Behind the Scenes of The Great Pretenders Club Special with The Pop Ups and Producer Avtar Khalsa

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Jason Rabinowitz and Jacob Stein (aka The Pop Ups) are on a path to reach the stars! Since their 2011 debut, this Brooklyn-based duo has produced four albums, created their first stage show Pasta!, premiered a music video for “Subway Train” at the New York International Children’s Film Festival, received two Grammy nominations, were featured guests on Sprout TV’s “Sunny Side Up Show,” and released their first web series (14 episodes).

Recently, Jason and Jacob expanded further into broadcasting territory with their first full-length digital video, The Great Pretenders Club (“The GPC Special”), which was released in partnership with Amazon and made available exclusively to Prime Members for streaming.

The GPC Special brings the concept of their eponymous 4th album to life: the magic and rewards of pretend play (my favorite kind!). Just like Sesame Street pioneered children’s television in the 1970s, The GPC Special steps up to honor the values of “unplugged” play and education while acknowledging that the delivery of media broadcast is changing.

The parallel between the classic Sesame Street productions and the production style of The GPC Special is pleasantly familiar. The Pop Ups’ attention to detail is stupendous, and each element – use of brilliant color, puppets, music – comes together in a fantastic multi-media experience. It’s clear that The Pop Ups have managed to hold onto the kids within themselves, and by playing at their craft, they not only are practicing what they preach, but inviting us to play along with them.

Although geared toward children, The GPC Special will tickle the nostalgic funny bone of grown-ups who grew up watching Sesame Street. The feature employs the same subtle mature sense of humor that will encourage parents to watch along with their children and take part in the experience.

I recently caught up with Jason and Jacob, and producer Avtar Khalsa, to get a behind-the-scenes look at the process that lead to this milestone. Since The Great Pretenders Club album preceded the creation of the The GPC Special, I asked The Pop Ups some questions about their creative inspiration before diving deeper into the studio experience with Avtar. There were a few surprises I didn’t see coming!

As you’ll read in the interview below, Jason and Jacob are two playful guys who take the study of play pretty seriously. And with a stellar cast and crew, their vision for the next generation was brought to life.

Be sure to read on for access to The Great Pretenders Club badges. Amazon Prime member? Stream The GPC Special and download The Great Pretenders Club album now.


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KCG: Jacob and Jason, let’s start with the concept for The Great Pretenders Club album since that gave way to the creation of The GPC Special. What was the inspiration for The Great Pretenders Club in the first place? Did you have ideas about developing it into a broadcast special from the start?

Jacob Stein: The songs were built around the idea of play, with each one celebrating a different imaginative game or adventure. We were really interested in theories behind play being one of the great tools for learning in the animal world. We spent some time reading and researching papers on the subject. My cousin, Marc Beckoff, is a PhD who studies animal play and he really helped us see the bigger picture.

At a certain point the idea to corral the songs into a connected piece called The Great Pretenders Club became one of those obvious moments in art, which you could never have predicted but which also feels undeniable once it appears. We’ve always dreamed of making a TV show, and this felt like a natural place to take the album concept.

P1010505KCG: Did acting out the scenes in the studio bring you closer to experiencing your music?

JS: We wrote much of the album in a beautiful field in the woods of Cobbleskill, NY in the Catskills mountains, a 10-minute walk from any phones or internet or even electricity.

KCG: Was being on set similar to being on stage during live performances? Though both productions are theatrical in nature your live shows are just the two of you and your puppets.

JS: For the acting production, it’s just so different. We built a big set and we had a big crew of puppeteers, producers, PAs and sound and camera people, and wardrobe and art departments. The list just goes on! Sometimes we had as many as 10-15 people on set for any given shot.

What was also different about this production was that me and Jason were not doing all of
the puppeteering ourselves. We got to watch our very personal characters take on a new life in the hands of extremely talented puppeteers Paul McGuinness and Matt Atcheson.

KCG: Did you have favorite roles/parts?

Jason Rabinowitz: When I get blown off screen by the storm in “On Air,” I jumped into a metal file cabinet. That was exciting! I liked being the conductor, honestly.

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KCG: Avtar, how did you first get involved with The Pop Ups?

Avtar Khalsa: They were looking for a Producer for their web series last year, and my name showed up on c4042714-970b-447f-acd0-8a8db4d111b7a list of recommendations. The band’s Manager Jon McMillan and I had worked together peripherally on another project years back (The Railroad Revival Tour), so when he saw my name he got in touch right away. I went down to The Pop Ups’ studio in Brooklyn to discuss the project and see if it was a good fit. When I walked into the room and shook their hands I immediately sensed their eagerness to to make something really great. I could tell something incredibly special was happening there in their little studio space, and I wanted to be a part of it!

There are many bands that make music for children, and there are many people who make cartoons and put on puppet shows, but they were doing it all together, in such a unique, thoughtful, imaginative, and brilliant way. Fun and relatable to kids, yet educational, and something their parents could enjoy too. And the music is amazing, those catchy songs really get stuck in your head!

KCG: Is this your first production for children’s media? 

AK: I mostly work on commercials, and some have been geared towards children, or had children in them, but the work I’ve done with The Pop Ups is the first I’d actually call children’s media.

KCG: Is this your first time working with puppets on camera?

AK: Yes! In production we need to be able to adapt to any situation, and it’s always a constant636fb7f6-2857-44f6-9194-84dac51863d9 learning experience, but I never thought I was going to be learning about the importance of the puppet wall, or the perfectly placed googly eye. It was great watching the first rehearsals with their puppets Up, Down and Chef Olivia di Pesto. Seeing these characters come to life was a true joy.

The first time you meet puppets in person you kind of fall in love. There is something so magical about them. As someone who grew up watching Sesame Street, it might partly be nostalgia, but they immediately bring a smile to anyone’s face, and lighten any situation. Every time I would mention to anyone that I was working on a shoot with puppets, their eyes would widen and they’d say, “I love puppets!!” Because I think everyone does.

KCG: Where did you draw inspiration from for the making of the GPC Special?

AK: After the web series was released I had been in contact with The Pop Ups about some music videos they wanted to make. By the time I was brought on to produce them, they had morphed into The Great Pretenders Club Special. Most of the creative and storyline was already in place. It made sense that they were making it into more of a show then just individual videos. I personally think they should make an episodic TV series, it would be a perfect fit for what they do, and a great way to inspire young children around the globe.

KCG: The album’s concept is based on encouraging and rewarding imaginary play. Did you find this to be challenging or easy to convey on screen?

P1010845AK: The Pop Ups are naturals when it comes to this. They have a complete grasp on how to relate to and catch the attention of young minds. They know how to entertain them, spark their imagination, and to teach them life lessons without them even knowing they are learning. Jason and Jacob have every scene planned out in their mind, they know ahead of time – frame by frame – how they want the video to be shot, acted, art directed, and edited. Everything is well thought out, and their creative vision is very clear.

The biggest challenge, I think, is getting their ideas organized and down on paper so they can be properly conveyed to the crew who has to help make them come to life!

KCG: How did you create the orchestra segment? What was the process behind that and the “Jake Maker”?

AK: First we had to build a Jacob Maker. Our Production Designer Melissa Chow is also,
it turns out, a magician. Once that was built, we just had to put Jacob inside and pull the lever. The rest is science! And green screen.

KCG: What was the most memorable moment(s)?

AK: The chicken soup/spaghetti scene was a lot of fun to make, as was the picnic scene. They both required a lot of choreography and comedic timing to get things just right. But I think the guys nailed it.

We also really loved having DJ Gia stop by the shoot. After days of shooting with our adult crew, it was nice to have a child on set doing her thing. She’s a seasoned radio DJ, but it was her first time on a film set, and she was a little shy at first. Seeing Jacob ease her out of her shell, getting her to laugh and feel comfortable was really cool. The band genuinely loves kids, and I think they really get them, and can get on their level and relate.

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KCG: Did Chef Olivia make meals for the crew?

AK: When Chef Olivia di Pesto isn’t filming cooking shows, she’s doing press events, book signings, or private events for foreign royalty. She’s a busy cat, so we felt really lucky to have her stop by for a picnic with the band. She didn’t have time to cook for us while she was there, but she did bring the crew tuna sandwiches for lunch. They were delicious!

KCG: Did you show early footage to kids and their families? What was some feedback you received?

AK: Jason’s daughter Ruthie has always been a good test audience. I wasn’t there when she watched it for the first time, but I heard she was in complete awe, and Jason was pretty excited about her reaction.


Amazon Prime Members can stream the The GPC Special here and The Great Pretenders Club album here.

Computer/Laptop – Stream the GPC Special from the Amazon Video Webpage.
Iphone/Ipad/Android device – download the Amazon Video App to stream and even download the GPC Special.
Roku/etc – Stream the video from the Amazon Video App.

Watch music videos for “Bird and Rhino” and “Let’s Pretend We Forgot” now.

Want to play along? Download The Great Pretenders Club badges by printing the templates below or downloading them directly from The Pop Ups official site.

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Top 20 Albums & Honorable Mentions

Happy New Year! I’ve been tinkering for weeks about whether to put together a “best of” list. Lists have never been my thing, but this week when I pulled up past interviews, reviews and music, I was quickly reminded that 2015 was in fact another incredible year in kids’ music. So, let’s do this thing!

The list below represents a sampling of the 20 best albums from 2015 plus one from 2014 (because I included my picks for the Fids and Kamily Awards which considers albums between October 1, 2014 and September 30, 2015) and a few honorable mentions. The albums are presented in no particular order, and are personal favorites of mine and those of my 7-year-old daughter Emily. They appeal to families who love music, the adventure of finding more of it, and parents who want to foster a love of music in their own kin. This, for me, is the big enchilada. It’s what I enjoy most about being a part of the industry and covering it for you.  Take 10 minutes and sample a few songs on each album. I promise you’ll find more than one to love, regardless of your age.


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Pointed Man BandFlight of the Blue Whale (Interview)

[Flight of the Blue Whale] is eccentric. There is a meticulousness in the overall composition that captured my attention, in addition to the variety of instrumentation. Waltzes serve as segues, buoyantly carrying the listener along, while nontraditional objects are used to emphasize critical pieces of the story, e.g. Drinking glasses sonically illustrating weightlessness as a baleen whale takes flight.

 


Animal-Tales-Cover_smKey Wilde & Mr. Clarke – Animal Tales (Review)

Imagine if you were to open a National Geographic Kids or Ranger Rick magazine and there was music playing on each page. Animal Tales takes the pages of these beloved magazines and brings them to life with soundtracks cleverly matched to a variety of animal personalities. Each song is rich with fun animal facts, infused with the artists’ lovable sense of humor and clever ability to play with words and phrases, making it one of the most listenable and entertaining albums out there.

 


51TlHTX-0hL._SL500_AA280_Big Block Singsong – Greatest Hits (Interview)

The musical variety of Big Block SingSong is tremendous and the lyrics are insightful and amusing, A block with a German accent singing in euro-funk style about hair; a monkey snapping off bluegrass-y lyrics about a “Two Banana Day”; and, with a catchy indie-pop backdrop, caveman named Dave pointing out that an erupting volcano is a hot mess. These are just a few of the priceless gems you’ll find in this collection.


Continue reading

Connecting through stories: Sharing Holiday Traditions

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For the past couple of years, our family has been taking little weekend trips during Thanksgiving. Our extended family is scattered throughout the United States so we typically focus the rest of our holidays and travel efforts on visits with them. This Thanksgiving, we spent some time at Legoland in San Diego. While we were waiting on line for the 4D Legends of Chima movie, we met a family who has been coming to Legoland every Thanksgiving for the past 12 years. Chuckling, as he was talking about family holiday plans, the dad said “I know we’re crazy but we love it. It’s just what we do.” What he said didn’t strike me as crazy, though.

Family traditions are special and memorable, and quickly become beloved habits. They form bonds, are reliable, and give children a sense of ownership and something to look forward to. It made me happy to think that traveling with just my husband and my daughter could turn into a special holiday tradition for us.

Our family celebrates both Chanukah and Christmas. Chanukah brings songs of peace and celebration as we light the menorah. With regard to Christmas, we prep in our own home by playing the CD A Charlie Brown Christmas as soon as our tree is up. No decorating takes place until the music is playing. It’s simply something that sets the tone, and gets us in the mood for the holidays. We also visit with our extended family for Christmas, and watch as Em wakes up to find filled stockings and gifts under the tree. In the evening, we launch into a post-dinner dance party battle. It’s a rager and it’s so fun! No surprise that music is the centerpiece of our holiday celebrations.

Sharing stories of tradition and hearing from the family during our Legoland trip, added a feeling of connection and another element of joy for me this holiday season. It was a nice reminder that amidst the hustle and bustle of it all, there are sweet, sentimental moments to be grateful for. Besides, it’s always fun to hear other people’s stories.

As an addition to holiday music posts, today’s post features friends and artists sharing their holiday traditions from their own childhood, things they do with their families now, and of course some music. Continue reading

Fresh Press Digest 001: Billboard features Latin Children’s Musicians, Loog Guitars launched lessons with Tim Kubart, The Pop Ups debut through Amazon Music, and Rhapsody releases Rhapsody KIDS

Welcome to the first “Fresh Press” edition here on Kids Can Groove. It’s a brave new world for Chidren’s Music and I want to capture related and exciting news, in addition to my regular features, reviews, videos and interviews.

To kick off the first Fresh Press post, let’s start with the Billboard feature by Judy Cantor-Navas, Billboard Correspondent and Billboard en Español Managing Editor, who published a great article titled 5 Latin Children’s Music Artists You Should Know which highlights Jose-Luis Orozco123 Andrès, Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam BandSonia de Los Santos and Chino y Nacho.

This Billboard feature was published during a particularly celebratory time for Latin Children’s musicians. In addition to it being Hispanic Heritage Month, 123 Andrès was recently awarded his first Latin Grammy Award nomination for ¡Uno, Dos, Tres, Andrés! en Español y en Inglés and Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band celebrate their second Latin Grammy Award nomination for Adelante! (they won their first Latin Grammy Award for Aqui, Alla). 

Additional musicians covered are José-Luis Orozco and Sonia de Los Santos. Orozco, a prominent figure in this style of music has had a prolific career as a bilingual musician, composer and educator. Not only is he releasing bis sixteenth album, ¡Come Bien! Eat Right!, but it’s also his first release through Smithsonian Folkways! Joining Orozco on the list is Sonia de Los Santos, a singer-songwriter who has been an integral part of the Grammy Award winning group Dan Zanes and Friends. Sonia is working on her first solo family music album.

NOTE: Videos by Billboard’s featured artists can be found within the article. Below is Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band’s latest video for “Piñata Attack” (a live version can be found within the Billboard article as well).


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Loog Guitars launches Loog Academy featuring guitar lessons with Tim Kubart of the Sprout Channel’s Sunny Side Side Up Show!

The new Loog website launched an all new Loog Academy featuring Tim Kubart of Sprout’s Sunny Side Up Show giving some expert lessons to get beginner players started. There is also a ‘parents’ page addressing the benefits of kids with children and for families playing music together. Check out Lesson 1: The Loog method overview with Tim here.

Also, Loog released a new Loog Electric Guitar series which features a Lucite model for hip young rockstars. Additional electric guitars come in a variety colors including pink, blue, yellow, white, green, red, black, and natural. Loog’s beautifully designed 3-string guitars make it easier for kids to make music and still allows them play chords in any song. It’s a less intimidating and quicker approach to the fun of making music. The Loog Guitar comes unassembled as a kit for children and parents to build together, creating an instant emotional bond between musician and their instrument- also a great fit for the current DIY/maker trend. The finished result is a fully functional, beautiful looking and sounding guitar. The holidays are just around the corner (already!) and giving the gift of music, with long-lasting, quality equipment is priceless. Especially when little rockers want to smash their guitar after an awesome living room performance.

Loog pricing

ElectricLoog $199
ElectricLoog in Lucite $299
Special Edition Jack White/ Little Third Man Electric Guitar $200
AcousticLoog $159

Various accessories including Loog custom fit backpacks for guitar transport are also available at loogguitars.com/collections/products.

Also, check out Tim and the Space Cadet’s new video for “Breakfast Club (feat. Carly Ciarocchi) from Kubart’s recently released album for families, Home.


610+A9x2u7L._SS280_PJStripe-Robin,TopLeft,0,0The Pop Ups release their third album, Great Pretenders Club, exclusively online through Amazon Music with Lisa Loeb to follow. The release of The Pop Ups’ third album marks a major milestone as this is the first kids’ album Amazon’s Editors chose to exclusively release to Amazon Prime members. Anyone visiting Amazon can purchase the album, but Prime members get the extra special privilege of downloading the album for free. The Pop Ups will be releasing videos for each song on the album through Amazon Music’s YouTube channel so make sure to subscribe. You can also catch up with The Pop Ups through to their newsletter, follow along in Twitter and/or Facebook to stay up to date on releases.
In the meantime, enjoy the first video from Great Pretenders Clu, “Bird and Rhino.”


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Rhapsody launches Rhapsody KIDS a new streaming service  (as part of their main app) specifically targeting younger listeners and their families.

The main Rhapsody app is a subscription-based model which means access to music is available for a set monthly price. Rhapsody is offering a special subscription rate bundle with Rhapsody KIDS for $1/month for 3 months and then the pricing goes up to $9.99/month.

Below are some of the highlights that Rhapsody KIDS offers.

  • Create-your-own: Parents can select songs from the main Rhapsody app and add them to a playlist in the KIDS section.
  • Featured editor curated songs and playlists.
  • Offline Access – Save your data plan! Anything that’s bookmarked for kids automatically downloads for offline listening.
  • Repetition is key – Songs and playlists in Rhapsody KIDS automatically loop so you’re kids can hear their favorites til the cows come home.
  • Keep it separate – The KIDS section is designed to fool the young’uns from getting back into the main Rhapsody catalog and revamping your playlists or cranking out some jams to a song you wouldn’t even want to play in public. Rhapsody requires users who want to return to the main app to swipe the screen in a specific direction.

For more info on the artists mentioned in this edition of “Fresh Press” click on the accompanying links in this post.

Stay tuned here for more “Fresh Press!” I’ll be back with updates next week.

Summer Songs 2015 – Free Downloadable Playlist!

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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)

New Video: “Robot Dance” by The Pop Ups and Interview with Jacob Stein and Animator Garrett Davis

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We love a good game of Freeze Dance, but someone always needs to be the designated “freezer.” Not anymore! “Robot Dance,” a track from The Pop Ups’ Grammy nominated album Appetite for Construction, reinvents this dance party classic and makes sure everybody gets down on the dance floor.

For today’s video premiere, the kings of electro-kindie-pop once again enlisted the talent of animator Garrett Davis (“Box of Crayons,” “Subway Train“), who brings this pants splitting discotronic adventure to life. Together these guys are just crushing it! Garrett’s artistic talent and wild imagination masterfully captures The Pop Ups’ vibrant energy and playful spirit. Plus, dancing robots!!

Read on to learn more about the collaboration and creative process behind the scenes with Jacob Stein from The Pop Ups and animator Garrett Davis.


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Jacob Stein, Musician and Robot (featured above)

KCG: What initially appealed to you about Garrett’s work?

JS: We’ve been huge fans of Garrett’s work since the very beginning of the Pop Ups. Jason came into the studio one day and said, “Check this out!” It was a video I was already a big fan of called “Song for North America.” It was edgy and hilarious and weird and beautiful, so we reached out to him, and a wonderfull relationship began.

We’ve made at least one video per album with Garrett; Subway Train, where he was still working in a hand drawn and photographed animation format, to Box of Crayons where he mixed live action, hand drawn animation and some computer hand drawn stuff.  And then Robot Dance, which he drew on the computer and really got to go places in..

KCG: What is it like to work with an animator and create a video versus writing a song?

JS: We’ve only really worked with Garrett, but that process has really grown as time has gone on. In the beginning we left him to his own devices, but we’ve finally found a good balance of storyboarding/conceptualizing together, and then setting him free to go places only he can go.  We usually go through a set of revisions until we’re all happy.

KCG: Can you give us a behind the scenes breakdown of how you approach the making of a video with an animator?

JS: Our process usually involves giving him a concept and often a narrative, and Garrett jumps right in. For Robot Dance, he made an animatic, a rough set of black and white drawings that move with the song, to show the flow of the story. We also worked with Garrett to make all of the bits of animation you see throughout our web series.

I have been a serious fan of all eras of animation since college. I had a friend who would come to our house and play old 16mm animated films on our living room wall.  Everything from “The Sinking of The Lusitania” by Windsor McCay and “Gertie the Dinosaur” to “Dreams of a Rarebit Fiend” to “Allegro Non Troppo” the Italian Fantasia from the 70’s. So usually I’m thinking about a certain look or an animation era that I’m interested in referencing. We are currently working with Garrett on a song about a Disco Dog, and I sent Garrett a bunch of pictures of Andy Warhol’s Factory parties as a reference, as well as 70’s fashion…

KCG: What do you like best about this video?

JS: I love the wildness and feeling of openness.  It moves through such a variety of wonderful locations and is filled with huggable robots.

KCG: Who is your favorite robot of all-time?

JS: My favorite robot is Johnny Five from “Short Circuit.”

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Garrett Davis, Animator

KCG: How would you describe your style?

Garrett Davis: I would describe my style as “eclectic.” I bring in any element I like and don’t worry whether or not it “works.” It all comes together in the end and adds up to a richer and more fun visual language or style than if I had pre-defined it.

KCG: How do you feel your style fits in with The Pop Ups style?

GD: I like to make characters REALLY MOVE in funny ways like kids do intuitively. Kids are naturally ultra-creative so I try to be too.

KCG: What was most appealing to you about this project?

GD: I liked all the little sounds throughout the song that could be assigned to different characters, like the little gong-hitting robot with the baseball hat, or the tiny robot who drums on his buddy’s knees.

KCG: For Robot Dance, did you listen to the song before animating?

GD: I listened to the song before, during, and after animating, constantly, over one hundred and fifty nine thousand times per day.

KCG: What is your creative process like in terms of how you are inspired to create music videos? For example, does the music influence the art and vice versa?

GD: I listen to the music and see in my head what characters and scenes it suggests to me then I just go for it and start drawing.

KCG: Can your share a behind the scenes breakdown of how the video came to fruition?

GD: I drew a rough storyboard/animatic to show what I was thinking for the video and once that was approved I broke down the time into manageable chunks so I knew how much I had to finish each day in order to complete the video according to our schedule.

KCG: What was the balance between self-expression and collaboration?

GD: There was a very good balance between self-expression and collaboration. Jacob and Jason had some ideas of their own but were more interested to see how I responded to the song and what ideas I came up with on my own. They are great to work with in that way.

KCG: The Pop Ups are a kids’ music band, did you have to find a balance between your aesthetic and creating something that was kid-friendly?

GD: No. My aesthetic is very fluid and I make much use of so-called “chance” in creating.  I basically am in a kid-like mindset when I do creative work so it’s naturally kid-friendly I hope. Kids are so spontaneous and hilarious on their own and they live creatively without over-thinking everything, it’s very inspiring. Most kids still have some kind of inherent understanding of the magical nature of life so making things for them is way more fun than making things for adults, who usually go on and on about how things don’t make sense or are arbitrary, etc, etc. If you’ve ever been around young kids you are familiar with what I call “the endless WHY”…no matter how clear something is, there’s always a kid who keeps asking “why” without stopping. And you can only answer that question so many times. It’s nice to just embrace the fact that some things don’t need a logical rationale.

KCG: Were you given direction in terms of what elements (besides robots) to include in the video?

GD: The Pop Ups had some direction for things that could be in the video, but most of it was just dictated by the song itself. We wondered how we could show pants splitting in a “tasteful” way and I think we solved it pretty ingeniously by just having classic polka dot/heart boxers underneath the trousers.

KCG: Most importantly, did you do the robot dance til you split your pants at any point during this process?

GD: I ruined many perfectly good pairs of pants to get all the robot dances just right. Please pass along to The Pop Ups that they will be receiving a bill from my tailor shortly.

57th Grammy Nominees – Kindie Music Videos

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In just a few days, we will find out who will triumphantly raise the iconic golden gramophone as the winner of Best Children’s Album. This year’s nominees present a truly eclectic mix, with four of them representing kindie music, and a fifth being an audio book about a girl’s miraculous journey of survival from a Taliban attack. I previously posted an audio playlist featuring all 5 nominees, and today thought it would be great to post some of our favorite videos by the kindie music nominees. For additional info and to listen to the audio clips, including an excerpt by Neela Vaswani for I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban, check out this playlist.

There is a live concert featuring the Grammy nominees in Los Angeles February 7, 2015, but for those unable to attend, Sirius XM’s Kids Place Live (ch.78) will be airing a LIVE broadcast of the Children’s GRAMMY Awards Concert along with some artist interviews. Listen in on Saturday at 11:00 pm ET, and again on Sunday, February 8, 2015 at 12:00 pm ET and 5:00 pm ET

**NOTE: The Children’s Album category is not presented during the live show in the evening so make sure to tune-in to the GRAMMY Awards telecast at http://www.grammy.com/live 3p EST/12p PST.

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 Okee Dokee BrothersThrough the Woods


The Pop UpsAll These Shapes


Brady RymerGet This Party Started