Sunday, May 31, 2009

If Poison and KISS Started a Kids' Band...

Straight outta the C.C. DeVille/Paul Stanley book of theatrical stage presence, John Carlin and The Kids' Music Underground present "Air Guitar," their tribute to the budding rock star in everyone's family.

John Carlin and The Kids' Music Underground - "Air Guitar"

Monday, May 25, 2009

To Infinity and Beyond!

What's your favorite Disney Pixar tune? To celebrate their tenth animated film, Disney Pixar recently released the Disney Pixar Greatest Soundtrack, which includes music and songs from all 10 movies, from 1995's Toy Story to this year's Up. It's interesting to see both what was included and what was left off...

You can check out a full review of the Disney Pixar Greatest Soundtrack over at

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Let There Be Rock....

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sedaka is back!

At the very least, this is a cute distraction. At the most, it's a fun, super catchy introduction for the whole family to the talents of Neil Sedaka. Hopefully, Sedaka's kids' debut, Waking Up is Hard to Do, will lead to further exploration of his poptacular back catalog of hits. And I can pretty much guarantee that the line "Lunch, lunch will keep us together" will get stuck in your head for days!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Get Fruity!

If Jonathan Richman or The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band made kids' music ... well, I guess they kinda did ... anyway, I think Apple Brains' "Apple x3" would feel right at home amongst such company. This tune is from Apple Brains' debut kids' album Get Fruity!

Apple Brains - "Apple x3"

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Guilty pleasure of the week...

... the Top 10 High School Musical songs! Ok, everybody knows the High School Musical Soundtracks aren't beginning-to-end masterpieces, particularly High School Musical 2, but each album does contain a nice slice or two of tween pop. Check out the Top 10 High School Musical songs from the first three soundtracks, and let us know which was your favorite.

Friday, May 15, 2009

You learn something new every day...

Hmmm, I had no idea that Los Lobos, They Might Be Giants, indie rockers Tally Hall, composer Stephen Schwartz (Godspell, Wicked) and Andy Sturmer from Jellyfish all had a hand in making music for the Playhouse Disney Music Play Date CD ...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Piano Pop Par Excellence

Remember those Billy Joel / Elton John solo piano concerts? Dude, I'd totally go see a kids' show with David Tobocman and Michael Rachap rockin' the keys. Dig it:

Readeez - "Tonight and Every Night"

{Pictures by Michael Rachap}

David Tobocman - "Home"

{Pictures by Valerie Walsh}

Monday, May 11, 2009


Here's the debut video from kids' music newcomer Billy Kelly and his band of Blah Blah Blas, from their album Thank You for Joining the Happy Club:

Billy Kelly and The Blah Blah Blahs - "Springtime: It's My Favorite"

Saturday, May 09, 2009

***The Dreamtree Shakers***

Chicago's Little Miss Ann tipped us off to a kids' band with one of the best names I've heard in a while, The Dreamtree Shakers. This Windy City ensemble's debut kids' album, Dream and You Will See, is actually a soundtrack of sorts of their live puppetry and movement show, featuring characters and landscapes of the forest.

Call it poppy folk, folky pop, or indie alt country americana, Jeremy Babcock and gang lay down some righteous, jangly tunes, the kind of airy, loping rock and roll that America and Neil Young were so good at. Babcock is the go-to guy in The Dreamtree Shakers, and he and fellow Shakers Shawn Schlag and Michael Doty play in the similar-sounding grownup band Third Wheel.

With song titles like "Her Sound is Sunshine," "Dream and You Will See," and "Watching the Leaves Fall," you can see at first glance where The Dreamtree Shakers are coming from. Very cool indie pop for kids, awesome kindie rock for adults, great CD for the whole family. But first and foremost, check out The Dreamtree Shakers' live show ... then you'll see what they're all about.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

***Mary Poppins Soundtrack***

Hey, remember when soundtracks were more than just rehashed Top 40 songs or poorly-composed wannabe Broadway ditties? Yeah, me too. So, here's what may be the best example of how to make a family movie album: Mary Poppins.

The Mary Poppins Soundtrack was released in 1964 and spent 14 weeks at #1 on the Billboard charts! And why not, with tunes like "A Spoonful of Sugar," "I Love to Laugh," "Chim Chim Cher-ee," "Let's Go Fly a Kite," and "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious." You have brothers Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman to thank for those classics, along with other memorable songs like "Feed the Birds," "The Life I Lead," "Sister Suffragette," "Fidelity Fiduciary Bank," and the absolutely raucous "Step in Time."

Make sure to check out the 40th Anniversary edition that contains fascinating conversations with the Sherman Brothers about their songwriting process. Julie Andrews' voice, super songs by the Shermans, and Dick Van Dyke's ridiculous Cockney accent make for a classic kids' movie soundtrack.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

***Peter, Paul and Mary***

Let's revisit a classic today! Peter, Paul and Mary's 1969 kids' album Peter, Paul and Mommy was a groundbreaker of sorts, because it was the first instance of a major pop star or band making an album specifically for children. The trio covered Tom Paxton's "The Marvelous Toy" and "Going to the Zoo," Shel Silverstein's short and silly "Boa Constrictor," and Gilbert & Sullivan's "I Have a Song to Sing, O!" from Yeoman of the Guard.

The album included performances of the traditional tunes "Leatherwing Bat," "All Through the Night," and "Mockingbird," as well as Peter Yarrow's amusing "Make-Believe Town." Peter, Paul and Mary also covered themselves on "It's Raining," originally peformed on their 1962 debut album Peter, Paul and Mary, and, of course, their classic "Puff the Magic Dragon," a re-recording of a tune first heard on their 1963 album (Moving). Peter, Paul and Mommy also introduced two new PP&M gems, Peter Yarrow's "Day is Done" and Paul Stookey's "Christmas Dinner."

Peter, Paul and Mommy is, for the most part, a subdued acoustic affair, so the album would make a perfect backdrop to a rainy afternoon or a summer sundown.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Happy Birthday, Pete!

Pete Seeger is 90 years young today, and he's as full of vim and vigor as ever. You can get a quick overview of Pete Seeger's biography over at, or check out a review of American Folk Songs for Children, Seeger's first album for kids and one of the Top 5 Classic Children's Albums of all time.

photo copyright Christopher Felver

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Listening and Dancing to Music is AWESOME!

So, who's your favorite Yo Gabba Gabba! musical guest from Season 1? Season 2 brought some bigger and better names, and I've heard crazy rumors about the third season, but let's look at Yo Gabba Gabba!'s first year on the tube. Here are my picks for Top 10 Yo Gabba Gabba! musical guests from Season 1.