View This: “Fish Sticks” – Recess Monkey

handsAttention deep sea divers, exotic creatures and all other friends of the ocean! Check out this new video from Recess Monkey’s upcoming Deep Sea Diver and this time it features a sea creature like no other. They call him “Fish Sticks,” and he can put together some serious beats.

The video for “Fish Sticks” is simple yet impactful. To start, it makes a point of showcasing Recess Monkey’s new drummer, Korum Fishoff, er, I mean Korum Bischoff whose percussive skills just might blow you out of the water. Ranging from Vintage Rock to Disco (and everything in between), Bischoff doesn’t miss a beat. And, although Drew Holloway is not in any sort of costume per se (see: Sack Lunch), he plays a highly entertaining promoter for the Coral Club in this video.

“Fish Sticks,” aptly displays what makes Recess Monkey so much fun: great sense of humor, clever lyrics and energetic beats.

View This: “Hippie Mom” – Big Bang Boom

photo-fullEven though Mother’s Day has past, North Carolina’s Big Bang Boom manages to keep the spirit of the holiday alive with a new video from their most recent release, Because I Said So!.  “Hippie Mom” is a whole lotta fun.  There’s singing, dancing and hula hoops.  Woo hoo!

View this: “Tambourine Submarine” – Recess Monkey

Recess_Monkey_Tambourine_Submarine_Video_93791348_thumbnail Monkeynauts take heed!  Recess Monkey just released the first video from their upcoming album, Deep Sea Diver. I would say that the album is highly anticipated but I think, in general, any album from this enthusiastic troupe is typically highly anticipated.

In “Tambourine Submarine,” the Seattle trio takes to the deep blue in a blinged out u-boat powered by rhythm and propelled by a spinning tambourine.  Although I hesitate to use the word “cute” to describe what the guys refer to as a “mean green rhythm machine,” I cant help but want to sling one on my keychain and jingle jangle it all ’round my hood.

“Tambourine Submarine” is a fantastic voyage filled with creativity and humor. Check it out!

Concert Re-Cap: Underbirds Premiere Live Performance & Release Party

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I recently attended Kindiefest, an annual family music conference that took place in Brooklyn, NY. The conference sought to provide helpful information about the industry while showcasing some amazing talent. I am going to write a separate post that provides a little more detail about what went on at the conference but one thing I clearly remember hearing about is that collaboration can be extremely useful.

One fine example of how collaboration can produce something pretty spectacular is the Underbirds.

The Underbirds consists of Morgan Taylor from Gustafer Yellowgold and Todd McHatton, who not only has released some wonderful kindie albums of his own, but is also the creator of Marvy Monstone’s Mysterious Fun Time Dream Band, and the wildly popular single “I Think I’m a Bunny.” Together their music sounds like a mix of the Flaming Lips, the Beatles and a little bit o’ Queen.

TheUnderbirds had their official world premiere live performance/release party at Symphony Space in New York City on Saturday, April 27, 2013 as part of Symphony Space’s Just Kidding series. I was more than lucky enough to catch it. Although it meant leaving the Kindiefest conference for a bit, it was an easy trade-off as these guys are at the top of our list when it comes to quality music and performances!

Standing in front of a screen with projected images of the outdoors, Taylor and McHatton sang original songs from their self-titled debut, which were filled with warm, joyful harmonies that reflected upon the beauty of nature and companionship. The duo also premiered a few new songs and each played a single from their own kindie catalogue. Taylor sang one of our favorite Gustafer songs, “Wisconsin Poncho” and McHatton brought his daughter, Hazel, up for “I think I’m a Bunny.” Seeing her sing live was so fun. She’s a natural just like her Dad!

It really was a treat for both grown-ups and kids. And for a world premiere performance, it didn’t take very long before everyone in the audience started to sing along.

I’ve spoken of the wonderful sounds coming from these two highly talented kindie artists before, but seeing these two sing together in a live setting was a real gift.

You can sample, download and purchase the Underbirds from CDBaby, Amazon and iTunes. Highly Recommended!

Underbirds – “Trail of Hearts” live at Symphony Space via YouTube

Underbirds – “Brilliance” live at Symphony Space via YouTube

View This: “High 5 Your Shadow” – Ratboy Jr.

Ratboy-JR-TOYS-PRESS-300I still remember the first time I introduced my daughter to her shadow. It was on the swings and I told her that her shadow is swinging just as high as she is. She thought it was the most amazing thing and her shadow continues to be part of our pack today.

Tim Sutton, frontman for Ratboy Jr., was inspired in the same way when he wrote “High 5 Your Shadow.” Upon seeing his own son giving a high five to his shadow on the wall, the song was born.

“High 5 Your Shadow” hits the nail on the head with the lyrics, “your shadow/ is your friend/ and your friends are friends with your shadow,” because whether it’s real friends or a wooden dog that my daughter pulls on a string, everyone has a shadow and we can all dance together.

From their most recent release, Champions of the Universe, Ratboy Jr. presents the video for “High 5 Your Shadow,” which so accurately conveys the joys of shadow play. There’s even a little science wedged in their for extra credit.

Check it out and then go find your shadow. Or make one of your own.

View This: “Snail Mail” – Dean Jones

home-When_the_World_Was_New_Cover_JPGDean Jones, multi talented kindie wonder man, is putting out his second children’s album on May 14th called When The World Was New.  It’s going to be quite fantastic, although I wouldn’t expect any less from the recent Grammy winner (Dean won a 2012 Grammy for producing Can You Canoe? by The Okee Dokee Brothers).

“Snail Mail,” directed by Tim Sutton from Ratboy Jr., is a funk filled motivational piece (or as Sutton describes it: funk with a disco sweater on) that reinforces the benefits of being a good pen pal.  It’s got a nice groove, a crazy catchy hook and some great lyrics, including my favorite in which Jones suggests doing “a little doodle direct from your noodle.”

How do you not want to get all creative, slap a stamp on an envelope and boogie on down to the post office right this minute?

View This: Cat Doorman Live – Oregon Public Broadcasting

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Photo courtesy of OPB

The radio sounds a serenade that’s carrying us on
Surely it is my song 
Surely it is yours 
Surely it was made just for us all at once and all at once
Surely it is my poem surely it is yours
Let the meter move us, turn us, take us up and ever make us new…
-Cat Doorman

Those lyrics are from the song “Turn Around” from Cat Doorman Songbook, the debut children’s album by Portland’s Julianna Bright (known as Cat Doorman in the kindie world).  Between the eloquence with which Julianna Bright sings and the lyrics themselves, the song gives me chills every time I hear it.

I am so pleased to present to you some videos of Julianna and her band performing songs off of Cat Doorman Songbook, which just received a Parents’ Choice Silver Honor Award.  “Turn Around,” “Madame Claire” and “Whistling Song” are performed live from her living room and sound just as eloquent as they do on the record while Julianna delivers them ever so gracefully.  Her band does a stellar job accompanying her as well.

The videos were shot by Oregon Public Broadcasting as a feature in their Arts & Life section.

If you have not yet taken a listen to the The Cat Doorman Songbook, I highly recommend it.  The sounds and complexities of the songs provide an opportunity for children to connect with music on a deeper level with themes that relate to the earth, self-acceptence and love.  For more information, check out my review of the album, as well as view another video for “Inspiration,” a haunting track inspired by the birth of Julianna’s daughter.

Enjoy the videos below!

Turn Around by Cat Doorman from Cat Doorman on Vimeo.

Whistling Song by Cat Doorman from Cat Doorman on Vimeo.

Madame Claire by Cat Doorman from Cat Doorman on Vimeo.