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 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.
Posted in CD reviews, family, kids, Kindie, marketing, Music, video
Tagged bouncing souls, Children's, David Kindler, Elizabeth Waldman Frazier, kids, kindie, music, photographer, Play Date, PR, publicist, punk, rock
For many of us that play in the kindie realm we are all aware of the Justin Roberts, Laurie Berkners, Dan Zanes and The Okee Dokees of our genre. But how many are aware of the Kurt Gallaghers, Laura Dohertys and Jim Cosgroves? These three fine individuals have been at this music thing for a very looooonnng time and making a living at it. If you’re going to KindieComm and a would be pursuer of music in this kindie/childrens/family/all ages realm and looking to make a living at it. I suggest you find one of these fine folks during the conference, buy them a beverage of their choice, sit down, ask some pertinent questions and hear what they have to say. That’s the best part of these festivals. The panels are informative but the conversations had with other artists and fellow kindieteers are PRICELESS. Buy em a beverage and tell em John sent ya!
Cover of American Profile. Diane Guthrie photo.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged all ages, children, Children's, conference, Dan Zanes, family, Jim Cosgrove, Justin Roberts, kindie, Kurt Gallagher, Laura Doherty, Laurie Berkner, lids, Mr. Kurt, music, The Okee Dokee Brothers
It’s with a bit of irony that the man who I named the award for best Children’s Album that should of been nominated for a Grammy but wasn’t is himself nominated for a Grammy this year. Brady Rymer. He latest effort Just Say HI! is pretty darn good. Almost as brilliant as the one I started this award about (Love Me For Who I Am) and another excellent effort. A big congrats too getting the Grammy Nomination this year as he is an artist well deserving of it. So are his fellow nominees Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, The Pop Ups and previous winners The Okee Dokee Brothers. The fifth spot is filled not by a musical artist but by the book reading of the inspiring story and Nobel Peace prize winning – I Am Malala. I have already spoken on how I think this has been placed in the wrong category in a previous post (Comparing Apples to Steak…). No the guys whom I thought put out the Best of the Best musically this year for “Children” this year did it all analog. I am referring to those guys from Seattle – The School Break Primates. Better known to the public at large as Recess Monkey! The put out one smoking hot CD called WIRED which filled my number one spot this year on my top ten (and my amended top ten). In fact all the nominees except for the book reading were in my top ten! So please go check out WIRED as it is a superior product as well as the rest of the nominees as they are well worth the listen. Go support an independent artist today.
Posted in CD reviews, family, Kindie, Music, song reviews
Tagged Brady Rymer, Children's, Grammy, kindie, malala, music, nobel peace prize, nomination, Okee Dokee Brothers, Recess Monkey, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, The Pop Ups
A couple of weeks ago I posted my top ten kids CD’s (My Top Ten and Rejected Again) plus a few others the family was grooving too and it seems I missed three worthy candidates in the process. Two of them because I hadn’t heard them and the last one because well… I forgot. I listen to a lot of music so this sometimes happens. So my top ten is now like the Big Ten Conference which they still call the Big ten but actually has 14 teams. So with no further ado here is the addendum to my top ten CD’s. Music please…
- The Pop Ups – Appetite for Construction (Great music from the two guys most likely to write a Broadway kids show.)
- Randy Kaplan – Jam on Rye (Comedy, kids and conversations with great music as only Randy can bring.)
- Seanster and the Monsters – Yay! (Just a CD filled with lots of silliness, fun and great music. I don’t even hold the Canadian thing against him. This is also my hidden gem of the “TOP TEN!”)
So go check these out along with my original list and support an independent artist today!
Posted in CD reviews, family, Kindie, Music, Recording
Tagged Big Ten, Big Ten Conference, children, Children's, family, kindie, music, Randy Kaplan, Seanster and the Monsters, The Pop Ups, Top Ten, top ten CD, worthy candidates
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 is 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!
Posted in family, Music, Recording, song reviews, video
Tagged Billy Kelly, Children's, dangerous, kindie, Lunch Money, Molly Ledford, music, Pandas, Recess Monkey, Story Laurie, The Boogers, The Okee Dokee Brothers
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 family 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!
Posted in CD reviews, family, gigs, Kindie, live music, Music
Tagged all ages, California, Children's, family, kindie, music, rock, the hipwaders
I’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!
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged Appalachian, bbq, Can you canoe?, Children's, Dean Jones, Grammy, hiking, kiddie, kindie, music, Okee Dokee Brothers, Smokey Mountains, through the woods, trail