Thursday, February 26, 2015

Ben's Playlist - Friday, February 27, 2015

Domino – Van Morrison
If I Could Fly – Riff Rockit
Duck Ellington – Lucky Diaz And The Family Jam Band
Shutterbug – Recess Monkey
New  – Paul McCartney
Metaphor – The Alphabeticians
Caught in the Screen – Secret Agent 23 Skidoo
The Best Parts  – Eric Herman

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Ben's Playlist - Thursday, February 26, 2015

Gloria – Van Morrison & Them
Tomorrow's People – Brady Rymer & The Little Band That Could
Foolish Father  – Weezer
Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
Let The Records Play – Pearl Jam
Love Runs Out – OneRepublic
We All Want Love – Rihanna

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Ben's Playlist - Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Pendulum – Pearl Jam
Domino Town  – Dean Jones
I'm a Shark (I Rock, I Swim) – ScribbleMonster
Bonsai – Billy Kelly and the Blah Blah Blahs
Like I'm Gonna Lose You – Meghan Trainor Feat. John Legend
Diamonds – Rihanna
Road Trip – In The Nick Of Time
Steal My Girl – One Direction

Monday, February 23, 2015

Ben's Playlist - Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Paper Moon – Laura Doherty
Danceology – The Dirty Sock Funtime Band
Germs – Joanie Leeds And The Nightlights
My Own Detective – Tom Chapin
Back To The Shack  – Weezer
Jackie Wilson Said (I'm In Heaven When You Smile) – Van Morrison
Half Of Me – Rihanna
Sing  – Ed Sheeran
Animals – Maroon 5

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Ben's Playlist - Monday, February 23, 2015

Be a Little Angel – Mista Cookie Jar & The Chocolate Chips
Toothloser – Gustafer Yellowgold
Best Friend – In The Nick Of Time
Shake It Off! – Uncle Rock
Sunglasses – The Que Pastas
Do Ya Thang – Rihanna
Lazy Raisins – Key Wilde and Mr. Clarke
Nose In A Book – The Not-Its!
You Can Do This – Hullabaloo

Friday, February 20, 2015

Kindie Quick Hits: Mista CJ Gets Down, Nathalia Rockets Up

Mista Cookie Jar has returned with his fifth monthly song, "The Way We Gets Down." Just in time for Mardi Gras, CJ channels Leon Redbone with a bluesy, jazzy, time-traveling ode to party time. There's horns and kazoos and listen for yourself and see what YOU hear.

We've enjoyed his monthly compositions and Ben has made sure to include them on his weekday playlists. There seems to be no genre that CJ is not willing to attempt to conquer, and thus far his efforts have not been in vain.

Find "The Way We Gets Down" through the link to Bandcamp. Suggested donation is 99 cents (or more).

Children's recording artist Nathalia has released a trailer for her first music video, "Los Planetas" (the planets), which is coming out in two weeks.

Yes, you have to wait a whole two weeks for the full video. But you can see a teaser of it below. Los Planetas is about Sophia, a young girl dreaming of becoming an astronaut. Sophia is determined to show her peers that with hard work and dedication, anything is possible. For the upcoming science fair, she enlists her little brother to help on a project that will blow everyone's mind.

We are deep in the middle of science fair mania, so this video strikes a chord. Ben's project is "Does Music Affect Memory." Test subjects play a game of concentration, then put on noise-reducing headphones and play the game again, while listening to music of their choosing. So far, the results have not been what we're expecting.

Here is the teaser trailer for "Los Planetas":

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Ben's Playlist - Friday, February 20, 2015

Maps – Maroon 5
Closer To You – Michael Franti & Spearhead
H-U-L-L-A-B-A-L-O-O – Hullabaloo
Lips Are Movin – Meghan Trainor
Backyard  – Riff Rockit
Banana Pudding – Sugar Free Allstars
Rest Easy Now – Eric Herman And The Invisible Band
Fountain of Youth – Brady Rymer
No School Today – Danny Weinkauf

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ben's Playlist - Thursday, February 19, 2015

Gettin' My Ya Ya's Out – Brady Rymer & The Little Band That Could
Me Time – Chibi Kodama
If I Could Fly – Riff Rockit
Gratitude  – Mista Cookie Jar & the Chocolate Chips
Motorcycle Mom – The Not-Its!
Bigga Bagga – Key Wilde and Mr. Clarke
I Lived – OneRepublic
Brave – Sara Bareilles

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Ben's Playlist - Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Secret Fox – Gustafer Yellowgold
Upside Down – Ratboy Jr.
Something I Need – OneRepublic
All About That Bass – Meghan Trainor
New – Paul McCartney
Right Now – Rihanna Feat. David Guetta
Ain't Got Nobody – Weezer
Mama Don't Allow – In The Nick Of Time

Monday, February 16, 2015

Ben's Playlist - Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Together We Can Fly – Danny Weinkauf
Look, Think, Guess, Know – Tom Chapin
Farewell – Rihanna
Rock Melon – Gustafer Yellowgold
Sugar – Maroon 5
Deep In The Dirt – Caspar Babypants
Venus And Mars/ Rock Show  – Kiss

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Ben's Playlist - Monday, February 16, 2015

Wake Up – The Neville Brothers
Don't Touch My Stuff! – Trout Fishing In America
Tacky – Weird Al Yankovic
Blink Of An Eye – Frances England
I Got This! – Princess Katie & Racer Steve
National Hiccup Day – The Dirty Sock Funtime Band
Crazy Mountain Road – Eric Herman And The Invisible Band
Beneath The Water – Caspar Babypants
Junior's Farm – Steve Miller

Friday, February 13, 2015

Babypants Perchance to Sleep, at Night to Slumber

We're always excited when we get a new release from Caspar Babypants (aka Chris Ballew, formerly of THE PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES). It's been awhile since the last CD of original tunes (RISE AND SHINE). Before that, Chris "kindie-fied" a bunch of Beatles songs for BABY BEATLES. So like I said, we were excited to receive the new CD... of bedtime and lullaby songs!

I've discussed it before and my main bugaboos about the children's music genre are (in no order of importance) world music, message songs, and sleepytime tunes. Don't get me wrong – I think Putumayo does a phenomenal job of hammering in the indigenous music of native cultures and regions. And when it's appropriate, I have no problem sharing those genres with the kids. As far as message songs go, the less said, the better. Perhaps your child needs five different songs about wiping his noses after he sneezes. Mine didn't.

That brings me to lullabies, "slowdown" albums, and bedtime music. There was a period when we played a slumber CD for our older son when he was about a year old. One night, we forgot to turn on the monitor in his room. I crept in and learned that the CD had been skipping – playing the same four songs, then repeating, over and over, until we came in and turned it off. And he was up, 20 minutes after bedtime, because it wasn't relaxing him. He was waiting for the skip and repeat. The next night we stopped playing the music and he was out cold in five minutes.

If you've gotten this far, it's because you're curious what I thought about Chris's collection, NIGHT NIGHT. Well, it's a fine bunch of songs and played at the right time of day, they should dial down your youngster's behavior from a rowdy 8 to a tranquil 3.

The Babypants charm is in taking a familiar concept and tweaking it. For instance, shutting down for the night. "Wonder Why You Hide" considers animals and where they disappear in the evening. It doesn't answer the question, but did you ever wonder where ants and clams go? No, seriously.

Whether he's serious or joking, Chris even notes that he had a relaxing time composing NIGHT NIGHT, to the point he would fall asleep before getting to the end. "I began to think that I may never make it all the way to the last song and stay awake and maybe no one else would either," he writes. He needn't have worried. Artwork as always is by Mrs. Babypants, the talented Kate Endle.

"The Land of Shush" started as the mantra of a couple of librarians and turned into a full-fledged song. "Sad Baby" developed from a concept Chris's son Augie stumbled onto as a tot. The CD ends with "Made of Light," which brings me full circle, to the concept of playing a song over-and-over to lull a small child to sleep. With the distinction of being the longest-ever Caspar Babypants song, "Made of Light" ruminates on our subconscious plane and the comfort of being safe and warm, surrounded by our family at home.

You know, that's not a bad way to wrap up a CD, whether it's bedtime tunes or party music. Could it be that Caspar Babypants is growing up, and turning in his shorts for big boy clothing? Or is this another digression and we're going to be treated to a return to impish delights like "Girl With the Squirrel In Her Hat"? With Chris Ballew, you never know. Musical evolution does not equate maturity, nor does experimentation cause atrophy. The fellow is stretching his composing legs while putting small children to sleep. That's quite a juxtaposition.

NIGHT NIGHT is available Tuesday, March 17 from Caspar's website, Amazon, CDBABY, and iTunes.

Here is the video for the CB song, "The Creatures Under My Bed":

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Ben's Playlist - Fridayy, February 13, 2015

In All Of The World – Papa Crow
Copycat – Bill Harley And Keith Munslow
Danceology – The Dirty Sock Funtime Band
Nobody's Business – Rihanna Feat. Chris Brown
Guitar Pickin' Chicken – Ratboy Jr.
Da Vinci – Weezer
Helen Wheels – Def Leppard
The Hustle – Van McCoy

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Ben's Playlist - Thursday, February 12, 2015

If Red Tastes Like Strawberry – The Whirlygigs
Little Things – One Direction
Trondaxx Berserker – Key Wilde and Mr. Clarke
Coral Reef – The Whizpops!
Now Let's Dance – Elizabeth Mitchell & Dan Zanes
Ice Cream Girl – Brady Rymer & The Little Band That Could
Shutterbug – Recess Monkey
Counting Stars  – OneRepublic
I've Had It Up To Here – Weezer

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Ben's Playlist - Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Extraordinary – Eric Herman And The Invisible Band
Word Crimes – Weird Al Yankovic
Buzzcut Season – Lorde
Life In Color – OneRepublic
Foolish Father – Weezer
The Way We Gets Down – Mista Cookie Jar & the Chocolate Chips
I'm a Shark (I Rock, I Swim) – ScribbleMonster

Monday, February 09, 2015

Ben's Playlist - Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Beach House – The Good Ms Padgett
No Control – One Direction
If I Lose Myself – Alesso Vs. OneRepublic
Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
Bonsai – Billy Kelly and the Blah Blah Blahs
NOW That's What I Call Polka! – Weird Al Yankovic
A World Alone – Lorde
Go Away  – Weezer

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Ben's Playlist - Monday, February 9, 2015

First Day of School  – Ethan Rossiter And The Jamberries
3 Pointed Back – Secret Agent 23 Skidoo
Metaphor  – The Alphabeticians
Germs – Joanie Leeds And The Nightlights
How Great Can This Day Be  – Lori Henriques
I Dreamed I Could Fly – Eric Herman And The Invisible Band
Back To The Shack  – Weezer
Loving Cup – Cat Doorman
Blank Space – Taylor Swift

Friday, February 06, 2015

Kindie Quick Hits: Doorman Not Dormant, Cookie Jar Says Dude

Cat Doorman (Julianna Bright) has returned, just in time for the new year, with a new EP and a new, upbeat attitude. Her first CD, SONGBOOK, was ethereal and dreamy, kind of Sarah MacLachlan goes kindie.

For her four-track CALLING ALL THE KIDS TO THE YARD!, Doorman/Bright turns the smile (b)right-side up. Even the cover of "All the Pretty Little Horses" is doggedly upbeat. Picture a female-led Lovin' Spoonful and you'll get the picture.

Doorman is embarking on a year-long project. Rather than build to one big CD sometime later in 2015, she is releasing four four-track EPs, perhaps seasonally. CALLING ALL... certainly does not fit the sleepy, freezing temperatures of February. It's all perky, all the time. Get those kids on their feet and keep them moving for 12 minutes. Get their circulation cranking and ready for the next EP, in a few months.

CALLING ALL THE KIDS TO THE YARD! can be purchased for a mere $4 from Cat Doorman's Bandcamp page. Click through and start listening.

Another artist doing an incremental release program in 2015 is Mista Cookie Jar and the Chocolate Chips. In a way, he's set an even more pressing agenda – a song every month. I'm already behind, as his latest, "HPD!" is January's selection, complete with a campy, 60s-style surf video.

The premise is simple: Last month was his son Lucas's 11th birthday. As a way to say "Happy Birthday, Dude," C.J. (that's Mr. Cookie Jar to you) constructed this jaunty ditty. And believe me, if his son was not embarrassed and actually appreciated the effort, than kudos all around and pass the chips!

Here's the video to HPD:

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Ben's Playlist - Friday, February 6, 2015

Smile in My Heart – Suzi Shelton
Marsupial – Danny Weinkauf
Raise Your Hand – The Not-Its!
Sittin On A Cloud – The Whirlygigs
Mothership – Mr. Saxophone
Closer To You  – Michael Franti & Spearhead
Groove – Lori Henriques
Gloria – Van Morrison & Them
Live And Let Die – Billy Joel

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Ben's Playlist - Thursday, February 5, 2015

Everything I Didn't Say – 5 Seconds of Summer
No, No, No – The Little Rockers Band
Roller coaster  – Bari Koral Family Rock Band
Slow – Trout Fishing In America
H-U-L-L-A-B-A-L-O-O  – Hullabaloo
Something I Need – OneRepublic
Real Real Gone – Van Morrison
Like I'm Gonna Lose You – Meghan Trainor Feat. John Legend

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Ben's Playlist - Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Another Good Year  – Lori Henriques
Snaggletooth  – Dean Jones
Word Crimes  – Weird Al Yankovic
Me Time  – Chibi Kodama
Bird in an Airplane Suit  – Caspar Babypants
Kangaroo!  – Alex & The Kaleidoscope Band
Alligator Get-Together  – Key Wilde And Mr. Clarke
My Selfish Heart  – Meghan Trainor
Jackie Wilson Said (I'm In Heaven When You Smile)  – Van Morrison

Monday, February 02, 2015

Ben's Playlist - Tuesday, February 3, 2015

If I Lose Myself – Alesso Vs. OneRepublic
My Sister Kissed Her Boyfriend – Trout Fishing In America
Shake It Off! – Uncle Rock
Fill It Up – Josh And The Jamtones
Archaeology – Danny Weinkauf
What's My Name? – Rihanna Feat. Drake
Lips Are Movin – Meghan Trainor
Wild Night – Van Morrison

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Ben's Playlist - Monday, February 2, 2015

Diamonds – Rihanna
Raised by Trolls – Key Wilde and Mr. Clarke
Guitar Pickin' Chicken – Ratboy Jr.
Let The Records Play – Pearl Jam
Gratitude  – Mista Cookie Jar & the Chocolate Chips
Coral Reef – The Whizpops!
All About That Bass – Meghan Trainor
Domino – Van Morrison