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Halloween Digest 2014: Part 1 – Videos and Activities!

I love Halloween and all the preparation, spooky tales, trick or treating adventures and the rest of the absurdity that goes along with it. Today’s post is the start of a few posts related to this holiday. We’ll start with some videos, round things up with a monster dance party, and end with a book suggestion and fun Halloween activity. The party is just getting started! I’ll be back to fill your treat bucket with a Halloween playlist as well.

The Hipwaders -Pumpkinhead” –  The legend of Pumpkinhead muhahaha… Actually, this is a fun, cautionary tale about the consequences of eating too much candy. The Hipwaders relay this tale with a smooth, reggae beat making it hip for Halloween. A great song and terrific video featuring a rotating set of vintage Halloween postcards. I want some of those in my pillowcase!

Mista Cookie Jar and the Chocolate Chips – “Halloween Every Night” – This haunt floats in with some surf-rock grooves as Mista Cookie Jar and the Chocolate Chips present a “spirited” video featuring a cast of spooky characters having fun together on Halloween night. There’s a bit of retro fancy in this video as well when the colorful crew takes to the “Spooky Movies” where they are presented with clips of classic freaks from the past (Frankenstein, Dracula, The Munsters even show up). Mystery Science Theater 3000 fans might feel a bit of nostalgia here as the monsters’ silhouettes are superimposed at the bottom of the scene in a similar fashion. The entire concept, drawing and animation was done by Mista Cookie Jar and family. Very cool.

Play Date – “Dance Like A Monster” – This is a classic and I encourage you and your family to “get your monster boogie on” with the rest of the Ghouligans in this video. There’s even a call to “let our your monster cry!” A perfect addition to a Halloween playlist and impromptu monster mash dance parties.

Additional Halloween Fun

UnknownWhen you’re through with dancing, check out “Glad Monster, Sad Monster” an awesome book that helps kids channel and communicate their emotions. This book goes through what makes each monster happy, glad, sad, mad, scared, etc, and then prompts kids to put on the monster masks and express their feelings in the same way. One of our favorites!

 

 

Looking for a fun activity? Do some Halloween Word Mining! Read this PBS Parents feature by Jeff Bogle from Out With The Kids for instructions and a printable activity sheet to get you started. http://www.pbs.org/parents/adventures-in-learning/2014/10/halloween-word-mining/

Interview: Brian Gorman of Rainbow Beast and Rock Band Land

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“..When you’re creating something, if you are able to embrace the magic in it, you end up making better art.”
- Brian Gorman, founder of Rock Band Land and drummer for Rainbow Beast

When I first heard Rainbow Beast’s debut children’s album, Tales from the Monstrosity Scrolls, I instantly connected with their sound and the stories within the songs. The content was dark, mysterious, imaginative, fantastical, absurd and profound. It lit up our living room! I immediately read their bio which led me to Rock Band Land, a San Francisco-based creativity program for Elementary school-aged children.

Brian Gorman, drummer for Rainbow Beast, founded Rock Band Land almost a decade ago and, with the help of co-director Marcus Stoesz, shaped it into an awesome program that ignites the imaginations of these kids. Rock Band Land offers so many benefits including teamwork, self-confidence, responsibility and how hard work really does pay off! To date, Rock Band Land has produced over 150 songs, 18 of which can be found on Tales from the Monstrosity Scrolls.

In the interview below, Gorman talks about how punk music inspired the creation of Rock Band Land, how an epic battle at the center of the earth inspired the name Rainbow Beast and the rules of Rock Band Land.

Kids Can Groove: Hi Brian! Can you tell me about Rock Band Land and your band Rainbow Beast?

Brian Gorman: Rock Band Land is a creativity program in San Francisco for Elementary school-aged kids. Rainbow Beast is the band that was born from Rock Band Land and it consists of my Rock Band Land teaching partner Marcus Stoesz, and our bassist, Jen Aldrich. Together, we write and produce all original stories and songs with the kids. The songs begin as stories and we collect the ideas for the stories from the kids. Then we move on to collecting musical ideas for the song, assembling those ideas into a full song that the kids learn, record and perform on stage in what we call The Big Show.

KCG: How was Rock Band Land created?

BG: I was a preschool teacher for 2 years in San Francisco, and then a few years before that I taught English in Japan for Pre-K through twelfth grade. While I was teaching, I was also a touring musician and when I would come back to the schools, I started bringing in really good rock music to share with the kids.

I thought I could write a punk song with some 4-year-olds. I started on a lark and, after a month with them, we finally wrote a song. It was really fun and it worked! Once I saw that that was possible, I slowly began to build it up. I tried one Saturday morning class with 4 kids to see if it would work outside of school and it did.

After about a year of experimenting with it, Marcus moved to San Francisco. Marcus and I met through our touring bands when we were on the road. Marcus is a phenomenal musician and he just happened to move to here at the perfect time, so I scooped him up and since then it’s just been full steam ahead.

KCG: Why did you decide to work with Elementary school-aged kids?

BG: That’s where magic is still real. When you are creating something, if you’re able to embrace the magic in it, you end up making better art. These kids have incredible imaginations and they’re not afraid to go into magical places, which makes the creative process so much more exhilarating for everyone. There’s very little resistance to going on an adventure and exploring our imaginations together.

KCG: In a mixed age class, do you find that there is equal participation between the youngest and oldest rockers? Are they supportive of each other?

BG: Absolutely! Honestly, the best classes we have are the ones that are mixed ages. The ideas are broader and more fleshed out when we’re talking about the stories. The older kids do a really good job of helping out the younger kids, and the younger kids look up to the older kids. We had a band with the greatest age disparity that we’ve had in any of our regular bands. A girl had just turned 9, and two other kids in the band had just turned 4, so there was a 5 year difference, and they worked unbelievably well together.

KCG: I can see how the different levels of maturity influence the content on Tales from the Monstrosity Scrolls. On first listen, it doesn’t strike me as a traditional children’s album. But, upon closer listening, I can hear how the lyrics fantastically reflect the kids’ ideas. It’s outstanding! The stories accurately express the things they are curious about and fascinated by. For example, “Ice Girl” is a story of a girl who emerges from a frozen lake as a superhero and uses her powers to save people from drowning in hot lava. What is your process for writing these stories and songs with the kids?

BG: We have very specific guidelines for when we are writing the songs. It’s all run by the kids, but our rules really help shape where we go, and provide boundaries for us.

1. The story has to be original. We don’t talk about Star War or Ninjago or whatever the thing is that they’re fond of at the moment. It’s all our own characters, our own storyline. Sometimes they’ll be scenes that you could say relate back to these things, but in the end the characters are our characters and the situations that they get into are all ours created with the kids.

2. Anything can happen but there has to be some redemption in it. Characters can die, there can be plagues, there can be floods, there can be fighting that happens but there has to be some redeeming factor to the story and that really guides us. When some stories are getting really dark, we ask the kids how we can find a positive outcome. Most of the rockers who have been with us for a long time really understand when we’ve crossed a particular line and that we either have to cut out or be turned around in a way that justifies where we’re going with the story.

3. No potty words or bad words. Basically, as soon as you allow the kids to start singing about poop that’s really all we’re gonna talk about.

4. This is an important one. The rockers can dislike anything they want. They don’t have to agree with where a story is going. But, If they disagree with the direction the story is going in, it’s their responsibility to change it and make it work for them. We work really hard to help the rockers understand that they are in control of their imaginations and that they are in control of their creativity. We set up a dynamic where there’s no judgment if a rocker wants to change something, especially if it’s around something that frightens them. For example, if a shark character comes up and a kid expresses a fear of sharks and asks that we don’t incude them in the story, we will work together to turn that character into a whale or something else that everyone can agree on. We continue working through this until we can agree as a group. Our process is basically like the first rules of improv. It’s always “Yes, and…” If you say “No” you block the process and it shuts the whole thing down. So the rule is that they have to keep going with the story and if they don’t like it they have to help us reshape it to a way that they like. It ends up working really well and reinforces the importance of being on a team.

KCG: Next to each song on Tales from the Monstrosity Scrolls is a band name. Can you explain how those names are created?

BG: Generally the first week of class is when we name a band, and we go through all the same rules I previously mentioned to come up with the final name. We use this initial process as an exercise to get the kids warmed up, working together and understanding that they can say silly things, and take chances. It’s actually encouraged because the sillier they get, the more creative they get, the more excited we get and the more positive feedback they get in return. We usually go through about 50 different name suggestions before we come on to the one that we then vote on and choose. In those 50 names there’s usually some really crazy collection of words.

KCG: Can you explain how the name Rainbow Beast came about?

BG: There’s a mythology about Rainbow Beast that’s ever growing that we talk about in RockBand Land. The kids know there’s me and Marcus, and then there’s Rainbow Beast. Rainbow Beast is sort of like a hyper-realized version of each of our own personalities. When we play, we dress up and have makeup on that represents characters of ourselves. I’m a very high energy, very loud, vert spontaneous person. Marcus is very sensitive, very gentle, and very quiet, and Jen is kind of stoic and sharp and witty and dark. So we play these parts of our personalitithes that we like about ourselves, and that make us who we are, but are also fun and easy to embellish on in a theatrical performance sort of way.

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The name Rainbow Beast comes from a song called “Ninja Noodle” that we wrote 4 years ago. It was one of the first songs we wrote. Ninja Noodle is a noodle that is not happy with his regular life. He doesn’t just want to be a regular bit of macaroni and cheese. He wants to be more, so he trains, and he studies, and ultimately becomes a ninja. Naturally, every ninja needs an arch enemy. Trishta, part shark, part T-Rex, part tarantula meets Ninja Noodle and they have a pretty epic paintball battle at the center of the earth. They fight by firing paintballs at each other which hit and cover the walls of the center of the earth. The paint splatter ends up making this beautiful rainbow. Trishta and Ninja Noodle both pause at the same moment when they realize that while they were both fighting, the result of their fight created an amazing mural. They are so taken that they both fall in love and get married. So the “rainbow beast” is what they made on the wall and that’s how we see what the kids ideas are with us. They’re shooting us with their ideas, basically, and that’s how we collectively grow and thrive. They made us and now we’re here to care for their ideas, basically.

KCG: How did you come up with the concept for the cover?

The concept I originally had for [the cover] was that we were piñatas and the kids were beating us with sticks and color was flying out of us. After we talked it through a bunch, we realized that we didn’t want to promote anything that would be seen as violent or aggressive. We reshaped it into something that still went with a similar concept but is more playful.

For the design of the album cover, we enlisted some extraordinarily talented parents in our community. Two of our early parents, who became huge supporters of us, are Stacy Ransom and Jason Mitchell of Ransom&Mitchell. They are amazing fine art photographers and their son, a phenomenal rocker who’s been with us for years, appears on about 4 songs on [Tales from the Monstrosity Scrolls].

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KCG: How did you choose the songs on The Monstrosity Scrolls? 

BG: Everything on the album was written in Rock Band Land. We were trying to figure out how we could include as many kids as possible on the record. There’s about 200+ kids on that record, and we wanted to make it clear to listeners that Marcus, Jen and I are playing the music, but this project is all about working with the kids so that’s why it’s Rainbow Beast and the Rock Band Land Rockers. And that’s why after each song we gave a nod to each band so that they are recognized for their work. They helped make it so they need to be represented. It is all them.

KCG: What percentage of the music on Tales is being played by the kids?

BG: All of the music comes from Rainbow Beast, though there are a couple of kids who are playing guitar on the record, and all the kids are singing on every song along with us. A lot of the kids come to us with zero musical experience and that’s totally fine. No musical experience is required in order to come work with us. Their ideas, however, are all over the record.

KCG: Can you share any interesting experiences you had while producing these songs?

BG: The beat in “The Ballad of Annabelle and Sam” was created by a 5-year-old playing body percussion. He came into class and said, “I know a beat,” and started doing this insanely cool rhythm. He kept the beat on his body, smacking his legs, his thighs and his chest, and clapping. He was also doing using his feet and it was so solid. We set him up on a bass drum and put mics all around him – his chest, his legs and his hands. We recorded his beat, looped it and put my drums on top of his rhythms. His rhythm became the foundation for the song and, as strong as the song is, his beat is what I love most about it. Everything you hear in that song was done at Children’s Day School in San Francisco in a classroom.  He is now one of my star drummers.

KCG: So, why did you release an official album?

BG: There are several reasons, really. To start, it’s to celebrate all the stuff that we’ve been doing and to celebrate the community that we’ve created. We had a big show to go along with the release which gave Marcus and I a chance to celebrate with the kids and their parents in honor of what we’ve worked on for the last couple of years. We are a hard-working band, and I believe that people will be really excited about the album when they realize the evolution of it all and hear the crazy stories that go with it.

We have all the stories accessible online for people for free and all the different components that we’ve been working on that are finally starting to come together. Our release allows us to hopefully announce and expand our community beyond the boundaries of what we have for a school. Rock Band Land classes stay small for very intentional reasons. We can’t have any more than 90 kids, and it’s just Marcus and I teaching and running music production. Our kids get so much out of it. In addition to the creative aspects, there are literacy components. Once we write the song, [The kids] all have lyric sheets and get one week to memorize the songs. Many of our kids use their songs as their reading work at home, and we use a lot of challenging vocabulary. We’ve seen countless examples with our kids where their reading and writing has skyrocketed because of this and they’re are extremely confident and proud of themselves. We see all these things that could work for so many other kids that doesn’t necessarily have to be in our program. Releasing [Tales from the Monstrosity Scrolls] is our initial step towards becoming a bigger entity and bringing all the fun and lessons from Rock Band Land out to the broader community.

KCG: The Monstrosity Scrolls is definitely going in a completely new and cool direction and stretches the limits of what we think of as children’s music. 

BG: As far as I’m concerned, there is absolutely no harm in sharing most any music with kids, especially if you share different kinds of music with and talk about what they are hearing in the song. I think you have to be careful with some of the content and some of the language. But, even songs that are very dark or aggressive, if you take the time to actually talk about what the words mean, or maybe ask the kids what they think the songs are about, you can breakdown most anything and find something redeeming in it.

Rock music, from the second it came onto the scene and people became aware of it, they were afraid of it. It was considered to be “the devil’s music.” When the Beatles came out, they were terrifying but wen you look at rock music now, there’s not a kid on the planet that doesn’t know the Beatles. The Beatles were considered to be inappropriate for kids when they came out, and now the first music most people give their kids is any Beatles’ record. Anything people are afraid of now, I feel that maybe there is a misunderstanding and wonder what is sparking that sensation in people, but I don’t think it necessarily makes it inherently bad or dangerous or necessarily inappropriate.

KCG: The first half the album seems to have a different feel than the second half. Is there a difference and, if so, was that done intentionally? Had you thought about dividing it up into two albums?

BG: It was gonna be 4. We were going to have 2 records; 2 audio and 2 radio drama records. It was gonna be this huge boxed set and our concern was that the record would go out and people wouldn’t realize that the songs actually come from stories and that we produce the stories with the same care and quality that we produce the songs. Then we started doing podcasts this summer and realized that the podcast is an easier way to connect people with the story content. So instead of producing something huge, like 4 hours of media for the kids, we just went with a full album of songs.

Marcus spent countless hours just going through trying to create the arc of the record that you are speaking about so that it had this different feel, and that it changed and shifted. So if you are paying attention there is an arc to it that’s hopefully enjoyable and gratifying. He put an incredible amount of time into thinking about that.

KCG: How do you describe Rock Band Land to parents of future Rock Band Land rockers?

BG: The first thing is that I give them tons of information beforehand where I tell them straight out that we are not afraid of the dark in Rock Band Land. We are going go to dark places and that’s because when we circle up with the kids and talk about what we want to write about, it’s all collaborative, it’s all led by their ideas, and we ask them straight out “What type of song would you like to write?” “What type of story would you like to write?” Inevitably, the first two requests, almost every time, are spooky or scary. The reason for that is because kids tend to feel a certain joy and thrill about exploring what scares them. But, there’s also some important developmental stuff going on where the kids are working through ideas. Kids are very aware of what they hear and their surroundings. They take all that stimulation in and begin to realize how they can relate in their own world. They think about what could actually hurt them, and begin to understand where they are safe and where they aren’t. Rock Band Land is a way for us to support these kids in a comforting environment.

The cool thing, though, that we offer that might be different in some ways is that when we send the songs home with the kids they have a week to learn it and it’s up to the family to learn it. We always send along the chords so if anyone plays piano or guitar at home, they can play along, and a lot of families use it as something they do before bed or on the way to school. [The kids] have to listen to it at least 3 times a day to be ready to record. We get a countless number of emails from parents who are psyched that they’re learning the song with their kids. It’s a bonding experience for everyone.

National Fire Prevention Week: Watch videos by Recess Monkey and SteveSongs plus FREE app downloads!

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Hearing a smoke alarm’s loud beeping makes me want to freeze, curl in a ball and cover my ears. My 5-year-old responds by repeatedly yelling “TURN IT OFF!” while unconsciously running as far away from the noise as fast as she can. Without a solid exit strategy, trying to remain calm in the face of an emergency can end up adding more stress! In honor of National Fire Prevention Week week (October 5, 2014 – October 11, 2014), both SteveSongs and Recess Monkey have teamed up with The National Fire Protection Association’s friendly mascot, Sparky the Fire Dog® to raise awareness about the importance of having a fire safety plan in place.

In “Little Rosalie” SteveSongs delivers four important steps kids should follow when they hear the beeping of the smoke alarms. For quick reference, they are:

1. Get up and walk don’t run, but you should walk briskly

2. Remember 2 know 2 ways out of every room

3. Get yourself outside quickly and

4. To your outside meeting place with your family

Recess Monkey trades in their Tambourine Submarine for Sparky’s flying smoke alarm in “What’s That Sound?” With some old skool “flare,” Drew Holloway dons a golden smoke alarm necklace, while delivering the fire safety 411 to kids with some funky dance moves. As a bonus, Recess Monkey recorded this song in five different genres. So, depending on your musical taste, you can listen to the song in Country, Funk, Latin, Rap, and Uke (short for Ukulele).

In addition to these two videos, The National Fire Protection Association’s friendly mascot, Sparky the Fire Dog®, kids, teachers, and families can have fun exploring the world of fire safety at www.sparkyschoolhouse.org, the “Sparky Schoolhouse” website, where apps, music videos, lesson plans, activity sheets, an e-book, and games for kids age 3 – 10 can be downloaded for FREE.

Sparky the Fire Dog® even has his own page filled with activities (smoke alarm hidden picture), and you can even  print out a smoke alarm calendar to remind you every month to test your smoke alarms.

Watch this: Video World Premiere – “I Can I Can” by The Squeegees

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Sometimes we all need a little encouragement. A smile, a hug and a high-five are warm and wonderful ways to offer support. While actions are powerful, hearing the right string of words can sometimes be the best medicine. The Squeegees, an LA-based band, hits just the right notes with today’s world premiere video for “I Can I Can,” a song from their forthcoming album Veggie Soup.

“I Can I Can” with its familiar verses “I think I can I think I can…/You can you can” is a refreshing, versatile anthem that all kids should keep in their back pocket. It works for grown-ups too, particularly during the morning prep before school and bedtime routine. Ahem.

The Squeegees have recorded and are ready to release Veggie Soup but are looking for a little support of their own. To help with post-production costs, The Squeegees have launched a Kickstarter campaign. The campaign ends on October 8 so you still have 6 days to lend a virtual hand if you’d like. Check out the video and read on to learn more about the band.

And if you are in the Los Angeles area on October 18, 2014 don’t miss The Squeegees at The Rose Bowl for the Kidspace Pumpkin Festival!

The Squeegees’s consists of songwriters Samantha Tobey and Pierre de Reeder, along with members Chris Phillips, Moni Wood, Adriana Suyama, and Anne Marie Ceralvo. The band shares a passion for interacting and working with children. Samantha brings a natural flair and years of experience as a “Mommy and Me” instructor and baby sign language teacher to her passion for interacting and working with children. Pierre is a father of two, a music producer, studio owner, and founding member of the seminal Los Angeles band Rilo Kiley, while Chris has charmed many audiences as the drummer for The Squirrel Nut Zippers.

Through very melodic songs with rich harmonies that are not only addictive but also educational, The Squeegees have provided an enjoyable medium for kids and parents alike to learn about eating healthy, nature, movement, eco-consciousness and animal welfare.

View this: “La Clave” – ¡Uno, Dos, Tres con Andrés! + Music tutorial!

Uno-Dos-Tres-con-Andres-400Hispanic Heritage Month is from Sep 15 – Oct 15, 2014 and to celebrate, here is a new video for “La Clave,” by Andrés Salguero from his recent release, ¡Uno, Dos, Tres con Andrés!.

“La Clave” refers to the musical instrument that keeps the rhythm in salsa music. It also refers to the beat itself which Salguero demonstrates as he sings “Pa Pa, Pa Pa Pa.” “La Clave” encourages participation as viewers are encouraged to sing along with the lyrical text while also visually experiencing what the heartbeat of salsa looks, feels and sounds like. You don’t have to know Spanish or salsa to participate. The key is to find your own rhythm and move along. I guarantee you will.

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BONUS!! – Andrés put together a web tutorial demonstrating how to play La Clave, the musical instrument used to create the rhythm in Salsa and Afro Cuban music. This is an excellent opportunity to and make music with your family while introducing them to the sounds of World music. Bring along some rhythm sticks or use simply use your hands and follow along!

To learn more about La Clave click here.

Shiver me timbers! It’s National Talk Like A Pirate Day!

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Stand tall, me hearties, and be counted! Today is National Talk Like A Pirate Day! In honor of this holiday, I thought I’d share a few pirate songs and a list of pirate books that regularly make the top of our reading list at home. Enjoy mateys!

Secret Agent 23 Skidoo – Imaginary Friend
Josh and the Jamtones – Pirate’s Life
Recess Monkey – The Seven Cs
The Hipwaders – Song of the Paleo Pirates
The Whizpops! – Anglerfish
Clint Perry and the Boo Hoo Crew – Pirate Booty
Billy Harley – Pirate Song

Di51uLNXsLUsL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_rty Joe the Pirate by Bill Harley
Bill Harley is one of our favorite storytellers! In this pirate adventure we get to meet Dirty Joe who sails the seas looking for dirty socks! But he’s not alone. Dirty Annie is equally as fierce. With a hilarious twist, Dirty Joe is caught completely off guard.

 

Here’s a clip of Harley performing “The Ballad of Dirty Joe” [courtesy of YouTube]

51j56W4BuLL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_The Barefoot Book of Pirates by Richard Walker
This swashbuckling anthology is equivalent to a World Music compilation of pirate tales as each story comes from a different country. It’s a great book to read aloud as it introduces kids to characters such as “The captain in the German tale, Kobold and the Pirates; others, like young Mochimitsu in the Japanese tale, are friendly and funny.” Even Robin Hood makes an unexpected appearance!

 

61pX9LP-hJLThe Night Pirates: Pop Up Adventure by Peter Harris
The main character, Tom, is awakened one night by a band of girl pirates who invite him along on their adventure to steal treasure from grown-ups on a far away island. It’s a silly tale that is filled with colorful illustrations and simple words for practicing readers. It is also a wonderful book to read aloud.

Tricycle Music Fest 2014: The Bay Area’s BEST Children’s Music Festival

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The Bay Area’s best children’s music festival is back! In its sixth year, Tricycle Music Fest is presented jointly by the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) and San Mateo County Library (SMCL), with help from the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library. Together they bring the biggest and best kindie rock music to Bay Area families.

The event kicks off this weekend on September 13, 2014. This year’s roster is filled with Grammy winners, Grammy nominees and Kindie Rock leaders. There will also be acrobats, costume parties, free tricycle giveaways at every show and a chance to experience a live version of Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band’s new PBS show, Lishy Lou and Lucky Too!

This is an incredible opportunity to experience music with your family for FREE.

The Bands

Alison Faith Levy’s Big Time Tot Rock

Saturday, Sept. 13
Foster City Library, 11:30 a.m. (SMCL)

Sunday, Sept. 28
Sunday Streets Dance Party- Excelsior Branch, 1 p.m. (SFPL)

Alison Faith Levy gets the party started early in San Mateo County at the Foster City Library with a roaring outdoor show in the Leo J. Ryan amphitheater. Tricycle Fest’s opening show will take place this Saturday, Sept. 13, and will include acrobats and caricature portraits.

Kindie music trailblazer and founding member of The Sippy Cups, Alison Faith Levy knows how to get the entire family moving and grooving. With her Big Time Tot Rock Band, she brings dynamic musicianship and live beats from her highly-acclaimed album, World of Wonder. From Lollapalooza to Austin City Limits, Alison loves performing, and the San Francisco Public Library is her favorite performance venue.

Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band

Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band, known as “the faces of kindie music” byThe Washington Post and winners of the 2013 Latin Grammy Award for last year’s ¡Fantastico!, as well as a nomination for this year’s release, Aqui Alla, kick off the family rock concert series in San Francisco on Sept. 27 and then join Alphabet Rockers and Alison Faith Levy for hours of dancing in the streets at the Excelsior Branch (in partnership with Sunday Streets).

BONUS: A rare opportunity will take place on Sunday, Oct. 5 as Lucky Diaz, Alisha Gaddis and the rest of the crew will transform the SF Main Library’s atrium into a live version of their new PBS show, Lishy Lou and Lucky Too, including full band, ensemble and epic dance party. Get your FREE tickets NOW. Show starts at 10 a.m. http://trike2014.eventbrite.com/. Episodes are available for preview and purchase here. Get caught up before the show!

Saturday, Sept. 27
Millbrae Library, 10 a.m (SMCL)
East Palo Alto Library, 1 p.m. (SMCL)
Bayview Branch, 4:30 p.m. (SFPL)

Sunday, Sept.28
Sunday Streets Dance Party – Excelsior Branch, 12 p.m. (SFPL)

Tuesday, Sept.30
Mission Creek Park, 10:30 a.m. (SFPL)
Golden Gate Valley Branch, 3:30 p.m. (SFPL)

Thursday, Oct.2
Parkside Branch, 10 a.m. (SFPL)
Eureka Valley Branch, 3:30 p.m. (SFPL)

Friday, Oct. 3
Richmond Branch, 3:30 p.m. (SFPL)

Saturday, Oct. 4 
Half Moon Bay Library, 10:30 a.m. (SMCL)

Sunday, Oct. 5
Before Hours Dance Party – Main Library, 10 a.m. (SFPL)
Brisbane Library, 2 p.m. (SMCL)

The Corner Laughers

Saturday, Sept. 21 
Portola Valley Library, 3 p.m. (SMCL)

Relying on clever wordplay and reinforced by their wonderful harmonies, the California based band The Corner Laughers use comedy to instill a love of learning for their small listeners. With their heavenly vocals, the Corner Laughers are also accompanied by guitars, ukuleles, and a heart-pounding rhythm section.

Alphabet Rockers

Sunday, Sept. 28
Sunday Streets Dance Party – Excelsior Library, 11 a.m. (SFPL)

Saturday, Oct. 18
Atherton Library, 2 p.m. (SMCL)

The Alphabet Rockers are recognized for being “the premiere Bay Area hip hop collective for families.” Finalists in the 2014 John Lennon Songwriting Contest for their song, “Dynamite” (video below), the Alphabet Rockers produce highly interactive, engaging hip hop productions for young audiences that make learning come alive through beats, rhymes and movement.

The Alphabet Rockers are also teaching artists that bring workshops and assemblies to schools throughout the Bay Area. Alphabet Rockers’ educate and empower children through interactive performances that focus on self-esteem, bullying prevention, and nutrition.

The Okee Dokee Brothers

Saturday, Oct. 11
San Carlos Library, 10:30 a.m. (SMCL)
Bernal Heights Branch, 4 p.m. (SFPL)
Woodside Library, 1 p.m. (SMCL)

Sunday, Oct. 12
Marina Library, 1:30 p.m. (SFPL)

Justin Lansing and Joe Mailander have been exploring the outdoors together since they were kids. Their extended canoe trip down the Mississippi River inspired their Grammy Award-winning album, Can You Canoe? 

Earlier this year, the “brothers” set off on a month long trip along the Appalachian Trail to produce their latest adventure release, Through the Woods. With songs written by the campfire, and harmonies born on the water, the natural world is at the heart of their Americana folk music. The Okee Dokee Brothers make room for kids to dance, for parents to share stories, and for everyone to gain respect for nature, each other, and the world we live in.

The Pop Ups

Saturday, Oct. 25 
Eureka Valley Branch, 1 p.m. (SFPL)
Pacifica Sharp Park Library, 4 p.m. (SMCL)

Sunday, Oct. 26
Belmont Library, 11 a.m. (SMCL)
Potrero Branch, 3 p.m. (SFPL)

Grammy nominated duo Jason Rabinowitz and Jacob Stein return for the finale weekend with a whole new electro-pop show inspired by their new release, Appetite for Construction. Another Grammy nomination or win is wildly anticipated. Experience what happens as The Pop Ups mix indie rock, hand-painted sets and puppets. Inspired by their Costume Party (video below) anthem, come dressed in your favorite costume and get ready to dance. There will be a Halloween Dance Party at Pacifica Sharp Park on Oct. 25 and a Halloween Costume Parade in Belmont on Oct. 26 with festive seasonal crafts.

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The Schedule

Allison Faith Levy Big Time Tot Rock

Saturday, Sept. 13
Foster City Library, 11:30 a.m. (SMCL)

Sunday, Sept. 28
Sunday Streets Dance Party- Excelsior Branch, 1 p.m. (SFPL)

Sunday, Oct. 19
Ortega Branch, 2 p.m. (SFPL)

Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band

Saturday, Sept. 27
Millbrae Library, 10 a.m (SMCL)
East Palo Alto Library, 1 p.m. (SMCL)
Bayview Branch, 4:30 p.m. (SFPL)

Sunday, Sept.28
Sunday Streets Dance Party – Excelsior Branch, 12 p.m. (SFPL)

Tuesday, Sept.30
Mission Creek Park, 10:30 a.m. (SFPL)
Golden Gate Valley Branch, 3:30 p.m. (SFPL)

Thursday, Oct.2
Parkside Branch, 10 a.m. (SFPL)
Eureka Valley Branch, 3:30 p.m. (SFPL)

Friday, Oct. 3
Richmond Branch, 3:30 p.m. (SFPL)

Saturday, Oct. 4 
Half Moon Bay Library, 10:30 a.m. (SMCL)

Sunday, Oct. 5
Before Hours Dance Party – Main Library, 10 a.m. (SFPL)
Brisbane Library, 2 p.m. (SMCL)

Corner Laughers
Saturday, Sept. 21 

Portola Valley Library, 3 p.m. (SMCL) 

The Alphabet Rockers
Sunday, Sept. 28

Sunday Streets Dance Party – Excelsior Library, 11 a.m. (SFPL)

Saturday, Oct. 18
Atherton Library, 2 p.m. (SMCL)

The Okee Dokee Brothers
Saturday, Oct. 11
San Carlos Library, 10:30 a.m. (SMCL)
Bernal Heights Branch, 4 p.m. (SFPL)
Woodside Library, 1 p.m. (SMCL)

Sunday, Oct. 12
Marina Library, 1:30 p.m. (SFPL)

The Pop Ups
Halloween Finale Shows

Saturday, Oct. 25 
Eureka Valley Branch, 1 p.m. (SFPL)
Pacifica Sharp Park Library, 4 p.m. (SMCL)

Sunday, Oct. 26
Belmont Library, 11 a.m. (SMCL)
Potrero Branch, 3 p.m. (SFPL)

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