The Song and the Process. I Must Be a Genius by Dean Jones

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Dean Jones is busy these days recording other peoples music.  When I called he was in a session with Molly Ledford (Lunch Money) and Billy Kelly who are working on a project (they had stepped out for lunch). He also works or has worked with with Story Laurie, Recess Monkey and those two Grammy winning children’s music impostors (they’re really great folk musicians in disguise) The Okee Dokee Brothers and many others.  Dean’s really a go to guy when it comes to music production but he is also a most talented songwriter in his own right and likeable fellow as well.  There aren’t a lot of smartly written love songs in the kindie music world that I know of.  The two that come to mind are Pandas are Dangerous by The Boogers and I Must Be A Genuis by Dean Jones. While the Pandas song isdog on fleas bogof totally Punk Rock (still sentimental) this one is more charming and sweet reminiscent of the 40’s piano driven pop song.  I think Bing Crosby but I digress…  When asked where the song came from Dean said “Out of the blue. Some of the best songs are BOOM. The Phrase just came out.”  So he had the I must be a genius and the love me, love you too part so he needed music.  He went to his default chord structure.   A bunch of chords he was used to writing in (mine is E A D). Dean wasn’t always a kindie music guy.  He had a band like all those other bands out there and one day his  friend who owns a toy store told him “his songs where juvenile.  Why not write songs for kids?” So that’s what he did and Dog on Fleas was Born.  When not writing or producing music he also plays out professionally, accompanies  a puppet company plus Dad and dishwashing duties. Dean is married with two kids one of whom is already songwriting at 7 yrs old and in his (Dean) words “Writes good stuff.”  Me, I’m thinking Dean writes really cool offbeat tunes and with this song he is quite genius indeed with this shuffling drum, trombone highlighted, piano driven two minute masterpiece.  Go check out  this song on Buy One Get One Flea!  Go check out all of his work and go support an independent artist today!

Norwood Park Fall Festival!

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Tomorrow September 20th at 1:15pm the Poochamungas take the stage at one of our favorite festivals.  Looking forward to seeing lots of family and friends plus some great bands like our imposter radiofriend Joe Love and Imposter Radio (Best Cover Band in Chicago) and Sunday the Ed Burns Rhythm and Blues Review.  They’ll have face painting, jump houses, reptile shows and more for the kids not to mention great food and beverages.  My family has attended the last three  years and it’s always a great time!  So come hear some good music, grab a cold ed burns band(or warm beverage) and enjoy one of the best neighborhood festivals Chicago has to offer! I look forward to seeing you there.

 

 

Some of our favorite Kindie Vids!

I was looking at youtube the other day and noticed some really great kindie videos aren’t getting the views they deserve cause they’re pretty darn good! Here are some of the family favorites

Justin Roberts - Obsessed by Trucks.  Who doesn’t have that family member who drives them crazy with a particular obsession?

The HipwadersEducated Kid.  Really great animations with a bit of humor.  One of our favorite bands

The Boogers - Pandas are Dangerous.  A great DIY shoot by The Boogers themselves and a punk rock love song disguised by Pandas!

Tim and the Space CadetsSuperhero.  Tim is a busy guy these days with playing bass on Americas Got Talent (houseband), Tambourine Guy with the brilliant Post Modern Jukebox and hanging out with Chica (Sunny Side Up Show).  But before all that he put out one of the all time best kindie videos ever!  You be the judge…

Hipwaders release another CD!

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The Hipwaders Rock!  What more do you need to know?  Their latest CD is worth the purchase.  Fun lyrics, great vocals and harmonies not to mention that cool California grove that they’re famous for.  We are big fans of this band and Year Round Sounds brings some new tunes, covers and holiday music our hipwader picfamily has been digging. They now sit in the much coveted car CD slot! Willie Samuels does a great job once again of making the band sound great in the studio.  Mic Check , Kings and Queens and The Books I Like to Read are three of my favorite songs.  I find this a worthy follow up to The Golden State my only complaint being… Tito when’s the next release? They are having a CD release party this Saturday, September 13th in Vacaville, CA.  Go buy this CD and support a kindie artist today!

The truth about Okee Dokee Brothers Music!

Okee-Dokee-Bros-Through-the-WoodsI’m usually not one for writing expose’ pieces but I can hold quiet no longer.  There are a few bands out there posing as “kiddie” bands of which I won’t mention but one band in particular MUST BE EXPOSED!  I’m talking about those happy go lucky folk singing Okee Dokee Brothers.   If you’re not familiar with them they like to go out on long trips and then write songs about the experience. Their first travel inspired album was about canoeing down the Mississippi (Can you Canoe? review) which won a Children’s Grammy. The most recent one is about hiking down the Appalachian Trail.  How are kids supposed to learn about counting when the sublime acoustic sounds and harmonies of the title track Through the Woods takes us out of the city and into the forest?  How can little Jenny, Billy or Isaac learn about colors if they insist singing about Smokey Mountain BBQ, mountain life, love and family in the song Ruby Jane?  How are kids gonna learn to touch their knees and toes if they insist life sounds better in the eclectic, Dean Jones piano driven Out of Tune?  These here are not “kiddie” songs and I’ll tell you what they are…  Americana inspired by the music of the Appalachian. Songs that resonate with folk of all ages.  Music that take the listener on a journey of wonder.   I could go on about how great the CD is but you should go out buy it, listen to it and enjoy two of the best songwriters I know working with one of the best producers (Dean Jones) I know. There’s nothing wrong with “kiddie music” done right.  But the biggest crime here is how many people will never listen to this CD because it’s labeled a Children’s CD when it is so much more.   Go support a Kindie artist today!

Discovering the New and Appreciating the Familiar

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I’ve been sorting my Kindie CD collection because I have been given the go ahead to start a CD Library at my children’s school (which will be a post here soon).  While sorting and returning CD’s to their jacket I found the Mo Phillips CD Monster Suit hidden in a drawer.  This CD garnered a bit a press because of the song The Princess and the Cowboy which discusses how it’s ok for boys to be princesses and girls to be cowboys.  That’s all fine and good but wouldn’t matter if it was a bad CD.  It is anything but… While the lyrics are definitely for a younger set the music is smart indie pop inspired goodness.  I love the Chris Issac inspired Big Red Truck, the witty Ducks Don’t Get Wet and the childhood inspired, fiddle groovin’ genius Hot Lava.   Mo has put out a gem and you should go check it out.  Monster Suit is of the best sounding CD’s I’ve heard this year.   Sorry I’m late to this dance (released in 2012) but this is one worth the listen.

 

Brady is one of our favorite artists (we like his family too!) and unsung Kindie artist extraordinaire.  Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could released a BradyRymerJustSayHinew CD this year called Just Say Hi!.  Once again he put out another all ages music gem called Just Say Hi!  Never cloying, always smart I would best describe his music as joyful.  From the opening horn section on the title track Just Say Hi! to the Cajun inspired My Home the songs can’t help but put you in a good mood. Many a dance party in our house has happened with this CD.  So go check it out! The do yourself a favor and next time Brady’s in your town go catch his show for he’s one of the best live performers I have ever seen. You’ll thank me later.  These are two great CD’s so go and buy them.  Support an independent artist today!

Go see this show!

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This is where I would be this Saturday if I didn’t have to worry about paying for school books and mortgages.  Robbie Fulks is playing at the Old Town School of Folk Music this Saturday, September 6th at 8pm.  Robbie is an awesome entertainer as I have mentioned here before and a heckuva songwriter as well.  The good news is that if you can’t make this show he plays at the Hideout mostrobbiefulks Mondays for a mere ten bucks! One of the best music deals in the city.  But if you wait till then you won’t get to hear his opening act extraordinaire Gerald Dowd!  You can usually find Gerald (friend, father, husband, musician and all around good guy) behind the drums playing for someone else (too many to mention) including Mr Fulks.  But behold! On this date Gerald will be out in front singing some of his own tunes. This is a double bill well worth checking out. Why will I not be there?  Because I just found out and can’t get out of work on such short notice (less than 4 days, thanks Gerald!). But you should go and tell him I sent you. Then buy a copy of his EP as well cause it’s pretty damn good too!  Go support an independent artist today!

Hope they play one of my favorite Robbie songs…