Tune in: Happy Halloween playlist that will lift your spirits!

FullSizeRenderAs the days creep closer and closer to Halloween, we are firing up our playlist and enjoying not-so-terrifying tunes as we parade around in our costumes and finish decorating our jack-o-lanterns.

Below the Spotify playlist you will also find a new video by Todd McHatton and a groovy new song from Charity and the Jam Band called “Halloween” delivering the most essential reminder: No matter what you’re gonna be for Halloween, you can still dance in your costume!

Enjoy!

If you like what you hear, please consider supporting these artists by purchasing/downloading these songs through the links below. Please note that these links are also affiliate links which help support this blog.

Monsters” by Jazzy Ash (from Home)

Monster Boogie” by Laurie Berkner (from Buzz Buzz and The Best of the Laurie Berkner Band)

“Dance LIke A Monster” by Play Date (from Imagination)

“Costume Party” by The Pop Ups (from Appetite for Construction)

“Them Bones (feat. Outtasite)” by Caspar Babypants (from Sing Along!)

“Always Be A Unicorn” by Helen Austin (from Always Be A Unicorn)

“Every Little Monster” by Todd McHatton (from Super Audio Sunshine)

“Gettin’ Down On Halloween” by Boxtop Jenkins (fromYou’re Happier When You’re Happy)

“Three Little Pumpkins” by Little Miss Ann (from Follow Me)

“Five Little Pumpkins” by Raffi (from Singable Songs for the Very Young)

“Scared Scare Crow” by Caspar Babypants (from Hot Dog!)

“Where Do Monsters Go?” by Ratboy Jr. (from Champions of the Universe)

“Confusing Costume” by Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights (from Good Egg)

“I’m Not Afraid Anymore” by Papa Crow (from Things That Roar)

Want more Halloween fun, check out the Halloween Digest featuring videos by The Hipwaders, Mista Cookie Jar and Play Date and a fun Halloween word activity!

Stream: “Getting the Job Done” – The Pop Ups

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On August 19, 2014, The Pop Ups will officially release their 3rd album, Appetite for Construction. In honor of this exciting event, I am proud to kick off the “10 Songs in 10 days Celebration” (learn more at the end of this post) with a new single called “Getting the Job Done.” Set to funky electro-pop beats and multi-layered harmonies, the album’s leadoff track pays tribute to those who work to make our lives richer, i.e. teachers, doctors, farmers, bakers, while also encouraging us to find joy in our own work.

Jason Rabinowitz explains, “The inspiration for this song was that we were on tour w/ Yo Gabba Gabba Live, traveling from place to place making music, and we stopped and looked around and our minds were blown by the fact that this was OUR JOB!  We were so inspired we wrote the song on the tour bus and sang it with the kids that were also working there. Work, play, have fun…  That’s what it’s all about.  An homage to all of the people that work so hard to make the world go around.  It’s easy to forget simple things like bread, or your computer, have people behind them dreaming them up, creating them, and making them work.  We’re all very important and all have work to do… Let’s have fun doing it.”

If all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, then someone needs to grab some dancing shoes and introduce Jack to The Pop Ups!

Ready to enter a world of fun? You can start streaming “Getting the Job Done” now!

 

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To share this song on Facebook, Twitter or your blog, simply click on the image above and then click on the ‘share’ icon at the top right of the player!
Appetite for Construction is now available for pre-order from Amazon and iTunes.
The “10 Songs in 10 Days Celebration” will allow listeners to stream 1 song per day from various blogging sites. Learn more by visiting The Pop Ups’ Facebook page.

Watch This: “Costume Party” – The Pop Ups

I recently read an article about childlike wonder. The author was talking about how curious and magical seeing the world through a child’s eyes can be. As a parent, I often feel as though I am experiencing the world with the same sense of novelty as my 5-year-old. When my daughter wants to immerse herself in an imaginary world, I can’t help but feel that I am an honored guest in what feels like reality, if only for a moment. Whether I am a chef serving her tasty fruits and vegetables or she is a fire chief saving my kitty from a tree, I always feel a particular sense of wonder as I explore familiar scenarios with a renewed perspective.

Getting dressed up has always been a child-enforced requirement for most of our play. Sometimes my daughter extends the fun and wears her costume to a park or a restaurant, even asking people to call her by her character’s name. Regardless of what she chooses, it never occurs to her that she might be wearing “boy” or “girl” specific clothing. She is just enjoying herself, and I often marvel at her uncanny ability to walk proudly out the door as though it is just another regular day with just another regular outfit on.

The Pop Ups’ new video for “Costume Party,” really captures the fact that dressing up is always a party regardless of gender or age. As the Brooklyn duo dons all kinds of outfits they capture the essence of childlike wonder while also reinforcing the notion that “no matter what you see ya know that me is me is me.” “Costume Party” was recently premiered on Huffington Post by Jeff Bogle from Out With The Kids with a wonderful reference to the story that inspired the song.

Those familiar with existing Pop Ups’ material will enjoy seeing some references, costumes and puppet characters from previous videos. For newer fans, follow the instructions by super saxophone puppet guy for additional viewing options.

Appetite for Construction is now available for pre-order from Amazon and iTunes.

 

FREE DOWNLOAD: Give Dad the gift of music! Enjoy a free Father’s Day playlist!

Sunday is Father’s Day and whether you are going on an adventure, giving a little one a shoulder ride or enveloping your cubs in the best bear hug ever, make it a musical day with the following playlist specially crafted by Beth Benz-Clucas of Sugar Mountain PR. Bonus: This playlist is available as a FREE DOWNLOAD through June 18.

The following list contains stellar songs by some rockstar kindie folks, as well as a prominent father figure responsible for spreading love and joy to so many children world-wide. There’s a whole lotta love in this playlist!

Below is the full track listing, as well as the artists’ websites where you can learn more about them, find out where they are playing, and find other ways to connect and show your support.

Additionally, if you click into each song in Soundcloud, you will find some fun facts about the artist and/or the song itself.

Brady Rymer – “Light of Love” from his forthcoming album “Just Say Hi!” –www.bradyrymer.com
Raffi – “Love Bug” from his forthcoming album “Love Bug” – www.raffinews.com
The Not-Its! – “Love is Love” from their forthcoming album “Raise Your Hand” – http;//www.wearethenot-its.com
Suzi Shelton – “Ten Thousand Kisses” from her award-winning album “Smply Suzi” – www.suzishelton.com
Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band – “When I Grow Up” from the album “Lishy Lou and Lucky Too” – http://lishylouandluckytoo.com
The Pop Ups – “Feelings Change” – from their GRAMMY nominated album “Radio Jungle” –  www.thepopups.com
Sugar Free Allstars – “My Daddy’s Record Collection” – from their new vinyl 45 release –  www.sugarfreeallstars.com
Eric Herman – “Elephant Song (Snail’s pace version)” – a new version of his hit song, with his two daughters – www.EricHermanMusic.com/store.html

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.

Check this out: The Pop Ups have an app! Play along with Miss Elephant’s Gerald!

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The Pop Ups have an app! Just in time for Halloween, their song, “Miss Elephant’s Gerald” has been turned into a Mibblet! Keep reading for how you can enter to win a free download. From the creators of Mibblio (an interactive kids’ music app), Mibblets are illustrated songs that sit within Mibblio’s interactive musical framework. Each Mibblet features a host of instruments (keyboard, “strum pad,” percussion) that encourages kids to channel their inner maestro and jam along with the band. “Miss Elephant’s Gerald” is the perfect song to play along with because it starts off with a steady beat and works its way into an explosion of sound, teaching kids about timing and rhythm while also fostering a deeper understanding of musical composition. When Em and I played along, we found that the ukulele and vibrasnap added some nice accompaniment. Albeit, the vibrasnap does get addictive, but it works really well with the song; Both are irresistably catchy and kooky!

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When we were done jamming, we were able to enjoy “Miss Elephant’s Gerald” a cappella (users can choose to turn off the music by deselecting instruments), allowing us to use the Mibblet as an audio book. By reading along, I gained a deeper appreciation for just how brilliantly creative and hilarious this song is!

Brooklyn artist, Liz Starin, does an excellent job of bringing the tale to life through whimsical illustrations. Now, I realize we are in the digital age, but I would love to see this song, along with Starin’s drawings, translated into print.

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Targeting ages 3-8, the “Miss Elephant’s Gerald” app is a is a kid-friendly Halloween treat that is perfectly safe for consumption!

ENTER TO WIN A FREE DOWNLOAD: Thanks to The Pop Ups, 3 lucky Kids Can Groove readers will get a chance to download the “Miss Elephant’s Gerald” app for FREE!

HERE’S HOW TO ENTER:
– Leave a comment on this post sharing if you are familiar with Mibblets, and if so, which other ones you enjoy.
– Like the Kids Can Groove Facebook page.

The giveaway is open through midnight November 1, 2013. Winners will be announced on Monday November 3, 2013.

Note: Mibblits are currently only available for the iPad.

The code will expire on Thu Nov 21 09:41:24 PST 2013 and are redeemable only on the iTunes Store for United States. Requires an iTunes account, subject to prior acceptance of license and usage terms. To open an account you must be above the age of 13 and in United States. Compatible software and hardware, and internet access (fees may apply) required. Not for resale. Full terms apply; see http://www.apple.com/legal/itunes/ww/

Additional notes courtesy of Mibblio:

Mibblets allow you to:

• DISCOVER new instrument combinations by muting and soloing individual audio tracks
• UNDERSTAND the key to developing music by building the layers of a song

INSTRUMENTS INCLUDE:

Strum pad: Acoustic guitar, banjo, ukulele, electric guitar, harp
Keyboard: Piano, guitar, violin, vibraphone, saxophone, clarinet, flute, accordion
Percussion: Tambourine, snare, maracas, rimshot, high hat, triangle, bongos, claps, cowbells, vibraslap

WHAT IS MIBBLIO?

Mibblio is a creative studio that makes interactive music apps designed for kids. Our inaugural and acclaimed app, Mibblio®, combines stories and music to form beautiful MIBBLETS — illustrated songs with loads of musical features that enable kids to read along, sing along, and jam along.

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

Summer Songs

It’s heating up here on the West Coast and we’ve been spending alot of time in the car searching for cooler places.  As such, we have been racking up a list of some summer songs that take our minds to a better place and off the scorching introduction to summer.

Below is a Spotify playlist of just some of our favorites.  It includes old and new tunes we hope you’ll enjoy.

KidQuake! – The Not-Its! from KidQuake!
The Ground – Underbirds from Underbirds
The Seven Cs – Recess Monkey from Deep Sea Diver
Sailing – Ratboy Jr. from Champions of the Universe
A Bailar – Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band from ¡fantastico!
Go! – Alphabet Rockers from Go!
Bikeride (Bonus Track) – Vered from Good Morning My Love
Lazy Raisins – Key Wilde and Mr. Clarke from Pleased To Meet You
Big Wheel – The Pop Ups from Outside Voices
Bully Bully – Shine and the Moonbeams from Shine Your Shine
Sunshine Through My Window – Play Date from Imagination
We Just Wanna Have Fun – Milkshake from Got a Minute?
The Way It Goes – Grenadilla from Can’t Wait
Yes, We Have Rhythm – Lunch Money from Silly Reflection
Little Cloud (feat. Rachel Loshak) – Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights from Bandwagon
I Go – Mariana Iranzi from Hola Hello
Beautiful Mess – Kindiependent from The Happy Birthday EP
Turn Around – Cat Doorman from Songbook
Rain – Paul Spring from Home of Song

55th Grammy Nominees for “Best Children’s Album”

The 55th annual Grammy Awards are coming up and the representatives for “Best Children’s Album” are mighty fine indicators of just how much the Children’s Music genre has to offer. Below you will find a list of albums and other goodies from this year’s nominees.

So, take a listen and although you may not be able to vote per se, you can show your support by perhaps purchasing one or two (or more!) of your favorites.

radio jungle cover 12cmykThe Pop Ups – Radio Jungle

The second album from Brooklyn-based duo, The Pop Ups, Radio Jungle brings listeners on a musical adventure filled with dance beats, creative lyrics and educational topics. Listeners will explore constellations, a world created with a box of crayons, counting and even some puppets! The Pop Ups once again infuse their sense of humor and musical talent into a fun set of songs. So take a journey through the wilderness and listen to Radio Jungle through the SoundCloud widget below, along with a video for their wildly popular single, “Box of Crayons.” Radio Jungle is available for download and purchase through the BandCamp widget below, Amazon and iTunes.

“Box of Crayons” [Courtesy of YouTube]

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The Okee Dokee BrothersCan You Canoe?

Just as the subtext on the cover says, Can You Canoe? is “A Mississippi River Adventure Album.” Justin Lansing and Joe Mailander made their way down the Mississippi River in a canoe over the course of a month. During that time, they paddled their way from Minnesota to St. Louis, writing songs inspired by the beauty of the natural world around them. With songs about camaraderie, bullfrogs, mosquitos and camping under a blanket of stars, Can You Canoe perfectly illustrates the brothers’ journey down the river. In fact, it could very well prepare you for your own river odyssey, should you be so bold. You can learn more about the Okee Dokee Brothers at their official site, where you can also purchase a CD/DVD combo, which includes the 15-track album and a documentary of the making of the album. Below are a couple of videos, a trailer from the DVD and a widget containing a few audio samples from Can You Canoe?

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Bill HarleyHigh Dive

Bill Harley is a master storyteller and certainly no stranger to Grammy nominations, being a two-time Grammy award winner in his own right. And now he’s back with High Dive, a hilarious collection of stories and songs about childhood. Listeners will find Harley emotive, engaging and suspenseful as he spins tales about a maniacal goat, a field trip gone awry, and finding out that perhaps mom is actually right, sometimes. Especially relevant to this time of year is a Valentine’s Day story with inadvertently “monstrous” consequences. High Dive is a hoot that will capture the attention of both kids and adults alike. You can listen to samples and purchase the entire album at Harley’s official site.

JumpinJazz-Kids-CD-Front-CoverJumpin Jazz KidsA Swinging Jungle Tale

A Swinging Jungle Tale is a mix of stories and songs about the adventures of a girl named Claire and her stuffed animal friends. What is impressive about this album is the amount of work the creators put in to make it as interactive as possible. The story aims to incorporate listeners by encouraging them to use their imagination along with Claire, as she travels through the jungle (which also happens to be her Grandfather’s backyard) and meets imaginary friends. The album’s cover art is bright and colorful, while the soundtrack was inspired by world-renowned jazz artists, including the legendary Ella Fitzgerald and improvisational master, Thelonious Monk, to name a few. You can read more about Claire and the making of A Swinging Jungle Tale at the Jumpin Jazz Kids official site.

You can listen to A Swinging Jungle Tale through the widget below. The album and its accompanying storybook are available for purchase through the Jumpin Jazz Kids store, as well as, CDBaby.

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Elizabeth MitchellLittle Seed: Songs for Children by Woody Guthrie

Mitchell brings color and life to her re-imagined versions of Woody Guthrie’s earlier recordings. The songs covered on “Little Seed” stem from two of Woody Guthrie’s children’s albums, recorded in 1947, called “Songs to Grow on for Mother and Child” and “Nursery Days.” Like Guthrie, Mitchell is a folk frontrunner and icon in her own right, being the first female children’s artist signed to the Smithsonian Folkways label and certainly one of the most beloved. On Little Seed, Mitchell very easily glides through some complex tongue-twisting lyrics, which happen to remind me of a few Dr. Seuss books, making it even easier to follow along than some of the originals. Mitchell’s voice, as usual, is soothing and clear like a serene lake and refreshing like a cold glass of water on a hot day. You can read my full review of the album here. You can learn more about Little Seed at Mitchell’s official site and view a couple of videos from the album below. Little Seed is available for purchase through Mitchell’s online store, Amazon (CD or MP3) and iTunes.

“Sleep Eye” [Courtesy of YouTube]

“Grassy Grass Grass” [Courtesy of YouTube]

View This: “40 Things To Do In A Blackout” – The Pop Ups

I could really get used to these one-offs by The Pop Ups.  Although, I think this one deserves to be on a future album as well.  “40 Things To Do In A Blackout,”  is a new song to benefit the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Aside from benefitting victims of Sandy, I think we can all benefit from the activities suggested in this song.  So many of them are good for anytime you have a need to prevent yourself (and your kids) from going stir-crazy.  And, it’s especially timely as things like shorter days, darker playgrounds, double stuffed down jackets and golf umbrellas corner us into staying inside.

You can purchase the song through Amazon or by clicking on the link below.  All proceeds from the purchase of this song go to the Sandy relief effort and for $1 it’s more than worth it!