Friday, November 30, 2012

Finding Caspar Babypants (It's Not Hard)

Caspar Babypants is the Mormon of children's music (in a good way). If it's been nine months, there's another Babypants CD in the mail pile! His sixth CD, I FOUND YOU! just made its way to our iPods this past week.

Chris Ballew, frontman for The Presidents of the United States, is the rare musician who has turned his sideline project (kids recording artist) into almost as big a deal as his "day job." Of course, these days that means expanding his cachet with books as well (artwork by his talented wife, Kate Endle). Guest artists on I FOUND YOU! include Mudhoney guitarist Steve Turner and singer Rachel Flotard, formerly of Visqueen.

Unlike Kepi Ghoulie, who references his punk past in some of his songs, you find none of that malarkey with Caspar Babypants. These are straight ahead, tongue-in-cheek quirky tunes for tots. Ballew's specialty seems to be taking traditional songs and redressing them. On I FOUND YOU!, listeners get new verses for "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and "Row Row Row Your Boat." Bet you didn't even know those songs needed extra verses. Well, two-year-old Matt did, and promptly requested a replay of "Twinkle Twinkle" so he could attempt to memorize them.

When the blazing sun is gone and the moon is up and on,
Then you shine your little light what a small and happy sight,
Twinkle twinkle little star how I wonder what you are.

"Yes and No" provides explanations to some daily quandaries that might baffle kids. For an 11-year-old reading for a science test on liquids, solids, and gases, this song acted as a rest break AND a study aid.

Water is so liquidy it flows around my shoe
But in the winter time that water can be solid too
Yes it can no it can't yes it can no it can't it is both yes and no.

We've seen Ballew in concert and he's a genial guy who invites sing-alongs. I FOUND YOU! provides ample opportunities for you and the fam to join in on choruses and share the silliness of "Too Dirty To Love" and "Say Farewell (to the baby worm)."

There's one guitar solo (from Turner) and fewer double entendres within the 19 songs on this new collection. And we can expect another Babypants to come tumbling down the babypath some time next fall. We'll look forward to it, as always.

Here is the video from an older Caspar Babypants tune, "More Moles," a favorite on SiriusXM Kids Place.

I FOUND YOU! is available from CDBABY, Amazon, and iTunes. Find lyrics and video links on his website.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ben's Playlist - Friday, November 30, 2012

Bike  – Charity And The JAMband
Born To Rock  – David Tobocman
Flat Stanley  – Play Date
Mary Anning  – Artichoke
Wimoweh  – Joanie Leeds & The Nightlights
A Little Breath In  – Preschool Of Rock       
They Got Feet  – George Carver
eBay  – Weird Al Yankovic
I'm So Glad  – Alex & The Kaleidoscope Band      
Heroes  – Glee    

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ben's Playlist - Thursday, November 29, 2012

Lucky – Jason Mraz
And We Dance – Preschool Of Rock
Tomorrow Will Be Really Great – Dan Israel
Swinging on a Star – Zak Morgan
Set Fire To The Rain – Adele
Little Demon – Screamin' Jay Hawkins
Great To Be A KidvThe Not-Its!
Playin' On A SundayvDavid Tobocman
Kangaroo! – Alex & The Kaleidoscope Band        

Dance With, Don't Spell Kaleidoscope

Music has been an integral part of our family experience.

We took Ben to his first concert (Dan Zanes at Symphony Space) when he was just shy of three years old.

Matt (two years old) is attending Music Together classes and beginning to grasp the basics of instrumentation and melodies. He is beginning to recognize – and request – songs that he likes, by name or through humming or singing snippets.

Which brings me to Alex and the Kaleidoscope Band. The Philadelpia-based troupe has released their fourth CD, I'M SO GLAD! and the title track incorporates the Nigerian folk song, "Fum Wah Alafia Ashe Ashe," which coincidentally is a standard for Music Together. As such, Matt was delighted to hear it when I played the CD for the family. And he subsequently requested the Kaleidoscope version be replayed. An early fan has been created.

Band founder Alex Mitnick should be pleased. A faculty member at both the University of the Arts and the Princeton Center for Teacher Education, he directs the music program for young children at the Princeton Montessori School. "What better way to ensure a bright future than to work with those who are closest to tomorrow – children," Alex said.

I'M SO GLAD puts lessons on the back burner and concentrates on the fun in music. The songs by Mitnick and lyricist Alan Bell give kids distinctive sounds and easily-digestible verbiage. "Kangaroo" gets kids up and bouncing. "Dino Dig" wonders where the dinosaurs went, with a middle eastern groove. "Blue Sky Time" delves into the vastness of the atmosphere:

I'm so big, I'm so empty
Even birds and planes fly in me.
Up I go above the trees
I'm the giant of the sky.

"Rhythm gets my feet to dance," the Kaleidoscope Band sings on "Music," and they mean it. Sweet music brings together a family – to dance, to laugh, and to share a common interest. This is a troupe for you, if you like the occasional euro beat but aren't "all-in" with World music. The Kaleidoscope Band has built its goals within arm's length of children and lets them swim in their colors.

Here is the video for the title track, I'M SO GLAD:

I'M SO GLAD is available from the band's website, CDBABY, Amazon, and iTunes.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ben's Playlist - Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Binary – The Board of Education
The Science Fair – Ashley Albert
Music Makes Me Feel – Astrograss
Changes – David Bowie
Turning Tables – Adele
Snow Day – Zak Morgan
Sacagawea – The Deedle Deedle Dees
El Jefe – Mexican Institute of Sound
States and Capitals – Macho Nacho and Mouth Trumpet       
Call Me Maybe – Glee

Monday, November 26, 2012

Ben's Playlist - Tuesday, November 27, 2012

What Katie Did  – The Libertines
Hippie Mom  – Big Bang Boom
In A Timeout Now  – Randy Kaplan
Someone's Gonna Break Your Heart  – Fountains Of Wayne
Why Is Dad So Mad?  – The Board of Education
Clap Your Hands  – The Time Outs
Let Me In  – Zak Morgan
White And Nerdy  – Weird Al Yankovic
They Don't Know About Us    – One Direction 
Makin' Wickey-Wackey Down in Waikiki   – The Moonlighters           

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Ben's Playlist - Monday, November 26, 2012

Jingle Bells – Renee & Jeremy     
I Just Had an Idea – Elska
Peace Sign – David Tobocman
Let Your Love Grow Tall  – Passion Pit
Turning Tables  – Adele
Mister E  – Zak Morgan
eBay – Weird Al Yankovic
Back For You  – One Direction    
Dark Side – Glee   
Free To Be You And Me  – Vanessa Trien & The Jumping Monkeys

Why An MRI? (new podcast)

A few months ago, I hurt my knee while tending to my toddler.

When the discomfort became almost constant, I sought medical attention.

This week, I document the PROCESS (not the condition of my knee) and how screwed-up it's been thus far.

Also, an archived segment from October sees the light. An embarrassing home handyman incident that occurred on my watch.

I promise to talk about more vacuous things NEXT week!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Ben's Playlist - Friday, November 23, 2012

Because I Said So! – Big Bang Boom
What Will You Ever See? – Lunch Money
The Owie Song – David Tobocman 
Alien Girlfriend – Andy Z
Everyone – Elizabeth Mitchell 
Immigrant Song – Led Zeppelin
Burning Coffee – They Might Be Giants
Great To Be A Kid – The Not-Its!
Odd Girl Out – Alexandra
I Would – One Direction      
The Family Song – Preschool Of Rock

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ben's Playlist - Thursday, November 21, 2012

What'd I Say – Ray Charles
Bag of Dreams – Steven Courtney
Can't Keep Johnny Down  – They Might Be Giants
Worms – Dog On Fleas
Chasing Pavements – Glee
Set Fire To The Rain – Adele
no matter how far – Justin Roberts    
Sunny Christmas – Renee & Jeremy

Nothing Blue About This Preschool (of Rock)

What's a Blue Man to do?

Not a man who is feeling blue (although that could also be the case), but a legit former Blue Man (from the Blue Man Group). Michael Napolitano took his experiences traveling the world with the performance troupe and started the Preschool of Rock in his home state of New Jersey. The school brings a high energy enrichment that provides music education, age appropriate lessons, and physical activity throughout the Garden State.

More than that, Michael records children's music under the same name (Preschool of Rock) that artfully demonstrates his curriculum. His third CD, EVERYTHING MAKES A SOUND, uses more than the percussive backbeat that the Blue Men are known for (although "The Safari Song" goes heavy on drumming).

The title track lacks instruments but not musicality. The song is composed of house keys, voices, whistles, scratched glass, wrenches, clapping hands, rice, and more, with the lyrics stressing:

You don't need an instrument to make a sound.
Just say something that you're thinking and sing it loud.

Napolitano's dad, Tony, was a drummer with the '50s doo-wop group The Ideals. Here's one of their songs, recorded in 1959:

Napolitano brought his dad back to the music scene as a vocalist on the appropriately-titled "The Family Song." This one was a big winner when I previewed the CD for the family. Two-year-old Matt has requested it several times since the initial spin. So congrats – Preschool of Rock hit its target!

If anything, Napolitano needs to harmonize. Several of the songs have a sameness (not a bad thing if you're using them to teach youngsters) that become obvious after replays. It's not that Napolitano has a bad voice. Some level of sweetening could add a new dimension and help listeners differentiate between "Shake It" and "Jump When I Get Up."

But Napolitano does blow apart the canard, "Those who can't, teach." He clearly does know his stuff and the Preschool of Rock will get your toddler drumming and singing along, as it did with mine.

EVERYTHING MAKES A SOUND is available on December 4 on the Preschool of Rock website, CDBABY, Amazon, and iTunes.

Warm Holiday Tunes from Renee & Jeremy

The ever-ethereal Renee and Jeremy have released a holiday EP, SUNNY CHRISTMAS.

The title track, originally from 2011, received national airplay. Now the upbeat California-based duo have fleshed out the concept with five more traditional favorites: We Wish You A Merry Christmas, Deck The Halls, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, Jingle Bells, and Winter Wonderland.

Renee & Jeremy deliver a consistently engaging package of harmonies and melody. With a Christmas sampler, you don't really need more than 5 or 6 songs to get across the bullet points… happy times, family, togetherness, peace despite cold weather. Mark off your checklist and pencil in R&J for a quick (15 minutes!) of fireplace music from the West Coast.

SUNNY CHRISTMAS marks the second release from R&J in 2012, following their CD of cover songs, A LITTLE LOVE (The Monkees, Supertramp, Coldplay). Renee and Jeremy spent their 2012 warming up for a new year and hopefully some new, original material that matches their stellar vocals.

The EP (and the rest of their catalog) is available from their website, CDBABY, Amazon, and iTunes.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Ben's Playlist - Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Bluebird > Redbird, Redbird > Reef – The Deedle Deedle Dees
Turning Tables – Adele
Kindhearted Babysitter Blues  – Randy Kaplan
Miss Elephant's Gerald – The Pop Ups
A Friend Like You – Steve Weeks
Three – The Board of Education
Heart Attack – One Direction    
A Road Song – Fountains Of Wayne
a wild one – Justin Roberts    
The Plumbing Song – Weird Al Yankovic

Fids and Kamily Awards 2012: My Ballot

The 2012 Fids and Kamily Music Poll results were announced this past weekend.

This year the Okee Dokee Brothers were the lucky winners -- their album Can You Canoe? was voted the best kids and family album of the year.  It topped another list of outstanding releases from familiar names, big name artists trying their hand at family music, and newcomers, too.

This was the seventh year that the  F&K awards were bestowed on children's musical acts. It was, however, the first year that I was asked to join the judging panel. It was truly a humbling experience, as I reviewed more than 30 CDs during the eligibility period – and still only placed three of my selections in the top 15!

Why? I only considered artists that I reviewed, not CDs that we purchased during the year. This made for some truly head-slapping omissions, in my opinion. Not that I would bounce many of the artists that I chose for my list. But it would have been a much tougher process had I included another 15-20 performers.

For 2013, I suggested the administrators assemble some kind of master list to help smooth over such potholes. I even volunteered to at least list the artists that I reviewed, so that others could flesh out a master list prior to the start of voting.

In any event, here was my top 10:

Because I Said So Big Bang Boom
In Tents Recess Monkey
Worlds of Wonder Alison Faith Levy
Hot Dog! Caspar Babypants
Blue Clouds Elizabeth Mitchell
Mr. Diddie Wah Diddie Randy Kaplan
Sing Loud Melissa Green
Monster Suit Mo Phillips
Family Values Charity & the JAMBand
Escalator David Tobocman

And here are the five favorite songs:
The Owie Song David Tobocman
In Tents Recess Monkey
Like A Spinning Top Alison Faith Levy
Alien Girlfriend Andy Z
Mister E Zak Morgan

Congrats to all the artists and to the PR people who deemed me worthy to add to their distribution lists!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Ben's Playlist - Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Locked Out Of Heaven – Bruno Mars
Wimoweh – Joanie Leeds & The Nightlights
Burning Coffee – They Might Be Giants
Escalator – David Tobocman
Over Again  –   One Direction       
Thank You – Dan Zanes & Friends
Want U Back – Cher Lloyd ft. Astro
The Golem – The Deedle Deedle Dees
When I Was Your Age – Weird Al Yankovic  
We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together –   Taylor Swift

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Ben's Playlist - Monday, November 19, 2012

What Katie Did  – The Libertines
Five Minutes More  – AudraRox
Blue Sky (Little Martha Intro)  – Elizabeth Mitchell
Ride In My Little Red Wagon  – Willie & The Wheel
Punkin' Patch  – Andy Z
Sacagawea  – The Deedle Deedle Dees
Mammal  – They Might Be Giants
Change My Mind  – One Direction       
count them as they go  – Justin Roberts    
Catch My Breath  – Kelly Clarkson

Hurricane-Cast Epilogue & Lessons (new podcast)

With Hurricane Sandy and the nor'easter behind us, we're still settling back into our surroundings.

Five days until phones and cable service came back, around the same for gas stations to come back online.

Here is the epilogue of my tale as well as some lessons learned from the ordeal.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ben's Playlist - Friday, November 16, 2012

Rock Me  – One Direction       
You Are My Sunshine  – Charity And The JAMband
Great To Be A Kid   – The Not-Its!
Set Fire To The Rain   – Adele
Sleepover   – Ellen & Mark
Mary Anning   – Artichoke
I'm Your Boyfriend Now   – They Might Be Giants       
easier to do   – Justin Roberts       
Ayo   – Play Date

Justin's Lullaby CD an Eye-Opener


A Justin Roberts concert experience gets the kids on their feet; moving, singing, repeating simple hand or body motions (clapping, arms wide) in conjunction with the songs.


LULLABY, Justin Roberts' new CD, features 10 pleasing orchestral pieces that will get the kids off to sleep; shuffling, yawning, repeating simple hand or body motions (stretching, brushing teeth) in conjunction with bedtime.

When a children's music act tries to broaden their range, the three most common digressions are world music, re-interpretations of classics, and lullabies. There's something transfixing about hearing members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra back up a voice we've learned to love and respect over the past few years.

The opening piano on "Count Them As They Go" sets the mood. How can I, as a parent, calm my child's over-stimulated brain and soothe him to sleep?

An oak tree stands tall
Green leaves then red and yellow
They're holding on
Now count them as they go
Just count them as they go

The closest to "concert" Justin might be "What the Stork Sent," with vocals from Lisa Estridge and Donica Henderson from the Chicago production of HAIRSPRAY. The song contains a tease of a "baa baa baa" refrain that swirls around at least one number of every Justin Roberts' CD. And "A Wild One" did indeed make my wife think Justin was covering a Van Morrison song (no, it's an original composition).

Have I used enough synonyms for "mellow" to adequately describe this CD? LULLABY is not your typical children's music CD and truly a delight from a consistently entertaining performer. By nearly putting me to sleep, Justin Roberts woke me up through the evolution of his musical process.

 Here is the video for the lead track, "Count Them as They Go":

LULLABY is available on November 19 from Justin Roberts' website, Amazon, CDBABY, and iTunes.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Ben's Playlist - Thursday, November 15, 2012

Lemonade – Charity And The JAMband
Continental Geography – Astrograss
A Road Song – Fountains Of Wayne 
On the Greener Side – Michelle Shocked
Peace Sign – David Tobocman
Gingerbread Man – Lunch Money
Lucky – Jason Mraz
Mind Over Matter – Secret Agent 23 Skidoo
Little Things – One Direction      
All Around The World – Ralph's World

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Ben's Playlist - Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sylvie –  Elizabeth Mitchell
Water  –  Ozomatli
Wag More (Featuring Indigo Girls) –  Boxtop Jenkins
Someone's Gonna Break Your Heart –  Fountains Of Wayne
My Magic Trick –  Ralph's World
Flat Tire –  Dean Jones
Pleadia  –  Andy Z
Ah Ahsima –  The Deedle Deedle Dees
C'mon, C'mon –  One Direction 
Don't Speak –  Glee

Monday, November 12, 2012

Ben's Playlist - Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Binary - The Board of Education
Balloon Fest  - Ozomatli
Let Your Love Grow Tall - Passion Pit
May This Be Love - Elizabeth Mitchell
The Scientist  - Glee 
White And Nerdy - Weird Al Yankovic
The Crocodile (Wouldn't Brush His Teeth) - Boxtop Jenkins
I'm Not Tired  - Ralph's World
Zou bisou bisou - Gillian Hills
Harry Elefante - Rocknoceros
Live It Up - Chris Isaak
Freak Out - Astrograss

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Hurricane-Cast, Part II (new podcast)

Our experience with Hurricane Sandy and the aftermath continues.

And a guest appearance by a nor'easter!

Do we ever get power back? It's a cliffhanger!

Ben's Playlist - Monday, November 12, 2012

The Christmas Song  -  The Raveonettes
How Can I Sing Like A Girl?   -  They Might Be Giants
If You Want a Mustache   -  Space Balloons
The Robot Looked At The Stars  -    Ralph's World
Breath Of Life   -  Florence + The Machine
eBay   -  Weird Al Yankovic
I Walk The Line   -  Chris Isaak
Worms    -  Dog On Fleas
My Uncle Is An Ant    -  Boxtop Jenkins   
The Owie Song  -  David Tobocman
Chloe    -  Grouplove

Friday, November 09, 2012

Good, Clean Infectious Fun with Boxtop Jenkins

Infectious is almost never a good word, especially when you're talking about children.

But Boxtop Jenkins invades your ears with a squeaky-clean kind of infection – one that cheers you up instead of deadening your system.

I can hear you asking, "What the heck is a Boxtox Jenkins?" and "Where do I get my vaccination?" But hear me out first.

Franklin Bunn (the voice behind the project) and his gang at "Team Boxtop" have produced a CD filled with neat wordplay and hummable tunes, including "The Crocodile (Wouldn't Brush His Teeth)." If you ever liked the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, that's the first song you want to spin on Boxtop's new CD, YOU'RE HAPPIER WHEN YOU'RE HAPPY.

The songs touch on a number of common kid things, such as Halloween ("Gettin' Down on Halloween" and "Rattlin' Rattlin' Bones," which features guest artist Shawn Mullins) and monkeys ("Five Little Monkeys," also with Mullins and "Swingin' Monkeys").

The title of the album comes from the song "Wag More," which has guest vocals from the Indigo Girls. The song is a moral song by a man who met a talking dog:

Wag more, bark less, 'cause you're happier when you're happy.
You're happier when you're happy.
So wag more.

The clever wordplay that I mentioned comes clearly into play on the song, "My Uncle is an Ant":

My uncle is an ant and he works inside a plant.
Every day along his way he greets the doorman.
It's a plant inside a plant
And my busy uncle ant
is always busy at the plant 'cause he's the foreman.

Got it?

It's not often that a children's musician has a "day job" conceivably more interesting than his sideline singing for kids. But Jenkins (Bunn) is also a puppeteer with the American Kasper Theater. Long story short, it's a form of german puppetry that dates back to the 17th century using very archetypal characters.

Day and night, Jenkins spends his time finding ways to entertain and inform children. Boxtop Jenkins' YOU'RE HAPPIER WHEN YOU'RE HAPPY might even chase the blues away during these dreary post-Hurricane Sandy days.

YOU'RE HAPPIER WHEN YOU'RE HAPPY is available through Boxtop Jenkins' website, CDBABY, and iTunes.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Ben's Playlist - Friday, November 9, 2012

I Wanna Party – Hot Wings
When Can I See You Again – Owl City      
 I Like How It Feels – Enrique Iglesias feat. Pitbull
A Road Song – Fountains Of Wayne
Odd Girl Out – Alexandra
Kiss With A Fist – Florence + The Machine
I Am A Scientist – Mates Of State
Mother Nature's Son – Aaron Nigel Smith
Sing Loud – Melissa Green
Make It Up – Astrograss
Mammal – They Might Be Giants

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Ben's Playlist - Thursday, November 8, 2012

 When the Bells Start Ringing (feat. The Head & the Heart) –  My Morning Jacket
 Rainbow Connection –  Weezer Feat. Hayley Williams
Monkey Love (Featuring Caspar Babypants) –  The Harmonica Pocket
  They Got Feet –  George Carver
Turning Tables –  Adele
 Clap Your Hands –  The Time Outs
Tomorrow Will Be Really Great –  Dan Israel 
My Happiness –  Chris Isaak
 Changes –  David Bowie

Obama Wins, Where Are the Graceful Losers?

Yes, I voted for Obama.

Did I vote for the "winner"? Did I vote "my conscience"? Did I vote for "the country"?

Listening to any of the talking heads on TV, you would think I did one or some combination of the above.

Unless you were watching FOX News, in which case they think I'm a deluded entitlement wuss who is terrified of standing on my own two feet and becoming a self-reliant job creator.

But hearing the blogsphere and reading social media (our power was out, so our exposure was limited to local CBS 880 AM news) exposes a very clear divide.

Which leads me to a sports analogy from the 2000 World Series. That year, the final baseball epic untainted by the events of 9/11, my cousin and I decamped to Shea Stadium to watch our New York Mets take on the Yankeees. The Mets had let a game get away from them, and who can forget the "Roger Clemens throws a bat at Mike Piazza" incident?

The Mets managed their lone victory in that series in Game Four and we were there. But they were still looking to stave off elimination in Game Five when we returned to Shea.

We'd had weekday season seats (which no longer exist) for many years. In that time, through upgrades, we had moved to Loge Section 5, Row B, seats 15 and 16 (aisle), right behind home plate. Glorious seats in foul ball territory where you could see all the action at a moderate price. Sadly, when the Mets built CitiField, they more than doubled ticket prices in three years. In the process, they lost us as regular customers. I became an occasional attendee. And my cousin has turned his back on the club entirely.

But I digress. There we sat in our fantastic seats for game five and waited to see if the Mets could hold off the Yanks for another day. If the Yankees were going to win, hopefully they would have to do it in THEIR stadium two days later.

This being New York, fans were wearing gear for both teams. Every time a "Let's Go Mets!" chant started up, Yankee fans would drown it out with a chant of their own. So be it. All in good, clean fun. Until the second inning, when the Yanks went ahead, 1-0.

A woman and her preteen daughter were seated in the section in front of us. They wore Mets hats and jackets and were SURROUNDED by Yankees fans, who went nuts when the Bronx squad took an early lead. By nuts, I mean they stood up, they hooted and stormed around, and gave the finger and cursed loudly at anyone who dared ask them to shut up, so people could watch the game.

They quieted down in the bottom of the inning, when the Mets took a 2-1 lead. At that point, the woman, who had heard enough, stood up for TWO SECONDS and cheered, "LET'S GO METS!" and promptly sat down.

The tense showdown between Andy Pettitte and Al Leiter went until the top of the ninth inning when Luis Sojo gave the Yanks a decisive 4-2 lead. The Yankees fans went nuts again, but it was a different kind of nuts. This was a completely TARGETED response. And their target was this poor woman and indirectly, her preteen daughter. They stood up, got in her face, and directed the entirety of their venom at her.

This was no celebration of the accomplishments of their favorite team. This was an angry mob delighting at being in an opposing team's stadium, buzzed on high-priced beer, and demonstrating their god-given right to applaud a two-RBI single.

It went over the line to the point that people sitting in the next level started pouring beer on them to get them to stop. Security ignored them. The attendants, sensing the end of the season was at hand, had all vanished. Even the most timid people yelled at them to "leave the women alone." And got the finger in return.

Three outs later, it was all over. The woman and her daughter fled. I clearly recall that group of Yankees fans jumping, hugging, and falling all over themselves, in delight that the Yankees had won in "Mets territory."

Now you may ask - what does this have to do with the 2012 election? Here goes.

Republicans are Yankees fans and Democrats are Mets fans.

Yes, both groups cheer and applaud when "their guy" is in the lead. But rarely do you see Mets fans gloat to the degree of Yankees fans.  I have in-laws who could not give a shit about baseball, except when the Yankees were the most winningest team in New York. Long Islanders, every time I asked if they were interested in Mets games, they would guffaw. Until the Mets were headed for the World Series against the Yankees. I had the unenviable task of explaining to them that THOSE tickets were earmarked for people who bought tickets to Mets games during the regular season. The response was, unbelievably, "But you never offer us those tickets."

I love that the Republican response to Obama's second team is to declare it's "not a mandate." Bush stole the 200 election and the Supreme Court gave him the Presidency.  FOX News then declared Bush had a "mandate." Obama wins by larger margins that either of Bush's two elections, but neither of those is a "mandate."

The other Republican response is to be offended at the outpouring of emotion at the Obama victory. It's like Republicans own the license to celebrate. It's a good thing there was no Facebook in 2004 when Bush won his second term – I can't imagine the degree of venom and derogatory pictures about John Kerry that would have been posted by GOP supporters.

Where are those graceful losers on the GOP side? It's their turn to ask for "compromise" and nod their heads that Obama did indeed run a better campaign. Because if Obama had lost, that's what the GOP would be calling for.

This generation of Democrats is being accused of acting like – gasp – Republicans! They are celebrating!!! victory!!! loudly and publicly!!! And that's a good thing. Asshat Scott Brown won Ted Kennedy's electoral seat in Massachusetts and the Democrats nearly pissed away the chance to create national healthcare. Elizabeth Warren reclaimed that seat. Anti-abortion zealots Akin and Murdock were soundly defeated. We DO have something to celebrate. And celebrate we will.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Ben's Playlist - Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Binary - The Board of Education
Are We There Yet?  - Big Bang Boom
Planes, Trains and Automobiles - Henning Ohlenbusch
Someone's Gonna Break Your Heart  - Fountains Of Wayne
Shrimp and Gumbo - Rebirth Brass Band
The Science Fair - Ashley Albert
eBay - Weird Al Yankovic
Move On Up - Curtis Mayfield
I'm Dreaming - Randy Newman
Vote or Don't - They Might Be Giants        
Mary Anning  - Artichoke

Monday, November 05, 2012

Ben's Playlist - Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Love Is A Superpower - Ben Rudnick & Friends
El Jefe  - Mexican Institute of Sound
White And Nerdy - Weird Al Yankovic
Immigrant Song - Led Zeppelin
We Just Won't Be Defeated - The Go! Team
Twirl! Twirl! Twirl! - Mr. Leebot
Set Fire To The Rain - Adele
First Warm Day - The Incredible Chandler Travis Catual Birdomonic
Cicada - Chickasaw Mudd Puppies
Burning Coffee - They Might Be Giants
They're Red Hot - Randy Kaplan
Wimoweh - Joanie Leeds & The Nightlights

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Ben's Playlist - Monday, November 5, 2012

Sunspots  -   Bob Mould   
Little Little Baby - The Harmonica Pocket
Bike - Charity And The JAMband
When Will You Die?  - They Might Be Giants
Thank You - Dan Zanes & Friends
If You Want a Mustache  - Space Balloons
Make Me - Big Bang Boom
Here's To Us  - Glee
A Road Song - Fountains Of Wayne
Sacagawea - The Deedle Deedle Dees
Spicy Kid - Lunch Money

Hurricane-Cast, Part 1 (new podcast

You may have heard about this thing called Hurricane Sandy that hit the East Coast last week.

It knocked out our power and heat, so we've been "roughing it." That's tough guy-speak for "eking by."

In any case, this podcast discusses how we've managed through the actual event as well as the first few days of the aftermath.