Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ben's Playlist - Friday, October 24, 2014

Jam on Rye – Randy Kaplan
Rock Melon – Gustafer Yellowgold
Give Me Back My Hat – Bill Harley And Keith Munslow
Up In Cat's Room – David Heatley
The Baron's Bicycle Balloon – Banana Baron
Flannel Jammies – The Not-Its!
Kings & Queens – The Hipwaders
Caught in the Screen – Secret Agent 23 Skidoo

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Ben's Playlist - Thursday, October 23, 2014

Early Days – Paul McCartney
Gettin' My Ya Ya's Out – Brady Rymer & The Little Band
In All Of The World – Papa Crow
Little Cloud (Featuring Rachel Loshak)  – Joanie Leeds And The Nightlights
Cumbe – Crosspulse Percussion Ensemble
Alove Alliteration – Mr. Palindrome
When I'm Ten – Recess Monkey & The Not-Its
Lightning Bolt  – Pearl Jam

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Ben's Playlist - Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Alive – Eric Herman
Continental Geography – Astrograss
Don't Touch My Stuff! – Trout Fishing In America
This Moment – Katy Perry
Coral Reef – The Whizpops!
Luna Y Lucero – Sonia De Los Santos
Mystery – Dean Jones
Hippo Dance –  Key Wilde And Mr. Clarke
I Love Music (feat. Wordsmith) – Rhymezwell

My 2014 Fids and Kamily Ballot

The 2014 Fids and Kamily Awards were recently announced. I culled my choices from 46 CDs reviewed over the past year. A few CDs were either constantly being tracked by Ben (13) for his morning playlists or selected for rotation in our car. Those factored higher in the standings. His younger brother Matt (3 3/4) and mom also had some comments on my "second round" choices of 22 recording artists.

As in past years, my ballot has several notable discrepancies. To clarify, my points were distributed among CDs that we either purchased or reviewed. This is why Walter Martin and the Okee-Dokee Brothers failed to make my list. Apologies, but we heard so much good music this year, they were missed but not fatally.

That being said, it's always an honor to be asked to participate in balloting of this kind. When I think back 8-9 years and our entry into the kindie music scene, I never anticipated I'd have to struggle to "rank" such talented individuals and ensembles. Congratulations to everyone who produced children's music in 2013!

1. Buy One Get One Flea – Dog on Fleas
2. WIRED – Recess Monkey
3. No School Today – Danny Weinkauf
4. Raise Your Hand – The Not-Its
5. Just Say Hi – Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could
6. Perfect Quirk – Secret Agent 23 Skidoo
7. Greetings From Cloud 9 – The Whirlygigs
8. Good Egg – Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights
9. The Apple Tree and the Honey Bee – the Bari Koral Family Rock Band
10. Smile in My Heart – Suzi Shelton

Monday, October 20, 2014

Ben's Playlist - Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Wake Up – The Neville Brothers
Give Some, Get Some – Papa Crow
Delicious  – Orange Sherbert
First Day of School  – Ethan Rossiter And The Jamberries
Archaeology – Danny Weinkauf
Handy – Weird Al Yankovic
The Best Parts – Eric Herman
Alligator Get-Together – Key Wilde And Mr. Clarke
Grandpa-Land  – Bill and Karlee Goffrier

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Ben's Playlist - Monday, October 20, 2014

A Billion Stars – Papa Crow
Danceology – The Dirty Sock Funtime Band
Are We There Yet?  – Joanie Leeds And The Nightlights
I Am the Wind – Underbirds
We Can't Stop – Miley Cyrus
I Love the Rain – The Real Tuesday Weld
Animal Kingdom – Key Wilde And Mr. Clarke
The Flying Fox – Davy Andrews

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Ben's Playlist - Friday, October 17, 2014

I Must Be a Genius – Dog On Fleas
When the World Was New – Dean Jones
Anytime At All – Caspar Babypants
Imaginationology – Jon Samson
Earn It – Hullabaloo
Kids in America – The Muffs
What's That Sound? – Recess Monkey
Brave – Sara Bareilles
Big Green Party Machine – David Heatley

The Wild Animal Lives of Key Wilde and Mr. Clarke

For some recording artists, children's music is a pit stop. Others flit in and out, whenever the occasion (or material) is right. For an elite few, making children's music becomes a vocation. I'm not saying they can make a full-time living at it; that's a fantasy fulfilled by the top one percent. But their ventures are always worthwhile, the music and lyrics are playful and joyful, and adults and kids alike can't wait to hear what's on the disc. Which is why I'm happy to share a few thoughts about KEY WILDE AND MR. CLARKE and their brand new CD, ANIMAL TALES.

The New York-based duo have a long and colorful history, together and separately (read their bios if you have the time). Their recordings for kids have been celebrated by SiriusXM's Kids Place Live and their videos have blown up on Youtube. ANIMAL TALES, their fourth CD, is not your father's "here's a mammal, here's a reptile" collection of tunes. These are kids tunes with 'tude. "Animal Island" creates a fantasy paradise stocked with creates of all persuasions and delineates how different our priorities are from theirs. "Alligator Get-Together" is a lazy country tale with plenty of backwater twanging guitars. It also delivers a powerful message about extinction. "Larry the Lobster" introduces some underwater denizens and tells their stories:

Herman the hermit crab lives in his shell
He's friends with two anemones who live there as well
But when he moves to a new shell he'll bid them farewell
He says, "With friends like me, who needs anemones?"

Play "The Bear Song" for your kids and introduce them to all eight species of bear. Created for an international conference at The Woodlands Wildlife Refuge in New Jersey, the song made a splash online with its whimsical tone and easy to watch graphics.

Mr. Clarke's UK and French upbringing gives an offbeat perspective to the music (while not turning it into a world music project). Key Wilde grew up in Texas, branding a track like "Armando Armadillo" with a cultural gravitas. His original artwork and graphic design also make their videos and cover artwork stand out from the pack.

ANIMAL TALES is the duo's second collaboration with ace producer Dean Jones (Dog on Fleas) and equals the durability and competence of last year's PLEASED TO MEET YOU. Jones's comic sensibilities shine through on tracks like "The Buck Stops Here," where Wlide and Clarke sing, "I've been here for a year and I ain't seen a single deer." It's been more than a year since their last collection. These ANIMAL TALES are a welcome menagerie for any child's musical education.

ANIMAL TALES is available October 21 through Key Wilde and Mr. Clarke's website, Amazon, and iTunes.

Here is the video for THE BEAR SONG:

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Ben's Playlist - Thursday, October 16, 2014

Start Of The End – The Dirty Sock Funtime Band
Glass Bottom Boat – Jason Didner And The Jungle Gym
Let The Records Play – Pearl Jam
Music – Alex & The Kaleidoscope Band
Copycat – Bill Harley And Keith Munslow
I'm a Shark (I Rock, I Swim) – ScribbleMonster
Manatee – The Whizpops!
Up Periscope – Recess Monkey
Thingamajig – Lucky Diaz And The Family Jam Band