Song: "We Are the Robots"
Show: Yo Gabba Gabba!
Description: How large is the pull of YGG!? Big enough to get a band that last released an album of original material in 2003 to perform in 2010. They record the happiest ode to the singularity ever heard, with joyful animation from Mixtape Club to go along with it.
Artist: Recess Monkey
Song: "Lighter Than Air"
Album: Hot Air
Description: "Penguinese" was the first video from the forthcoming album Hot Air, but "Lighter Than Air" is the first full song on the album. If you listened to this track alone, you might be forgiven for thinking that it's nothing but a mellow '70s soft-rock fest. (Spoiler alert: it's not.) As for the video, it essentially summarizes the first 80% of Hot Air's accompanying DVD. (There's a plot! It involves penguins and balloons! Any more you'll have to find out for yourself, I'm not telling.)
Artist: Aaron Nigel Smith and the 1World Chorus
Song: "One Love"
Album: Celebrating Bob Marley
Description: If I had to think of one artist or band whose songs have so totally permeated the culture, my first thought would the Beatles. But I'm sure that for a lot of other folks, it might be Bob Marley. Celebrating Bob Marley isn't the first album to use Marley's songs as the basis for a kids' album, but the fact that this album is a) being released by Ziggy Marley's Tuff Gong Worldwide record label, and b) features the 1World Chorus, which is led by Aaron Nigel Smith's 1World Chorus, featuring singers from the U.S., Jamaica, Kenya, and Columbia, lends this album a level of significance that other cover albums might not. The video for one of Marley's most famous songs, "One Love" isn't complicated -- shots of kids singing, both in concert and "behind-the-scenes," but in its picture of kids from all around the world singing the song, it does Marley's request to "let's get together" justice.
Song: "The Siblings Shake"
Description: This is a video that's part of a longer show called Ruby's Studio: The Siblings Show (more details here). As you might guess, there are a lot of shots of dancing siblings. (It's a dance song about siblings -- what did you expect?) Best poolside kindie music video since this one.
Artist: Jazzy Ash
Song: "Heebie Jeebies"
Album: Bon Voyage! (forthcoming)
Description: Lo-fi footage of Jazzy Ash dancing the jitterbug around Jackson Square in New Orleans' French Quarter. "Heebie Jeebies" is nearly 90 years old, written by Boyd Atkins and made famous by Louis Armstrong, so the black-and-white footage, even if artificial, is apropos. Join in! (By the way, if you want to pick up the single, you can do so here.)
Song: "Kidz Rock"
Album: N/A (forthcoming 2015 album)
Description: I can't say that this is something I'd choose to watch repeatedly -- to me it is a sonic and (especially a) visual overload. The Los Angeles-based Alitzah Wiener (aka Twinkle Time) and her band, plus fellow SoCal artist Mista Cookie Jar, throw everything into the video (and song). But, man, in terms of an all-out kindie pop extravaganza -- EDM, hip-hop, pop all rolled into one -- it's on an entirely different level than most independently-produced kids music. (Listen to and purchase the track here.)