Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ben's Playlist - Friday, October 31, 2014

Peaceful – Cat Doorman
Not Too Young for a Song – Randy Kaplan
Delicious – Orange Sherbert
Always On The Run – Joanie Leeds And The Nightlights
Liza Jane – Jr. Madness
Mooshpie – The Whirlygigs
Dancing Bear – Bari Koral Family Rock Band
Nonsense  – Davy Andrews
Anybody Got A Watch? – The Dirty Sock Funtime Band

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ben's Playlist - Thursday, October 30, 2014

Talkin' Bout Love – The Little Rockers Band
Turned Out – Paul McCartney
Mothership – Mr. Saxophone
Unconditionally – Katy Perry
The Ballad of Ben – Danny Weinkauf
Viva la Pachanga (feat. Flaco Jimenez) – Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band
Free to Be...You and Me – Jason Didner and the Jungle Gym Jam Featuring Suzi Shelton

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Ben's Playlist - Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Secret Fox – Gustafer Yellowgold
Slow – Trout Fishing In America
Kangaroo! – Alex & The Kaleidoscope Band
Fortune Cookie – The Little Rockers Band
Wander 'Round the World – Key Wilde and Mr. Clarke
Throw Me Something Mister – Jazzy Ash
Otis Dooda Theme – David Heatley
Prairie Boy – Mista Cookie Jar & The Chocolate Chips
Colors (2014 Remix) – Kira Willey

Is It Live or Coming Up Lacking?

An Age-Old Question for the Wanna Bees and Kira Willey

Music can be deceiving. Sometimes when I review a CD, I instantly "get" the concept, if there is one. Other times, I feel as if I'm missing something – perhaps in the presentation or because the music cries out for the accompanying live experience.

The Wanna Bees' new CD, DREAM BIG, falls into that chasm. Fronted by "Doctor Dan" (Chuck Riepenhoff) and "Builder Brad" (Rob Donaldson), the disc introduces a series of characters (and their cohorts) to listeners. But it comes off as mostly a laundry list. First they ask "Do You Like (Vet)." That's followed by "Valerie Vet." That's followed by Valerie's pal "Stephanie Stethoscope." Next is "Do You Like (Fireman)" and you can tell what's coming after that. By the time we got to "(Hooray for) Heidi Hose," my wife asked, "How many more songs?"

I don't want to seem too down on the guys. Clearly the Wanna Bees want to rock out while promoting occupations and showing kids all the fun things they can grow up to become. But the repetition did become a bit numbing. Princess Katie and Racer Steve play characters as well, but they never released a CD that doubled as a checklist of things you'd appreciate more in a stage show.

Speaking of live experiences, when you go to a Kira Willey concert, sometimes a yoga lesson sneaks in. Kira is keen on music and the mind-body connection and her third CD, HOW TO BE A CLOUD, mixes and mingles those concepts.

On CLOUD, there are 13 kids songs along with nine yoga tracks. Once again, listening to yoga tracks when you are not doing yoga reminds you that there's nothing like a live music experience. But the 13 kids songs are another story entirely.

"Dancing With My Daddy" is a melodic rhumba. The almost-misnamed "Jazzy" seems more of a country tune. "Colors (2014)" is a remix of her 2008 song that was used in a Dell TV commercial. The title track, "How to Be A Cloud, should not be confused with the Dean Jones song of the same name. It's an ethereal harmonic song, later reprised (as are many of the others) as a yoga track (with directions over the music bed).

As always, I cannot over-emphasize taking your children to a live music performance. In the case of the Wanna Bees, they may discover the joys of being a fireman. With Kira Willey, they can jump around and do a series of relaxing poses. Either way, their new CDs provide the blueprints.

DREAM BIG is available November 11 from the Wanna Bees website, Amazon, and iTunes.

HOW TO BE A CLOUD is available on November 18 from Kira Willey's website, SoundCloud, Amazon, and iTunes.

Here is a video of Kira Willey's song, "ROLLER COASTER":

Monday, October 27, 2014

Ben's Playlist - Tuesday, October 28, 2014

When You're Smiling – Elizabeth Mitchell & Dan Zanes
Be a Little Angel – Mista Cookie Jar & The Chocolate Chips
Me Time – Chibi Kodama
Here Comes the Summer – Ponds & Fleshman
Uh Huh – Dean Jones
Unwind – Secret Agent 23 Skidoo
Lucky Penny – The Whirlygigs
I've Got A Feeling – Papa Crow
The Girl With the Squirrel in Her Hat – Caspar Babypants

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Ben's Playlist - Monday, October 27, 2014

Effervescing Elephant – Cat Doorman
You Got It On – Justin Timberlake
Till the Sun Goes Down – Poochamungas
Bigga Bagga – Key Wilde and Mr. Clarke
Blink Of An Eye – Frances England
Sittin On A Cloud – The Whirlygigs
If Red Tastes Like Strawberry – The Whirlygigs
Midnight Memories – One Direction

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