Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Quick Hits: Fan-tastic New Video for Red Pants Band, Prolific Schwartz

I know I sound like an old codger when I say something like, "When I was 15." However I feel compelled to do it again right now. " Especially when the new video from Danny Weinkauf and the Red Pants Band was created by 15-year-old Madison Durand from Rhode Island.

Animation teacher Tim Labonte found out about Danny's crowdfunding efforts for RED PANTS BAND (the new album) via They Might Be Giants social media. He offered to help create a lyric video for the upcoming release. In fact, Labonte mentioned a talented student (Durand) who wanted the experience of making a music video.

Now at 15, "back in the day," I had tried my hand at creating short Super 8 videos. They were pretty poor in quality. In fact, when I saw the works by other students in my class, it only emphasized that I should stick to what I knew best – writing. But Durand has technology and talent at her disposal; a lethal combination for such a young person.

Here is her creation, debuting via Danny Weinkauf and the Red Pants Band, for "Only One You":

Stephen Michael Schwartz is nothing if not prolific. He and his band, Parachute Express, have released a dozen albums over the course of 25 years. Now his second solo CD, BUCKET OF WOW! is here. A fast, bouncy jaunt for kids of young ages, Schwartz's music is familiar to anyone who has patronized Gymboree and his song "We The Children" was incorporated into (then) First Lady Hillary Clinton's fight against child abuse.

 Five years ago Stephen and Parachute Express toured China and it left a lasting impression. They continue to make biannual treks across the globe to perform. And "The Panda Bear" is definitely inspired by the experience. The title track is punchy and upbeat, the tandem of "My Rainbow World" and "One Rainbow" describe the color spectrum in vivid detail, and 'I'm Being Followed By the Moon" debunks an "original conspiracy theory" that many youngsters believe.

Matt (5) has only lost his two bottom front teeth and is in constant anticipation of the rest following suit. Stephen demystifies the process on "Losing a Tooth," a duet with a young girl. Three decades and tens of thousands of miles in, Stephen and company are still overwhelmed by the reactions to their music from youthful audiences. That's the underlying theme behind "Bucket of Wow," and wouldn't you like to have one, too?

BUCKET OF WOW! is available from Stephen's website, Amazon, and iTunes.
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