Tag Archives: Secret Agent 23 Skidoo

Grammy Day!

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Five.  That’s the number of people and bands I know up for a winning a Grammy today. Four of them happen to be in the same category and the fifth I just met the other day and posted about (What are the odds?).  You won’t be seeing them during the prime telecast but the pre-show festivities are available to watch via the Grammy Webcast.   Oh those artists I mentioned. Well around here we’ll be rooting for Brady Rymer and the Little Band that Could, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, The Pop Ups and The Okee Dokee Brothers. Not forgetting my recent adveture with Keb Mo who has a few nominations of his own.  Good luck everyone and you’re all Grammy Worthy, even if you don’t win!

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This Years Rymer Recipient

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!BradyRymerJustSayHi 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 Cover Art_Recess Monkey_72 dpiWIRED 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.

 

Comparing Apples to Steak. Poor decision by the Grammy’s.

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A few years ago the Grammy’s made a decision to eliminate and combine some categories in efforts to streamline the awards.  One of those affected by this change was the Children’s category and this year you can see it was a bad idea.  Okee-Dokee-Bros-Through-the-WoodsFour of the five nominees are albums of music. The fifth is a spoken word CD which used to be a separate Children’s spoken word category and for good reason.  It’s like comparing apples to steak. Other than both being recorded works any similarity ends there.  You have 4 great albums of terrific music from Brady Rymer, The Pop Ups, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo and The Okee Dokee Brothers. The 5th entry is I am Malala. The amazingly inspiring story of a young girl who stood BradyRymerJustSayHiup to the Taliban, was shot and nearly killed in her pursuit of education. For her actions she deservedly just won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize.  It’s a book worth listening too or reading.  What I don’t understand is why this recording is not in the Spoken Word Category and instead in the Children’s category. I am reading the story and it is not just a children’s book. It is a worthwhile story for all ages.  Just because it’s written from a child’s point of view does not inherently make it a children’s book. It is a read for everyone and thus should be in the spoken word category or NARAS should bring back the Children’s Spoken Word category. I am disappointed the academy allowed this perfect quirkentry in this category.  Either way if you’re a voter go listen to the 4 great kindie artists and give them proper consideration. Also go read or listen to Malala’s story as it is truly inspiring.  Go support a kindie artist today!

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My top ten and rejected again

WIRED Cover Art_Recess Monkey_72 dpi Once again I sent my usual 10 page resume (not really) along with a request to be Okee-Dokee-Bros-Through-the-Woodsa judge for the Fids and Kamily Awards.  Once again I got a polite but firm denial to this exclusive club because they don’t allow kindie musicians to be part of the club…sniff, sniff.  Well even without my vote they are BY FAR the best award an artist could hope to win.  There are no fees involved and there are multiple industry, blogger and qualified people voting on the music which is not always the case with a lot of the awards out there like.  Many times only one or year_round_songstwo people are reviewing all the music AND they charge a nice bit of coin. So congrats to the Fids and Kamily winners.   Here is how I would have voted. Free of charge! My top ten CD’s of the year.  Cue the music… Top Ten Cd’s for this year

  1. Recess Monkey – WIRED  (The best CD I heard this year)
  2. The Okee Dokee Brothers – Through The Woods (Not as great as the last one but still amazing)
  3. Edie Carey & Sarah Sample – ‘Til the Morning: Lullabies and Songs of Comfort (Caught me by surprise.  Outstanding vocals and music)
  4. Secret Agent 23 Skidoo – The Perfect Quirk (Great CD with smartest written song this year)
  5. Dog on Fleas -Buy one Get One Flea (Dean Jones showing his own Genius)
  6. The Hipwaders -Year Round Sounds (Just a great music with a California feel)
  7. Brady Rymer – Just say Hi (Still the most underrated kindie artist out there with another great CD)
  8. Laura Doherty – In a Heartbeat (Lyrics for tots. Music for everyone and from Chicago!))
  9. Jon Samson – A New Kids Album (Sonically amazing)
  10. Mills Trills – Everyone Together Now (Superiors vocals and a big sound)

dog on fleas bogofThese are the my pics for the best CD’s out this year.  For me the best CD by far this year is WIRED by Recess Monkey.  Not because the others aren’t great but because this one is so musically, lyrically and sonically awesome good! I should also mention its Grammy nomination voting time.  I still have some listening to do before I make my final Grammy Picks but rest assured WIRED has already made the grade. Everyone in the kindie world who is a voting NARAS member should have this as one of their nominations. I shall leave the other 4 to you.     Lots of great music BradyRymerJustSayHiout there this year. Bands super worthy but not in my top ten include Josh and the Jamtones –  Bear Hunt (I’m not big on narration but my kids laugh a lot), Baze and His Silly FriendsThe Best Day Ever (just feel good music and my wife liked it!), Lucky Diaz and The Family Jam Band –  Lishy Loo and Lucky Too (Thingamajig is an amazing song!), The Not-Its! Raise Your Hand (Power Pop awesomeness) and finally Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights –  Good Egg (Good songs and music on the whole disk).  Now I still have a few Albums to check out before I vote for the other 4 Grammy nominees but you should go and check out any of these CD’s. Go support an independent artist today!

I forgot the contest!

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What I failed to mention in the last post was the Secret Agent 23 Skidoo is running a very cool “Year of the Weird” contest which you can view by clicking on his name.  The idea is for the fans to write stories or songs based on the song Imaginary Friend or his new character Weirdo Calhoun from a soon to released book. All the details are on his website and the 2 winners will receive the GOLDEN TICKET! Which means you get free entry into any Secret Agent 23 Skidoo Show for life.  That’s a pretty long time!  So click on over and check it out!

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The Song and the Process. Imaginary Friend by Secret Agent 23 Skidoo

 

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Here’s a crazy fun fact! Would you believe that Secret Agent 23 Skidoo and I lived within a half block of each other in 1994? Right here in Chicago by Belmont and Clark? Well it’s true!  What is also true is the genius of this song and writing from the view of an imaginary friend who looks at the world in the belief that he’s real and the boy he hangs with is the imaginary one.   It all started with the idea for a song about imaginary friends.  Mr. Skidoo let it marinate in the brain awhile.  Like myself 23 is a big fan of comics and the idea of the parallel or multiverse.  This is where the idea of what if the Imaginary Friend had a universe of his own.  Telling the song not only from the child characters point of skidoo-photo6-lgview but making it a duet by having Pickles (the Imaginary Friend) who believes he’s real and the child he’s with imaginary contribute to the story. Two universes in one song!   So the idea is set and now he sets up Pirate/ Sea Shanty hook.  Which is how the Skidoo Process works.  IDEA – HOOK – MUSIC – LYRICS.  He tends to write when he has to. He disappeared for a month writing for this CD though he is storing ideas all the time in his phone. The ideas use to exist on scraps of paper under a stuffed monkey (which may be a song idea of its own) but with technology he may be saving a few trees. But I digress…  Because he’s now living in California and likes to record back with his crew in North Carolina there was a bit of travel involved with the CD.  For him the funky music groove he needed was where he had done his previous album in NC. The musicians do a fantastic job (I love the horns and the spooky keyboard).   He has one ending written but ends up changing it under the advice of his wife (a honest sounding board is very helpful).  Now he needs a pirate voice so he calls his pirate buddy (Of Course Secret Agent 23 Skidoo has a pirate buddy) to lay down perfect quirka vocal but… too scary.  How about Jack Forman (We’re big fans of this Recess Monkey/KPL DJ)?  Too nice.  So Skidoo is showing another vocalist what he’s looking for and bingo.  He finds that groove he’s looking for within himself.  Not too scary or nice but just right!  If you like smart songs with a funky haunted house vibe and great horn play check out this song.  Right now Secret Agent is in the middle of a National tour, finishing up a Halloween song and putting out a 7” vinyl with The Not-It’s.  Imaginary Friend can be found on The Perfect Quirk. So go listen to Secret Agent 23 Skidoo and support a Kindie Artist today!

 

School Break Primates (aka Recess Monkey) are at it AGAIN!

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I mentioned while talking about Secret Agent 23 Skidoo and his wonderful Imaginary Friend (on The Perfect Quirk, June 24) was sharing space in the coveteded car CD slot with WIRED by Recess Monkey.  This is one my favorite CD’s this year.  I could go on and on about the entire CD. How they recorded in San Francisco with John Vanderslice, recorded it on 2″ tape, a minivan of unused instruments but I already did that in my interview with Drew Hollaway… Opening track Take Your Kid To Work Day is just electric mayhem (sounds like a name for a band…). Seriously this one song gets you pumped up for the whole day. Great funky bass, smokin’ guitar licks and primal drums rhythms all make you want to dance.  Lyrically it’s just so much fun as a kid describesrecess monkey segway a day at dad’s (or moms) workplace. The whole CD is reflected in the vibe of this one song which will be available to you on JUNE 17th.  GO!  This is an amazing CD and you should buy it on pre-sale today. Go support a kindie artist today!