- There is now a Hello Kitty maternity hospital. This feline knows no bounds. (via babyology) http://bit.ly/aEjOUw #
- Guillermo del Toro working on "gothic" Pinocchio with Nick Cave. http://bit.ly/cEJAte http://bit.ly/cEJAte #
- What's that waiting for me in my Kindle this morning? Mockingjay! Too bad about that whole work thing. #
- Love this song! RT @mediamacaroni: Free Yo Gabba Gabba download: Weezer's All My Friends are Insects http://tinyurl.com/25g9mqm #
- Vamps are not going to be overshadowed by Katniss: A feature on YA vampire books in @sljournal http://bit.ly/cebMCu #
- Have you seen Pee Wee Herman's first blog post? http://huff.to/d3JmXZ #
- Check out @smgrimes thoughts on "the (Mockingjay) Revolution" http://bit.ly/92ece9 #
- Michelle Romo's Paper in Wonderland book is full of amazing paper toys to cut and print. (via Jr Society) http://bit.ly/dCmauS #
- Playskool’s Alphie Robot was a big part of my childhood and I love that he is being brought back! http://bit.ly/aOZCTl #
- Over at Flavorpill: A Chronological Look at 13 Classic Comic Heroines. http://bit.ly/cYlhwE #
- Is "double amen" an expression? RT @derekeb: Why Perez Hilton Should Not Be On @NickelodeonTV http://bit.ly/9wcQ5O // amen. #kidmedia #
- Babar is not only getting a movie, but a TV show, too. He's one hot elephant. http://bit.ly/aGfd7O (via @kidscreen) #
- Kidz Bop is moving to the printed form. Three books ready to hit the market! http://bit.ly/c5cgnb (via @PWKidsBookshelf) #
- Nice! RT @HealthRock: Nigerian version of "Sesame Street" replaces the Cookie Monster with healthier Yam Monster. http://bit.ly/99vZZ4 #
- Kindie dudes @ThePopUps have an album out that may be cooler than most of the albums in your "adult" collection… http://bit.ly/9CQeFA #
- Johnny Boo is a graphic novel for the pint-sized set and looks VERY cute. (via @ohdeedoh) http://bit.ly/9Qkr0G #
- Happy #FF to some of my Twitter BFFS like @mediamacaroni @AmebaTV @HopscotchCo @OWTK @alicewilder @smgrimes @simoncobb @tracilawson #
A Brooklyn music duo is getting an overwhelming positive response from the family music community and after checking out The Pop Ups’ debut album, it is clear why. The Pop Ups started their project with demos sent to friends, and the response they got from them was eventually echoed in the public excitement around their first full length CD, Outside Voices.
The Pop Ups is the creation of Jacob Stein and Jason Rabinowitz. Stein earned his indie cred as the creator behind Tribeca’s break out Bim Bom Musicfest while entertaining kids with various musical projects including a Hanukkah puppet musical and an all-ages Klezmer act. Rabinowitz’s indie rock credits include sharing the stage with acts like Regina Spektor, The National, Rilo Kiley, Ra Ra Riot, and I’m From Barcelona and fronting the band The Bloodsugars. His kid-friendly efforts include three albums and a live show for the Little Maestros.
I knew The Pop Ups’ album was going to strike a chord with young parents and their kiddos straight from track 1. “Outside Inside” is an epic- indie rock style tune, straight out of the Arcade Fire or Coldplay playbook, with a chanting background chorus and all. The song itself is equally delightful for the little ones, with a playful lesson around indoor and outdoor voices. Next up is a visit to the “Subway Train,” a synth-rock dance tune straight off of college radio, but with the added fun of various animal noises. You will be having a total 90’s flashback with the reggae dancehall number “Balloon,” while your little ones have fun singing about a runaway inflatable.
With each song on this album, the band mixes the sounds you hear buzzing up the adult music blogosphere and modern rock radio charts with kid- apropos lyrics. Take “Apes with Shapes,” a song reminiscent of another primate–themed effort: the dubby sound of the Gorillaz. “Big Wheel” is a Hot Chip-style dance tune that goes straight for the dance floor with an ode to the big wheel. There is even a rockabilly-style music and movement song based on the concept of an “Air Band” (when an air guitar alone just won’t do).
Outside Voices is the type of effort that is made for Generation X/Generation Y parents. We are generation of music lovers used to switching genres per track and expect only top-notch releases with no album filler.
The Pop Ups also recently had a limited run of their debut musical called PASTA! A Pop Ups Puppet Musical, named after their Motown-throwback song from Outside Voices. The show features puppet characters created by Julianna Parr and Ingrid Crepeaux (Muppet Show, Forgetting Sarah Marshal, Dinosaur Rock), and has the band and their felt-friends trying to find ingredients to make the best pasta. While the limited run is over, we hope to see them take this unique show to a few more stops.
In the meantime, go out and buy Outside Voices any way you can. (They are even giving away a sample song to get listeners excited). It’s up to us music lovers to support a great indie band so they can go ahead and keep delivering original and outstanding releases.
Interview Bonus! We had a chance to interview Jacob from The Pop Ups. Here’s his response to a few questions we threw at him.
Nugget Island: How did The Pop Us project start?
Jacob Stein: We were both playing kids’ music for other people’s projects, and one week we asked ourselves what our own kids’ project would look like. Thus, the Pop Ups were born.
NI: Your album spans multiple genres: indie pop, electronic, reggae, etc. What artists influenced the sound on this album?
JS: We were listening to everything from 80’s synth (Prince, Depeche Mode), to Stax/Volt soul (Otis Redding). Indie bands (Flaming Lips, Arcade Fire, Animal Collective), and even current dance music like (The Ting Tings and Architecture in Helsinki)…and much more of course…
NI: In the family music space, are there any artists you admire?
JS: We are big fans of Dinosaur Rock, Cathy and Marcy, Agent 23 Skidoo, vintage Sesame Street and old Pete Seeger (Beans in My Ears). There are a lot of new kindie bands we’re just getting to know like Mr. Leebot, Joanie Leeds, and The Not-Its.
NI: What are some of your other favorite kids’ entertainment projects?
JS: Living in Brooklyn, there’s a lot of public art works that are kid friendly. I’m thinking specifically of David Byrne’s project where he turned the Building on the Battery into a giant piano. And anything involving puppets.
NI:What type of reception have you received from the press and the fans?
JS: We took the Pop Ups from the home studio into the world because our friends with kids were really into the project. And, we’ve been really happy that the reviewers who have taken a listen to the C.D. seem to get what we’re going for.
A while back, we sang praises about the Bari Koral Family Rock Band’s music-and-movement friendly album Rock and Roll Garden. Well, Bari and co. have just released a video for the “The Backpack Song.” Check it out below!
- This holiday, your little one may be asking for animatronic plush Toffee the Pony. (via ToyNews) http://bit.ly/9rnlUZ #
- Universal going forward with a $200 million+ adaptation of board game Battleship. (via ICv2) http://bit.ly/bb43k4 #
- The cover caught my attention. But, @Tashrow 's glowing review made the The Kneebone Boy a must-read. http://bit.ly/aXOiVR #
- Now on Cafemom's The Stir: 7 Creative School Lunch Box Ideas. Healthy and tasty enough for your own brown bag. http://bit.ly/92KxDM #
- Apparently , everyone is predicting that these tiny Squinkie dolls will be this year's Zhu Zhu. (via @coolbabykid) http://bit.ly/9MiCCh #
- Only two days left to win a Yo Gabba Gabba! Prize Pack (book, CD and DVD). Enter now! http://www.nuggetisland.com/?p=2275 #
- A card game based on the Back to the Future trilogy? Yes please! (via @ToyBook) http://bit.ly/bTccp8 #
- With YA fantasy showing no signs of slowing down, Indian in the Cupboard has been given a refresh. (via @sljournal) http://bit.ly/adG9xX #
- The Princess of Power is 25 and Mattel and Classic Media have plans to celebrate! http://bit.ly/aYEdUy #
- Scary! RT @HealthRock: A study that has a lost of people talking: 1 in 5 US teenagers has hearing loss. http://bit.ly/b8kIA7 #
- Mad Magazine returns to TV! This time as an animated series. (via Cartoon Brew) http://bit.ly/cIRHoI #
- Very cool Yo Gabba Gabba Facebook promo! Enter your very own Cool Trick. http://bit.ly/dbDht8 #
- Ralph Lauren creates interactive storybook catalog for back to school kids clothing line. http://bit.ly/c9geLK #
- See the opening cinematic for the much talked about Disney game "Epic Mickey" (via @ToyXplosion) http://bit.ly/dhJ3sc #
- 100% agree! So wrong! "Why Perez Hilton Should Not Be On Nickelodeon" http://bit.ly/aTqf6h #
- Silly Bandz trend inspires book and supporting iPhone app. http://bit.ly/d10VHf (via @ToyBook) #
- Very sad I had to miss this event RT @ArtsAtTheArmory: Dog on Fleas on NOW. So fun! Still three bands to come. Stop by! #
- ReadWriteWeb has a feature up right now showcasing 4 tools to intro kids to coding. http://tinyurl.com/23pa4su #
- Japanese toys Mojibakeru transform from Japanese letters to the animals they describe. Very cool! (via @coolhunting) #
- Love these folding cardboard pop-up playhouses for kids. Great concept! (via @trendhunter) http://bit.ly/a1ExYA #
- Toy News asks: Should manufacturers be more mindful of shifting racial demographics in the pre-school sector? http://bit.ly/bhK1Qh #
- While we wait for the third book and the film adaptation, let's play the Hunger Games board game. (via ICv2) http://bit.ly/96Uaxv #
- Virtual world Moshi Monsters capitalizing on Silly Bands trends, releasing collectible wristbands. (via Licensing.biz) http://bit.ly/dcsFwC #
- Please do! RT @OWTK: Happy Many Hands Release Day! If you're gonna buy 1 kindie CD this week, make it Many Hands… http://bit.ly/aoFngF #
- Today is a big one in the world of family music. Learn about the wonderful "Many Hands" project. http://www.nuggetisland.com/?p=2254 #
- Making a trip to NYC in the near future? Will you be visiting Pop-Tarts World? (via @licensemag) http://bit.ly/9pJa6X #
- My next BIG project: http://bit.ly/9BxE7i #
- Meet AmFm – a collective of family musicians out of LA. (via @zooglobble) http://bit.ly/dmNWiq #
- We are giving away a Yo Gabba Gabba! Prize Pack. And it's really easy to enter! http://bit.ly/bIyG47 #
- Cartoon Network to launch "Stop Bullying: Speak Up" campaign in October. Will include PSAs & online content. http://bit.ly/aIHYda #
- A Bugs Bunny live action/CG feature film is the works. What do we think? (via @cartoonbrew) http://bit.ly/dc6ylw #
- Family musician @ToddMchatton has a sunny new animated video for you to check out! http://www.mchatton.com/ #
- Who wants a Yo Gabba Gabba DVD, book and CD? I am giving all three away. http://bit.ly/bIyG47 #