Monday Morning Smile: "Cookie-Tin Banjo" - Benjamin Scheuer and Escapist Papers

I've previously featured "The Lion," a delightfully-animated video from Benjamin Scheuer and his band Escapist Papers, as a "Monday Morning Smile."

Now I'm featuring "Cookie-Tin Banjo," a delightfully-animated video from Benjamin Scheuer and his band Escapist Papers, as a "Monday Morning Smile."  The song is a tender ballad featuring delicate fret work on the guitar, and the animation (directed by Peter Baynton based on illustrations by Nicholas Stevenson) is of a different, fuzzier style, but the upshot -- an achingly lovely portrait of fathers and families -- is the same.  In fact, in its celebration of music through the generations, it's even more apropos for this site.

Benjamin Scheuer and Escapist Papers - "Cookie-Tin Banjo" [Vimeo]

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]

Video: "Love Bug" - Raffi

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Raffi's got a new album, his first of original kids music in more than a decade, coming out later this month.  It's titled Love Bug, and one of the album's strongest tracks -- and certainly one of the most "Raffi-like" in nature.  While his brand new video for the song isn't his first in the decade (here's "Hockey Days" from just a couple years ago), its existence is something to celebrate.

And, luckily, it's good, too.  Nothing terribly original -- a little fingerpainting, a little facepainting, and a little more "Kids Say the Darnedest Things" -- but it's stitched together nicely and fits the snuggly song so very well.

Raffi - "Love Bug" [YouTube]

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]

Video: "Tiny Little Car" - Johnny Bregar

It's been a little since we've had some new music from Johnny Bregar (the last being 2012's My Neighborhood) but thankfully the dry spell will soon be coming to an end.  The Seattle-based Bregar will release a new album this fall loosely tied to the theme of imagination, and he's getting a super-early start on videos for the album.  He's just released a video for "Tiny Little Car," and the visuals from Blue's Clues animator Seth Zeichner are cute.

I don't recommend letting your dog drive just so you can play the guitar in the back seat, I don't care how tiny and/or little your car is.

Johnny Bregar - "Tiny Little Car" [YouTube]

Video: "Dynamite" - Alphabet Rockers

I don't really have much to say about this song and video from the Bay Area's Alphabet Rockers except that the song, which tips its cap to "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" before moving on past that to get kids moving, NAILS IT.  It's a simple pop song in the best of ways.

Also, libraries rock.

Alphabet Rockers - "Dynamite" [YouTube]