, friends, and strangers in line at the grocery store.  In fact, I went back and looked -- across the site, I featured nearly 100 new videos.

It's a new year now and with that I have a little extra energy to give you a brand new list -- my favorite kids music videos of 2013 (-ish).  Let's define the video year as I have in the past -- new videos featured on the site between March 1 of the prior year and February 28 of the current year.  (So, March 1, 2013 through February 1, 2014.)  Let's also say only one video per artist (though there were a handful of artists I considered breaking that rule for).  As always, I'm interested in visual creativity, a decent level of post-production values (which doesn't necessarily mean expensive), and a really good song.

PS: Miss the KidVid Tournament?  Then I might just have something up my sleeve for you.  Stay tuned.

Without further ado, then, in alphabetical order by artist, my 25 favorite kids music videos of 2013.  Whether this is the first time you've seen some or all of these, or the tenth, please enjoy.

"Similes and Metaphors" - The Bazillions

"Stump Hotel" - Caspar Babypants

"Thingamajig" - Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band

(Oddly enough, removed from YouTube for violating its Terms of Service.  I've had similar problems with YouTube regarding videos I've had specific permission to upload.  I can imagine how frustrating it is for an artist.)

"Bunny in the Moon" - DidiPop

"Palindrome" - Dog on Fleas / Readeez

"Brussels Sprout Shout" - Duke Otherwise

"Midnight Sun" - Elska

"Day You Were Born" - Frances England

"Cakenstein" - Gustafer Yellowgold

"How Big" - Eric Herman

"Dinosaur" - Lori Henriques

"From You" - Charlie Hope

"End of a Summer Storm" - Alison Krauss (via Sandra Boynton)

"Spicy Kid" - Lunch Money

"Cocodrilo" - Mister G

"When I Get Bald" - Alastair Moock

"Snow Day" - Zak Morgan

"Skateboard" - The Not-Its

"Tambourine Submarine" - Recess Monkey

"Recess" - Justin Roberts

"Bigga Bagga" - Key Wilde & Mr. Clarke

"Turn! Turn! Turn!" - Dan Zanes & Elizabeth Mitchell