Saturday, January 31, 2009

Punk Rock Preschoolers!

Illinois kiddie rockers The Boogers musically pummell the tots at Chicago's Wonder Works Children's Museum with their version of "Mary Had a Little Lamb," from their kids' music debut Road to Rock. Long live Rock & Roll...

The Boogers - "Mary"

Friday, January 30, 2009

Monkeys and Squirrels

Part National Geographic, part Jack Johnson, part "Runaround Sue," Corey Jenkins' (aka Jenks) first video from his debut kids' album Animals from A to Z is the tale of a Mexican monkey with a yen to wander. Silly? Maybe, but then check out Jenkins' Nickelodeon-worthy short film about a park ranger with a squirrel phobia. Even sillier and funnier, and featuring another tune from Animals from A to Z, "All About Squirrels."

Jenks - "Little Monkey on the Roam"

Scott and the Squirrels, by Corey Jenkins

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

That's How It Goes Playin' In A Band

Know what rocks? A dude wearing a cut off t-shirt playing bagpipes, rolling down the street on a flatbed truck with his band, giving you a rundown of the crappy side of being a rocker. Cool.

ACDC - "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'N' Roll)"

Monday, January 26, 2009

I'm the Kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing of Rock!!!

...or, "I Can't Live Without My Radio!" which, in this case, is an old crib monitor that Steamboat uses as a makeshift mini boom box. We turn on the CD player in his room where the monitor base is and, voila! instant radio! Rock the Bells!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Where Do I Fit In?

Never thought I'd feel sad for a tomato! The Board of Education's wistful powerpop tune about the tomato's place in the food pyramid makes it to video. Dig this awesome song, then check out a full review of The Board of Education album over at the site.

The Board of Education - "The Lonely Tomato"

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Get Gustafer Yellowgold Fever!

Just heard/watched the new CD/DVD Gustafer Yellowgold's Mellow Fever ... wonderful! Morgan Taylor's third installment in Gustafer's life story is as tranquil, silly, moving, and catchy as ever, and explores even more the mysterious past of our hero, and introduces a couple of new characters.

Mellow Fever comes out in March, so until then you can catch up by checking out past reviews of Gustafer Yellowgold's Wide Wild World and Gustafer Yellowgold's Have You Never Been Yellow?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

That Freedom Highway

Teach your babies this song, and have them teach their children's children. Springsteen, Seeger, and his grandson Tao Rodriguez rock Guthrie's classic for Obama, with Lincoln looking over their shoulder. They even sing the often-omitted later verses, including:

Nobody living can ever stop me,
As I go walking that freedom highway;
Nobody living can ever make me turn back,
This land was made for you and me.

"This Land is Your Land"

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Image copyright Shepard Fairey 2009

Friday, January 16, 2009

Best Kids' Music Debuts of 2008

I've never compiled a list like this, so it was pretty exciting to see how many top-notch freshman albums came out this year in children's music. I posted the list over at, where everyone is welcome to make their own suggestions and comment on the ones I chose. Check out the Top 12 Best Kids' Music Debuts of 2008!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

***Kimya Dawson***

Considered an "Anti-folk" hero, Kimya, to me, is more a "Pro-stream-of-consciousness" performer: her songs concentrate heavily on lyrics while instrumentation is almost an afterthought. But that's a good thing, as her thinking-out-loud songs explore deeper feelings, spur of the moment thoughts, and silly ideas that other performers wouldn't bother developing into songs.

Dawson's grownup band, The Moldy Peaches, reveled in low-key, lo-fi, sometimes shambolic, but always attention-grabbing songs. She reels it in a little on Alphabutt, much the same way she did on the Juno soundtrack. The closest thing this comes to in the arena of kids' music is Woody Guthrie's 1956 classic Songs to Grow On for Mother and Child. And Dawson is pretty much singing to and for her little girl Panda on Alphabutt, the same way Guthrie's son Arlo was the main audience for Mother and Child.

Here's a one-sentence review for ya: Kimya Dawson's Alphabutt is the sound of parenting. For once, a performer records what it really sounds like when you're hanging out with your kids, unselfconsciously singing songs and having fun. These tunes aren't about anything mindblowing, no lessons are overtly or subconsciously being taught here. The songs just celebrate feelings that come with mommyhood (pre- and post-birth): love, companionship, anxiety, joy, pride.

Kimya gives you sing-alongs like "Louie," "I Like Bears," and the crazy-ass "Wiggle My Tooth;" autobiographical observations like "Smoothie" and "Happy Home (Keep On Writing);" and bizarre but funny character portraits like "Bobby-O." Dig the simple but effective chant "Pee-Pee in the Potty," the lovely and word-filled "I Love You Sweet Baby," and the noisy naptime ode "Little Monster Babies." And for a quick idea of what Alphabutt is all about, listen to the brilliant and hilarious title tune, and follow it with the sweet "Little Panda Bear."

It was very punk rock of Kimya to follow up her Juno success with an album of children's songs. She could have easily recorded a collection of more slickly-produced, soundtrack-ready tunes rather than kid-friendly songs about pee, farts, bears, aerobics instructors, and dogs. Kudos to her and others who have the guts to push the boundaries of kids' music even farther.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Kimya Likes Bears AND Giants

"I Like Giants" is from one of Kimya Dawson's grownup albums, Remember That I Love You, but it would have fit right in on her kids' CD Alphabutt. The NYC-based punk dance troup UNDERTHRUST choreographed a video for "I Like Giants," a pretty deep song despite it's sing-songy, nursery rhyme sound. "I am just a speck of dust inside a giant's eye." ... indeed.

Kimya Dawson - "I Like Giants"

Friday, January 09, 2009

Dog On Fleas Love Ugly Fruit

One of my favorite bands promote organic farming. Dig it.

Dog On Fleas - "Ugly Fruit"

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

***Parry Gripp***

Do You Like Waffles? is the best thing since ... waffles! Parry Gripp began his musical career with the (self-admittedly) geeky rock band Nerf Herder, whose pop culture-filled power punk tunes garnered them comparisons to Weezer, Weird Al, The Offspring, Green Day, and The Dead Milkmen.

Gripp decided to try his hand at jingle writing, but his only commission, a commercial for a waffle that came with its own dipping sauce, was never used. Undeterred, Gripp recorded a huge cache of very short, tightly produced, ridiculously catchy, and very funny songs that he compiled in 2005 as For Those About to Shop, We Salute You. His second album of mini songs, Do You Like Waffles?, takes the best of his first CD, adds a few new tunes, and leaves off songs like "We're Gonna Kick Your Ass Today" and "Nice Motherf@#!*&g Truck" so the whole family can rock out.

Every tune on Do You Like Waffles? is about food, so this album'll either make you hungry or make you laugh, or both. Check out especially the power pop brilliance of "Soup," "Hip, Hip Hoo-Raisin," "Bran Flakes," and "Theme from Melvin the Magic Hotdog."

Here's the irony: now companies are chasing Gripp to get him to write ads. He's composed for Hallmark's Hoops & Yoyo series, and for the Wawa convenience store chain. And if that's not prolific enough for ya, dig his Song of the Week website, which features lots of new tunes not included on either album, with artwork by Nathan Mazur. Videos for songs like "Spaghetti Cat" and "Hamster on a Piano (Eating Popcorn)" are takin' YouTube by storm!

Monday, January 05, 2009

me 3 Make a Short Video for a Short Song

...and the song is called...that's right, "Short Song." Played louder and faster, this tune by me 3 would make a great stadium rocker!

me 3 - "Short Song"

Friday, January 02, 2009

New Video from Melissa Green!

Time to ride, ride, ride, with Melissa Green on this latest video from her new DVD Clap, Shake and Roll. Melissa's "4 Nickles and a Dime" is another kids' tune about two-wheeler fun for all you bike aficionados out there.

Melissa Green - "4 Nickles and a Dime"