New Music / Video: "High Five" - They Might Be Giants

Well, if they hadn't pushed back the release 4 months, we'd all have been grooving to this for a month now, but They Might Be Giants have a video for "High Five," one of the songs off their upcoming CD/DVD Here Come the 123s. The animation is done by Divya Srinivasan, who did a bunch of videos on Here Come the ABCs, including "Go For G!" and "Alphabet Lost and Found." (See her videos and stills, including those from "Roy G. Biv," also off the upcoming album, here.) As with "Alphabet," I don't think the Johns are taking the lead vocally on "High Five," which is the best disco song about the number five ever written. And, yes, it includes the phrase "down low, too slow." You have go to Amazon to watch it, but it's worth 2:26 of your time. Go here. (Hat tip to Amy for catching this.)

Songs For Halloween (Updated)

I'm not a huge Halloween fan, which explains why I'm updating my list of Halloween songs on, er, Halloween. Here's last year's original list. And if you have more suggestions, leave 'em in the comments... (Devon has a lot more suggestions, including this list of songs. Also Eric Herman has a review of an interesting sounding family-friendly CD here.) First, 3 CDs that might be appropriate (if a little late to order) for the season: -- Sue Schnitzer's Boo, Cackle, Trick or Treat is a fairly tame (read: appropriate for preschoolers) celebration of the holiday that matches Schnitzer's folk-pop songs (and some traditional songs) with Halloween themes. If Halloween is more about the candy in your household than the scary, this is for you. (The album is also available on iTunes.) -- Katherine Dines' Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta Spooky! is for older kids (ages 6 and up). It's a little scarier, though many of the songs and stories (they're about evenly split) have a purpose -- overcoming fears. The song arrangements are a little more electronic, but it's still most folk/pop. (This album is available on iTunes as well, though it'll come without the excellent liner notes, which include all the lyrics and stories, plus other stuff.) -- Magic Maestro Music's The Sorcerer's Apprentice is for kids of all ages. It plays Paul Dukas' famous "Sorcerer's Apprentice" (you know, Mickey and the nightmare of the ever-multiplying broomsticks in Fantasia) both with and without narration. There are plenty of versions available, of course, but this one does provide some context for kids to help them enjoy the piece. -- Plus, potentially, that Thirteen For Halloween disk by M. Ryan Taylor. Next, if you ever wanted the theme to Rosemary's Baby done in an inimitable kid-not-unfriendly style, Twink's got you covered -- go to the bottom of the Music page to download it for a limited time. Next, a couple podcasts:

Video: "Cheese" - Mr. Richard

This video, for the song "Cheese," may make you smile a bit. The song is from Mr. Richard's upcoming album Polka Dot Puzzle, due out December 11th. His voice isn't the smoothest of the bunch, but he's got a sly ear for kids' (and parental) frustrations especially, and he rocks the mandolin here. His legion of fans are undoubtedly waiting eagerly...

Naptime in the Garden of Good and Evil

Thanks Savannah-based Southern Mamas, who had some nice words about Father Goose and this website. One wonders if they would've said such nice things about this site if they'd have known I would just make another Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil reference. Anyway, welcome to those of you stopping by...

Review: Field Trip with Enzo - Enzo Garcia

FieldTripWithEnzo.gifI love what Enzo Garcia does, kids-musically. There are lots of kids' musicians who make great music for listening to, for dancing with, but it warms my heart knowing that flame of participatory kids music -- music that encourages singing along and interacting with the music and others -- still burns bright. Enzo Garcia is one of the best at keeping that fire going. With his latest release, Field Trip with Enzo, his tenth album of original songs, the San Francisco-based Garcia combines his all-hands-clapping approach with an abiding interest in the natural world. Songs about raccoons, squirrels, monkeys, and frogs -- two times -- are found on the disk, blended with other concepts. "Raccoon" is a Garcia original that's a bluesy counting song, while "Monkey Motions" is, as you might guess, a movement song encouraging the mimicking of different animals. "Side of a Mountain Top" is a rollicking movement song. This sounds a lot like prior Enzo disks -- folky, with an array of rustic instruments including banjo, accordion, jaw harp, slide flute, and, yes, the "enzotar." While almost all of the songs have some interactive component to them, there are a few tracks that sound sweet all by themselves -- Garcia's hypnotizing "Hand Over Hand" and the concluding lullaby "When the Sun Goes Down", and his duet with Erin "Mimi" Lucas on the traditional "The Green Grass Grows." The album will appeal most to kids ages 3 to 7. For the moment, it's just available at the Pokey Pup (hear samples here), though I believe that will change soon. You can also hear "Monkey Motions" at Garcia's Myspace page. I should also mention that longtime Zooglobble reader Deb in SF gets a nice shout-out from Garcia in the liner notes. As with all of Garcia's previous kids' CDs, Field Trip with Enzo will work best if you and your kids stand up and actually play along with the music. If you're not willing to do that, then this CD might not be for you (though I think it holds up OK even in that case). But if you're willing to follow Enzo on his trips, then I think you'll be pleased where you end up. Recommended.

Interview: Gwendolyn (of Gwendolyn and the Good Time Gang)

GWENDOLYNlo.jpg.jpgWith her dress and pigtails, the uni-monikered Gwendolyn has a lot of fans amongst the preschool set in the Los Angeles area. Of course, she's got a bunch of fans amongst those preschoolers' parents, too, as her music manages to be targeted directly at the young'uns while still appealing to the oldsters' ears. Now, with Gwendolyn and the Good Time Gang's first East Coast Tour really getting going this weekend (updated tour dates here), if you're in the neighborhood, you should definitely stop by a show. And even if you're not in the neighborhood, you should read the interview below with Gwendolyn, who kindly answered questions this week. Read on for her musical influences, how recording her second and most recent kids' CD, Get Up & Dance!, differed from recording the first, and exactly how many hours of yoga a good show for the kids is worth. ***************** What are your earliest musical memories? Family hootenannies in the living room. My dad would play guitar and my mom would join him and sing songs. They had a nice repertoire of Cat Stevens, Fleetwood Mac, The Incredible String Band and the like. Who were your biggest musical influences growing up? Aside from my siblings, who are both excellent songwriters, I would name Thom Moore, a childhood friend of mine who plays now in The Moore Brothers. They just opened for Joanna Newsom in Europe. He was a great influence growing up, a Robyn Hitcock of sorts. I love songwriters, storytellers and innovative artists like Nick Drake, Dolly Parton, Bob Dylan... I didn't listen to much children's music growing up - but I loved artists that embraced a child-like perspective, like Cyndi Lauper, Boy George, Jethro Tull and early Pink Floyd - Syd Barrett, really wonderful stuff. My dad had a pretty decent record collection that inevitably became his children's.