Tag Archives: The Rock Father

Gone too soon. Thank you Oren

A  couple of years ago a fellow blogger and friend James Zahn (The Rock Father) invited me to join a Dad Blogger group on Facebook.  A man by the name of Oren Miller (A Blogger and a Father) welcomed me to the group he had started as a way for dads who blog to talk about their families, exchange ideas, argue a bit, offer support to fellow fathers and bloggers and most of all recognize the positive force dads are in society.  The only rule in the group is “Don’t be a Dick.”   Well this past week the man who had the brilliant idea to gather dad bloggers of all types died of stage four lung cancer.  He leaves behind a wife and two children .  I can only offer this.  Thank you Oren.  You inspired and touched the lives of so many people and so many that never even had the chance to meet you, myself included. You challenged people to be better by your words and actions.    I leave you all with an Old Irish Blessing.

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

You can donate to Oren’s Family by clicking HERE.

Some Damn Fine Father Bloggers for Father’s Day.

It’s nearly Father’s Day and I thought I’d run my personal blog roll of the Dad’s who I read with some frequency. Those that inform, educate, humor and write some really good stuff…

Out With The Kids – Jeff Bogle isowtk the guy I started reading first for kids music and watched his site grow from a kindie centric site to a very well rounded family focused webzone.  His monthly music podcast is one of the best around and always family friendly.

The Rock Father – James Zahn  is a friend, father, and all around family resource for entertainment, toys and music.rockfather  He profiled me as one of his “ Rock Fathers” for Father’s Day in June and made me sound pretty damn cool. A page I check regularly and you should too.

How To Be A Dad – If Charlie Capenhtbad and Andy Herald’s blog were a baseball team they would be the Yankees.  A benevolent and kind version that helps other dad bloggers along and puts out some really funny and relevant parent relating stuff.

Dad and Buried – Mike Julianelle dadandburied writes the stuff I would if I were to write more about my family which is not necessary since he’s writing.  Very funny man with a perspective on kids and family I truly appreciate.

A Blogger and a Father – Oren Miller is the one who started the DadBloggerFather Blogger group on Facebook I belong to.  At least once a week I find myself laughing hysterically or thinking profoundly from stuff posted there.   Oren’s a very able writer who just found out he has cancer. His blog post on this is… I have no words you just need to read it.

There’s probably a few I could add to the list but this is a fine starting point. Go support a dad blogger today!

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.

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What it takes to make a CD

gold record

The other day on Facebook a really good conversation thread about Kickstarter was started by Jeff Bogle of Out With The Kids fame.  He was inquiring why musicians needed to raise so much money to make a CD these days. Many great replies from Zooglobble, The Rock Father and others. It was a very valid question.  Why is it, it takes 10K to make a CD.  I know a couple things about making a CD having produced 2 in the last 5 years (and not much more).  While making music is free… Recording it can be a bit expensive. Unless your a talented engineer as well as musician (see Todd McHatton) and have your own studio (which is a sizable investment in itself) you are going to have to pay someone to record your band.  Now how much depends on who you hire and how long it takes.  Do you pay a set rate or are you paying hourly?  Is the band ready to play the songs?  Do you need to hire musicians and or singers? How much to Mix? Master? Are you traveling the recording studio  (I know a lot of folks travel to record with Dean Jones) or is it local.  Are you paying for a producer or self producing?  How much does he charge (I’ve been quoted 5k for a producer).  The whole idea of making a record is to make the best music you can and get it to your fans and make some money so you can do it again.  Phew!   Recording is a lot of fun but paying for it sucks.  Recording costs ranges from 30 – 100 dollars an hour.   You can get weekend rates, some places have a  flat fee and others discount for pre-paying for large blocks of time.  Know this.  You get what you pay for and a good engineer is priceless.  No matter how good you are live recording is a completely different animal and the guy recording you is critical.  Know your budget and expect some costs you didn’t consider. Know that mistakes will be made and re-recording is a reality.  Some bands record the bass and drums and then lay tracks over that.  Poochamungas usually record as a band with my vocals and guitar as a scratch and then fill them in later.  This works for us because it’s more energetic, efficient and cost effective.  Then we add vocals, additional guitars, etc.  Then after recording there’s the oh so important mixing part.  Some people specialize in only mixing.  This is also critical to your sound so get someone who knows what they’re doing here as well. Know that hearing in things in the studio is different than hearing things for gigs. All of the above takes time, effort and money.  This leads to success or failure. Mistakes usually means spending more time and money. Lets not call them failures but learning experiences. Which then leads to success.   Which happens when your creating art.  Which is what making music is… ART.  I know very little but I know this. If your goal is to just sell  records you get lousy art. But if you go out to make great art you may get to sell some records (Which by the way for kids artists means pressing CD’s and more money).  Making great art takes time and time costs money. For some it cost more than others.  Is 10k unreasonable.  Depends on the perspective.

Chicago Toy and Game Fair

We just had a pretty amazing day and got a few cool toys plus might have a few leads for future gigs.   Thanks Rock Father for leading the way and thanks Chicago Toy and Game Fair.

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Finished up with appropriate lunch!

Chicago Toy and Game Fair is coming!!!

ChiTagLogo_Hi_Res

This is something a little different than the norm here at A Man, A Band and a Plan HQ.  I have not told the kids yet but the Joyce family is headed to the Chicago Toy and Game fair coming up on November 23rd and 24th.  We have garnered a bloggers family pass and I am pretty excited to see my kids reaction when we arrive. Plus it’s happening at one of the coolest places to visit in Chicago… Navy Pier!  They’re having a Star Wars luncheon on Saturday which if my kids were interested I would so be there!.  I have heard form a reliable source (The Rock Father strikes again) that this was a really good time last year.  To add more coolness there will be a man whom I have blogged about before in attendance with his great family.  No other than the guy who writes one of my favorite  blogs and whom I went with to the Grammys – Mr. Jeff Bogle.  You can read about our adventures here which I really should of titled Rolling With the Bogle.  Plus there shall be a few other Dad bloggers in attendance whom I’m looking forward to meeting.  If your interested in going just click on the picture at the top and it will take you there.  Perhaps a kids music stage in the future?

Happy Halloween!

Chciago ParentPooch pirateI hope everyone has a safe and fun holiday today.  If your looking for some local kid friendly Halloween tunes go visit The Rock Father article in Chicago Parent at the link below.    Poochamungas play at the Trunk or Treat today at 5:30pm at Bethel Commumity Church.  Have a great day!

http://www.chicagoparent.com/community/the-rock-father/blogs/spooky-music

The kindie community needs to step up

KINDIEPoochamungas just had a new CD released and took  many steps to make sure the public hears about it.  I mentioned to our publicist (Elizabeth Waldman Frazier has been amazing) the other day that an article used “kiddie rockers” instead of “kindie rockers.” To which she matter of factly said “If you walked up to someone on the street and asked them what kindie was they’d have no idea what you were talking about.” She is correct in that assessment.  We as a community, especially  artists do ourselves a disservice by not promoting as much quality kindie product as possible. Poochmungas just released a CD and in terms of community support I say this.  It’s never as good as you want but not as bad as you think.   Paul Crowe of The Boogers has been awesome.  Marc Bazerman  been supportive while promoting his own upcoming release. Mr Singer always likes and shares us on FB.  Story Laurie and Lori Henriques have help been really helpful as well.  Gina McHatton, Kurt Gallagher and Tito Uquillas gave us a nice mention on Facebook.   But I think that’s about it.  Privately I have had fantastic support. Publicly not nearly as much.  My personal belief is that some feel that if they promote others that their work somehow diminishes.   Untrue.  There is also the  fact that working to book gigs, promote gigs, make CD’s, etc. is a vastly time consuming effort to do.  One tends to get tunnel vision.  Competition and jealousy aspects also come into play… Why did he get played by Kids Place Live and not me?  If they buy his CD they won’t buy mine…  Get over it.  We need to help each other. This genre won’t grow unless we collectively promote the genre and not just yourself.   Reach out and help someone who’s music you like or an artist you respect. If you share your fan base those fans aren’t going to abandon you.  If someone does promote you remember to promote them back.  What does it take to like someone else’s show while meandering through Facebook.  Share someone else’s CD release, Kickstarter funding or gig?   Write some kind words?  When talking about your music use the word kindie (though someone is trying to make 2K off domain rights to kindie.com right now) so it becomes part of peoples vernacular.   When someone writes an article not just about you but someone you like or respect. Like and share it.   Stefan Shepard has a great blog (and podcast) called ZooGlobble . The Kindie Manifesto is something everyone should read.   Do yourself a favor. Read, listen and share what he’s promoting so ZooGlobble grows and with it the platform for us kindie musicians. James Zahn and Jeff Bogle have shed some serious props on their blogs about kindie music. Link them to your website. Promote their stuff so they grow and with it our platform.  It’s important you give blogger writers their due so their blogs can grow!  Promote the radio shows and blogs that review and play kindie music even when THEY AREN’T PLAYING YOURS, BUT ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY ARE.   That’s what I’m trying to do with this blog and on FB and Twitter.  All it takes is a few minutes a day by each of us and all kindie artists benefit.  It doesn’t mean you still aren’t going to have to work your ass off cause you are.  I’m not asking you to start a blog.  But take a few minutes a day and get out of the tunnel and see the whole picture. Don’t like my music?  That’s OK.  Find that which you do.  There’s a big bright kindie world ahead of us if only we all help it along. Cause if we don’t, who will?    I have listed some of my favorites blogs and Radio shows that support the genre below…

BlogsOut With The Kids, The Rock Father, Gooney Birds Kids, Kids Can Grove and the afore mentioned ZooGlobble.

RadioKids Place LiveImagination ParadeMusical Merry-Go-Round , Spare the Rock Spoil the Child, Kids Corner  and The Saturday Morning Cereal Bowl

These are just a few and their are plenty more.  Listen.  Share. Support.

TODAY is the BIG DAY!

We have finally arrived.  Todays the big day!  Tell your family, friends, aunts, uncles, cousins, neighbors, acquaintances, coworkers and colleagues!  Block Party! has hit the shelves and you should be buying many copies as treats for tricker’ treaters and stocking stuffers for Christmas!  Thanks to everyone who made the CD possible and thanks to everyone who supported us!  The road hasn’t been easy to get here but I think it has definitely been worth the journey. Plus it’s National Fire Safety Week and we have a Fire Engine on the front of the CD and a great Fire Engine/Truck song called Big Red!

Art by Joe Somers

Art by Joe Somers

We just got a few more great reviews so check out the links below and then go buy it on CD Baby, Amazon and iTunes.

http://www.chicagoparent.com/community/the-rock-father/blogs/poochamungas

http://www.swingwhistlezing.com/reviews/monday-kids-music-review-block-party-poochamungas/

Tomorrow is the Big CD Release and the reviews are in…

Photo by David Kindler

Photo by David Kindler

Tomorrow is Sunday, September 29th the big CD release party day.  So stop on by Schubas at 2pm.  Koo Koo Kanga Roo gets the party started and then the Poochamungas take the stage around 2:45.  It’s gonna be Epic so stop on by!!!

The reviews are in and they’ve been pretty good. From the Sun Times to the blogosphere here are the links to what has been written.  Plus some of the blogs are having a Block Party! CD giveaway!!!

http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/music/22791352-421/story.html

http://www.therockfather.com/musicforkids/kids-music-news/item/1417-kidz-bop-24-for-parents-that-still-dont-like-children-or-music

http://mrjeff2000.blogspot.com/2013/09/fired-up-for-poochamungas-on-block.html

http://airplanesanddragonflies.blogspot.com/2013/09/poochamungas-block-party-childrens.html

http://therempels4.blogspot.com/2013/09/poochamungas-block-party-cd-review.html

http://www.theiemommy.com/2013/09/17/poochamungas-block-party-cd-review-poochamungas/

http://mycraftyzoo.com/2013/09/14/block-party-giveaway-us-ends-1031/

http://www.creators.com/lifestylefeatures/books-and-music/kids-home-library/cool-tunes-to-chill-by.html

http://sweeps4bloggers.com/2013/09/poochamungas-block-party-cd/

http://www.midwestbookreview.com/cbw/sep_13.htm#MusicCD

http://philspicks.wordpress.com/2013/08/27/block-party-builds-on-the-success-of-poochamungas-debut-lp/

http://redtri.com/chicago/amp-up-your-summer-must-go-kindie-rock-concerts/