You know, I tried to come up with a snappier/wittier headline for this, but all the possibilities -- "Alphabutt is Alpha-better than most!," "Do Ya Like Kimya?," "D'Juno Kimya Has a Kids' Album?" -- seemed, well, way too cheesy. (I gotta admit, though, I kinda like that last one.) Still, I think you get the point. Kimya Dawson, who was the major contributor to the Juno soundtrack that an unexpected chart-topper earlier this year, has recorded a full-length kids' album called Alphabutt. Set to be released September 9, it's going to be one of the more high profile kids' albums of the year. And I happen to have the cover art and tracklisting. So, courtesy of K Records, here you go...
Hey there... a post with no new news other than to say sometimes life outside the kids music world takes precedence. OK, that's, like, all the time with me, but I'm clearly able to find some time for this little corner of the world. Usually. "Real life" has gone all squirrely and to say I'm busy is a massive understatement. The family's healthy, everyone's doing fine, no problems at all, but my ability to post stuff and even reply to the most basic of e-mails has been dramatically reduced on a temporary basis. Rest assured, all will return to normal -- such as it is -- soon. And I guess this is appropriate here:
If you do like Jeff Tweedy, and you are planning on being at Lollapalooza this year then get yourself over to the Kidz stage at about 3:00 on Friday, 'cuz he's playing a set. "Just A Kid," indeed. (I'm thinkin' "Shot in the Arm" or "Handshake Drugs" might not be the best choices for his setlist.) Yeah, the schedule was announced a while back, but now we have days and times. The full schedule for Kidzapalooza after the jump.
It's not like the Bay Area's Hipwaders haven't done their fair share of covers -- one check of their Myspace or YouTube pages will find any number of Disney or cartoon covers by the band. But recently they've started doing something new -- covering their contemporaries. First, they posted "What Am I Gonna Do?" on their Myspace page and gave much love to the song's creators, Austin's Telephone Company. I agree with Tito -- it's about time that the Company's long-unreleased album Panda Brain change that status. The Hipwaders' version is really, really cool, giving it a cool guitar line to go with the slightly surreal lyrics. Then, today they posted "The Books I Like To Read," from fellow Bay Area artist Frances England, off her first CD, Fascinating Creatures. It's a live video from about a month ago, and while the Hipwaders don't do any major alterations to the uptempo song in their cover, it's just interesting -- and refreshing -- to hear kids' artists cover their contemporaries. The Hipwaders - "The Books I Like To Read" (Frances England cover)
But if you're just relying on your RSS reader to follow this site, you'll miss some great stuff in the comments. For example, the biggest kids music blogger fite! since the great Berkner-palooza-gate of January 2007 is a discussion on XM Kids between Bill and myself. The comments in both are worth reading, and I've updated my post with some more thoughts. I'll add one more thought here, and that's that expanding the universe of kids music has been one of my biggest interests from the very beginning of this site. The more voices interested in the genre -- be it radio stations or websites -- the stronger the genre will become. In addition to thoughts about the state of the genre, you might have missed the numerous comments on kids songs as-yet-unrecorded and kids songs not-recorded-for-a-long-time. Do you have any suggestions? Join in. We're also giving away a copy of Dan Zanes' new album Nueva York!. Entering that contest is one thing your RSS reader can't do for you... Even if you just read by RSS, I do want thank all of you for continuing to stop by on a regular basis.
Let me start this review by suggesting that, for all its sins real or imagined, Disney Music purveys more original music for kids and families than any other label. It is possible to avoid a fair amount of that if you don't actually watch cable TV on a regular basis, but they put out a lot of music on a regular basis, and for all age ranges. Not to mention a back catalog the envy of just about anybody. How much you actually enjoy it all depends in part on your age, but I've got three recent Disney releases here, and at least one of them is worth your time. I admit it. I'm old. Not, like, Social Security old, but old enough that if I use the phrase "OMG" I mean it ironically. I am old enough, however, to have a kid who, though she isn't quite out of the "kids music" phase yet, will start listening to music I haven't introduced her to. So I understand quite clearly that the soundtrack to Camp Rock, the latest Disney Channel original movie, premiering on a gazillion different channels this week, is Not For Me. It is for kids just a little older than my daughter. They'll spend their own allowances on it, or maybe their parents will get it for them. And what they'll get is an attempt to duplicate the High School Musical magic, except this time in a slightly more rock-oriented retelling of Cinderella. The album features some tracks with Joe Jonas solo (he's got a leading role in the movie) as well as a Jonas Brothers track. There are some songs by 16-year-old Demi Lovato, who has the lead female role and seems to be Disney's leading contender for a Miley Cyrus with a less pop and more rock edge. The songs are fine enough, and most of the songs won't drive you to change the station if you hear them on Radio Disney (OK, maybe "Hasta La Vista," ugh), but you're not going to remember them 15 minutes after they're over. There's nothing as memorable as "Breaking Free" or "Fabulous" or "You Are the Music In Me," all of which are decent pop songs. In the end, it's not really for me, but it never really was.