Video: "A Frog Named Sam" - Ben Rudnick & Friends

I'm only lukewarm on the live-action portion of this video, the title track from Ben Rudnick and Friends' seventh CD. But I really, really dig the animation. And the song always makes me go "ribbit, ribbit, croak" for, like, hours afterward... Ben Rudnick & Friends - "A Frog Named Sam" (Hat tip: Gwyneth)

The JumpArounds: Will They Make Your House a Pain?

JumpArounds.JPGWord from Nickolodeon today that they're going to be unleashing a new series on America this summer: The JumpArounds. What is the show? Well, it's a "new, original live-action comedy series that teaches preschoolers about music appreciation and how to express their feelings and emotions through movement, song and instrumental music." It focuses on best friends in a band (The JumpArounds) who attend music school together -- Marina (Shayna Rose), Kiki (Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer), Twist (Jon Beavers) and... wait for it... Shout (Thomas Hobson). What it really is Preschool Musical, which is the title I so totally would have used based on the Viacom press release until I read Variety's article on the show, in which show co-creator and co-executive producer Nadine van der Velde used the phrase herself. But I've seen a couple of the videos set to start airing on Nickelodeon and Noggin/Nick Jr. tomorrow -- "Go Go A Go Go" and "Great Day" -- and it's completely High School Musical down to the pop tunes which are harmless enough but certainly won't win any awards. But with its day-glo costume and sets and smiling stars, I guarantee you that your preschoolers run the risk of becoming addicted to the show. So I hope you like it. How about JumpAround's Big Music Show for an alternative title -- is that taken? (It does make you wonder if this spells the end for Jack's Big Music Show -- it seems like one show about music is more than enough for any network.)

I'm Sorry, Frank Black, But You Should Totally Do a Kids Album

And for [Frank] Black, has fatherhood changed his music? "No, not at all," he said. "It's not like, now I'm gonna sing about my kids, and I'd be doing my kids a disservice if I get all fluffy and wimpy and dorky ... someday, I'll be dead and gone, but they'll still have my copyrights."
OK, as I reread the quote and its accompanying article about Black's new band Grand Duchy, which includes his wife, perhaps he's not talking about kids music but just about "going soft." But, still, if I were the kind of person to start one of those "1,000,000 Strong" Facebook pages (hey, did Bad Brains play Obama's Inauguration?), I would totally start a "1,000,000 Strong for the Pixies and Frank Black To Do a Family Music Album" page. It might be a disaster, but even if it were, it'd be a glorious disaster.

Interview: Ziggy Marley

ZiggyHouse.jpgZiggy Marley comes from a large and very musical family. The son of Bob Marley, Ziggy's had a solid musical career of his own as part his siblings' band Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers as well as with a solo career. So it's not so surprising perhaps that Marley's first album for kids and families is called Family Time. The album is set to be released next week on Marley's own label Tuff Gong Worldwide. Marley recently took a few minutes to chat about music in his everyday life, why Paul Simon and Willie Nelson joined him on the album, and his hopes for the record. Zooglobble: What do you remember singing or playing growing up? Ziggy Marley: We sang a lot of Jamaican folk songs, but we had a lot of different records. I remember we had Glen Campbell's "Rhinestone Cowboy," and the Jackson Five, too. We sang "Rockin' Robin'"... What do you sing or play with your kids? I make up stuff, songs about whatever we're doing. Like at dinnertime, my son will ask me to "sing me something." Or brushing teeth -- "brush up, brush to your left, brush to your right." Hey, I have that song, too! So why a family album now?

Austin Kiddie Limits 2009 Lineup Announced

The lineup for the 2009 Austin City Limits Festival (Oct. 2-4) has been announced, including the Austin Kiddie Limits stage... Ralph's World Milkshake Q Brothers Telephone Company Lunch Money ... are definitely there. It's unclear whether Quinn Sullivan, Palm School Elementary, and Loose Cannons are playing the AKL stage or one of the other stages. Secret Agent 23 Skidoo is also listed (at his site) as performing at AKL, so I'm kinda thinking there are a couple more acts to be added. Top of the bill is a little OK, not great (Pearl Jam, Dave Mathews, Beastie Boys); it's the undercard, as always, that's where it's at (Levon Helm, Sonic Youth, Lily Allen, Blitzen Trapper, etc.) And for those of you looking for (potential) kids stage cameos, look no further than Medeski Martin & Wood, Terri Hendrix, and Andrew Bird...

B Is For Bob, G Is For Grammy, so Z...

... must be for Ziggy. It's a lousy Scrabble hand, but a busy spring for Ziggy Marley. His Family Time album comes out May 5th, then a month later, Marley's playing Club Nokia on Saturday, June 6th as part of the GRAMMY Museum's monthly "Musical Explorations" program for families. It's Marley's first family-specific concert along with Rhythm Child and unsurprisingly, it's for the "What Is Reggae?" show. And if that wasn't enough, on June 23rd Marley will release B Is For Bob. As previously reported, the album features Ziggy tackling his father's catalog, remixing, adding some tracks, reimagining, as it were, some classic Bob Marley tracks. The album cover art and track listing after the jump...