Thursday, May 28, 2015

Ben's Playlist - Friday, May 29, 2015

Cheese World – The Dirty Sock Funtime Band
Don't Stop – 5 Seconds of Summer
Follow The Drinking Gourd – Lloyd H. Miller
Groove – Lori Henriques
Loving Cup – Cat Doorman
Mama Don't Allow – In The Nick Of Time
Nose In A Book – The Not-Its!
We All Shine – Play Date

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Ben's Playlist - Thursday, May 28, 2015

All Around the Kitchen – Andy Z
Alligator – Paul McCartney
DJ All Day – Secret Agent 23 Skidoo
Junior's Farm – Steve Miller
Ninja Pajamas (feat. P.O.S.) – Play Date
Tacky – Weird Al Yankovic
Up In Cat's Room – David Heatley

Kindie Quick Hits: Make a Play Date; Alastair Moock's New Video

What does childhood sound like? The duo behind Play Date think they've cracked the code. Of course, being a child, living like a child, and thinking like a child are vastly different animals. But Play Date believe they've tamed all said beasts, with the lyrical tale of "Stevie the Fox" kicking off their second CD, WE ALL SHINE.

Mike Park's Fun Fun Records has cultivated a treasure trove of performers, including Kepi Ghoulie to Koo Koo Kangaroo. But Play Date remains the most accessible, boisterous, and engaging act on its roster. The title track and chorus simply state the message that Greg Attonito and Shanti Wintergate seek to convey:

We are all a part of a great humanity
Working all together to make life for you and me
Planet Earth is our home in this great big galaxy
We all shine, we all shine, like the stars

What act other than Play Date is going to intersperse public service announcements for broccoli, bananas, carrots, and apples in the middle of their CD? Rapper P.O.S. shows up to funk out on "Ninja Pajamas" and hail the power of imagination (also the title of the band's first CD).

Former punker Attonito has pivoted from punk to youth music. His band The Bouncing Souls hail from New Brunswick, New Jersey, a stone's throw from my childhood nabe in Somerset. His partner in merriment, Shanti Wintergate has a lengthy performance career that includes three separate runs on the Vans Warped Tours (2004, 2006, and 2008). Together, they have delivered 40-plus minutes of gentle "get up, here we go" guitar-based rock for the smaller set.

WE ALL SHINE is available on July 24 from the band's website, Fun Fun Records, iTunes, and Amazon.

Alastair Moock has gotten over cancer. Well, his daughter is in remission and he has moved to greener (and happier) pastures with his upcoming CD, ALL KINDS OF YOU AND ME. It's a tribute of sorts to the epic and much-loved landmark 1972 album FREE TO BE...YOU AND ME. “Free To Be was a huge album for me and so many other kids of the 70s," Moock says. "Forty years later, it felt like the right time both to pay tribute to that amazing project and to try to push beyond some of the limitations of its era.”

For a special video preview of what's to come, visit his YouTube channel. And here's a look at "It Takes All Kinds," the first song from the album, coming June 19.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Ben's Playlist - Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Amnesia – 5 Seconds of Summer
Coral Reef – The Whizpops!
The Girl With the Squirrel in Her Hat – Caspar Babypants
Maps – Maroon 5
My Own Detective – Tom Chapin
No More Lonely Nights – The Airborne Toxic Event
The Start of Things  – Alison Faith Levy
Stay in the Pool – Jason Didner And The Jungle Gym Jam

Monday, May 25, 2015

Ben's Playlist - Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Baldy – Lloyd H. Miller
Early Days – Paul McCartney
Lightning Bolt – Pearl Jam
Lips Are Movin – Meghan Trainor
No School Today – Danny Weinkauf
Odd Socks – Dean Jones
Opposite People – Nigeria
Wake Up – The Neville Brothers

Friday, May 22, 2015

Racing All Around This World: Africa

I got a lot done at work this week and I credit ALL AROUND THIS WORLD: AFRICA. There's nothing that gets your blood racing and your spirits soaring then tribal drum beats, catchy rhythms, and clapping hands.

I've never been a big proponent of world music. My attitude is it's there, I know it's there, and I'm fine with it being there. Just don't put it right in my face. But due to a series of escalated work deadlines, I looked past my own musical limitations and played the 32 tracks (on two CDs) all the way through, then started again. Then I brought it home for the kids, who were being pokey at dinner, and played it for them. And they zipped through the rest of the meal.

The music travels in all directions (Africa is a big continent), from Cape Verde to Madagascar, including Guinea, Ghana, Nigeria, the Congo and South Africa. Going beyond the music, there's a new "Explore Everywhere" curriculum that weaves the songs with videos, maps, cultural information, and activity ideas that can be utilized for classrooms. The program runs through June 21 – incidentally the release date for the CDs to consumers.

The project was co-produced by Brooklyn's own Amon Drum, whose Hook Studio in Red Hook, Brooklyn, describes itself as, “Purveyors of fine sound from Brooklyn to Bamako and Beyond.” How appropriate that such a collection required a steadying hand from half a world away.

ALL AROUND THIS WORLD: AFRICA is available through their web site on June 21.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Ben's Playlist - Friday, May 22, 2015

All About That Bass – Meghan Trainor
Animal Kingdom – Key Wilde And Mr. Clarke
Bonsai – Billy Kelly and the Blah Blah Blahs
Gloria – Van Morrison & Them
Little Things – One Direction
National Hiccup Day – The Dirty Sock Funtime Band
Smile in My Heart – Suzi Shelton
Snaggletooth – Dean Jones
Voodoo Doll – 5 Seconds of Summer

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Ben's Playlist - Thursday, May 21, 2015

Da Vinci – Weezer
Extraordinary – Eric Herman And The Invisible Band
It Suits You – Gustafer Yellowgold
Life In Color – OneRepublic
Rainbow Tunnel – Alison Faith Levy
She Looks So Perfect – 5 Seconds of Summer
Size Of The Problem – Tom Chapin
Together We Can Fly –  Danny Weinkauf