View This: “Thingamajig” – Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band

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We are loving this video for “Thingamajig” by Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band! It’s just about as sweet as the Hershey’s candy bar that once shared its name. The band’s first live-action video is filled with vibrancy and aptly displays the magnetic connection between the husband-wife team, Alisha Gaddis and Lucky Diaz. Both are frequently referred to as the cutest couple in the kindie world, which is true, but they also bring a level of energy and positivity to their music which is infectious. You just can’t have a bad day when you listen to this band!

Listen to and grab your copy of this song here!

“Thingamajig,” is from their upcoming album, Lishy Lou and Lucky Too, which is set for release October 1. In conjunction with the release will also be the unveiling of a children’s live-action TV show called “Lishy Lou and Lucky Too.”

Like the video for “Thingamajig,” the show will be filled with brightly colored visuals featuring the characters Lishy Lou and Lucky Too who live together in a magical treehouse and are visited by friends and guests. Each episode follows Lishy, Lucky and their myriad of friends and guests as they solve various problems that come up. They’re a bilingual household (English and Spanish) that is always filled with music and dance, encouraging movement and learning through song.

So get your dancing shoes on and get ready to jump, jive and swing as the music of Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band once again set the stage for the perfect dance party!

View This: “Los Pollitos” – Mariana Iranzi

HolaHellocoverA sweet little reggae song by New York based, Mariana Iranzi. Iranzi’s golden voice happily bounces along in this simple and interactive video for “Los Politos,” a song from her second album, Hola Hello. This is great for all families, especially those who are bi-lingual or are working on Spanish as a second language with their children (I’ve had a few families ask for recommendations).

You can sample songs from Hola Hello through Iranzi’s site as well as CD Baby.

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.

View This: “Rattling Can” – Key Wilde & Mr. Clarke

61SWz4FRpXL._SL500_AA280_Although, Key Wilde & Mr. Clarke just released the adventurous Pleased to Meet You, I couldn’t wait to post this video once I read a portion of the bio from their site. From their 2010 release, Rise and Shine, “Rattling Can” deconstructs a bottle of juice right down to the quarks that make up its composition.

Usually I like to add my own commentary, but I think reading about the song, in KWMC’s own words, really sums up the energy of it all.

“They had seen it all before. An overzealous fan rushes the stage, grabs a microphone stand and begins rocking it back and forth in wild abandon. Mr. Clarke, no stranger to pain, continues to sing and play without missing a beat as the microphone smacks him repeatedly in the teeth. But the year is not 1983 and the setting is not a dark basement club on the Lower East Side. A new millennium has dawned and Key Wilde & Mr. Clarke are performing their first official kids concert at the Garden Preschool Cooperative in Jersey City. The enthusiastic fan was a five-year-old preschool graduate carried away by the energy and rhythm of the “Rattling Can”. The show was an unqualified success and Key Wilde & Mr. Clarke felt they had finally found their true audience.”

Learn more about this dynamic duo at their official site and purchase Pleased to Meet You through Amazon and iTunes.

[Video courtesy of wildebor via YouTube]

View This: “Middle of Nowhere” – Elska

Elska-with-geysirElska is back with another video from her debut album, Middle of Nowhere.  “Midnight Sun” is all about the natural phenomenon that occurs during the summertime in arctic places like Iceland.  The live action video was shot on location, which means that all the gorgeous colors surrounding Elska are truly how they appear at midnight.  I particularly love how the midnight sun casts a golden glow on her face.  Simply gorgeous.

[Video courtesy of islandofelska via YouTube]

View This: “Seventeen Years (a cicada love song)” – Lloyd H. Miller

Lloyd Miller of The Deedle Deedle Dees released the first video from his upcoming solo album (set to be released in the fall).  “Seventeen Years (a cicada love song),” is an homage to the those interesting chirpers.  I particularly love the line “We’re not the kind of band that comes back once a year.  We’re the magic kind/ You have to wait a little bit longer to here/ So when we at last appear you’ll know it’s the big show/ One you might not see again.”

I happen to live with a bug lover who is going to be overjoyed with this video, although she might be disappointed when she realizes that they only come out every 17 years.  I may have to create one of those homemade cicada costumes from the video as a backup plan.

[Courtesy of Lloyd H Miller via YouTube]

View This: World Premiere – “Here Comes My Friend” – Underbirds

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I am pleased to present the world premiere of the first Underbirds video for the song “Here Comes My Friend” from their self-titled debut.

Like a modern day Simon and Garfunkel, Todd McHatton’s and Morgan Taylor’s intuitive harmonies give the endearing “Here Comes my Friend,” a breezy feeling as they sing about the fulfillment of a “scientifically, very naturally paired” friendship.

The video was filmed in beautiful Ojai, California, by the very talented stop motion animator, Caden Ghen, who made a killer trailer for the movie Man of Steel with Legos.  Ghen does a fine job of syncing the images surrounding McHatton and Taylor with the words of the song.

[Courtesy of Underbirds via YouTube]