Playlist: A fine blend of kids’ music that rocks!

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Photo Steve

 

It’s always fun to gather up some great songs, and tuck them neatly into a playlist. Today I’m sharing a bunch of songs (new and previously released) that we’ve been jammin’ to. It’s been fun to revisit some “classics.”

As always, I recommend listening to the playlist in the following order and then mixing things up with a little “shuffle.” If you like what you hear, click on the links below the playlist and consider supporting these wonderful, independent artists.

Daylight – Dream Jam Band from the world of Nickhoo
Easy as 1,2,3 (Feat. Ellen Brackin Sevits) – Jamison Sevits from Get On Down!
Vroom – Todd McHatton from Super Audio Sunshine
Nose in a Book – The Not-Its! from Raise Your Hand
Monkeys Driving Cars – Billy Jonas and the Billy Jonas Band from Build It Back Again
Someday Some Morning Sometime – Little Miss Ann from Follow Me
Outside Sounds – Papa Crow from Full Moon, Full Moon
Jazzy – Kira Willey from How to be a Cloud
We Got The Bite – Gustafer Yellowgold from Gustafer Yellowgold’s Wisdom Tooth of Wisdom
Block House – The Pop Ups from Appetite for Construction
Food Songs – Alphabet Rockers from Go!
Everybody Dance – Josh and the Jamtones from Bear Hunt!
Food Calculator – Alphabet Rockers from Go!
Lines and Dots – Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band from A Potluck
Rad – Play Date from Imagination
Nicky Nicky Knock Knock – The Dream Jam Band from Kidzapalooza Volume One
Don’t Ask Me Why – The Whirlygigs from Greetings from Cloud 9
A Fresh Start – Lucy Kalantari from Pockets Full of Joy
The Snow is  Falling Down – Josh and the Jamtones from Bear Hunt
Rattlesnakes – Walter Martin from We’re All Young Together
Not Too Young For A  Song – Randy Kaplan from Jam on Rye

Watch This: Wednesday Video Digest

It’s been raining here in the Bay Area for a few days and although we desperately need to quench the thirst of our dehydrated soil, I can’t help but miss the sun. So, the impetus for today’s post is to offer some sunshine and a little entertainment should you also find yourself spending some time indoors. There are also a couple of videos for those who want to soak up some of mother nature’s offerings and find adventure in the elements.

Sunshine” by The Twigs from Jump Right In


 

Every Little Monster” by Todd McHatton from Super Audio Sunshine


 

Crew Cut” by Randy Kaplan from Jam on Rye


 

Pretty Crabby” by Caspar Babypants from Rise and Shine! Also worth checking out is “Bird in an Airplane Suite” (embedding not enabled).


 

My Home” by Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could from Just Say Hi!


 

Evergreen” by The Okee Dokee Brothers from Through the Woods


 

All These Shapes” by The Pop Ups from Appetite for Construction


 

Rainy Day” by Helen Austin from Colour It

The final stretch – Brady Rymer and Randy Kaplan Kickstarters ending soon!

Both Brady Rymer and Randy Kaplan are ready to make their next children’s albums and have launched a Kickstarter campaign in hopes to support the recording and production process. With just 4 days left in Brady’s project and 7 days in Randy’s project, there is still time to donate and show your support for these hard working artists. Both Brady and Randy are distinguished children’s artists that regularly produce quality music with depth and a whole lotta soul. Plus, the music just sounds amazing! For those new to Kickstarter: Kickstarter is a fundraising site that allows fans, friends, family and the general public to back a creative endeavor, such as the making of an album. 

Both Randy and Brady have been a big part of our lives since my daughter (almost 5) was an infant, but they both have been making music for much longer than that. As such, I have backed both of these campaigns.

With that, I encourage you to check out each campaign, consider showing your support and ultimately  becoming a part of the music you want to hear.

JUST SAY HI! Brady Rymer’s new album for families that ROCK – Brady is a soulful singer with a tender heart and a ton of spirit. His music is uplifting, engaging and captures the spirit of good ole rock n’ roll. In addition to receiving a 2009 Grammy nomination, Brady has received awards and accolades for his work on Love Me For Who I Am, an album inspired by children affected by autism, Asperger’s Syndrome and related disorders. Just Say Hi! will be Brady’s 7th CD and it promises to be a good one! As Brady mentions on his site: “Just Say Hi! is the most personal batch of songs I’ve written; full of kindness, friendship, and love of family.  Songs about things like falling in love with the ice cream girl, learning to play grandma’s red piano, and just crankin’ up your little light of love and lettin’ it shine.”

Throughout his campaign, Brady has been posting updates with the latest one being a snippet of a video for the song “Ice Cream Girl,” inspired by Brady’s wife who drove a Good Humor ice cream truck as a summer job. Brady also offers some fun incentives with a broad range of pledge opportunities. Just in time for the holidays, Brady is offering 3 holiday tracks at $1 or more as a thank you for pledging. They are great songs! One of our favorites is “Untangling the Christmas Lights.” Other incentives include monster stickers and friendship bracelets, t-shirts, personalized and advanced copies of the CD, singing on the record and for those interested in pledging at a higher level, Brady is giving away his first Gibson guitar. So check it out! Even just a few dollars will help!

Randy Kaplan’s new not-JUST-for-kids CD – Randy Kaplan is regularly referred to as a folk troubadour within the children’s genre. His influences run deep within the folk and blues genres and he skillfully delivers songs that are filled with healthy doses of wit and charm. Randy is a master at combining song and storytelling which is directly linked to his uncanny ability to be honest, humble and totally authentic. His lyrics are clever and written in such a way that tickles the funny bone of both adults and children, while also warming their hearts with a rendition of Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young,” which was selected for the Putumayo Kids American Playgound album. His most recent album, Mr. Diddie Wah Diddie, a collection of Country Blues and Ragtime for kids, received high honors and awards including being selected by People magazine (August 2012 issue) as one of 8 Cool Kids’ Albums Now!. Randy also regularly appears on critics lists as one of the top children’s performers to see in concert. And I can personally say that is absolutely accurate! Randy is a natural in front of a crowd and is usually surrounded by groups of children who can be heard shouting, laughing and even yodeling along with him. Randy makes music that he enjoys and feels confident that his audience will enjoy.

Which brings me to Randy’s Kickstarter project. With additional support, Randy will be able to create his 13th album to date (his 5th not-JUST-for-kids album). On his Kickstarter page, you can listen to clips for popular songs from previous albums including “No Nothing,” a song about a monkey who was raised by ducks (one of our favorites!) and the “The Mosquito Song,” among others. Randy also explains how he has been producing family records up until now and what his plans are for making the next one. Backers can also receive advanced mp3s or copies of the new CD, the new CD with a special thank you mentioned in the credits, or even a personal concert via Skype with Randy. There are a broad range of incentives here as well, so take a look and consider helping to make the number 13 a lucky one for Randy!

Read This: Loquat Rooftop picture book by Randy Kaplan

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Fans of Randy Kaplan can now enjoy a 32-page picture book transcription of the song, “Loquat Rooftop,” which is featured on Kaplan’s album of the same name.  Loquat Rooftop, Kaplan’s first picture book, is brought to life with beautiful illustrations by producer Mike West.

Through his music, Kaplan has historically captivated young listeners with creative storytelling and a brilliant sense of humor so it makes perfect sense that he is now expanding into print.  Although the book is a literal transcription of the song itself, the story is just as engaging on its own and makes for a fun read.

Loquat Rooftop offers an opportunity to provide your child with knowledge about a “mysterious fruit” while expanding their vocabulary.  If you are not already the owner of the album, Kaplan is offering a CD + book bundle so that you can play the song while your child follows along with the book!   Already own the CD?  Purchase the book by itself.

LRSamples from the album are available through CDBaby, along with other highly popular singles like “The Ladybug Without Spots” and “No Nothing,” a story about a pet Monkey who was raised by ducks.
You can view clips of Randy singing “No Nothing” live through my concert re-cap post from last September.

Listen to this: Holiday Road Trip and Party Playlist

Turn up the holiday cheer with these 10 holiday and seasonal songs.  Whether you are going on a trip or bringing the fun into your own home you will definitely find cheer among this timely list of tunes!

This, my friends, is the right list for the job.

Happy holidays!

Credits include the following (provided by SoundCloud)

1. Nogturne in C Minor by The Jimmies : http://www.gimmejimmies.com
2. Oh, Hanukkah by Randy Kaplan: http://www.randykaplan.com and www.mykazootv.com
3. The Great Dreidel Tournament by Groovy David http://www.groovydavid.com
4. Eat Your Fruitcake by Farmer Jason http://www.farmerjason.com and www.mykazootv.com
5. Untangling the Christmas Lights by Brady Rymer http://www.bradyrymer.com
6. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree by The Not-Its! http://www.wearethenot-its.com
7. Under the Tree by Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band http://www.luckydiazmusic.com
8. Too Many Presents by Uncle Rock http://www.unclerock.com
9. Frosty the Snowman by Randy Kaplan http://www.randykaplan.com
10. Jingle Bells by Renee & Jeremy http://www.reneeandjeremy.com

Recap: Family Music Show with Orange Sherbet and Randy Kaplan

On Saturday, September 29, 2012, Kids Can Groove hosted its first concert featuring Orange Sherbet and Randy Kaplan. My motiviation in organizing the show was to bring quality music to the Southern Bay Area that was not just for kids but for parents to enjoy as well. And by all accounts, it turned out to be a wonderful success! In fact, parents were buying CD’s for themselves just as much as they were buying music for their kids.

A tremendous thank you to everyone who helped make the Family Music Show as exciting as it turned out to be. I want to send a giant thank you to Katie Tupper for being a great friend, huge support and solid volunteer, my husband for manning the snack table, and Rani for making fun crafts and musical instruments out of recyclable materials. In addition to these extraordinary individuals, I am incredibly thankful to Colette Blain of Nature Parties for taking the time to make every one of our attendees feel extra special with her creative goodie bags, decorative placemats, delicious cookies and generous donations for our raffle.

Additionally, I want to thank the generous support of our sponsors and business partners who are amazing community resources and a pleasure to work with. Specifically, Deborah’s Palm, Dinah’s Garden Hotel, as well as, Janada Clark, MA Parent Educator & Parent Coach and Patricia Rossi Photography who both donated valuable prizes for our raffle. Also, a big thanks to the All Saints Episcopal Church, Palo Alto Children’s Library and the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose for organizing these shows with me.

Orange Sherbet, one of our favorite Bay Area bands, opened the show with several numbers from Delicious, their most recent album and winner of a 2012 Parents Choice Gold Medal. Two of the main members, Jill and Steve Pierce, were joined on stage by their son and daughter, who gave stellar performances. It was a real treat for the crowd as most of us are familiar with Jill and Steve’s highly popular and extremely creative music classes through Mary Ann Hall’s Music for Children. In fact, Steve was Em’s teacher over a year ago and she still refers to “Teacher Steve” as her favorite music teacher. Orange Sherbet served up some jazzy songs from Delicious like “Juicy Berry,” “Rice and Beans,” “Waffle Day,” “Stone Soup” (one of our favorites) and the title track, “Delicious.” Other songs included Bob Marley’s “Stir It Up,” as well as, “Monkeying Around” and “Ball” from their 2005 Big Brother, Big Sister release. As a bonus, Randy joined the group for a rendition of “Stay A Little Longer (Stay All Night),” a classic made popular by Willie Nelson. It was the perfect lead-in to Randy’s performance.
As for the main act, Randy Kaplan, winner of various parenting awards including a 2012 Gold Award from NAPPA (National Parenting Publications Awards) for his most recent release Mr. Diddie Wah Diddie, opened his set with “Grape Juice Hesitation Blues,” from his 2006 release Five Cent Piece. Randy immediately engaged his young audience, mainly preschoolers to elementary age, in a conversation about their favorite kind of juice and working to convince them that his water bottle was filled with cloud juice, which was met with lots of protests and laughter. “Grape Juice Hesitation Blues” was a perfect opener as it gave Randy several opportunities to incorporate the kids into the song as he asks, “Can I get some grape juice now? Do I have to wait?” The kids were overjoyed to yell out silly answers like 1 week, 100 years or 5 hours. The set progressed with songs from Mr. Diddie Wah Diddie, including “In A Timeout Now,” which produced a choir of yodelers under Randy’s direction, “Runaway Blues” and “Shake That Thing.” The set included other gems from previous albums such as the aforementioned Five Cent Piece, Loquat Rooftop, as well as, The Kids Are All Id.

Randy has been a favorite in our household for a very long time, but getting to experience him live was a real treat. The way he captivated his young audience was impressive and much like a preschool teacher’s dream. The children were sitting in a semi-circle, listening to every word Randy sang, which is important as his stories are what make him so unique. He is a master storyteller and the audience loved the show. Even adults without kids were purchasing merchandise and commenting on Randy’s distinctive style.

I feel bad that I wasn’t able to record much of the Family Music Show as I had hoped, especially during the Orange Sherbet set. Organizing and setting up a concert is alot of work, but it was totally worth it! I did, however, get a video of Randy’s hit single “Don’t Fill Up On Chips” which gives you an idea of Randy’s knack for communicating with his audience and encouraging kids to participate and use their imaginations.

Randy also played two shows on Sunday, September 30 at the Children’s Museum of San Jose, which we were not able to attend, and one show on Monday, October 1 at the Palo Alto Children’s Library which we did attend. While neither of these shows were hosted by Kids Can Groove, I helped organize them. Based on the feedback I got from the museum, I was pleased to hear that both shows drew a crowd of about 100 people. You can find the track listing for Randy’s shows at the end of this post.

The library show also had a nice turnout, drawing approximately 80 people. It was a decent sized crowd, especially since it was an off-day in terms of performance scheduling for the library. The show had great energy and several kids from Saturday’s show returned, happily singing along with Randy on several of the songs. Even the adults were getting into it. I was totally impressed at how much the kids knew in just two days. But, from what parents were telling me, their kids were playing Randy’s CD’s and singing Randy’s songs all weekend. The video for “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” featured below, is just one of many examples in which the crowd was excited to be a part of the show.

Randy performing “Runaway Blues” from Mr. Diddie Wah Diddie

During the show, Randy introduced myKaZoo Music labelmate, essence and they did a duet of Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young.” Randy does his own version of this song on The Kids Are All Id. Essence went on to play “Gotta Wear Clothes” and “T-Rexxx,” a rockin’ heroic tale about a peanut-butter cup eating dinosaur. Both songs are from her upcoming album A Dog Named Moo. I highly recommend checking out the album. In addition to the songs mentioned here, there is an awesome mashup of The Police’s “Roxanne” called “Rocks and Sand.”

Randy was back and once again wrapped up the performance with “No Nothing.” The children loved the song and proceeded to imitate Randy both during the song and as they were leaving the library. This time the quacking sounds were louder and filled with more laughter from the newly minted Randy fans, which you can see in the video below.

Once the show ended, the kids were running up to Randy asking if he could sing just one more song. Unfortunately, time was up, but I am hopeful that we will see Randy around these parts again…

Set List (the songs listed below are broken down for reference and not in the order which they were performed).

Single (Not tied to a release)
Don’t Fill Up On Chips

Mr. Diddie WahDiddie
Runaway Blues
In A Timeout Now
Ice Cream Man Rag
Shake That Thing

The Kids Are All Id
My Little Laugh
The Derby Ram
Forever Young

Loquat Rooftop
No Nothing
Tomorrow

Five Cent Piece
Grape Juice Hesitation Blues
Shampoo Me
Mosquito Song
Over the Rainbow
You Can’t Always Get What You Want

What We Like: October Playlists

Our home is constantly filled with music.  It keeps us sane and often helps ease us into our days and nights.  We have been listening to alot of great music lately, both old and new, and I thought I would start to share some of it with you on as much as possible.

Additionally, since naptime has become non-existent, we’ve really been trying to take some “quiet time” in the middle of the day.  Music is a major part of making that happen.  Chilled out music = chilled out toddler which = chilled out mommy.

So, this week I am publishing 2 playlists.  The first is called October Fun Part 1 containing lots of fun jams that are useful for really anytime that is not “quiet time,” at least in our house.  The second one is called October Slow Jams which is a bunch of slower songs perfect for anytime of day that calls for a little unwinding (or easing into if you haven’t had your morning pick-me-up yet).

So, without further adieu, I present to you October Fun Part 1 (the first list turned out to be really big so this month might have more than one list) and  October Slow Jams.   You will find a mix of songs both old and new in this playlist.  Also please note that if an artist is not on Spotify, they won’t appear in the playlist.  Feel free to listen to the playlists as they are ordered or on shuffle or both.  Mix it up however you’d like.

I also urge you to visit each of these artists’ websites and either buy or download their music.  You can do that by simply clicking on the links next to each song below.

October Fun Part 1

Fanga Alafia – from Welcome to the Village, Aaron Nigel Smith’s first release with One World Chorus.  Proceeds from the sale of this album will benefit the Cura Orphanage in Kenya, Africa.
Bright Clear Day – Sarah Lee Guthrie and Family (Go Waggaloo)
Afraid of Heights – Harmonica Pocket (Apple Apple)
Sunshine – Vered (Good Morning My Love)
Eleanor The Elegant Elephant – Caspar Babypants (HOT DOG!)
In A Timeout Now – Randy Kaplan (Mr. Diddie Wah Diddie)
Germs – Ozomatli (OzoKidz)
I Am a Paleontologist – They Might Be Giants (Here Comes Science)
Make Me – Big Bang Boom (Because I Said So!)
Tickle Monster – Vanessa Trien and the Jumping Monkeys (Bubble Ride)
Green Beans Everywhere – Hullabaloo (Raise a Ruckus)
The Shark FighterSenorita Mariposa – Mister G (Chocolalala)
Sol Nal – Elena Moon Park (Rabbit Days and Dumplings)
15 tracks, 44 minutes

October Slow Jams

Bare Feet – Harmonica Pocket (Apple Apple)
Merry -Go-Round – Elizabeth Mitchell (Little Seed: Songs for Children by Woody Guthrie)
Mother Nature’s Son – Aaron Nigel Smith & One World Chorus (Welcome to the Village)
Underneath the Rainbow – Kira Willey (Kings & Queens of the Forest)
Even Bugs Are Sleeping – Caspar Babypants (HOT DOG!)
Time To Fly – Hot Peas ‘n Butter (Catchin’ Some Peazzz)
Goodnight Little Arlo (Goodnight Little Darlin’) – Charlie Hope (Keep Hope Machine Running: Songs of Woddy Guthrie)
Powder Blue Reprise – Renee and Jeremy (It’s A Big World)
Listen to the Horses – Raffi (Quiet Time)
Green Green Rocky Road – Randy Kaplan (Mr. Diddie Wah Diddie)
All the Pretty Little Horses – Laurie Berkner (Whaddya Think of That)
You and Me and a Bottle of Bubbles – Lunch Money (Original Friend)
Catch the Moon
 – Elizabeth Mitchell & Lisa Loeb (For the Kids Too)
Time – Johnny Bregar (My Neighborhood)
Sleep – Vered (Good Morning My Love)
15 tracks, 42 minutes