Valentine’s Day Musing with Lisa Mathews of Milkshake

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Lisa Mathews, of the kindie band Milkshake, was recently a guest DJ on the Hilltown Family Variety Show, an incredible online network that supports education through community engagement, where she curated a playlist centered around love and social consciousness. Lisa’s music pics featured kindie such as Brady Rymer, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo and Recess Monkey, as well as adult artists such as The Beatles, Adele, and Sly and the Family Stone. She even features a song written in 1930 from the movie The Moderns, which is one of Emily’s  favorites in the bunch!

Altogether, the podcast signifies that love is multi-faceted, and the way we give and receive it impacts how we relate to one another. I really enjoyed listening to Lisa and thought it would be great to hear more of her thoughts on the topic of love in light of the upcoming holiday.

In today’s guest post, Lisa writes about how much she loves Valentine’s Day, creating love songs with her previous band Love Riot, and watching her teenage daughter experience love firsthand. Lisa’s thoughts really resonated with me as a mother and a music lover. I know that Emily will have her own experiences with love in the same way as Lisa’s daughter. But, as Lisa says below, “maybe she’ll write a song about it, and listen to other songs that will help her through.” And I plan to be there listening to the music with her.

Milkshake will be performing a Valentine’s Spectacular show in Maryland with all kinds of fun activities and sweet treats. Plus, if you aren’t familiar with Milkshake’s music, I encourage you to listen to the links below, and check out the band’s music page. Lisa’s voice is bee-u-tee-ful!

Details about the show which will benefit Arts On Stage, a nonprofit that brings arts performances into schools, can be found following the post.


VALENTINE’S DAY MUSING

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I love Valentine’s Day. I love all holidays, but having one more reason to tell someone “I Love You” sounds good to me. I love the heart-shaped boxes. And even though I can’t eat chocolate (woe is me), I love gazing at the different chocolate pieces and wondering what’s inside them, how they taste. I love the idea behind all those sweetheart candies, too. I pick out my favorites like “Sweet Love,” “My Love,” “Hug Me” and “Only You.” Nowadays, the candies say things like “Text Me” or “Tweet Me.” Love’s gone digital, for sure.

But perhaps what I love most of all are the love songs. They remind me that love itself is so multi-dimensional. Happy love songs, sad love songs, songs of longing, songs of leaving. Before Milkshake, Mikel and I fronted a band for adults called Love Riot and we wrote nothing but love songs. It was amazing to me how we never seemed to run out of ideas. Maybe it wasn’t so unlimited as the topics we’ve discovered writing songs for kids, but emotionally, there was probably more to our love songs. The songs reflected what I or my friends were going through, and perhaps being in love is more of an adult thing. I wrote “I Love You” as a lullaby for my daughter, but that’s certainly different from romantic love. Now, she’s a beautiful 14-year-old and I see hints of romantic pining. I don’t look forward to her first breakup, which could be a painful thing. But maybe she’ll write a song about it, and listen to other songs that will help her through.

So how will Milkshake – the band that celebrates most holidays with a big show somewhere – celebrate Valentine’s861-eventpage-milkshake_500 Day when the majority of our songs deal with imagination and play and doing the right thing? Well, we did record “I Love You” and “Enemies” for our Great Day CD, which skews a bit older, listener-wise. And we added a Milkshake version of the classic “Tiptoe Thru the Tulips” on our latest Got a Minute CD. But that’s about it in the love song department. We’ll do all three for sure, tossing rose petals at our little friends. Moo will pass out chocolate kisses and candy hearts, and we’ll all be giving out unlimited hugs after the show.

People can donate their unloved instruments to Music4More, who will find them loving homes at schools and communities. There will be face-painted hearts and cherubs for anyone who wants them, and our friends at Macaroni Kids will make paper valentines with the concert-goers. So while there might not be a lot of love songs, there will certainly be a lot of love. The concert benefits Arts On Stage, a non-profit that lovingly creates art performances for schools. Sounds like a great way to start my Valentine’s Day. After saying “I Love You” to my husband, daughter, cat, dog and life first, of course.


“I Love You” (YouTube)

“Tiptoe Thru the Tulips”

 

Love + Joy: A Family Valentine with Lucy Kalantari & Jon Samson! Plus, a ukulele giveaway!

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Award winning children’s artist and music therapist, Jon Samson, has teamed up with the dazzling Lucy Kalantari to deliver a rare and enchanting musical performance for families at ShapeShifter Lab in Brooklyn, NY, this Sunday, February 15th at 11:00 am. Lucy will be performing with her full lineup of drums, upright bass and clarinet.

While you are being charmed by the music, you can enjoy hot cocoa, valentine’s treats and a chance to win an autographed ukulele!

Want to hear how they sound? Listen through the Bandcamp widgets below.

Make sure to read on for ticket info and show information.

For tickets: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1128853

Show information:
Love & Joy: A Family Valentine
Sunday, February 15th ShapeShifter Lab
18 Whitwell Place, Brooklyn, NY 11215
$10 advanced tickets $15 at the door (Free for children under 2)
Doors: 11am Show Time: 11:30am

Artist’s official sites
Lucy Kalantari ­ http://www.LucyKalantari.com
Jon Samson ­ http://www.CoCreativeMusic.com

Playlist: 2015 Best Children’s Album Grammy Nominees

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Best Children’s Album

 

The Grammy’s will be here before we know it! In anticipation of this event, here is a playlist featuring the 2015 Grammy Nominees for Best Children’s Album thanks to Sugar Mountain PR. Get to know the nominees through the Artist’s links below.

1 Brady RymerJust Say Hi!
2 The Okee Dokee BrothersThrough the Woods
3 The Pop UpsAll These Shapes
4 Secret Agent 23 SkidooImaginary Friend
5 HachetteAudioI Am Malala (Young Readers) by Malala Yousafzai, Read by Neela Vaswani

NOTE: There will be a special benefit concert featuring these nominees on February 7, 2015 at 10:30am in Hollywood, CA. Check out this link for more information and tickets.Proceeds from the event will go to Little Kids Rock, a nonprofit organization that provides under-served public school children with free music classes and new instruments.

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)

Concerts: The Hipwaders play Tricycle Music Fest 2013

tmf-headerTricycle Music Fest is chugging along nicely and has proven to be pretty awesome thus far. This weekend The Hipwaders, another beloved Bay Area band, will be joining this year’s exciting Kindie lineup.

Catch one or both of the following shows:

This energetic trio has acquired quite a name for themselves in the Kindie music scene with their catchy power pop that speaks from a kids perspective. They take their music seriously and have created a series of videos that also prove their dedication to providing a wholly entertaining experience for audience members of all ages.

I recently had a chance to catch up with the lead singer, Tito Uquillas, who shared what inspired him to write his first kids’ song and some thoughts on the importance of making videos.

“As a kid, I was always drawing, painting or attempting some sort of three-dimensional sculpture or craft of some sort.  As an adult (and father), I would always use the family camcorder with the mindset of “telling a story” while filming the kids at an outing or during holidays. The first time I actually set out to write a kids’ song was when I wrote, “Song of the Paleo Pirates.” I only wrote the song because I needed some music to go along with the video I wanted to make of my son’s dinosaur and pirate toys.”

Uquillas continues, “My kids have always enjoyed watching music videos and when opportunities have arose for [The Hipwaders] to have some made for us, we’ve jumped at the chance.  We’ve had high school students make some of our videos and, of course, Planet Sunday has created some wonderful animated videos. I think it’s important for Kindie artists to create a visual component for kids when it comes to their music.  Videos can enhance a story or concept that some kids can’t fully enjoy just by listening to the lyrics.”

You can enjoy a series of Hipwaders’ videos below, including the video for the song that inspired it all.

The Bay Area is alive with the sound of music this weekend (Sept 14-15)

There are some spectacular family events happening throughout the Bay Area this weekend. I wish I could attend them all!

If you are in the Bay Area, rest assured that there is no shortage of movement, energy and creativity. So polish up those dancing shoes and consider your weekend planned!

1) Tricycle Music Fest! Coined as the Bay Area’s biggest little music fest on the west. Taking place every weekend in September, October and early November, the 5th annual Tricycle Music Fest will peddle its way through 28 libraries for a total of 29 FREE concerts featuring 9 award-winning performers (full schedule here). Think indie music– family style– and libraries and you have the essence of Tricycle Music Fest. Last week was a huge success with Seattle kid rockers, The Not-Its!. This weekend features San Francisco, indie pop darlings, The Corner Laughers.

The Corner Laughers Sept 14 | 11:00 am and 2:00 pm

What better way to capture the delight of a Bay Area music festival than with a band that sings about their passion for living in San Francisco. With lyrics like, “My heart’s in San Francisco/ The city by the bay,” San Fran’s, The Corner Laughers, bring sweet, dreamy vocals with a bit of a sparkle and a jangle. There’s a hint of Karen Carpenter in there, too. Noone puts baby in the corner with this group! In fact, get ready for baby to be up there dancing and laughing right along with the rest of the crowd.

Saturday, September 14 at 11 am, Parkside Branch Library

Saturday, September 14 at 2 pm, Portola Valley Library

2) Charity and the Jam Band Jerry Garcia Ampitheater, San Francisco Sept 14 | 2:00 pm

Charity and the Jam Band will be playing the first-ever Saturday in the Park McLaren Festival (performing in the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater) produced by Friends of the AMP. Join them for a free 2-hour rock n’roll show in this beautiful and under-appreciated SF park. Bring a picnic and get ready to be a part of the show as Charity and her lead their audience through each song filled with movements and lots of energy.

3) Yerba Buena Family DayDowntown San Francisco’s biggest free family block party is back for its sixth year! Yerba Buena Family Day is a non-stop day of free indoor/outdoor family fun with free admission to local museums (SF Moma, Contemporary Jewish Museum, MOAD – Museum of the African Diaspora, Children’s Creativity Museum and the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival). These events are open for all ages and will have hands-on art making activities for kids. Visitors get in FREE to participating institutions.

Alphabet Rockers – Children’s Creativity Museum Sunday, Sep 15 | 1:00pm to 1:50pm

Alphabet Rockers will be bringing a high energy, movement intensive show filled with lots of dancing set to hip hop beats. Join them as they’ll have a very special show featuring Kaitlin + Tommy, DJ Wonway Posibul, and worldclass breakdancers Shinobi Jaxx (Mix’d Ingrdnts) and Brandon “Knowbody”. Dust off your old school dance moves and get ready to groove!

Story PIrates – Children’s Creativity Museum Sunday, Sep 15 | 2:30pm to 3:20pm

Story Pirates is a nationally respected education and media organization founded in 2003. They are made up of teachers, actors and comedians who perform skits based on stories written by children. Their shows are filled with music and improv. There may even be some solicitations from the audience.

Alison Faith LevyContemporary Jewish Museum Sunday, Sep 15 | 11am– 4pm

If you don’t get a chance to catch the awesome Corner Laughers on Saturday, you can find a couple of them playing along with Alison Faith Levy at the Contemporary Jewish Museum on Sunday. Alison and her band will be performing 3 shows between 11am – 4p (more details here) accompanied by beautiful visual projections from the animated World of Wonder video by filmmaker Danny Plotnick.

4) Kidchella – Redwood City, CA

Redwood City is proud to offer a new music series this year especially for kids!

The Hipwaders September 15, 2013 | 11:00 am – 1:00 pm with Andy Z emceeing and opening with a few tunes of his own!

Join Andy Z and The Hipwaders as they close out Redwood City’s first Kids Rock Series. Andy Z is a children’s performer and singer/songwriter who combines music, movement, storytelling and character puppets to create an experience that keeps kids engaged and adults entertained. His songs and albums have won national awards and his performances earned rave reviews from educators, librarians, public figures, parents, and children alike.

The Hipwaders – The Hipwaders know how to bring a fun show filled with original tunes. As the SF Bay Times noted, “In the same spirit of completely wonderful, whimsical and musically gifted treats for the young set is the Bay Area-based Hipwaders, pulling off some brilliantly fun and surprisingly hip songs extolling touchstones of childlike glee including art cars and dinosaurs.”  The Hipwaders are a highly versatile group who also delight their audience with familiar tunes including the Sesame Street theme song and the Scooby Doo theme song. They come equipped with bubbles and inflatable guitars and microphones for your little rockstar.

View This: The Not-Its! – “Rock, Paper, Scissors”

Seattle’s gnarliest kid rockers, The Not-Its!, will be bringing a series of high-octane shows to the Bay Area on September 7 and 8 and that weekend just can’t get here soon enough! However, I will settle for a new video for “Rock, Paper, Scissors,” from their 2013 release, KidQuake!. Like previous videos, The Not-Its! deliver an energetic performance that bursts out at you. I particularly love how some of the kids on each team are holding electric guitars while cheering for their respective players. It’s little touches of character like that that reinforce the band’s ability to have fun while making music that rocks!

With lead singer Sarah Shannon at the helm, the crew gives this classic game of strategy a rock n’ roll revamp with a new dance called the Rock, Paper, Scissors dance. Wanna learn the moves? Check out the instructional video below, featuring Shannon, as she teaches you and your little rockers all the right moves.

Now, put your best rock n’ roll face on and dance it out!

You can view additional videos by The Not-It’s! here and here, as well as an album review of KidQuake! here.

Tricycle Music Fest schedule