Thursday, November 27, 2014

Ben's Playlist - Friday, November 28, 2014

Together We Can Fly – Danny Weinkauf
Uh Huh – Dean Jones
Backyard  – Riff Rockit
Up In Cat's Room – David Heatley
Mind Over Matter – Secret Agent 23 Skidoo
Fill It Up – Josh And The Jamtones
Jump On The Moon – Human-Tim + Robot-Tim
PSA – Eric Herman
Alligator Get-Togethe – Key Wilde And Mr. Clarke

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Ben's Playlist - Thursday, November 27, 2014

DJ All Day – Secret Agent 23 Skidoo
Toothloser – Gustafer Yellowgold
Flannel Jammies – The Not-Its!
My Daddy's Record Collection – Sugar Free Allstars
Iko Iko (feat. Josh and the Jamtones & Little Goose) – Father Goose
Pretty Crabby – Caspar Babypants
My Dad – Joanie Leeds And The Nightlights
If I Could Fly – Riff Rockit

Eric Herman Blasts Off With Spaced-Out Comedy for Kids

If you've ever wanted to see a joke die a horrible death, tell it to a child. Because of their remarkably delicate built-in BS monitors, most kids respond to awful comedy like normal people act when they encounter bill collectors – smile awkwardly and back-pedal furiously.

The good news about Eric Herman's first comedy album for kids, THE INCREDIBLY SPACED-OUT ADVENTURES OF JUPITER JACKSON, is that it passes the BS monitor test. There was stuff that went over our kids' heads but they mostly enjoyed the sketches, ads, and end-of-CD songs.

First the premise: Satellite station XYZPDQ (funded mostly by Healthy Grains, the makers of Super Sugary Sugar Flakes) is running its regular slate of programming. There's a news report ("ELECTRICAL STORM" has odd audio drop-outs that serve as an opportunity for listeners to devise MAD LIBS), a game show ("THE MATH GAME") which will confound your expectations, and an NPR-style talk show ("ARCHAEOLOGY HOUR") that goes off the rails from the first caller.

The title track is a sci-fi battle between Jupiter Jackson and his arch-nemesis, Max Mullet. In reality, it sounds like two kids running around a shopping mall. But that could just be my adult perspective. Jupiter and Max, incidentally, are voiced by Trout Fishing in America (Keith Grimwood and Ezra Idlet). Kindie musician Roger Day also surfaces in ELECTRICAL STORM in a cameo as the Mayor. I would be remiss if I didn't mention MONSTER LEAGUE BASEBALL and how it crams an endless array of puns and ghoulish jokes into one 10-minute routine. Invite Dracula and aliens to "Who's On First" and you wind up with MONSTER LEAGUE BASEBALL.

With more than 50 million YouTube views, Eric obviously has tapped into something primal that kids understand. While many children's musicians have attempted to work comedy into their recordings (ScribbleMonster comes to mind), Eric has chosen the obvious but riskier route of presenting the comedy UPFRONT (with a couple of comic songs as an encore). In that respect, JUPITER JACKSON is a success. Whether he can further cultivate his audience and develop "children's comedy recordings" into more than a niche category may be the most incredibly spaced-out adventure of 2015.

THE INCREDIBLY SPACED-OUT ADVENTURES OF JUPITER JACKSON is available from Eric Herman's website, CDBABY, Amazon, and iTunes.

Here is the video for the sketch, MONSTER LEAGUE BASEBALL:

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Ben's Playlist - Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Amnesia – 5 Seconds of Summer
International Smile – Katy Perry
My Own Detective – Tom Chapin
Caught in the Screen – Secret Agent 23 Skidoo
Word Crimes – Weird Al Yankovic
Domino Town – Dean Jones
Be a Mime – Eric Herman
Shake It Off! – Uncle Rock

Monday, November 24, 2014

Ben's Playlist - Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Paper Moon – Laura Doherty
The Girl With the Squirrel in Her Hat – Caspar Babypants
Together We Can Fly – Danny Weinkauf
NOW That's What I Call Polka! – Weird Al Yankovic
Everything I Didn't Say – 5 Seconds of Summer
Closer To You  – Michael Franti & Spearhead
Mama Don't Allow –  In The Nick Of Time
Rock Melon – Gustafer Yellowgold
Space Kid And Banana – Ratboy Jr.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Ben's Playlist - Monday, November 24, 2014

Playlist for Matthew's Fourth Birthday!

In All Of The World – Papa Crow
H-U-L-L-A-B-A-L-O-O – Hullabaloo
Lightning Bol – Pearl Jam
My Favorite Sneakers – In The Nick Of Time
Copycat – Bill Harley And Keith Munslow
Right Now – One Direction
No School Today – Danny Weinkauf
No, No, No – The Little Rockers Band
Blink Of An Eye – Frances England

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Ben's Playlist - Friday, November 21, 2014

First Day of School  – Ethan Rossiter And The Jamberries
Shutterbug – Recess Monkey
Just a Normal Day  – Lesley and the Flying Foxes
Lucky Penny  – The Whirlygigs
I'm a Shark (I Rock, I Swim)  – ScribbleMonster
Alligator Get-Together  – Key Wilde And Mr. Clarke
Bird in an Airplane Suit  – Caspar Babypants
Road Trip  – In The Nick Of Time
Smile in My Heart  – Suzi Shelton

In the Nick of Time Stops the Clock for Fun

Like his neighbor Billy Kelly ('The Pride of Lewiston"), Nick Deysher of Northampton, Massachusetts is a purveyor of fine kindie music, none bottled and sold before its time.

In the Nick of Time, his children's music project with wife Tracey Freitag, has returned with their fourth collection, FUN O'CLOCK. Hey, that title is almost a concept in itself! Nick 'n Tracey have an agenda chock full o' musical genres. It's almost as if they generated a checklist (Celtic? "Hey Nonny No." Surf? "Best Friend.") but that would be too earnest. In the Nick of Time is conceptually titled towards having a good time.

Like fellow statesmen Josh and the Jamtones, Nick wants his audience to have a little party. And he wants to get the party started, with the title track and followup, "Doin' a Little Dance" and the Beastie Boys homage, "Mama Don't Allow" (featuring guest artist Mista Cookie Jar). I even appreciated the Southern rock and '70s country feel on "My Favorite Sneakers."

There's a tiny bit of education and positive reinforcement buried not-too-far from the surface in "Don't Say Can't" and "You've Only Got One Body." But we're talking about children's music with an expiration at pre-teen. So it's age-appropriate and "See? They're even singing about it" appropriate.

I'm surprised that FUN O'CLOCK is a late-year release. That means the kids will be forced to enjoy the upbeat songs in a "house party" setting until the spring, when they can be released back into the wilds. Perhaps Nick 'n Tracey will surface for an NYC area appearance to perform the material. That could the nick of time.

FUN O'CLOCK is available at the duo's website, CDBABY, Amazon, and iTunes.

Here is a video of In the Nick of Time performing, "Making Silly Faces":

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Ben's Playlist - Thursday, November 20, 2014

Lose My Mind – The Wanted
Beach House – The Good Ms Padgett
Bigga Bagga – Key Wilde and Mr. Clarke
Kangaroo! – Alex & The Kaleidoscope Band
What's My Name? – Rihanna Feat. Drake
Gettin' My Ya Ya's Out – Brady Rymer & The Little Band That Could
I Got This! – Princess Katie & Racer Steve
Let The Records Play – Pearl Jam