Watch This: “The Number Song” by Play Date

a2307178851_2

Check out this new video by Play Date! It’s for “The Number Song,” from their debut children’s album, Imagination. Set on the beach, husband-and-wife duo, Greg Attonito (The Bouncing Souls) and singer-songwriter, Shanti Wintergate, tell the tale of how the number one won the race of numbers.

What you’ll love about it: These two are more fun than a barrel of monkeys (just check out Attonito’s serious dance moves)! They are equally playful and full of zest, which is what makes their music so appealing to kids (and grown-ups). “The Number Song,” is an example of how this duo thoughtfully brings familiar concepts to life (see also “XYZ,” chosen for a Nordstrom digital commercial). By teaching counting through storytelling and visual cues, Play Date cleverly lays the foundation for kids to have fun while learning. The joy of childhood is very much alive in in the sounds of Play Date’s music.

Want to learn more? Of course you do! Play Date will be releasing a vinyl version a2013637842_10of Imagination through their label Fun Fun Records in early 2015.

Holiday gift guide: In the spirit #SmallBizSaturday and #IndiesFirst, you can support Play Date by purchasing the album, Imagination, through the Bandcamp widget below.

When you purchase their Eco-Friendly Digipak CD you get a colorful piece of art, perfect for hanging in a child’s bedroom, and a coloring booklet. Artwork by Shanti Wintergate and Zak Kaplan.

Wintergate and Attonito are authors! Keep your imagination flowing by reading the children’s book responsible for inspiring the creation of their band, as well as the songs on their album. “I Went for a Walk,” winner of a 2014 Child’s Magazine award, is a chapter book that takes children on an adventure through space where they have fantastic experiences in different worlds. Each page is made up of Attonito’s fanciful paintings. I Went for a Walk is available through Amazon and Chunksaah Records.

Free Download: “Slice of Pie” and “The Happy Vegan Thanksgiving Song” by Todd McHatton

0003633492_10

Ready for some pie?! We’ll be baking and singing along today with Todd McHatton‘s “Slice of Pie” from his recent release Super Audio Sunshine.

Loaded up with filling / Love we’re beholding / A slice of pie will bring you round / In a slice of pie some peace is found / A slice of pie can simply astound / You’re my slice of pie…

Enjoy more of this song with a free download via the Bandcamp widget below:

.

And, for the vegan/vegetarian in your life (even if that means you), McHatton is also offering a download of  “The Happy Vegan Thanksgiving Song” via the Bandcamp widget below:

Watch This: “Just Not Me” – The Hipwaders (Video World Premiere)

10685468_10152808394455708_338312721946006502_n 10805673_10152808392740708_6176267459300179857_n

I am proud to present the video world premiere for “Just Not Me” by Bay Area kindie rockers, The Hipwaders.

What you will love about it: Like their songs, The Hipwaders create stellar videos, with high-quality animation that is engaging and relatable. These guys make excellent music and have serious fun while doing it. The band’s ability to be humorous and totally real (which is what our family absolutely loves about them) is in full effect here. Animated by Will Guy of Goopymart (goopymart.com), “Just Not Me” *depicts one kid’s protest against parental behests – in the name of free will! – complete with all-too-familiar body language, i.e. a bewildered/disapproving look, unattractive facial expressions, and the classic folded-arm refusal accompanied by a series of firm “no, no, nos,” and a qualifying “That’s just not me.

(*Warning: visual representations of a child’s inner thoughts ahead)

“Just Not Me,” is a song for all seasons, but can also certainly apply to the holidays. With the madness of travel plans, variety of uncommon foods, and influx of grown-ups vying for just one more smile for the camera (or smartphone), it can be hard to maintain order and sanity. I even find myself wanting to disobey my own rules.

Does this video resonate with you?

As the parent of a spirited 6-year-old, I really related to many of the situations in this video! Though I try not to, I sometimes make requests that threaten my daughter’s autonomy, i.e. wearing a jacket when it’s cold out (and by cold I mean your breath is billowing like smoke from a chimney), taking a bath, or using dinner as an excuse to interrupt playtime. If my daughter were to choose a motto, “just not me” would be it, followed by Sinatra’s famous declaration, “I did it my way.” With this in mind, I found myself laughing out loud while watching this video.

Want to learn more? Of course you do! “Just Not Me” can be found on The Hipwaders’ recently released album, Year Round Sounds. You can purchase the single and the album from Amazon, iTunes and CDBaby.

Also check out other songs from Year Round Sounds covered on Kids Can Groove here and here. And, since we are heading into the Christmas season, check out a brief review and some videos from The Hipwaders’ A Kindie Christmas.

Story and Song time with Rainbow Beast and the Rock Band Land Rockers! featuring “Ice Girl”

a2399111997_2

It’s that time again! Last week was a crazy week which prevented me from posting my weekly Rock Band Land story. As a bonus, this feature also includes a corresponding song by Rainbow Beast and the Rock Band Land band the Serpent Swimmers.

Today’s story and song seems fitting, especially for those who were greeted by Old Man Winter this week.

Artist(s): Rainbow Beast and the Rock Band Land band the Serpent Swimmers.

Title: “Ice Girl”

What’s it all about? A superheroine! Ice cream! Lava!

“Ice Girl” tells the tale of a young girl who was trapped under a frozen lake for many years, and emerges with an amazing superpower. She commits her life to helping others and her power evolves.

Ready for the song? Be prepared to be rocked with sounds reminiscent of The Kinks, the Small Faces and the Animals. This song surrounds simple pop styling with copious amounts of fuzz and plenty of riffs.

“Ice Girl” is featured on Rainbow Beast’s debut children’s album Tales from the Monstrosity Scrolls. All the songs on the album were written in collaboration with elementary-school aged kids. You can listen to clips, as well as purchase the album through Bandcamp.

http://rockbandland.bandcamp.com/album/tales-from-the-monstrosity-scrolls

To learn more about Rainbow Beast and Rock Band Land, check out this interview with Brian Gorman, founder and co-director of Rock Band Land.

Watch This: “The Creatures Under My Bed” – Caspar Babypants

ras-cover-1600px-500dpi

It’s Friday! Why not send you off into the weekend with an excellent new video by Caspar Babypants?  “The Creatures Under My Bed” is from Caspar’s most recent album, Rise and Shine.

For this video, Chris Ballew, Caspar’s main man, enlisted the help of New Zealand animators, Mukpuddy (“Mister Rabbit,” “My Flea Has Dogs“) again. The whimsical animation paired with this catchy little tune makes the idea of having creatures under your bed pretty fantastic.

As I said in my original post for “Mister Rabbit,” really anything by Caspar Babypants needs to be heard and seen.

You can listen to samples, and download Rise and Shine at Caspar Babypants’ official site.

TBT: “Free to Be…You and Me”… Then and Now with Jason Didner and Suzi Shelton

FTBYAM Cover 1400x1400

Recently, Jason Didner (of Jason Didner and the Jungle Gym Jam) and Suzi Shelton teamed up to record a cover of the song “Free to Be…You And Me,” which is the title track for an album of the same name. Produced by Marc Bazerman from Baze and His Silly Friends, the sound of this version is very similar to the original with the modern-day addition of the saxophone played by Alyssa Menes. Listening to Didner and Shelton bring this track back to life, I found myself hearing a song from my youth with a more mature ear. I was inspired to dig deeper and upon listening to the full album, I felt a great appreciation for just how revolutionary it was for its time.

42 years ago, the album Free to Be…You and Me was created by actress Marlo Thomas and released into the world based on the notion that children, regardless of gender, should be free to feel and express their feelings, and grow up to be whomever they think they ought to be. It was, in many ways, a benchmark in support of a more gender neutral society. The album was so popular that it’s concept was expanded into a book and later a TV special. Many of the songs on the album touched upon progressive topics for their time (1972), i.e a girl could choose to be a doctor, and a boy could hone his paternal instincts by playing with a (baby) doll. The latter, found in the song “William Wants a Doll” was especially profound. I have never heard or seen anything encouraging boys to play with dolls. It seems so natural to encourage this based on the long-term benefit it could have on them later in life. A provocative assertion, maybe, but quite astounding when I think about it now as a parent. As a whole, the entire album really opened my eyes to how much progress we have made and yet how much more there is to go.

Didner felt the same way about the song when he revisited it recently and shared his thoughts: “Today, 42 years after the song’s original debut, it holds new meaning, celebrating the fact that women have become astronauts and CEO’s, and men have become stay-at-home dads and nurses since then. On a personal level, I celebrate the upbringing I had where I learned that I get to define my manhood on my own terms and that I don’t have to fear anyone’s judgment for painting my daughter’s nails and being a nurturing daddy.”

Didner continues, “When I reconnected with this song, I felt the pull to learn the song and sing it acoustically. The inspiration came quickly that I should record the song with the band and bring on a special guest singer — one whose voice radiates warmth and happiness (ed note: SO TRUE!) — I reached out to Suzi Shelton to sing this as a duet with me. It was only natural to also connect with Suzi’s producer Marc “Baze” Bazerman, a friend of mine from NJ’s kindie scene.

You can hear the original Free to Be…You and Me here through the Spotify widget below followed by the updated single.

You can hear and purchase (name your price!) the “Free to Be…You and Me” single by Jason Didner and Suzi Shelton through the Soundcloud widget below:

Do you remember this song? Has this song influenced you in any way throughout your upbringing or even now as a parent?

FREE MUSIC: Somethin’s cookin’! Thanksgiving Playlist before the feast!

Thanksgiving is the holiday before the holiday rush starts. It’s the pause, the calm before the holiday storm. Although, this year it felt like Christmas started the day after Halloween as Christmas villages, gold garland and colorful striped candy canes made a fresh appearance on fully stocked shelves.

As I was thinking more about today’s post, the general food theme, and the feast that comes along with the upcoming holiday, three words came to mind: comfort, memories and gratitude. Each of the following songs filled me with an unexpected eagerness for the holidays. Feelings of comfort flooded through my body as I thought about spending time with family I don’t get to see very often. Memories of being glued to the television, wide-eyed, watching big balloons float along in the parade filled me with joy. Gratitude for accomplishments, friends and the love that I am surrounded by every day swelled my heart. Sure, there’s a bit of wacky in there, too, but what would the holidays be without a bit of madness?!

It’s funny to think that songs, related to food, would bring forth these emotions, but that’s the power of music! And now I get to share them with you. As Cathy Fink says in her song below, “Bon Appétit!”

Spread the love by sharing these tracks with your family and friends. Download the Soundcloud playlist for FREE through Friday, November 20, 2014 . If you like what you hear (I promise you will!) consider supporting the artists by clicking on their corresponding links below.

Having trouble playing the Soundcloud songs? Follow this link.

Song List

1. Kira Willey music – “The Mixing Bowl
2. LisaLoeb – “The Disappointing Pancake”
3. Heidi Swedeberg and the Sukey Jump Band – “My Cup Of Tea”
4. Key Wilde & Mr. Clarke – “Eggplant Man
5. Brady Rymer – “Picky Eater
6. Danny Weinkauf – “Whipped Cream
7. Okee Dokee Brothers – “Big Rock Candy Mountain
8. Cathy Fink – “Bon Appetit

Mista Cookie Jar and the Chocolate Chips – “Gratitude

Naturally, Mista Cookie Jar, Miss Ava Flava and the rest of the Chocolate Chip crew bring heartfelt words with a big bang of soul. On the below track, MCJ gets brassy with the sax, adding some pizazz to the mix (this guy has endless talent!) while reminding us to “give thanks” by spreading our love everywhere because “Gratitude is contagious“! So true! Check out the rest of the song’s lyrics here.

a3133411491_10