Poochamungas is a Chicago based kindie band that makes music echoing the likes of “The Boss” (Bruce Springsteen), John Cougar, Jerry Lee Lewis and even some Elvis. On their second kindie album, Block Party, Poochamungas channel their rock n’ roll sensibilities to create a collection of songs that are all about family, music and fun!
John Joyce, lyricist for the band, writes songs that reminisce on memories from his own childhood, while capturing the delightful moments he experiences as a father. Many of the songs are sung in the first person, giving the album an overarching autobiographical feel. The lyrics form personal stories that depict the reflective thoughts of an adult, and the adventurous ones of a child. Joyce explains, “The title track, My Favorite Summer Day (Block Party) was a song that really took a journey for me. Block parties are such a city specific event. For kids, it’s like Christmas in July. We never had a block party on my street growing up, but we would visit a few that friends held every year. Lyrically [the song] was triggered by my own kids running around our yearly block party. Remembering how I loved block parties, and now seeing my own kids run around like I once did. So I wrote it in first person as a story of then and now.”
“Little Ballerina” is a spoken word poem that captures the bittersweet feelings parents have of wanting to hold on to a beautiful moment with their children, while at the same time realizing how fast they grow up. It’s a sweet poem from a father to his daughter and one that I can completely relate to as my own daughter just started Kindergarten. Where does the time go?!
We especially enjoyed “Refrigerator Box,” which captures the endless possibilities and wholesome fun to be had with a giant cardboard box and a little imagination. Lots of good ideas in this song! “Imagination Train,” is an awesome song with country and bluegrass influences. The lyrics will get you clapping and knee slapping as Anna Fermin‘s gorgeous voice emphatically calls listeners to “Take your ticket and get on board/ I’m the conductor, the engineer/ It’s the train in my imagination/ Destination anywhere.” The banjo and harmonica make excellent dancing partners in this song as well.
Block Party is an album filled with heart. With their straightforward musical style, Poochamungas delivers a solid set of tunes armed with the conviction that music is meant to by shared by all members of a community. In other words, their motto that good music knows no age speaks volumes here.
The Pop Ups have an app! Just in time for Halloween, their song, “Miss Elephant’s Gerald” has been turned into a Mibblet! Keep reading for how you can enter to win a free download. From the creators of Mibblio (an interactive kids’ music app), Mibblets are illustrated songs that sit within Mibblio’s interactive musical framework. Each Mibblet features a host of instruments (keyboard, “strum pad,” percussion) that encourages kids to channel their inner maestro and jam along with the band. “Miss Elephant’s Gerald” is the perfect song to play along with because it starts off with a steady beat and works its way into an explosion of sound, teaching kids about timing and rhythm while also fostering a deeper understanding of musical composition. When Em and I played along, we found that the ukulele and vibrasnap added some nice accompaniment. Albeit, the vibrasnap does get addictive, but it works really well with the song; Both are irresistably catchy and kooky!
When we were done jamming, we were able to enjoy “Miss Elephant’s Gerald” a cappella (users can choose to turn off the music by deselecting instruments), allowing us to use the Mibblet as an audio book. By reading along, I gained a deeper appreciation for just how brilliantly creative and hilarious this song is!
Brooklyn artist, Liz Starin, does an excellent job of bringing the tale to life through whimsical illustrations. Now, I realize we are in the digital age, but I would love to see this song, along with Starin’s drawings, translated into print.
Targeting ages 3-8, the “Miss Elephant’s Gerald” app is a is a kid-friendly Halloween treat that is perfectly safe for consumption!
ENTER TO WIN A FREE DOWNLOAD: Thanks to The Pop Ups, 3 lucky Kids Can Groove readers will get a chance to download the “Miss Elephant’s Gerald” app for FREE!
HERE’S HOW TO ENTER:
- Leave a comment on this post sharing if you are familiar with Mibblets, and if so, which other ones you enjoy.
- Like the Kids Can Groove Facebook page.
The giveaway is open through midnight November 1, 2013. Winners will be announced on Monday November 3, 2013.
Note: Mibblits are currently only available for the iPad.
The code will expire on Thu Nov 21 09:41:24 PST 2013 and are redeemable only on the iTunes Store for United States. Requires an iTunes account, subject to prior acceptance of license and usage terms. To open an account you must be above the age of 13 and in United States. Compatible software and hardware, and internet access (fees may apply) required. Not for resale. Full terms apply; see http://www.apple.com/legal/itunes/ww/
Additional notes courtesy of Mibblio:
Mibblets allow you to:
• DISCOVER new instrument combinations by muting and soloing individual audio tracks
• UNDERSTAND the key to developing music by building the layers of a song
Strum pad: Acoustic guitar, banjo, ukulele, electric guitar, harp
Keyboard: Piano, guitar, violin, vibraphone, saxophone, clarinet, flute, accordion
Percussion: Tambourine, snare, maracas, rimshot, high hat, triangle, bongos, claps, cowbells, vibraslap
WHAT IS MIBBLIO?
Mibblio is a creative studio that makes interactive music apps designed for kids. Our inaugural and acclaimed app, Mibblio®, combines stories and music to form beautiful MIBBLETS — illustrated songs with loads of musical features that enable kids to read along, sing along, and jam along.
In the video for their song “Where Do Monsters Go When It’s Not Halloween?” Ratboy Jr. gets some artistic assistance from the 1st graders at the Woodstock Day School. Through drawings, each scenario is matched up to the words of the song, which speculates about possibilities like mummies cleaning windows in New York City and zombies driving zambonis, for example. Even Frankenstein grabs the mic on this one.
“Where Do Monsters Go When It’s Not Halloween” is from Ratboy Jr’s 2013 release, Champions of the Universe. It’s an awesome album brimming with creativity that taps into the depths kids’ imaginations. When we first heard this song, Emily (who I will be referring to as The Hulk from here on in) sat straight up, eyes wide, and genuinely asked “YEAH! Where do monsters go when it’s not Halloween?” This priceless sense of wonder and curiosity is why Ratboy Jr. makes listening to music fun.
Halloween is almost here! Whether you are in the process of making your own costume or carving the baddest jack-o-lantern on the block, a Halloween soundtrack is a must! Below is a spooktacular playlist featuring a brilliant mix of artists! And don’t miss two great videos from The Pop Ups and Trout Fishing in America to go along with it.
It’s almost Halloween and pumpkin patches are in full swing around here. The farms are full of excitement as kids triumphantly claim their bright orange bounty. This year, thanks to Laurie McIntosh (aka Story Laurie), there is a song that will enliven your experience even more.
“Picking Pumpkins at the Pumpkin Patch” is a sing-along written by 1st graders during a recent workshop Laurie conducted. It’s a catchy song that encourages participation through call and response. We had a chance to test it out today as we made our annual trek out to a local patch. As we strolled around, searching for “the great pumpkin,” we enjoyed humming along, as well as taking turns being the caller and the responder. It made for some fun family bonding.
“Picking Pumpkins at the Pumpkin Patch” is available for download through the SoundCloud widget below. Download it today and bring it along as you head on down to the pumpkin patch. Happy pumpkin picking!
Bonus: Parents, teachers, homeschoolers: Laurie also posted a link to New York Agriculture in The Classroom’s ”Great Pumpkins“ 1st Grade lesson plan which contains some great ideas related to pumpkins and pumpkin patches.
Earlier this year, The Hipwaders released “Gaia She Knows,” a breezy tune encouraging conscious, green living and protection of Mother Earth. The song was inspired by a six year-old girl named Gaia (named after the Earth Goddess) who approached lead singer Tito Uquillas after a show, interested in whether The Hipwaders had any songs about saving the earth or not using pesticides. Intrigued by the irony of it all, Uquillas was moved to create a song in honor of his earth-conscious fan.
As the mom of a daughter (almost 5) who is passionately against littering, this song has had a meaningful impact on my family. In fact, back when it was first released, my daughter decided that she wanted to go home and “clean up the streets to help the planet right now!” So, armed with gloves, bags and little sweepers, we did just that.
Today, I am very proud to be premiering the video for “Gaia She Knows.” The adorable storyboards and designs (created by the talented Janet Davies), coupled with animation by Planet Sunday, naturally bring the song’s story to life. And how cute is that little acorn shaped hat on Gaia’s head?!
As the leaves fall and we move into harvesting and other seasonal/holiday rituals, this song serves as a helpful reminder that we can still remain “green” throughout the year.