View This: Mates of State – “I am a Scientist”

I am so absolutely looking forward to this release of this album which contains a killer all female lineup from the “Science Fair” album, a charity compilation being released by Spare the Rock Records.  According to Paste Magazine, who premiered the video and lineup, “The album is themed around science and engineering education for girls, who, according to research, often avoid scientific fields.”

The first video, “I Am A Scientist,”  is a cover of the Guided By Voices song and it is awesome.  For those of you Yo Gabba Gabba fans out there you might be familiar with Mates of State from their appearance on the show doing “No One Likes to Be Left Out.”

Full lineup and video below.

1. Babe the Blue Ox – Surfin’ Minnesota
2. Moona Luna – H2O
3. The Deedle Deedle Dees and IMPACT Repertory Theatre – Time Machine
4. Frances England – Goldilocks Zone
5. The Nields – Butterfly
6. Laura Veirs – Little Black Rock
7. Elizabeth Mitchell – Phytoplankton
8. Mates of State – I Am a Scientist
9. Wunmi – Rainbow
10. Cat & a Bird – Constellation Bound
11. Lunch Money – To Be a Fossil
12. MC Fireworks (with Secret Agent 23 Skidoo) – Rocket Science
13. Renee & Jeremy – (I Wanna Be Like) Madame Curie
14. Rachel Loshak – Oh Girl (with John Munson)
15. Alison Faith Levy & Rudy Trubitt – Deja Vu
16. Lori Henriques – Heisenberg’s Aha!
17. Barbara Brousal – I Wonder
18. Ashley Albert – The Science Fair.

Check It Out: Sugar Free Allstars – All on a Sunday Afternoon

The Sugar Free Allstars are back with their third kids’ album, “All On A Sunday Afternoon.” This album, like other releases from the duo of Chris “Boom” Wiser and Rob “Dr. Rock” Martin, contains the usual infectious funk/soul/rhythm and blues sound while also paying tribute to Motown and Stax Records.  And, they’ve brought some additional friends to, er, pump up the jam.

“All On A Sunday Afternoon” is filled with sentiment and love and feels as though it is coming from the personal parenting experiences and musical influences of its creators.  This is most evident in “Sunday Afternoon,” (featuring additional strings from Keith and Ezra of Trout Fishing in America) which talks about spending time with family, as well as, a couple of smoother jams like “Very Best Friend,” a sweet little song about love and companionship, “99 Questions,” a gospel number featuring Wiser preaching about gaining a better understanding of the world by asking lots of questions and “Ready To Give Up Teddy,” a heartwarming ballad expressing a child’s feelings about being ready to give up sleeping with their teddy bear.  But, instead of being sad about the separation, the child is reassuring Mom and Dad that they are ready for it.  The song coincidentally has some parallel melodies to “Easy” by the Commodores which further supports the bands appreciation for Motown.

The album starts out strong with the high-energy “Gotta Get-Up,” featuring the addition of Shawana Kemp from Shine and the Moonbeams and Jack Foreman from Recess Monkey who make excellent and very convincing advocates for getting out of bed in the morning.  I like to think of them as sort of a power-up brigade.  Along with the album release, the duo released a video featuring stop motion animation by Kyle Roberts of Reckless Abandonment Pictures.  The video is packed with action, literally and figuratively, as the duo are turned into action figures while other toys are taking over and trying to get Wiser out of bed which includes everything from cookin’ some eggs to a firetruck rolling Wiser’s clothes over to him.  And in true Sugar Free Allstars fashion, we are called to participate in a funky dance called the “Stretch and Yawn.”  It’s easy and gets your energy flowing.

The following song, “Hiccup” a fun and educational song which is filled with the beloved Allstars organ sounds and some handclaps while adding commentary informing us about the science behind those little buggers.

“Put ‘Em Away,” is a fast paced funk-venture that puts a fun little twist on the traditional clean up song and it features awesome auxiliary percussion by Marty Beller of They Might Be Giants, as well as some sweet bass by Jay Wilkinson.

Another notable song is “Love Train” which not only features Keller Williams giving the song a psychedelic edge with the addition of a guitar and kaosilator, but also features the family funk host Sir Groove-A-Tron.

As a big fan of the Talking Heads, I was pleasantly surprised to hear the Allstars perform their own version of “Stay up Late” which is an excellent rendition of the original version but with the bonus of some sweet organ noise.

The Sugar Free Allstars have once again produced a fun series of songs that are sure to be enjoyed by the 3 through 8 yr old crowd.  The 36-minute album also features a full-length concert DVD which provides some insight into just how energetic and powerful the live shows are.

I will leave you with one last thought that embodies the spirit of this album: Just like Mr. Don Cornelius used to say “we wish you peace, love and soul.”

You can stream the album below, as well as, view the video for “Gotta Get Up.”  Enjoy!

All On A Sunday Afternoon courtesy of YouTube

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the album  for possible review.  

Happy Father’s Day!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Father’s Day!  I meant to post this earlier but being sick has taken its toll on me.  Nevertheless, it still isn’t too late to reminisce over some fond fatherhood memories while listening to the sweet sounds of Frances England singing “Daddy-O.”

Also, for a belated treat, CoolMomTech featured a free e-card  download with this song playing in the background.  Enjoy!

via YouTube


View This: “Gotta Get Up” – Sugar Free Allstars

The 3rd family album from the Sugar Free Allstars, “All On A Sunday Afternoon,” dropped today – hooray!  But, that’s not all….there is a new video as well.  Directed by Kyle Roberts, the video is a stop action toy adventure featuring Boom and Dr. Rock in the form of Ken dolls singing and playing the drums.  The song also features Shawana Kemp (in the form of a cute little teddy bear) from Shine and the Moonbeams and Jack Forman from Recess Monkey, adding lots of funky flavor.

So, get ready to put those hands up in the ay-yah and do the stretch and yawn cause it’s time to get up!

Sugar Free Allstars – “Gotta Get Up” via YouTube

Upcoming Release: Little Seed – Elizabeth Mitchell: Songs for Children by Woody Guthrie

In July, Elizabeth Mitchell will be releasing a new album from the Smithsonian Folkways label.  The album, “Little Seed,” is the only album containing Woody Guthrie’s children’s songs just in time to for his centennial celebration.

Mitchell is featured on the album along with her husband Daniel Littleton, daughter Storey and friends, including Amy Helm, daughter of the late Levon Helm, Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, and Ruthy Ungar.

“Little Seed” will contain 13 songs (totaling 29 minutes), 8 of which are new recordings while 5 are previously released recordings by Mitchell.  Below is a track listing plus 2 sample sneak peaks which existing fans and newbies are sure to enjoy.

We are eagerly awaiting this release!  Anytime we get to hear Elizabeth Mitchell (and family), it is always such a delight and the pairing of her with Woody Guthrie’s work just seems so right.

Enjoy a sneak preview of Bling Blang and This Land is Your Land.

1. Riding in My Car
2. Bling Blang*
3. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8*
4. Why, Oh Why *
5. Sleep Eye *
6. Who’s My Pretty Baby?
7. Rattle My Rattle*
8. This Land Is Your Land*
9. Merry-Go-Round*
10. One Day Old
11. Little Sugar
12. Grassy Grass Grass
13. Little Seed*

*Previously Unreleased

Check It Out: Ellen and Matt – It’s Love

Listening to the second release from Los Angeles-based Ellen and Matt is like a journey through time. “It’s Love” presents itself as a comprehensive music box containing classic sounds from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. It also once again showcases the band’s musical talent and solid songwriting skills.

Since their debut “Best Friends,” released about 5-6 years ago, Ellen and Matt have been busy trying to balance raising their 3 sons, touring and producing a new record. And it’s from their familial experiences that the couple drew inspiration for “It’s Love,” which includes relatable topics packaged up with a retro vibe and some serious rock n’ roll.

The recording of the album was made successful due to the fund raising campaign that took place on indiegogo, a crowd funding site which provides a platform for people to raise money for the projects they are working on, much like Kickstarter. The money that was raised helped make this record possible and, in an offering of gratitude, the couple included a candid thank you song at the end of their album for those who made contributions.

Ellen and Matt’s music is honest and they stick with their roots which is what I think makes this album so special. With each song, “It’s Love” evokes a different emotion and overall carries a more diverse sound within the kids music scene. It reminds me of the awesome music we used to listen to on road trips growing up. Blending progressive rock, soft rock, new wave, punk and even some good ole country twang, the two clearly inject their musical influences into their sound, channeling greats like Karen Carpenter, The Rolling Stones, Johnny Cash and The Sex Pistols, just to name a few. Ah, sweet nostalgia.

As I’ve listened to the album, I’ve grown very fond of it. There are so many levels to each song and with each spin I hear something new that impresses me even more about the band’s musical talents, whether it be sweet guitar licks in “Tickle Bug,” overall composition, storytelling skills or Savannah Duplissea’s echoey vocals at the end of the funky disco track “Drive Thru” (which are reminiscent of Clare Torry’s vocals at the end of Pink Floyd’s “Great Gig In The Sky”). They even have a steady cowbell workin’ the beat in the title track “It’s Love,” which also features a killer guitar solo by Tony Atkinson. It reminded me a lot of the movie “Dazed and Confused” and is sure to be a regular summer jam in our house.

Ellen and Matt’s songwriting abilities are stellar but you might just find yourself falling into the groove of the music before catching onto the lyrics, which is not a bad thing, but more of a case to replay the album and listen to the message within each song. In general, I think the target audience is mainly the 5-8 crowd. However, there are some sweet songs that the under 5 crowd will catch on to and enjoy as well like “Playground” which goes through all the exciting things that can happen where “all the active kids meet,” “Shadow” which features Ellen’s soulful Carpenter-esque crooning and is E’s favorite song and “Your Body is a Zoo,” a fun little honky-tonk number with a catchy refrain (“moo oink bow wow chicka licka meow meow”). Even Matt does a solo in the sweet song “Teddy Bear” which is about the companionship that only a soft little friend can provide.

“It’s Love” provides an eclectic mix of music aiming to bring families together. And without a doubt, Ellen and Matt show us that rock n’ roll is here to stay!

You can find Ellen and Matt here as well as sample and download their album here.

Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of the album for possible review.

Below are two videos which further show the band’s ability to get the kids’ movin’.