Category Archives: family

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!!!

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Pooches at the Chicago Botanic Garden

Photo by David Kindler

Photo by David Kindler

Tomorrow is going to be 70 degrees and sunny. What better way to celebrate such beautiful weather than head on over to the Chicago Botanic Garden. Not only is it one of the most visually stunning places you have the added fun of the Poochamungas!  Come on by as we hit the stage at 5:30pm for a two hour jam-a-stravaganza!!!  Get there a little earlier and enjoy the amazing gardens.  The show is free to anyone entering the gardens  but it does cost $20 per car for parking so be sure to fill the minivan.  If your a CBG member (which my family is) the parking is free as well. Get your plans in order and head on down to the Garden tomorrow. Hope to see you there!

Play Date made a good CD and stole my photographer!

we all shine play date

Last year I had the privilege of playing a couple of my songs at Lollapalooza on the Kidzapalooza stage. Along with the gig I received a free artist guest pass which I gave to my friend and excellent photographer David Kindler. David caught my show and then we went and explored Lolla.  We slipped backstage, hung out at the artists lounge and listened to all the great music. It was a lot of fun. Another kindie band playing on the same stage as I that day was the band Play Date. When David geeked out a bit at seeing them play he quickly pointed out to me that Greg Attonito is the Lead vocalist for the punk band Bouncing Souls (good stuff). I had never heard of them as my punk music knowledge has

Photo by David Kindler

Photo by David T. Kindler

come later in life. Introductions were made. Shanti (Wintergate) and Greg are really nice folks and play some solid kids music as a duo.  We then went our separate Lolla ways.  That is till David got hired as a photographer at Riot Fest a month later and who should happen to be playing… Bouncing Souls. Who should he run into… Greg and Shanti. There’s a story there but I shall leave David to tell it.  Anyway earlier this year I got a text message from my friend David and how he had just finished a secret Ninja Pajama photo shoot with Play Date.  They stole my photographer!  Then in the mail I received an advanced copy of the new Play Date CD from MY publicist and amazing human being Elizabeth Waldman Frazier (Recess Monkey, Laurie Berkner, Laura Doherty). They stole her too!  The humanity!!! Well in all my rage and anger I did manage to listen to the WE ALL SHINE CD and it’s pretty darn good.  Stevie the Fox opens with a happy pop vibe and cool rhythm. Ninja Pajamas is a quirky, rap, one of a kind lullaby but not really. It’s pretty cool.  My favorite song is the total rock out over the top Ruin Your Appetite which totally hearkens to Greg’s punk rock roots. Did I forget to mentions Shanti’s stellar vocals? She really shines on the closing song Goodnight. This is a good listen for the whole family as my kids can attest to. What can I say? It’s hard to stay mad when folks hire quality folks and put out quality product.  Buy this CD and support an independent artist today! I also posted a video below from a previous CD.

Botanical Pooches!

Poochamungas-The Poochamungas have been quiet since winter but they have exited hibernation and headed to a show  July 15th at the Chicago Botanic Garden! It’ll be one of the few chances to catch one of Chicago’s most dynamic kindie rock bands this year. If you  are or aren’t a member of the Garden ( I suggest membership as they are a great organization) all the shows are free. Not only do mister gthey have the Dancing Sprouts series on Wednesdays they have music nightly Monday – Thursday! Getting live music at a place as cool as the Botanic Gardens  is like getting pie with Ice Cream, bacon with a grilled cheese, a free train ride and getting to drive the train! It’s that awesome. A few bands that I know Laura Dohertywho will be playing include Miss Jamie, ScribbleMonster, Mister G, Future Hits (just jammed at their CD release party!),Laura Doherty, Mr. Singer and the Sharp Cookies and Zak Morgan.  There is a variety of music styles here to entertain the whole family. Do yourself a favor and head over to the Chicago Botanic Garden on a Wednesday night it’s gonna be a great time! All shows start at 5:30pm. See you there!Mr singer

Good music available free and live music available free

arlington library

I went to the Arlington Heights Public Library today to drop off a few Poochamungas Cd’s they’ll be giving out for reading awards during the summer.  I always try to help out libraries as much as possible. For one they are a valuable resource in many places and secondly they always support the many kindie musicians plying their trade around the country.  The Poochamungas have definitely played more than a couple library gigs. So after dropping off CD’s I took a perusal of what kids music they had available.  Well right away you notice Disney and that kidz bob (cutesy no talent edited recycled garbage IHOP). What then struck me was the number of kindie artists available as well. Casper babypants, the Not-Its, Justin Roberts, Recess Monkey, Bari Koral, Ralph’s World and many others. They had a great selection of FREE kindie music for anyone interested in introducing their family to high quality family music. I also know the Des Plaines Public Library carries some great music as well.   If you live in either of these neighborhoods check out them out! You won’t be dissapointed.

electric dirt

As for the other free music my favorite cast of characters takes the stage at Simons tomorrow at 8:30pm as Electric Dirt.  They’ll be singing the songs that Levon Helm sang all to well and celebrating what would of been his recent 75th birhtday. This ones free as well but be sure to drop a few dollars in the hat. It’ll be worth it!

Something caught my ear. Future Hits

future hits

It’s funny when life comes full circle.  Last year the first time I heard of a band called Future Hits is when they were co-billing with Little Miss Ann at the Hideout.  I was unable to attend that show and around that same time I found out that there was a music teacher in my kids school teaching songwriting. Imagine my surprise when I found out they were in fact the same person.  Matt Baron.  I discovered this at my kids school when they were hosting a parents night.  We had a nice conversation about the school, networking and music in general. I then ran into Matt again at KindieComm which was a great time (Thanks again Kathy and Robert!). There I acquired a copy of the new CD Today is Forever which is really quite good, bilingual and like nothing else in the kindie world. I would describe it as Bryn Ferry meets The Cure with hints of Elvis Costello. It’s full of moods and pianos and heavy drum beats and bass with electric guitars twanging about. It’s a whole lot of rocking fun.  Then all the songs repeat in Spanish.  So not only do the kids get super cool songs they get a bilingual experience as well.  We tend to play either the English half or the Spanish Half. That’s up to you. Future Hits has a album you should get. Go buy this CD and support an independent artist today!

Ratboy Jr? Better late…

ratboy jrBack when I had Sirius/Xm Radio.  Back before they ended my subscription without a warning or email or letter or carrier pigeon.  Back when we were loyal listeners to Kids Place Live (we still love you Mindy, Jack and Kenny). We were up to date on a lot of kids music and How to Eat a Cloud by said above band was a pretty cool song. Smart, thoughtful, quirky and fun. I had seen them perform at the last Kindiefest and they were quite good as well. So today we are going through some of the CD’s we acquired from KindieComm  (which was great! Review forthcoming) and Ratboy Jr. got the CD slot and both son and I are in agreement. It’s pretty darn good! Smart, thoughtful, quirky and fun describes the whole disk. Any CD that makes a reference to Chewbacca is a winner in our home. My son loves Pretends Your Hand’s a Puppet and Backyard Camping. It was also recorded at that fun factory in New York run by that Dean Jones guy called No Parking Studios.  I know the review is 3 years late but I just got my copy and better late than never! I look forward to their next disc.  Go find a copy of this CD and support an independent artist today!