Tag Archives: The Grammy’s

Rooting for the kindie home team at the Grammys

Justin RobertsTomorrow is the big award day for those that are members of  The Recording Academy.  The Grammy Awards.  While many will watch the main event on TV some of us are more interested in the pre-telecast show when the best Children’s artist category is awarded.  If you happen to be attending the Grammy’s make sure you attend the pre-telecast which is available for viewing on the internet at grammy.com.  The pre-show has a free buffet and beverages available. You get to mingle with fellow artists and choose to sit anywhere you want (first come, first served) with the majority of awards  handed out at this time (I got to meet Tenacious D).  The night telecast offers no food and the best dressed people you have ever seen are in long lines for McDonald’s.  But I digress… I shall be rooting for my kindie colleague/nemesis/fellow songwriter and Chicagoan Justin Roberts.  He put out an exceptional CD (Recess) this year and has been doing so for a long while.  Plus his drummer and my friend Gerald Dowd would be getting one as well for his excellent percussion work on the CD.  In my family the word drummer has been replaced with Dowd.  My son refers to all drummers as “The Dowd”.  So when we jam at home he’ll point to his mom and say “you can be the Dowd.”   I shouldn’t forget the excellent work his producer and guitarist Liam Davis has done making the recorded music sound so good.  Jacqueline Schimmel (Bass) and Dave Winer (Trumpet/ Sneakers) round out the band.  I wish all of you a great time and best of luck.  We here in my house will be hoping for a win for the Dowd!

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GRAMMY WEEKEND part 1 – Saturday

Griffith Park Obsevatory.

Griffith Park Observatory.

It’s taken a few days to decompress from the great weekend in LA and I’m gonna have to make this a two parter due to sheer volume. First thing is the weather. At no time did I see any Ice or Snow and the last day it was nearly 70 and had my feet in the ocean!  I was contemplating how to get my family to where I was but that wasn’t really a choice.  Secondly I was in good company.  I was traveling with Mr. Jeff Bogle and we hung with lots of great people. 

Gotta get the tickets!

Gotta get the tickets!

Famous LA traffic!

Famous LA traffic!

  I arrived on Friday so I could check into the hotel,  pick up Grammy tickets and have a drink with a friend in downtown LA.  I have a penchant for fine whisky and we went to Seven Grand on his suggestion.  It didn’t disappoint. It was an early night thankfully because  Saturday started early and ended earlier… so to speak.  I awoke at 5:30 am (not by choice) having slept 8 hours and decided to go for a walk.  Afterward I made breakfast, showered and we (Jeff and I) were off and running.  Later that  morning was the Grammy Nominee kids concert followed by an Industry Luncheon at the Mint in LA.  The show was really good as you would expect from 5 Grammy nominated bands. 

Ticket Time!

Ticket Time!

 The Okee Dokees, Elizabeth Mitchell, The Pop Ups, Bill Harley and the JumpinJazz Kids were all excellent. 

Okee Dokees at Grammy Show

Okee Dokees at Grammy Nominee Show

Pop-Ups taking the stage

Pop-Ups taking the stage

The sound for the acts was excellent.  No small feat for the changing bands and styles.  A shout out to the sound guy at The Mint.  A job well done indeed.  So after the show there was the luncheon.  So everyone filed out onto the sidewalk while they set up tables and chairs for 100.  With the weather being beautiful it wasn’t a problem.  Artists signed autographs for kids and Industry folks mingled.  There I got introduced to Todd McHatton who’s I think I’m a Bunny” took the kids music world by storm two years ago.  It’s a really smart, funny, Henson-esque song with Todd’s daughter performing on it as well.  Go check it out cause it’s a lot of fun!  Then it was time for the luncheon and  I got to  renew friendships, start new relationships and hand out the new 4 song CD sampler to as many people as possible.   I had a short conversation in the back  with  Joe of the Okee Dokees, helped the Pop-Ups look for a lost item (they found it in the car) and then heard Bill Harley give a heck of a keynote speech about Sandy Hook.  It was honest and sincere and my thanks to Bill for being poignant without preachy.  Thanks Bill.

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 Then as it wound down and the nominees ran off to their Grammy Nominee dinner  many collected outside and talked for another hour or so.  I handed out a few more CD’s. Then there was more talking and more laughing (my feet started to hurt) with Randy Kaplan, David Tobocman, Norm and Heather from Rythym Child and Mr Cookie Jar and whoever else I may be forgetting. Then some people were hungry and  it was time for some supper. 

Post Luncheon with Todd, Norm, Mista Cookie Jar and Jeff.

Post Luncheon with Todd, Norm, Mista Cookie Jar and Jeff.

So following the after luncheon gathering we headed off to a really great restaurant called the Mohawk Bend.  The place catered to vegetarians(a few in the group) and had a fine representation of nearly every California Brewery!  The food and beer were excellent.  I had a Deliverance Strong Ale which is barrel aged awesomeness from Lost Abbey Brewery.   I highly recommend it.  I also had a chance to talk to David Tobocman (check his music here) and his lovely wife KC, Gina McHatton, the McHatton kids and Rebecca who writes the Kids Can Grove blog (go check it out!) and of course my partner in crime for the weekend Jeff Bogle (OWTK).   Dinner and company proved to be excellent as did the desserts. (I had a home made salted caramel Ice Cream)  Lots of sharing makes a happy table.

So the Tobocmans had to leave (time to relieve the babysitter) and I thought we may head to the hotel.  Not when your rolling with the Bogle.  We then headed off to Griffith Park Observatory.  I had never been there and what a cool place it is.  They have a giant telescope (skipped it due to long lines), all kinds of cool science exhibits, a Tesla coil (check out the electricity) and it overlooks Los Angeles.  This was one of the highlights of my weekend. 

What a view!

What a view!

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It's Electric!!!

It’s Electric!!!

What a totally cool place to visit.  One day I shall take my whole family out to LA and we shall stop at the Griffith Observatory.  Places like that make learning fun and inspire kids to inquire more about science. I’m ready to go take a science class myself!

I think I forgot to mention that Todd gave us all a sneak peek at a new CD coming out.  He’s been collaborating with Morgan Taylor (Gustafer Yellowgold) and that stuff we heard was really amazing.  Look for it in the next year you won’t be disappointed.  Anyway after hanging with the McHattons I figured we’d be headed back to the Hotel and drop Rebecca at hers…  Wrong again! 

Mels!

Mels on Sunset.

When your rolling with the Bogle you roll all night.  So off to Mels where we met up with Mindy Thomas, Kenny Curtis and crew from KPL (Kids Place Live) and our friends the Okee Dokee Brothers.  Mindy and the Brothers were all dressed up having just come from the Grammy Nominee Dinner.  Kenny Curtis and his crew had been editing the Kids concert from the afternoon and broadcast it the same day…Phew!  That’s a job well done!  Anyway after a full day there was a lot of laughing,  a couple  beers,  a milkshake on the table and more laughing. 

KPL crew and Joe.

KPL crew and Joe.

Okees Dokees and Rebecca

Okees Dokees and Rebecca

So Kenny and the KPL producers headed home.  The rest of us stayed a bit longer laughing and talking about things I have been forever sworn to secrecy! Well we did talk about…. Nyet!  So finally we paid the bill and headed back to the hotel…  No really!  We dropped Rebecca off as she had an early flight and we went right back to the… 

Burger awesomeness!!!

Burger awesomeness!!!

And then we headed off to bed…   To Be Continued.

Lots has happened, lots to come and always something to fix!

So due to good fortune, timing and a Mother-in-law who was willing to watch the kids my wife and I  were able to make a trip to NEW ZEALAND!!!   My friend Nick was getting married and invited us to the big day.  What a way to start the new year!!  So off to Kiwiland we were and what a trip it was.  From Aukland to Taranaki and Rotorua and back.  Great views, nice people and lots to do including a ferry to Wahiki (great food and wine at the Mudbrick), swimming in the Tasman Sea (stung by a jellyfish) and visiting geothermic geysers and lakes (Waiotapu).   I will say that when we return in the future we will be bringing the kids along and stay for longer than a week!

A little soap and Kaploey!

A little soap and Kaploey!

Our view of Auckland Harbour

Our view of Auckland Harbour

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The morning walk

The morning walk

              So while I have just returned from NZ next month I will be attending the Grammy’s in LA!  All I can say at this point is this is Awesome!!!  I will be going with my friend Jeff Bogle who writes one of my favorite blogs called Out With The Kids.  If you want to know what is currently good in Kids music and music in general I highly recommend his work.   He also does game reviews and writes for Time Out Kids NY as well.  So with him I shall witness my first Grammy awards and more importantly get to see who gets the Childrens Grammy.  This is exciting because The Pop Ups, Bill Harley, Elizabeth Mitchell and our friends The Okee Dokee Brothers are all up for the award.  I have met Bill and seen him perform and he and his nominated CD High Dive are outstanding.  I was lucky enough to catch the Pop Ups at Kindiefest two years ago and they are fantastic and their nomination well earned.  While I am a big fan of Elizabeth Mitchell I have yet to see her perform or meet her but since they are having a show in LA before the Grammy’s I intend to correct that and as for the Okee Dokees…  You can read what I have to say about their CD Can you Canoe? right here…  So Look for me February 10th.  I”ll be way, wayyyyy up in the cheap seats.  If you see me wave and I promise to wave back… 

In the world of Poochamungas we are now in the mixing and overdub stage.  We have recorded 14 songs and now need to add and fix  things as they are needed.  This is very exciting.  I think you the fan are going to be very happy by our efforts because I know I am very pleased with the work so far.  See you all soon!