Tag Archives: Recess Monkey

The song that makes you think

Two CD’s have been rocking the coveted car CD slot are WIRED by Recess Monkey (upcoming review, releases June 17) and the upcoming release from Secret Agent 23 Skidoo The Perfect Quirk.

skidoo-photo6-lgThe CD is very popular with my kids especially the songs Pillow Fort Pillow Fight (my daughter) and PJ’s All Day (my son).  But for me the song that really makes it is Imaginary Friend.  What a great song! Lyrically and musically. The idea that the imaginary friend thinks the kid is imaginary is pure genius.  That the two characters come to an agreement that neither is a “co-star” but both get equal billing in the friendship. Musically this is filled with horns, violins and a funky haunted house vibe.  Rapping between the kid and the imaginary friend is a lot of fun which I have come to expect from Mr. Skidoo. Fun.  This is one of the smartest songs I have heard in a long time and I suggest you go and get a copy when it comes out.  I shall be sending a request over to the Skidoo camp to get an interview for my Song and the Process series cause it is really a genius song.  The Perfect Quirk will be available  June 24th.  Go check it out and support a kindie artist today.

perfect quirk

 

The music reviewed was provided free to this blogger but the opinions expressed are his own.

 

What I was gonna write about the School Break Primates… a.k.a. Recess Monkey.

monkeyhandsI recently had a great talk with Drew Holloway of Recess Monkey  about their kindie career and how they got to where they are today sonically. How once upon a time they were just three school teachers recording in a school.  That he and Daron Henry would play guitar and drums and Jack Forman  would record them.  Then when they (Daron and Drew) got done recording the guitar and drums Jack would record his bass while the other two plotted out the next song.  No fancy studio for them as they recorded in the classrooms they taught in. It was a very sophisticated way of making a CD. Just three guys playing three instruments making good music.  A long way from the band that’s playing with the Seattle  Symphony on May 17th!    This is as far as I had gotten in this articlesubmonkeys about the growth of the Recess Monkey.  Especially in the world of music production.  I’d love to tell you about the many other cool things about Recess Monkey.   But it seems the notebook I recorded my notes in has disappeared.  In my house!   It may be under my son’s bed or being used as a diary by my daughter. Perhaps the wife’s been jotting down grocery lists.  I’m not sure.  If I had it I’d tell you about their awesome experience recording with Dean Jones (Most mentioned guy on this blog. Due for an interview.) on In Tents.  Perhaps we’d discuss the addition of Korum Bischoff after long time drummer Daron Henry left the band. (They have a drummer coming out party on the song Fish Sticks on last year’s Deep Sea Diver.  It is a truly amazing piece of drumming.)  Then I’d make mention of the fact that Deep Sea Diver and Desert Island Disc were originally one CD that grew into two because of the plethora of songs.  Talk about the heavy Brian Wilson vibe on Desert Island Disc.  That their upcoming disc was recorded with their musical hero John Vanderslice and that after Drew packed up all the Recess Monkey instruments into the minivan, drove them to the Tiny tiny telephone recordingTelephone Recording in San Francisco he ended up using just a mandolin. That John recorded the upcoming CD all on two inch tape.  TWO INCH TAPE!!!  On a Neve no less.   Why you ask is that so impressive?  Tape is a finite analog recording experience unlike digital.  Once you get the right take you erase the rest to use the tape again. So when you’re in the recording room you better be damn ready to record the song (Watch the documentary Sound City to get the scope of why recording on 2 inch tape and a Neve is so impressive.) Those are the things I would probably talk about.  Did I mention that Drew is still teaching,  Korum has around 3 jobs including Drum Teacher and Director of Events and oh yeah… Jack Forman.   The bass player, song writer, original engineer and now the late afternoon host on Kids Place Live (We’re big fans of Jack and the Monkey House listening most days in our car). These are things I would discuss if I could find my note book. Wherever it is.  What I did come away with from my conversation with Drew is the idea that a band becomes greater than its pieces.  That new recording experiences whether with Dean Jones, Johnny Bregar, Tor Hyams or John Vanderslice help fuel the way to more music and keep it interesting for the band.  In the beginning they recorded everything they wrote and then learned to write more and record just the cream of their writing.  They’re still having fun and still writing, playing and grooving out with audiences coast to coast.  Maybe I’ll find that notebook.  Would of been a heck of an article.  Now go support a kindie artist today! I leave you with my kids favorite Monkey video.  Self produced of course…

Congrats to Jack Forman and family on the arrival of the new Baby!  May she and mom be healthy and you all get lots of rest!

Next week and tomorrow is the Big Day

Next week here at A Man, A Band and A Plan I will have a couple of bonified super duper interviews.  First I have a talk with Drew Holloway of Recess Monkey discussing the musical growth of the Recess Monkey who play some pretty darn cool music.  Then it’s a  return to the Song and the Process and an interview with Dan Zanes and one of my all time favorite songs Wonder Wheel!  Stop on by next week it’s gonna be a lot of fun.

tim stolie

Human Tim and Super Stolie!

Tomorrow the Poochamungas take the stage at Lincoln Hall.  many of Chicago’s finest kindie rockers will be there playing a couple of songs and acting all kinds of silly.  The rehearsal on Thursday went well and was really a lot of fun.  Getting to hang out and play music is the whole idea anyway.  There was food, beverages and a whole lot of good music. The show looks to be a great time so go and get your tickets today! Remember it’s SATURDAY, MARCH 8 AT 3PM.

 

The kindieverse helps out!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This Saturday, February 15th is  the big fundraiser for Brickton Montessori School called THE BIG LEAP.  Tickets are still available and the Poochamungas have a  been working on a special contribution for tthis years event but that is all very top secret! Shhhhhh…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Not so loud… So  I asked a bunch of Kindie artists for some CD donations last minute (if your a kindie artist I forgot to ask don’t worry I’ll get you next year) and the response has been super great.  If you are a fellow artist whose child is looking for items to be donated I would be glad to do the same for your event.  Here is the listed auction item though it looks like a few additional names will be added to this awesome package of music.  Feel free to bid on this super Kindie Music Starter Library!  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Good stuff

This weekend has been pretty busy.  First on Saturday members of the Poochamungas worked on a Top Secret project for the upcoming Big Leap fundraiser for my children’s school.  More details to arrive later in the week.  Then my son and I went to The Old Town School of Folk Music for a concert with The Okee Dokee Brothers.  There were also birthday parties, holiday parties, carnivals, and what not!  Busy but fun. okee ots

If you are looking for a great place to start in the kindie music world Brickton Montessori (our school) is having their yearly fundraiser and among the items up for bid online are a Kindie Music CD Collection.    This is a tremendous oppurtunity to get a lot of great music and help a good cause at the same time! All CD’s were donated by the artists reflecting the many great music styles available. From punk to pop and jazz almost every genre is covered.  Included are Dog on Fleas, Joanie Leeds, Mr. G, Jim Cosgrove, Lunch Money, The Hipwaders, Alistair Moock (Grammy nominee), Grenadilla, Mister Singer, Little Miss Ann, Story Laurie, Lori Henriques, Recess Monkey, Mr. Kurt, Baze and His Silly Friends, The Boogers, Heidi Swedberg and Her Sukey Jump Band, and Bricktons very own Poochamungas!  Just added an autographed CD from our friends the Okee Dokee Brothers!!!  Bidding starts at $60 but I’m sure the price is going to go up.  Get to bidding on this fantastic-super-amaz-a-riffic deal today! While your there see if anything else catches your eye.  Only 4 days left!brickton big leap

Rooting for Denver

I gotta say my interest in professional sports has waned in the age of ownership greed and the self importance of players.  But I shall be rooting for the Broncos today.  I’d like to cheer for Seattle as I know a bunch of kindie bands rooting for the hawks. Recess Monkey, The Not-Its!, and probably most of the kindiependent artists. But their fraudulent coach makes that an impossibility.  Mr “I’m gonna be a Trojan for the rest of my… Who got caught with the money? See ya!” Carrol ran to the NFL after getting caught leaving his players to suffer his legacy.  Yes the NCAA is a big fat fraud as well.  Not all the players are blameless. But I digress… I do think that QB in Denver should get one more.  Enjoy the game and back to our music programming on Monday.  Go Denver!

denver broncos

2013 Remem-blurred!

The backyard view.

The backyard view.

New Zealand started out the year as my friend Nick invited us (the wife and I) to his wedding in January (amazing). Seems it’s been full-speed-ahead-try-to-catch-up-break-neck-pace-all-year-long. The year I went to the Grammys.  Many thanks to Jeff Bogle for making it an epic adventure there as well. What a great time thanks to the McHattons (TESLA!)

It's Electric!!!

It’s Electric!!!

, Okee Dokee Brothers, Mindy Thomas, David Tobocman, Debbie Block, Bill Harley and everyone else I got to hang with including new kindie blogger Rebecca Yorn Allison (Kids Can Grove)  Then there was a the last kindiefest ever! Didn’t know it at the time but many thanks to Bill, Stephanie, Mona and Tor for making it happen.  What a great time and I really did learn a thing or two from the panels but so much more from the people!

Great guys in great hats who make great music and me!

Great guys in great hats who make great music and me!

Story Laurie, Dean Jones (thanks for the beer), MCJ (always brings it funky), The McHatton clan (Such a great family), Mindy Thomas, Kenny Curtis. Rod Martin , Chris Wiser, Paul Butler, Dave Loftin, Paul Stark, Steve Songs, Laurie Berkner, Dan Zanes, Ralph, Jeff Bogle (again), Stefan Shepard, Rebecca Yorn Allison, Brady Rymer, Bridgette Rymer, Melissa Levis, Jacob Stein, Charlie Hope, Little Miss Ann, Mr Singer and the Sharp Cookies (good luck on the new school), Jack Forman, Drew Holloway, Korum Bischoff (Great addition to the School Break Primates) David Wax Museum (one of my favorite CD’s I heard this year!), Molly Ledford (I promise to be quiet next time), Morgan Taylor, Jason Rabinowitz, Joanie Leeds, Mr Kurt Gallagher (Peace and Quiet is a great song!), Lucky Diaz, Alisha Gaddis, Johnny Bregar (Polly’s Rain Dance is Awesome), Sean Hogan (Welcome to Fatherhood brother!), Kathy O’Connel (the Grand Dame of kindie), Danny Adamson, Tom Baisden (union brothers unite!), Tim Kubart (Congrats Chica Dude!), Beth Blenz-Clucas, Tito Uquillas and whoever I’m forgetting.  Just send me a note and I’ll add you to the list. Then we had a few gigs, finished our second CD, got some national exposure (thanks Elizabeth), played some more, kids kept growing, my daughter soloed in ice skating, my son jammed with me daily, listened to a lot of great music and wrote about a bunch of it. Went to CHITAG (thanks Rock Father). Frances england blink of an eyeWe also had family bouts of pnemonia, respitory ailments, colds and flus  and car crashes (no one injured).  My daughter just turned nine and my son will in a few months turn 4.  I joined a group of Dad Bloggers on Facebook (some seriously funny stuff).  Reconnected with some Pine Forest Camp folks from my youth.  Lost some weight and managed to keep it off.  On the right track closing out the year.  It was a interesting year to be sure and the growth has been good.  Thanks to all who have read the pages here and to those who inspire me to write and get better at it.  Hope everyone learned from 2013 and I wish them and theirs a Happy 2014.

Poochamungus-9634-Edit-2