As you can see from the intro, the show is filled with vibrant color and character (and colorful characters!). Looking at this video, and really any pictorial representation of Lucky Diaz and Alisha Gaddis, the notion that what you wear reflects your personality comes to mind. Although, I would say they radiate a whole spectrum of colors, much like a rainbow. Their spectacular display is visible in their music, stage presence and on-screen.
If you didn’t catch the video for the first single, “Thingamajig” from the upcoming album Lishy Lou and Lucky Too, make sure to check it out. It’s a hoot!
Tricycle 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.
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.
Prior to my passion for writing about kids music, I owned a pet sitting business. It was one of my favorite jobs. My days were filled with fresh air, colorful adventures and unconditional love. Due to family obligations, I was sad when it was time to say goodbye to my furry friends and move from the East Coast to the West Coast.
Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to attend Kindiefest, an annual family music conference (that I would later come to find out was in its last year). The two day conference was made up of panels hosted by experts in the Kindie community. In between panels, I found myself talking to Seth Goldstein, the producer of The Ohmies, an interactive performance group (and musical health and wellness brand) for preschoolers. As we moved along in the conversation it came up that Seth and his sweet dog, Addie, were former clients of mine! Shortly after our discussion, I got to see The Ohmies perform live during the Kindiefest musical showcase. Between the familiarity with Seth and the adorable cast of characters that make up The Ohmies, it was nostalgically delightful.
So what are The Ohmies like? I will admit I was skeptical at first. I am a huge fan of Yo Gabba Gabba, however I tend to be somewhat skeptical when it comes to brands that are overly zany and bordering on gimmicky. The Ohmies could have fallen into that category but as soon as the performance started my skepticism turned to optimism. This is a talented group of performers with catchy music and sincere intentions for young audiences. I was truly intrigued and completely tuned in as they brightened up the floor with their sunny dispositions and brightly colored costumes. In no time, they reeled the crowd into their performance by guiding us through movements (some of which are based on yoga poses) as part of their songs. The Ohmies definitely have a natural ability to engage a crowd.
Disclosure: As mentioned above, I do know Seth’s dog and by default, Seth, however this post contains my honest opinion based on personal experience during Kindiefest.
Below is a brief description of what you can expect from their shows which mentions themes that translate into their music. I also encourage you to take a stroll through their site, view some videos and learn more about this group. I have no doubt that your preschooler will want more of The Ohmies.
The Ohmies bring an interactive, musical adventure series to preschoolers that focuses on movement (and physical activity) as a basis for a healthy lifestyle. The storylines follow two main characters, Bailey Butterfly and her little brother Carlin Caterpillar, as they embark on adventures throughout their homeland, Ohmland (rhyme slightly intended). As Bailey and Carlin encounter new Ohmland friends, the show(s) erupt with themes related to social and emotional learning (identifying feelings, making friends, resolving conflicts, getting along with others and dealing with anxiety).
Dan Zanes and Elizabeth Mitchell have devoted what seems like a lifetime to making music; in particular, kids music. Each artist has been producing albums for over a decade now and whether they are singing their own renditions of classics or creating new ones, their music always brings comfort and joy.
In Turn Turn Turn Zanes and Mitchell deliver a basket of folk goodies. Although they have come together as a duet on singles before (“Green, Green Rocky Road” from Mitchell’s Sunny Day album), this is their first full-length collaboration, and the pairing is as natural as bread and butter!
Turn Turn Turn starts off strong with the song “Sail Away Ladies,” an upbeat jig that will get you moving and is fun to sing-along with.
Although this effort is a collaboration, there are songs that favor each artist’s style. “Coney Island Avenue,” one of my favorites on the album, is a signature Zanes song and one out of the 5 Zanes originals on the album. It’s a hip song that provides a picturesque depiction of what it might be like strolling down Coney Island Avenue “Counting all the barbershops 1-2-3/ And all the little markets A-B-C.” Alternatively, “Honeybee” is a signature Mitchell song, co-written by Mitchell and her sister-in-law Anna Padgett, which prominently features Mitchell’s delicate voice floating over simple, sweet lyrics.
I particularly love the asynchronous harmony between Zanes and Mitchell on “So Glad I’m Here,” which first appeared on Mitchell’s You Are My Sunshine. Zanes’ almost faint, echoing vocals emphasize Mitchell’s more prominent, angelic tone, making the words “so glad I’m here every day” as much of a definitive statement as it is a personal one. The song strays a little from the original with the fresh addition of a plucky banjo throughout.
Both Zanes and Mitchell encompass what it means to make “family style” music. Whether they are writing songs, recording or performing live, you can be sure to find a melange of instruments and a band (pun intended) of friends and family joining in.Turn Turn Turn, for example, was recorded in just 3 days at the home studio of Mitchell and husband, Daniel Littleton as they were surrounded by family, friends and lots of food.
An added bonus to the album are the verses sung by Storey, Mitchell and Littleton’s daughter. Adding Storey on tracks like “Turn! Turn! Turn!,” originally written by Pete Seeger, is touching considering Seeger’s wife, Toshi, added verses specifically for children. Adults and children will no doubt love Storey’s singing as she reminds us that there’s “A time to cry and make a fuss/ A time to leave and catch the bus/ A time for quiet/ A time for talk/ A time to run/ A time to walk.”
Other songs that showcase the effortless talents of Zanes and Mitchell is the joyful, “In the Sun,” which is filled with positive vibes as it reminisces on things to be grateful for. “When You’re Smiling,” is a wonderful song to whisper to your little bundle or sing along to as you snuggle with your big tot.
Turn Turn Turn is a joyful experience reminiscent of a Sunday afternoon backyard jamboree. Highly recommended for all ages. Digital samples of tracks, as well as the full album can be found at Dan Zanes’ online shop, as well as our affiliate Amazon. Below is another video for “Now Let’s Dance,” which pretty much speaks for itself in its intent. So grab a partner and get ready to dance, dance, dance!
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.
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
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 Day – Downtown 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 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 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.
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.
Redwood City is proud to offer a new music series this year especially for kids!
The HipwadersSeptember 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 awardsand 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.
I’ve gone through many a compilation over the years and sometimes a compilation can greatly succeed all expectations and other times, not so much. Finding that one compilation that contains stellar music, organized in just the right way, is priceless. Burnside Distribution recently released their second compilation, Kick Out the Jammies, containing 11 rockin’ tracks from kindie artists such as Key Wilde & Mr. Clarke, The Verve Pipe,Caspar Babypants, Recess Monkey, The Not-Its!,The Harmonica Pocket,Cat Doorman, Miss Nina and several other wonderful artists that make our souls come alive with the sound of music.
Even better, the compilation is FREE. See, priceless!
NOTE: This is Burnside Distribution’s first compilation, released in 2011, is also full of kindie music featuring some of the same artists as mentioned above. “Plays Well Together” can be found via Amazon and is also free.