Summer Songs 2015 – Free Downloadable Playlist!

Summer-Music
Summer is all about good friends and good tunes! Regardless of where you are and what you’re doing, the following downloadable playlist will give your family plenty to sing about this summer.

Thanks to Sugar Mountain PR for putting together “Summer Songs for Road Trips, Parties and Play Time” (also featured in FamilyFun Magazine). Download all 10 tracks through the  Soundcloud widget below. This free offer is good through July 31, 2015 so make sure to grab it before it expires.

NOTE: Downloads work best in the web version of Soundcloud, as opposed to the mobile app. To download: click the down button icon to the right of each song. Though this offer is good through July 31, 2015, streaming is free anytime during or after it.

If you like what you hear, please support these independent artists by clicking on the links below and checking out their store for purchase information.

Jazzy Ash – “Backyard Camping” (Home)
The Pop Ups – “Bug Out” (Appetite for Construction)
Okee Dokee Brothers – The Bullfrog Opera (Can You Canoe?)
Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer – “Froggy Went A Courtin'” (Songbook, Vol. 4)
Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could – “Ice Cream Girl” (Just Say Hi!)
Key Wilde & Mr. Clarke – “Wander Round the World” (Pleased to Meet You)
Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band – “Lemonade Stand” (A Potluck)
Recess Monkey – “Lighter Than Air” (Hot Air)
Earthworm Ensemble – (Backyard Garden)
The Harmonica Pocket – “Sing in the Sun” (Sundrops)
Ralph’s World – “Sunny Day Rainy Day Anytime Band” (Ralph’s World Rocks and Reads)

Playlist: 2015 Best Children’s Album Grammy Nominees

grammy-2014

Best Children’s Album

 

The Grammy’s will be here before we know it! In anticipation of this event, here is a playlist featuring the 2015 Grammy Nominees for Best Children’s Album thanks to Sugar Mountain PR. Get to know the nominees through the Artist’s links below.

1 Brady RymerJust Say Hi!
2 The Okee Dokee BrothersThrough the Woods
3 The Pop UpsAll These Shapes
4 Secret Agent 23 SkidooImaginary Friend
5 HachetteAudioI Am Malala (Young Readers) by Malala Yousafzai, Read by Neela Vaswani

NOTE: There will be a special benefit concert featuring these nominees on February 7, 2015 at 10:30am in Hollywood, CA. Check out this link for more information and tickets.Proceeds from the event will go to Little Kids Rock, a nonprofit organization that provides under-served public school children with free music classes and new instruments.

A Mother’s Day Playlist + Free Download (limited time)

Mother’s Day is a special day! It’s a celebration of time spent watching, playing and growing with your little ones. Maybe you are getting a special homemade card that says “I LUV U MOM” or a kiss and a super duper leg squeeze from a little person (or two) who is just about as tall as your knee. Whatever the case may be, mom’s rock!

Speaking of mom rockstars, Beth Benz-Clucas of Sugar Mountain PR put together an awesome playlist featuring some of serious kindie talent. The best part? Starting today you can DOWNLOAD THE SONGS FOR FREE. But hurry because they are only downloadable for about a week. Although, the playlist will be available to stream beyond then.

Music has been a major “bonding agent” for me and my daughter and to have a collection of great music to share with her is already making Mother’s Day that much sweeter!

https://soundcloud.com/bethbcpr/sets/a-playlist-of-songs-for-moms

Please note that, according to Soundcloud, the download function works only on computers and laptops. Mobile devices and tablets ONLY allow for streaming of all of the songs.To Download, go to soundcloud and highlight the track you’d like, then click the download icon to the right.

The artists that make this playlist rock are:

  1. “Motorcycle Mom” – The Not-Its! (from their upcoming album Raise Your Hand)
  2. “No Fairy Tale” – Lisa Loeb
  3. “Ice Cream Girl” – Brady Rymer  
  4. “Our Love Fits” – Danny Weinkauf (feat. Laurie Berkner)
  5. “Red Piano Rag” – Brady Rymer
  6. “Black Bear Mama” – The Okee Dokee Brothers
  7. “Mockingbird” – Zee Avi
  8. “Mama’s House, Daddy’s House” – Suzi Shelton
  9. “Smile In My Heart” – Suzi Shelton
  10. “Tu Eres Amor” – Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band

Playlist: Music for Hipster Youth by Spotify

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The other day I was talking with a close friend who sighed as she said that she is sadly probably one of the few people who still buys physical copies of albums. She even still seeks out vinyl. A woman after my own heart! As we were talking, I asked her if she uses any streaming music services like Pandora or Spotify since I like to understand how people find Kids music. She said, rarely, but if she does use any services it’s Spotify for the convenience of its playlist feature. Curious, I went to check out Spotify’s Browse feature which, according to Spotify, contains “expert playlists for every mood and moment.

As I was scrolling through the “Kids” section, passing familiar categories such as Folk, Sing-Alongs, and Lullabies, I stumbled upon one that was intriguing. Enter the Hipster Youth playlist.  The Hipster Youth playlist contains a large selection of top kindie artists like The Verve PipeThe Pop Ups, The Okee Dokee BrothersGustafer YellowgoldRecess MonkeyJustin RobertsBig Bang Boom, Ralph Covert and Dan Zanes among others. There is also some Yo Gabba Gabba representation, of course! Despite it being an excellent playlist filled with “hip and indie kids music” (note: The Goo Goo Dolls with Elmo and The Spin Doctors somehow make an appearance) the actual naming of the playlist is what caught my eye. Since it is a Spotify generated list (some lists are generated by Spotify members), I wrote Spotify to see if I could get more information on how the name of the list was chosen. As suspected, I was pointed to the help text which states that “Spotify Browse adds the human touch to our recommendations, creating a three-dimensional approach to music discovery. Between your friends, our personalized recommendations and real music experts, it’s the perfect formula to ensure you’ll always have the right music for every moment.”

While I wouldn’t necessarily identify myself or my daughter as a hipster (although I did buy her shiny gold leggings from American Apparel and joyfully exclaimed that she looks like a hipster), I have to admit that the label is catchy. Although, I’m not sure how many artists or listeners would identify with it. I like to think that in many ways it reinforces the coolness of this genre and makes me feel even more grateful to be a part of a thriving musical community made up of artists that value independent thinking, appreciation of art, creativity, intelligence, and clever wordplay. All of which you will find among the tracks below.

I checked in with Jack Forman of Recess Monkey on what he thought of being a part of a playlist called Hipster Youth: “[hipster youth] definitely makes me think of little kids with handlebar mustaches. So I guess that means I like it? There’s some chagrin in the family corner of the music world about media people who write the “FINALLY there’s music for kids!” article. I understand the frustration: we’ve all been at this for a long time. But really, whatever you want to call this kind of music we all make, it’s still extremely niche and most people don’t get it until they see one of our bands in person, watching their kids connect at a show, or really spending time with a record. All that being said, I think every time someone breathes new energy into the definition (kindie, hipster, etc.) is just that many more people who may discover it. But I think the bigger story here is Spotify will pay all of these artists, Recess Monkey included, a laughably small royalty. Sure, music discovery is an important part of being a career musician… but what Spotify is doing is downright criminal. At least hipsters aren’t thieves!”

To reinforce Jack’s statement, if you like what you hear, I would urge you to support these artists by checking out their sites, seeing them live, purchasing the songs and even a full album from media outlets like iTunes, CDBaby and Amazon. While Spotify is convenient, it provides a fractional financial “thank you” to artists. Besides, there really is no substitute for the real thing.

California’s Tricycle Music Fest 2013 – Back and Bigger Than Before!

Tricycle Music Fest 2013 opens on September 7 and 8 with The Not-Its!

Summer may be quickly moving into Fall but the Bay Area is about to heat up as the most supreme family music festival hits the West Coast. 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 below). Think indie music– family style– and libraries and you have the essence of Tricycle Music Fest.

This year, Tricycle Music Fest makes its debut in San Mateo County as the San Francisco Public Library and the San Mateo County Library partner up to make this the biggest version of the festival to date. Christy Estrovitz, early literacy coordinator for San Francisco Public Library, says “Music unites us all. For young children, musical experiences, including singing and dancing, are essential to build early literacy skills. It’s thrilling to work with San Mateo County Library to engage even more families through music at the library.”

Because playing is just as important as singing in early childhood learning, there will be a raffle offering one tricycle to a lucky concertgoer at each event. All the more reason to skip the nap, grab your boogie shoes and catch a show!

The Not-Its! to open Tri Fest the weekend of September 7 and 8 with 4 shows!

Remember your first rock concert? Now your kids can too as Seattle’s most rockingest band, The Not-Its!, open this year’s Tri Fest with a bang! Armed with an energetic blend of power pop and serious rock n’ roll, this fashionable quintet puts the phrase “shake your sillies out” to shame. Curious? Get to know The Not-Its! in this clever video put together by the San Francisco Library and the San Mateo Library.

For more information on Tricycle Music Fest, please visit sfpl.org/tricycle and smcl.org/tricycle.

Also, stay tuned to this site for more updates, videos and music from each of these awesome bands.

TRICYCLE MUSIC FEST SCHEDULE:

The Not-Its!

Saturday, September 7at 11 am, Mission Branch Library

Saturday, September 7at 3 pm, Portola Branch Library

Sunday, September 8 at 11 am, Mission Blue Center in Brisbane

Sunday, September 8 at 2 pm, Belmont Library

The Corner Laughers

Saturday, September 14 at 11 am, Parkside Branch Library

Saturday, September 14 at 2 pm, Portola Valley Library

Saturday, November 2 at 1 pm, San Carlos Library

The Hipwaders

Saturday, September 21 at 11 am Redwood City Fair Oaks Library

Saturday, September 21 at 3 pm, Presidio Branch Library

Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band

Saturday, September 28 at 11 am, Half Moon Bay Library

Saturday, September 28 at 3 pm, Portero Branch Library

Sunday, September 29 at 1:30 pm Pacifica Fog Fest

The Okee Dokee Brothers

Saturday, October 5 at 10:30 am, Foster City Library

Saturday, October 5 at 1 pm, Ortega Branch Library

Saturday, October 5 at 4 pm, Bernal Heights Library

Sunday, October 6 at 11 am, Pescadero Elementary School

Cat Doorman

Saturday, October 12 at 11 am, Excelsior Branch Library

Saturday, October 12 at 2 pm, Woodside Library

Sunday, October 13 at 3 pm, Marina Branch Library

The Pop Ups

Saturday, October 19 at 1:30 pm, Park Branch Library

Saturday, October 19 at 4 pm, Merced Branch Library

Saturday, October 19 at 10 am, Brisbane Library

Sunday, October 20 at 3 pm, Atherton Library

Alison Faith Levy

Sunday, October 20 at 3 pm, West Portal Branch Library

Aaron Nigel Smith, Finale Weekend

Saturday, October 26 at 3 pm, Western Addition Branch Library

Saturday, October 26 at 11 am, East Palo Alto Library

Sunday, October 27 at 10:30 am, Millbrae Library

Sunday, October 27 at 3 pm, Main Library, Koret Auditorium

Check this out: Singing Our Way Through: Songs for the World’s Bravest Kids – Alastair Moock

SingingOurWayCoverSqYou can’t prepare for life crises but when you are faced with one, keeping hope alive and maintaining your spirit can prove to be an arduous task. In July of 2012, Alastair Mock and his wife, acclaimed writer Jane Roper, were faced with the biggest challenge of their lives when they found out that one of their twin daughters had cancer. Clio, only 5 years old at the time, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. “It felt like we were drowning,” says Moock. “For the first week or so, my wife and I walked around in a trance. Then, I went home and got my guitar.”

Out of that musical epiphany blossomed a beautiful songwriting partnership between father and daughter. Moock and Clio spent their first month in the hospital singing and writing songs together. “Singing together in the hospital was transformative, not just for Clio, but for me. It reminded me how powerful music can be,” says Moock. Watching Clio’s spirit come alive as they sang songs like the whimsical “I’m A Little Monkey,” was magical and the driving force that propelled Moock to create Singing Our Way Through: Songs for the World’s Bravest Kids, an inspiring album filled with joyful songs that could touch children and families in the same way.

Starting off the album is an acrostic style poem called “I Am The Light” using the word “cancer.” This empowering opener is spoken from the perspective of a “brave kid,” standing strong, able and ready to make the best of the long voyage ahead. Following this song-poem is the funky “When I Get Bald,” a song that embraces the beauty of the changes one faces with this sort of illness. The song’s accompanying video is touching yet light-hearted as it highlights Moock’s knack for artful humor.

Moock, a Massachusettes based children’s artist, is a veteran musician with a long-standing career as a folk singer. First, playing for adults and then moving into the children’s genre in 2010 when his children were born. With his signature gravelly voice, à la Louis Armstrong, Moock combines playful lyrics with rootsy melodies, reminiscent of Woody Guthrie.

Joining Moock on this recording are some amazing artists that add a hearty blend of sounds. Elizabeth Mitchell joins Moock in “Take a Little Walk with Me,” a soft folk song with a motivational message while The Okee Dokee Brothers bring on a hootenanny with a lively rendition of Woody Guthrie’s “Hard Travelin.'” Blues legend Chris Smither adds soulful vocals in “You’ve Got A Friend In Me” while patients, former patients and siblings, collectively named “The World’s Bravest Kids” join in on “This Little Light of Mine.” And, considering the family as a whole, are songs like “Have You Ever Been Jealous,” featuring Rani Arbo and “Children Take Care of Your Grown-Ups.”

Singing Our Way Through: Songs for the World’s Bravest Kids provides a well rounded account of what life is like “on the inside” of cancer, while also challenging the fear and pain that comes along with it through the healing powers of music. Built on the foundation of love for his daughter and the positive effects the entire process has had on her, Moock has created a vehicle through which he hopes can benefit children and their families in the same way. Singing Our Way Through: Songs For The World’s Bravest Kids is more than just a collection of songs. It’s a companion that seeks to uplift spirits, while providing support and understanding to those who might need a little sunshine through the clouds of any troubling circumstance. A truly powerful album that any family can benefit from.

Highly recommended for all ages.

Singing Our Way Through: Songs for the World’s Bravest Kids can be listened to and purchased via the Bandcamp widget below or through the “Singing Our Way Through” store.

Donations from the proceeds of this album will help Alastair perform and distribute free albums to patients, hospitals and oncology programs around the country. The Singing Our Way Through project is not — at least for now — a registered non-profit, so your donation is not tax-deductible. But it is much appreciated, and goes a long way to help. Click here to donate.

FREE Download: Summer 2013 Rockin’ Kindie Road Trip Playlist

Summer is a comin’ and having a soundtrack to go with it is an absolute must! The good news is that from now until June 1 you can download 13 rockin’ Kindie tracks for FREE. Normally, I would be wary of the number 13, but in this case I can honestly say 13 is a magic number!

Presented by BunchFamily and cleverly curated by Beth Benz-Claus, this list ebbs and flows like a fine mixtape (or digital playlist, in this case) should. You’ll find a variety of styles some of which include Americana, good ole Rock n’ Roll and even some Soul. Check the list and download now before time runs out!

“Wander Round the World” – Key Wilde and Mr Clarke from Pleased to Meet You
“Train Song” – Charlie Hope from I’m Me
“Outshining Nomads” – Dean Jones from When the World Was New
“Slow” – Trout Fishing in America from an unreleased album due out this summer.
“Hard Travelin'” – Alastair Moock (featuring The Okee Dokee Brothers) from an unreleased album due out this summer.
“She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain” – Johnny Bregar from Putumayo Kids American Playground
“Honk Honk” – The Monkey Bunch from Power to the Little People
“My Green Kite” – Peter Himmelman from My Green Kite
“Let’s Skateboard” – The Not-Its! from KidQuake!
“Kilimanjaro” – Shine and the Moonbeams from unreleased album due out this summer
“Turn Around” – Cat Doorman from Cat Doorman Songbook
“Fruit Jar” – Justin Roberts from Pop Fly
“Down at the Sea Hotel” – The Secret Mountain