The kindie community needs to step up

KINDIEPoochamungas just had a new CD released and took  many steps to make sure the public hears about it.  I mentioned to our publicist (Elizabeth Waldman Frazier has been amazing) the other day that an article used “kiddie rockers” instead of “kindie rockers.” To which she matter of factly said “If you walked up to someone on the street and asked them what kindie was they’d have no idea what you were talking about.” She is correct in that assessment.  We as a community, especially  artists do ourselves a disservice by not promoting as much quality kindie product as possible. Poochmungas just released a CD and in terms of community support I say this.  It’s never as good as you want but not as bad as you think.   Paul Crowe of The Boogers has been awesome.  Marc Bazerman  been supportive while promoting his own upcoming release. Mr Singer always likes and shares us on FB.  Story Laurie and Lori Henriques have help been really helpful as well.  Gina McHatton, Kurt Gallagher and Tito Uquillas gave us a nice mention on Facebook.   But I think that’s about it.  Privately I have had fantastic support. Publicly not nearly as much.  My personal belief is that some feel that if they promote others that their work somehow diminishes.   Untrue.  There is also the  fact that working to book gigs, promote gigs, make CD’s, etc. is a vastly time consuming effort to do.  One tends to get tunnel vision.  Competition and jealousy aspects also come into play… Why did he get played by Kids Place Live and not me?  If they buy his CD they won’t buy mine…  Get over it.  We need to help each other. This genre won’t grow unless we collectively promote the genre and not just yourself.   Reach out and help someone who’s music you like or an artist you respect. If you share your fan base those fans aren’t going to abandon you.  If someone does promote you remember to promote them back.  What does it take to like someone else’s show while meandering through Facebook.  Share someone else’s CD release, Kickstarter funding or gig?   Write some kind words?  When talking about your music use the word kindie (though someone is trying to make 2K off domain rights to kindie.com right now) so it becomes part of peoples vernacular.   When someone writes an article not just about you but someone you like or respect. Like and share it.   Stefan Shepard has a great blog (and podcast) called ZooGlobble . The Kindie Manifesto is something everyone should read.   Do yourself a favor. Read, listen and share what he’s promoting so ZooGlobble grows and with it the platform for us kindie musicians. James Zahn and Jeff Bogle have shed some serious props on their blogs about kindie music. Link them to your website. Promote their stuff so they grow and with it our platform.  It’s important you give blogger writers their due so their blogs can grow!  Promote the radio shows and blogs that review and play kindie music even when THEY AREN’T PLAYING YOURS, BUT ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY ARE.   That’s what I’m trying to do with this blog and on FB and Twitter.  All it takes is a few minutes a day by each of us and all kindie artists benefit.  It doesn’t mean you still aren’t going to have to work your ass off cause you are.  I’m not asking you to start a blog.  But take a few minutes a day and get out of the tunnel and see the whole picture. Don’t like my music?  That’s OK.  Find that which you do.  There’s a big bright kindie world ahead of us if only we all help it along. Cause if we don’t, who will?    I have listed some of my favorites blogs and Radio shows that support the genre below…

BlogsOut With The Kids, The Rock Father, Gooney Birds Kids, Kids Can Grove and the afore mentioned ZooGlobble.

RadioKids Place LiveImagination ParadeMusical Merry-Go-Round , Spare the Rock Spoil the Child, Kids Corner  and The Saturday Morning Cereal Bowl

These are just a few and their are plenty more.  Listen.  Share. Support.

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6 responses to “The kindie community needs to step up

  1. Absolutely. However, I’m starting to think that with the steep decline in a mainstream children’s music domination of the marketplace, the “kindie” distinction is becoming superfluous. In my opinion, “kindie” is needlessly jargon-y and distancing. Why not just promote the whole idea of music for kids? Are we independents the only ones still making records now that the major label record industry is essentially dead?

  2. That’s a good point David. I think “kindie” is a way of overcoming the preconceived ideas people have about “kids” music. As long as we keep putting out great music and make people aware the connotation may not be needed.

  3. Such an interesting post. I’ve been in children’s/family music for over 27 years and have watched it grow, change, blossom, explode, implode, etc. etc. Like many of my colleagues I come from a background of performing for adults, but switched when I found my “heart.” I have noticed one thing that has stayed pretty constant, and that is those in kids’ music tend to be MUCH more sharing and kind than in the adult world, perhaps because we are conscious of living the values we try to teach kids. I’ve met very few real “stinkers” in kids music, thankfully!

    I think the problem has less to do with a recognition of a label (“kindie”) than of the fantastic variety of children’s music today and yes, all the suggestions you’ve made are spot on. But to me, the BEST and most effective thing we artists can do for each other is to put out the best quality of our work to prove kids’ music goes beyond what the corporations offer. The world has changed, and kids music along with it. It’s really up to us to change perception of what kids music is all about, and though evolution is slow, it is happening. Examine WHY you want to do this kind of music, and try to only have the purest intentions and treat it as you would any other music–with respect and love and not just because you can and people think it’s “easy.”

    So for over 25 years I’ve been a member (in fact am a “founding member”) of the Children’s Music Network, which does EXACTLY what you are writing about. We share, support, publicize, promote, comfort, etc. etc. each other. We’ve been through KES, CEA, Stinkfest, Kindiefest, a gazillion showcases and conferences and more; CMN has stayed the course because it has to do with the HEART of children’s music, even more that the BUSINESS of it.

    Do check it out; you might just find yourself home.

    • First let me say Congrats on 25 years of CMN! That is amazing. But to the subject at hand. I agree that excellence in music is truly the only reason produce it (there is a blog post mentioning that here). But if we are to combat the kidz bop of the world you have to let people know that independent family music exists. I think CMN does a great job especially in the world of music education for kids. My issue is that privately we all help and cheer for each other but publicly we need to let folks know that the music is here to be heard and collectively we don’t do so good. Kids or kiddie music has a stigma attached to it that brings thoughts of Barney and the Wiggles and they’re fine. They are very successful. But that isn’t what a lot of us do. Poochamungas are rock n’roll band for kids and families. Okee Dokee brothers are a brilliant folk/bluegrass outfit. The Boogers are Punk Rock. All make excellent products but sound nothing like the Wiggles or each other. Kindie just gives us a term to clarify for folks that there is a big yet not well know music movement happening right now. If there is a better way to let folks know that great independently made music for families is in great abundance I am all ears.

  4. Kudos to you for your challenge to us to “take off the training wheels” in how we describe kindie music to the public! I’m launching a video show (The Col Rockin’ Daddy Video Show) on local NJ TV that will use the word “kindie” in its theme song (thanks to Trevor at GooberKidsRadio.com!) and I’ll be describing the music as kindie – more often now thanks to your post!