Radio Playlist: New Music March 2016

As compared to February's playlist, this month's new music playlist is definitely full.  (If you want to catch my list from February -- briefer but just as high quality -- 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.

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

"I Like To Be Surprised" - Turkey Andersen

"Esperanca (feat. Tita Lima)" - Sandra Sandia

"Lousie Loves Art Song" - Emily Arrow

"I Wear Pink" - Hullabaloo

"I've Been Workin' on the Railroad" - Beleza

"The Melody of Misfit Souls & the Open-Hearted" - Mista Cookie Jar & the Chocolate Chips

"The Silly Dance" - Holly

"Life is Like a Noodle" - Lard Dog & the Band of Shy

"Drum Factory: I'm My Own Grandpa" - Cory Hills

"This Old Man" - The Wunkabunks

"Seven" - Dan Crow

"Somebody Come and Play" - Rory

"Bird on a Wire" - The Not-Its!

"Barefoot Floors" - Jane Roman Pitt

Listen To This: "Washington, DC" - The Not-Its! (World Premiere / Free Download!)

The Not-Its - Washington, DC single cover

The Not-Its - Washington, DC single cover

Sure, some of you may be thinking about Valentine's Day, but the more politically minded among us have already moved on to my favorite holiday in February: Presidents' Day.

It celebrates Presidents Washington and Lincoln, and I guess every president, and besides the 3-day weekend it gives many workers, it's also an opportunity to think about the nation's political process, leaders, and the people's role in self-governance.

The Not-Its! brand new album Are You Listening? is released this Friday, February 19th, and their latest single is titled "Washington, DC."  And while it starts out as a travelogue, it segues into about as nuanced a discussion of the political process as you'd expect from a pop-punk song targeted at 6-year-olds.  Are you listening?  Well, I'm making it as easy as I can -- for a limited time you can not only stream but also download the track below.

(Art by Not-Its! drummer Michael Welke)

The Not-Its - "Washington, DC" [Soundcloud]

Video: "Dance With Me" - The Not-Its!

The Not-Its! Are You Listening album cover

The Not-Its! Are You Listening album cover

Seattle band The Not-Its have a brand new album set for release next week -- February 19, to be specific.  It’s called Are You Listening? and unsurprisingly there are more than a couple tracks that could cause involuntary pogoing and/or headbanging in your child.  Chief among those tracks may be the leadoff single “Dance With Me,” which gets a nifty hand-animated video from Chris Looney.  Looney describes the process of creating the video here -- those are Not-Its puppets, folks.

The Not-Its! - "Dance With Me" [YouTube]

The Kindie Rock Showdown: A Brief Recap

Kindie Rock Showdown logo

Kindie Rock Showdown logo

Well after nearly a full month of kids music video competition to the death... OK, there was no death or even injury whatsoever, the Kindie Rock Showdown over at batteryPOP has come to a conclusion.  When I last let you know what was going on, we were in the middle of Round 1, as Danny Weinkauf's "Ice Cream" knocked off Caspar Babypants' "The Stump Hotel" and Alphabet Rockers' "Dynamite" triumphed over The Bazillions' "No Homework" while we awaited the results of Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band's "Blue Bear" vs. Secret Agent 23 Skidoo's "Gotta Be You" and Josh and the Jamtones' "John Jacob" against The Not-Its' "Haircut."

Long story short, in the semi-finals the following week, Danny Weinkauf defeated Alphabet Rockers and Secret Agent 23 Skidoo beat The Not-Its, which set up an epic final between the bassist for They Might Be Giants and the hip-hop musician who knew a thing or two about winning a video showdown.  More than 10,000 votes were cast in the final round, and while it was close all week, with the lead changing hands several times, in the end Danny Weinkauf's video "Ice Cream" took home the prize.

As I noted in my last blog for the tournament, thanks to the artists for participating, batteryPOP for taking this idea and running with it, Laurie Berkner for doing a bunch of video intros, and everyone for watching and POPping their favorite videos.  Hopefully this isn't the last time!

Let's watch "Ice Cream" one last time to celebrate Weinkauf's victory.  I think I know how he might celebrate his victory...

Danny Weinkauf and the Red Pants Band - "Ice Cream" [YouTube]

The Kindie Rock Showdown: Week One in the Books, Week Two Underway!

Kindie Rock Showdown logo

Kindie Rock Showdown logo

Well Week One of the batteryPOP/Zooglobble Kindie Rock Showdown is in the books and...

Wait, you don't know what the batteryPop/Zooglobble Kindie Rock Showdown is?  OK, read this and come back.  It's OK, I'll wait.

So, yeah, last week a bunch of you voted and Danny Weinkauf's "Ice Cream" knocked off Caspar Babypants' "The Stump Hotel" while in a squeaker, Alphabet Rockers' "Dynamite" triumphed over The Bazillions' "No Homework."  Those two winners move on to the semifinals next week.

But this week we've got four new videos going head-to-head: Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band's "Blue Bear" vs. Secret Agent 23 Skidoo's "Gotta Be You" and Josh and the Jamtones' "John Jacob" (that's a lot of "J"s there) facing off against The Not-Its' "Haircut."  Some solid video action there, too.

You can read more about the videos and the matchups here.  And, just as she did last week, Laurie Berkner's providing some color commentary of her own on the videos.

So head on over, watch the videos, "POP" your favorites daily, and see who moves on to the semifinal round next week!

The Kindie Rock Showdown: Coming Next Week!

Kindie Rock Showdown logo

Kindie Rock Showdown logo

As many of you readers know, for a number of years I hosted a KidVid Tournament, which featured kids music videos released over the past year competing against one another in a friendly (I think) competition.  Fans and readers voted for their favorites, March Madness-style, with one band and video being named champion.  I last hosted the competition in 2012, but I had lots of fun hosting it the six years I did so.

But no good idea ever goes away for too long, and so I'm proud to announce that starting next week, there will be an entirely new way to enjoy the tournament.  The website batteryPOP features a ton of great curated video content for kids of a variety of ages, from preschoolers to tweens -- live action, animation, educational shows, shows just for fun, music, etc.  Why "batteryPOP"?  Well, if someone watches a video and likes it, they can "POP" it -- it's like upvoting for the kindergarten set.

I think you see where I'm going with this.

That's right, starting next Monday, May 11, batteryPOP will be hosting the Kindie Rock Showdown.  For the next month, they'll be hosting showdowns between 8 great kids' musicians:

Alphabet Rockers

The Bazillions

Danny Weinkauf

Caspar Babypants

Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band

Secret Agent 23 Skidoo

The Not-Its

Josh and the Jamtones

On top of that, not only will I be providing some color commentary, so will Laurie Berkner!  Yeah, that Laurie Berkner, who will give her own personal reactions to the videos.

The fun kicks off next week as the Alphabet Rockers will take on the Bazillions and Danny Weinkauf is pitted against Caspar Babypants.  The following week, starting May 18, Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band will go up against Secret Agent 23 Skidoo and the Not-Its will compete against Josh and the Jamtones.  The following week will feature the semifinals featuring the most-POPped videos, with the finals the week of June 1.

So tune in to batteryPOP starting next week with your kids to find out which videos are competing, support your favorite kids' musicians, and vote for your favorite videos!  (And you can even go there this week -- really, they've got a lot of great and varied content.)