When I finally took a listen to the new Flannery Brothers’ album, The New Explorers Club, I was ashamed with myself for putting it off so long. These New England-area guys have put out a top-notch, genre-spanning release that deserves a place on your music player. Check out their newest video below to get a quick glimpse into what they can do with any song style, and the fun they can have while doing so.
- All aboard for new US preschool show "Driver Dan's Story Train" (via Licensing.biz) http://bit.ly/a3SLEt #
- This just in: Children as young as four can understand irony. http://bit.ly/9QPXC8 #
- The Little Prince goes graphic – in a good way – not the naughty way. http://bit.ly/dCmdWg (via PW) #
- Barack Obama and Sarah Palin (!) to visit Archie and the Riverdale gang. (via ICv2) http://bit.ly/90sQ7o #
- Good resource! RT @cybils: The #kidlit Daily is out! http://paper.li/tag/kidlit #cybils #
- Marvel is planning a Black Widow movie. Will DC step it up and give us a Wonder Woman film? http://bit.ly/9sYb8H #
- After today's "True Mud" debut, Flavorwire showcases 10 more parody videos from the Sesame Street. http://bit.ly/aVjSLO #
- The Berenstain Bears and the iPhone/iPad rollout. (via @PWKidsBookshelf) http://bit.ly/9AZ9Wu #
- Chloe Moretz set to play Emily The Strange. Great casting! (via @ DeadlineNY ) http://bit.ly/ahIdhi #
- Small Potatoes from @littleairplane teaches children about music as they follow the adventures of 4 singing potatoes. http://bit.ly/apjUZs #
- Geek moms and Geek dads- what better way to teach the ABCS than with Star Wars? (via @GeekMomBlog) http://bit.ly/dyTsJJ #
- Justin Bieber teaming up with Silly Bandz for bendable Bieber bracelets. http://bit.ly/c7Dcpd #
- One of the "forgotten"Disney animated flicks hits DVD today – The Black Cauldron. (via @ToyXplosion) http://bit.ly/9XDKBS #
- Amazing list from @mediamacaroni on @GeekMomBlog: 20 Girl-Power Characters to Introduce to Your GeekGirl http://bit.ly/9C8Cev #
- Muppets to launch their own online cooking show. (via @MediaweekDotCom) http://bit.ly/cNQraN #
- Internet leak: Conceptual art for Voltron live action film. (via @twitchfilm) http://bit.ly/91I8JI #
- Arthur gets all Simpsons-like and features an animated Neil Gaiman cameo. (via The Beat) http://bit.ly/9a58ib #
- R.L. Stine's "Goosebumps" is big-screen bound! (via @arrowinthehead) http://bit.ly/abv92c #
- Actual name of upcoming horror film: Boy Scouts vs. Zombies. (via @dreadcentral) http://bit.ly/9sn6Bc #
- Smell that air? Fall music refresh time! Check out my run-down of artists that NEED to be on your music player. http://www.nuggetisland.com #
Although I am still in denial, the dreaded F word is upon us. I know some celebrate the season of Fall, but give me hot sweltering weather any day. (Though I do LIKE “I Will Go Slightly Out of My Way To Step On A Crunchy-Looking Leaf” on Facebook. ) Weather preferences aside, in anticipation of the new season, let’s do an iPod refresh and check out some new options for your library.
Lucky Diaz – Luckiest Adventure
After checking out the amazing album artwork for Lucky Diaz’s family music EP, Luckiest Adventure, I knew I was in for an original project. Lucky Diaz delivers an excellent 5-track contribution to the family music scene, full of finely-crafted acoustic pop tunes. Whether bringing a fresh take on a tired standard, “This Old Man,” or introducing his own originals like “Fire Fighter Girl,” Diaz is a promising new artist on the scene.
Todd McHatton – Sundays at the Rocket Park
Todd McHatton’s Christmas E.P. put him on our radar last year. His new full length release further showcases his sunshiney pop-rock sound. Full of harmonious and quirky songs about animals, superheroes and a guy who enjoys eating clothes, McHatton’s latest is one of those rare releases that you can play from start to finish without hitting the skip button.
The Rattles – Rattle On
Sure, a band fronted by cartoon characters can be gimmicky. But what if the band made music that was actually interesting? Gorillaz for kids, perhaps? Fronted by cartoon animals Gus, Kitty, Hal and Sal, The Rattles put cartoon bands like The Archies to shame. Think quality kindie pop music represented by a kid-friendly, TV pilot-ready quartet.
Dream Jam Band – Leave it in the Soup
I will admit, the album cover had me worried that I was about to hear some Aqua-style Euro Pop. I was quite wrong. The Dream Jam Band is actually four music teachers making high-energy music for kids that spans multiple genres from surf rock to bluegrass to classical. Their Children’s Music Award and Sirius chart success is well-deserved as they know their audience well and make interactive, high-energy music that is sure to satisfy.
The Okee Dokee Brothers – Take It Outside
I love any band that expands both my music horizons and my daughter’s at the same time. Before kindie music entered our household, bluegrass was a dirty word. But bands like The Okee Dokee Brothers have changed that. Take It Outside is the latest effort from this Twin Cities duo, mixing a twangy sound with bits of rock, funk, pop and country. Bringing their sense of humor and high energy to each song, The Okee Dokee dudes deserve all the praise this album has received.
The Bazillions – Rock-n-Roll Recess
Speaking of the Twin Cities, The Bazillions is another act making waves in this city and beyond. While their pop-rock sound is reminiscent of Justin Roberts, their vocals are their own and finely tuned thanks to their work with their own indie-rock band, The Humbugs. This band, created by parents/educators/singer-songwriters Adam and Kristin Marshall, knows how to write a memorable, catchy tune that will stand out in the iPod mix.
The Not-Its – Time Out to Rock
Yes! Our beloved Seattle kindie rock group is back again. Fronted by 90’s indie pop it-girl Sarah Shannon, The Not-Its matches their cool clothes and images with a kindie rock sound widely lauded by fans. This time they are rocking even harder with stand out tracks like “Welcome to Our School” and title track “Time Out to Rock.”
Monkey Monkey Music with Meredith LeVande – What Are the Odds?
Meredith brings on music and movement in this album that is pure preschool gold. This is the album to bring to your child’s preschool teacher who is stuck playing that factory-bred toddler tune album. Instead, share Meredith’s sweet voice and original mix of acoustic, funk and pop-style tunes. Or, enjoy the album at home and have fun interacting with each song or enjoying Meredith’s wordplay.
The Sweet Colleens – The Monkey Dance
Mixing up Americana, rock, Celtic and even some Caribbean, The Sweet Colleens are clearly a seasoned bunch of musicians, fronted by a vocalist who stands out from the kindie rock pack. With classic-rock vocals, he adds something extra to kid-ready songs about poopy diapers, monkeys, and road trips. The Sweet Colleens even do a standout take of Woodie Guthrie’s classic “Who’s My Pretty Baby.”
Heidi Swedberg and the Sukey Jump Band – Play
Swedberg created Play to encourage families to pick up and play the ukulele. But even if you are not a musically-inclined family, Play is still pure listening pleasure. A stripped down, refreshing album full of standard tunes, Swedberg has timeless, inimitable vocals. In between all the kindie rocking, it is nice to sit back, relax and hear some top-notch ukulele playing from a talent who has been strumming away since the ripe age of five.
Bill Harley – The Best Candy in the Whole World
The godfather of children’s music has a new album out this week. On his latest release, Harley’s trademark narrative-filled, folksy tunes are interspersed with his captive storytelling. Harley has been entertaining kids for years with his imaginative songs and stories, and his new album won’t disappoint all the listeners in the minivan.
- Love it! RT @th_youth: Playhouse Auctions – Net Zero Ocean Adventure Lab Playhouse will Raise Funds for Real Housing http://bit.ly/cdzX0i #
- The Opinionated Parent loves Caspar Babypant just as much as we do! http://bit.ly/ciX26v #
- Pocketful of Posies uses felt artwork to bring classic nursery rhymes to live. (via @GeekMomBlog) http://bit.ly/dmDHB4 #
- A great roundup of cool alphabet books from @sljournal http://bit.ly/905iSo #
- Glee-mania! Check out some of the licensed product the show has inspired. http://bit.ly/cW63t3 #
- Pocoyo wins a well-deserved award at the Venice Film Festival. (via @animag) http://bit.ly/bQzNAg #
- From @jbj: 10 Graphic Novels To Enjoy With Kids of Every Age. http://bit.ly/brQrBS #
- Are you ready for The Koogles? Check out this new collectible character brand. (via Licensing.biz) http://bit.ly/cKGNkX #
- My Gym is getting into the entertainment space with a new online preschool program called The Activators. http://www.theactivators.net/ #
- What are the 10 darkest kiddie flicks? @flavorpill weighs in. http://bit.ly/9lE8Ij #
- Raggedy Ann is 95! New vintage merch celebrates her birthday. (via @playthings) http://bit.ly/cLTRcd #
- You know you want a ‘Yumbot’ Cupcake Mold. http://bit.ly/bMMPMy (via @trendhunter) #
- New middle school book series promises to be a cross between "Frog and Toad" and "Law and Order." http://bit.ly/cOMVhm (via PW) #
- Candlewick Press is set to distribute Toon Books, graphic novels for kids who are just learning how to read. http://bit.ly/bkIOaP #
- There is no stopping Caillou! 26 new episodes set to premiere. (via @animag) http://bit.ly/acFfOT #
- Is the Sanrio Mobile Pop-Up Shop Tour coming to your town? http://bit.ly/bOoEjB #
- This is a surprise: Oscar Buzz on Disney Rapunzel flick "Tangled" http://bit.ly/9OiNfc #