Unexpected Sonic Joy in the Car. Hello My Baby by Vered

 

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Getting in my car this morning after a long work shift my plan was to stop at the farmers market for some freshly made donuts and grab some vegetables. Opening the tailgate I placed my duffel bag in and noticed a box of my CD’s. What caught my eye was a couple other CD’s in the box one of which is Hello My Baby : Songs to Bond You and Your Baby by Vered.  Always willing to hear new artists and especially people I’ve met I pop in into the CD player.  The title is a bit wordy in my opinion but that would be the only flaw in an otherwise perfect sonic journey. The blend of harmonies, horns, strings and joy make it one of the best sounding CD’s I have heard this year.  I haven’t written here since pre-kindiecomm and that’s where I obtained this CD.  I saw and heard lots of great stuff at Kindiecomm. Lucy Kalantari, LARD Dog, The Sugar Free Allstars, The Boogers and may others to which I have been slacking about reporting here on the blog.  But  I gotta tell you that upon hearing this CD I felt obligated to write about it. To spread the word.  The shame of great albums like this is that many folks dismiss what’s been recorded as soon as they hear kids or children’s music. This isn’t a sing song sing along hope to forget it barney experience.  This is excellence in music regardless of genre. Do yourself a favor if your looking for something to listen with your baby, child or just in the mood for some great music. I should mention that once again that guy Dean Jones (Grammy award winner)produced this stellar album. Go buy this and support an independent artist today.

Kiindiecomm is COMING!!!

Photo By John Garrido

Photo By John Garrido

Hey there folks who peruse this page. It’s been quiet for quite awhile.  I lost the passion for writing about music. I lost the passion for booking shows.  I still love getting out there and performing.  So this year when the annual application to the Kindiecomm Showcase was due I figured why not. I fully expected not to be chosen again. Here’s the thing.  IT’S NOT PERSONAL. The people who book shows  WANT to put on the best show possible. They NEED to attract an audience to justify paying you and keeping the lights on. I have seen Brady Rymer and The Not-Its play to 50 people at Jiggle Jam (which is now defunct) and it was THE BEST FAMILY MUSIC FESTIVAL of all time. By the way both acts absolutely CRUSHED it. Doesn’t matter the size of the audience. Play each show as it was going to be your last.  So what the point of all this… We got the call to play the Kindiecomm Showcase! We will be closing the show Saturday night! Persistence pays off with a huge dose of patience.Don’t confuse persistence with pestering. There is a very definitive line.  Keep performing, keep writing and keep getting better.  I’m gonna be writing here again weekly visiting new bands and talking about new Poochamungas recordings. So stop on by and let’s see what the rest of 2016 has to offer. We have some pretty cool stuff happening up ahead.

Best of 2015 kindie music

I haven’t been writing much here lately as life’s other obligations have gotten in the way. But I have listened to a whole lot of kindie music this year.  This years top ten is only a top 7 because these are the ones I remember without effort. It seems after 46 years the memory just went.  If I remember a CD later I’ll just amend this list These are ones that have spun in the car and in the house. The ones that my children still request and dance and sing along too.

7. We All Shine – Playdate. Good CD and they stole my publicist and photographer! I’m not bitter at all. You can read the review HERE

Photo by David Kindler

Photo by David Kindler

 

6. Hamster Pants –  Ratboy Jr.  This CD got a lot of play in the car this year as well. There silly pop philosophical  musings of hamsters in pants, barbarian librarians and skunk and robot relationships kept us entertained for hours on the road.  page-photo-26507

5. Hot Air – Recess Monkey.  Them boys have really hit their rocking stride in their last two CD’s with the John Vanderslice guy recording all analog and funky.RECESSMONKEY61.300

4. Trees – Billy Kelly and Molly Ledford.   If ya told me you were going to make a CD about Trees I would of laughed at you.  Well this is the second CD on that subject to prove me wrong (Underbirds was the first) and this one went and got a Grammy nomination. Strong songs by two fine song crafters. billy molly

3. Rocksteady – Josh and the Jamtones.  I gave Josh and Pat a bit of a hard time over the narration on there last CD  Bear Hunt but loved the music. My kids dug both.  Well we all agreed this year that this CD was rocking right beginning to end narration and all. No one rocks as hard as these guys and they include horns! Really a great CD. Josh Jamtones

2. How Great Can This Day Be – Lori Henriques.  On my post earlier this year I described this CD as pure joy.  Any other year it probably would of been #1 on my list. This also received a well earned grammy nomination and you should should check it out. lori henriques pic

1. Deep Woods Revival – Red Yarn.   On a  two week road trip with my kids to Colorado  this became our soundtrack and we as a family never tired of it. Along with Big Audio Dynamite, John Mayer and Bob Seger this one was constantly requested by the wife and kids.  It is also this years Rymer Award Winner for the CD that should of been nominated for a grammy but didn’t get there. It’s folk music, opera, story telling and a full audio experience. Andy Furgeson gets better with every CD he puts out and this one is my favorite this year.Red-Yarn-Bob-Rabbit-photo-by-Aaron-Hewitt-495x400

That’s all for now folks. See you in 2016!!!

 

The Big Toy show is a Coming!

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Hey there folks it’s been awhile and I took a break. Wanted to let you about a really cool thing coming up this week.  This weekend it’s the annual Chicago Toy and Game Fair!!! It’s this Saturday and Sunday November 21 and 22.  All the new toys for the upcoming holiday season AND lots of cool games as well.  BE sure to check it out! We’ve gone the last two years and my kids have had a really great time. Plus if your interested they have a STAR WARS LUNCH.  Hang with some storm trooper and get some vittles.  It’s a fun time if you can make it to Navy Pier this weekend.  Coming up are my top ten kindie music CD’s of the year.

Poochamungas Rocked the Badges

Photo By John Garrido

Photo By John Garrido

WOW!  That’s what it feels like after every show I play with my fellow Poochamungas.  For a long time I have been telling folks that discounting our music because we sing for parents and kids is a mistake. Well last week I entered Poochamungas into a Chicago Police and Fire Battle of the Bands called Rock the Badges.  It’s one thing to tell folks how good the music is, another to listen to the CD, but to really grasp what we do you gotta see us perform LIVE. Because we are first and foremost a ROCK BAND! We’re taking names and kicking tails so to speak.  We’ve been at this thing now 7 years and we put on a goood show.  That’s what the 200 or so folks saw and heard when we took the stage on Saturday, August 22nd at 6:15pm.  People were surprised at how good we are and the total rockality of our show. I don’t blame them.  All you hear in the mainstream is Disney, Dora and Barney.  Because kindie music as we call it (kids independent) really never gets the fair shake it deserves. Bands like The Not-Its, Josh and the Jamtones, Red Yarn, Brady Rymer, and us Poochamungas. This Blog is filled with rockin bands that most parents haven’t heard of …Yet!  But I digress… Well I’d like to tell you we won. We did not. We did however show folks that a family music band can rock with anyone, anywhere, anytime.  We also went on when the news channels showed up and got coverage on two local stations for the evening news… PLUS local DJ legend Lin Bremer gave us a shout out WXRT  during his Monday morning show.  So a word to all the show bookers and producers in the city, state and country. If your looking for original fun family friendly interactive music that rocks. Give us a call. WE ARE READY!

http://abc7chicago.com/entertainment/chicagos-finest-bands-compete-in-battle-of-the-badge/952659/

I would also like to thank John Garrido and all the folks who worked the Rock the Badges III event. Great Job raising money for our brothers and sisters in need.  Also thanks to all the bands that gave up their time to play whether competing or just entertaining the folks, you all rocked! And last my condolences to Veilside and the family of Tom Finnelly. Our prayers and thought are with you.

Deep Woods Revival rocks!

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3000 miles is a long time in a car. But family road trips are an American rite of passage. Along with that right of passage one needs the right music along for the ride.  Among the Bruce Springsteen, John Mayer, Los Lobos, Hits from the 70’s, and others. I brought 3 kindie road worthy Cd’s. Josh and the Jamtones (Rocksteady), Ratboy Jr (Hamster Pants) and Red Yarn’s latest Deep Woods Revival.  Let me tell you  when you head off on quiet outback two lane highways Red Yarn is the musical answer.  Deep Woods Revival is like a big ole’ Andy-Furgeson-with-guitarslice of tasty American Pie. Perfect crust, amazing apples and that perfect cohesion that holds all the flavors together. I gotta be honest that I had no idea what Bile That Cabbage Down meant and had to look it up (Bile=Boil).  What I do know is that Andy Ferguson is crushing that opening traditional song (with a modern lyrical twist or two) and the sound of the CD only gets better from there! Red Yarn music is pure Americana and one of the best CD’s I’ve heard.  Andy’s live shows include puppets but with this music I say he may have to one day forget the felt and just play the music cause it’s just that good.  As my kids sang it Ain’t Gonna Rain dozens of times I can only see clear skies ahead for the man and band known as Red Yarn.  Keep up the good music Andy and well keep listening even when we’re not traversing the American landscape. Go support an independent artist today! Check out the video below.

Don’t call it “kiddie music”… It’s rock n’ roll to me!

ROcksteady Josh and the Jamtones

Nobody rocks harder than Josh and the Jamtones. Period.  Other bands are equal too but nobody surpasses the kinetic energy this band brings to shows and CD’s. Once they get moving this Jam is hard to stop!  I’d class them sharing the most energetic kindie band title with The Not-Its (one of our favorites and awesome live shows!).  These are bands that can rock out with anyone.  Don’t just call it “kiddie music.” There is a whole lot going on here for the whole family!  On their upcoming release Rocksteady, Josh and the Jamtones folk Josh Jamtonesbring all that power once again. Not only that but I think this is their most cohesive effort to date. Don’t misunderstand me. The music is always infectious, horn powered and rocking!  While I loved the music I found the narration on their  last effort  Bear Hunt a little distracting. However my kids found it hilarious. So-what-do-I-know???  On this one the whole clan is in agreement and Rocksteady has been sharing space in the much vaunted car CD player with Red Yarn’s upcoming release (review next week). The groves and vibes are so good on this CD it’d make Pooh forget about honey, Snow White forget about that poison apple and Scrooge a good tipper!  Rocksteady is a infectious, skatastic driven, old school, original  horn powered reggae music festival of kinetic joy!  When it comes out GO BUY IT!  The CD releases on August 21st and will be available at the Jamtones page plus iTunes, Amazon and CD Baby.  Go support an independent artist today!!!  Check out the first video from the new CD Rocksteady below!!!