Video: "Echo" - The Okee Dokee Brothers

By the time you read this, hopefully I will have crossed a small portion of the Appalachian Trail as part of our family's summer vacation.  Maybe we'll just essentially drive across it, or maybe we'll have time to walk a mile on America's most famous trail.

So I'm using that as an excuse to post one of the videos from The Okee Dokee Brothers' latest album, Through the Woods.  It's an album inspired by and partially written during the duo's trek along parts of the Appalachian Trail, and this song, "Echo," has, as you might expect from its title, a sing-along chorus.

I do not plan on jumping into a large body of water from a multiple-story-tall cliff, however.

The Okee Dokee Brothers - "Echo" [YouTube]

Radio Playlist: New Music May 2014

As we head into Memorial Day, we move into one of the big times of the year, kids' music-wise, just before summer.  Lots of great songs to choose from.  (You can see the April 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 go right here if you're in Spotify.

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

The Okee Dokee Brothers – Through the Woods
shad weathersby – Yellowstone / Henihco'oo'
Mr Kneel – C.L.E.A.R. (feat. Jonny 5)
Father Goose – Keep Your Head Up (feat. Danger D)
Suzi Shelton – It's a Beautiful Day
Django Jones – Counterpoint
Danny Weinkauf – Oh No Oh Yeah
Little Miss Ann – Follow Me
Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band – El Cucuy (feat. Ruben Ramos)
Koo Koo Kanga Roo – Fanny Pack
Walter Martin – Hey Sister

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!)

Weekly Summary (3/17/14 - 3/30/14)

Video: "Walking with Spring" - The Okee Dokee Brothers

One of the most anticipated kindie albums of 2014 must be Through the Woods, the Okee Dokee Brothers' follow-up to their 2012 Grammy-winning album Can You Canoe?.  Rather than floating down the Mississippi River, this next album in their proposed-4-album "Adventure Series" sees Joe and Justin walking up the Appalachian Trail.

The first video for the album (and accompanying DVD), for "Walking with Spring," is out, and it follows the template of their Canoe videos -- gorgeously-shot scenes of their travels mixed with the occasional shot of the duo goofing off on their long journey.

Oh, yeah, and a lovely song.

(Bonus: Would you like to see some draft sketches of the album cover from cover artist -- and Zooglobble logo designer -- Brandon Reese?  I thought you might.)

The Okee Dokee Brothers - "Walking with Spring" [YouTube]

Kindie-Chartin': Kids Place Live's Top 13 Songs of 2012


One of my ongoing interests has been attempting to quantify the popularity of kids music, and I do that every week on my Kindie Week in Review show.  When it comes to kids music albums, the wide variety of charts I consider -- Billboard, iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby -- gives a decent overview.  No chart is perfect, but the variety does give some sense of relative popularity among broad range of audiences, from those who have never heard of the word "kindie" to schools and libraries, to folks like you or me.

When it comes to individual kids music songs, however, the charts do a poorer job.  The iTunes and Amazon singles charts are populated primarily with Kidz Bop renditions, songs from Disney animated movies released 20 years ago, novelty songs, and songs Amazon couldn't figure out where to place.  The only chart that does a decent job of actually charting kids songs, particularly kindie songs, on a national basis, is Sirius-XM's Kids Place Live's "13 Under 13" countdown.  It's a weekly look at the most popular songs on the satellite radio station.  And while the folks at KPL have described the chart as much as art as quantifiable fact, the chart does have a decent relationship to what is actually being played on the station.

I've finally had a chance to compile the data from songs that hit the charts in 2012.  Most of the delay is my fault (I'm already planning the 2013 chart and will be much more timely with that one), but some of the delay is due to the structure of this analysis -- it looks at every song that hit the 13U13 chart in 2012 (there were 50 in all), and sometimes those songs that entered in December 2012 didn't exit until March 2013.  A couple of the songs from the 2011 list of top Kids Place Live songs -- Keller Williams' "Mama Tooted" and Todd McHatton's "I Think I'm a Bunny" -- were charting on the KPL list all the way into June 2012.

This analysis would not be possible without the weekly work of Gwyneth Butera at the Kids Place Live Fans site, so thanks, Gwyneth!

My methodology is pretty simple -- I give each song on each chart points for their ranking, 13 for #1, 12 for #2, and so on down to 1 point for being at #13.  Obviously I could use other methods and weightings, but since the chart itself is not 100% based on plays, I think this is accurate enough.  What it does is make clear which songs were particularly popular.  As it so happens, there was a nice demarcation point between the top 13 songs and the rest of the batch.  So here, then, are the top 13 kids music songs of 2012.

#1: The Board of Education - "Why Is Dad So Mad?": While much of this chart will be presented in clumps of songs because the methodology is crude and it's not worth distinguishing between songs who might have differed by 1 or 2 points in total, it was clear was this Star Wars fandom-related riff by the Seattle band was the most popular kindie song of the year.

#s 2 through 4 (alphabetical):

  • Afro Circus (from Madagascar): "Afro Circus"
  • OzoKidz (aka Ozomatli): "Moose on the Loose"
  • Recess Monkey: "Dancing Bear"

#s 5 through 9 (alphabetical):

  • Randy Kaplan: "Don't Fill Up on Chips"
  • Randy Kaplan: "In a Timeout Now"
  • The Okee Dokee Brothers: "Can You Canoe?"
  • SteveSongs: "Flat Stanley"
  • Wunmi: "Rainbow"

#s 10 through 13 (alphabetical):

  • The Aquabats: "Poppin' a Wheelie"
  • Brave (i.e., from Brave): "Learn Me Right"
  • Lunch Money: "Spicy Kid"
  • Shine and the Moonbeams: "High Five"

Finally, listed alphabetically below are the top10  artists of 2012 on Kids Place Live as judged by total points, which could reflect a single massive hit or a couple good ones.  This is an even more imprecise measure -- some artists spend half their year on the charts with two or even three mid-range hits, not to mention the perennial favorites that get played once or twice a day -- but do provide some additional context.

  • The Board of Education
  • The Brave soundtrack
  • Caspar Babypants
  • Dog on Fleas
  • Randy Kaplan
  • Lunch Money
  • The Madagascar soundtrack
  • The Okee Dokee Brothers
  • OzoKidz (aka Ozomatli)
  • Recess Monkey