Get your iPod, laptop, and credit card out, it’s time to refresh that music library. Your fall playlist is played out, and you need some new tunes to take you in to 2012. Below is a musical buffet of albums to check out, with several sure to fit your musical pallet.

The Jimmies – Practically Ridiculous: It’s here! After a (painful) 4 year wait, Ashley Albert & co have baked up a dozen new tasty tunes to memorize, chuckle at and share with friends. Bring on the high-concept music videos!

The JimmiesThe Jimmies

Charlie Hope – Songs, Stories and Friends: Let’s Go Play!: Sail away on the summer breeze of Charlie’s beautiful and airy vocals. Filled with her own original tunes and public domain classics, Charlie’s music makes the coldest day a summer holiday.

Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band – Oh Lucky Day!: Out of nowhere, Lucky and the fam burst onto the scene with their bar-raising intro E.P. of pop-rock tunes. As we hoped, the E.P. was just an appetizer for this full length release of jangly kid tunes for hipsters and homemakers alike.

Rabbit! – Go For It!: Sunshiny, feel-good indie pop that is ready for its close-up, from a Floridian crew that proudly takes it inspiration from the “bubblegum scene of the late 1960′s.” Another instant favorite in our house, and bound for kindie glory.

Dan Zanes – Little Nut Tree: Before I take that first listen to the latest Dan Zanes’ album, I always wonder what he will do to top himself. This time, the Grammy award winning singer mixes his truly ageless Americana sound with headliner guests like Sharon Jones, Joan Osborne and Andrew Bird.

Mike Whitla – Dinostory: The Ultimate Dinosaur Rock Opera: Have a dinosaur lover in your family? Keep them entertained and engaged with what is sure to be the one-and-only dino rock opera.

Rocknoceros – Colonel Purple Turtle: Making kindie music before “kindie” entered the lexicon, Rocknoceros’ new effort is a CD/book concept album that takes place in the animal-filled, cleverly-crafted world of Soggy Bog.

RabbitRabbit!

Ben Rudnick & Friends – Live in Lexington : Under the Copper BeechChildren’s music staple Rudnick & Friends show they can make it happen outside the studio with a live, eclectic mix of bluegrass, calypso, folk and rock.

Biscuit Brothers – Get Up & Go: If you are one of the lucky PBS markets that carry the Biscuit Brothers, you are familiar with this music-filled show. We have been enjoying their YouTube video clips for years, and can now sing along to some of the greatest Cajun, rock, country, polka, jazz, swing, and a capella tunes heard on the Emmy-Award winning show.

Recess Music’s UR Some 1 and Big Bully compilations: Great compilations with great messages. On UR Some 1, artists like Peter Himmelman share the message of self-confidence while Big Bully has artists like The Hipwaders and Renee & Jeremy spreading the message of being generous and kind.

Mr. Leebot – Erratic Schematic: Plug it in and turn up the kindietronica, with Mr. Leebot’s inimitable new wave sound.

Hope Harris – Cousins Jamboree: With Dan Zanes’ production talent behind it, you know it will be a treat for the ears. If you are looking for a little twang and new, original tunes, you can’t go wrong with Hope’s first kindie rock release.

Doctor Noize – The Ballad of Phineas McBoof: For the kindie rocker who wants more than just the music, Doctor Noize (aka Cory Cullinan) has created a transmedia property around ‘Phineas McBoof.’ The colorful character creations of his music are brought to life on the page, kicking off a new kid’s property to watch out for.

Lucky DiazLucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band

My Name is Handel – The Story of Water Music: Cool down time in the minivan? Let the London Philharmonic Orchestra introduce your kids to German composer Handel with an educational intro to his life and his instruments.

Beethoven’s Wig – Sing Along Piano Classics: Another way to intro kids to classical music? Add some silly lyrics to them. Richard Perlmutter has nailed this formula, and attacks piano classics on his fifth release of remade masterpieces.

In The Nick of Time – Making Silly Faces: The third release from Nick Deysher’s In the Nick of Time act brings a high-energy mix of genre-hopping with songs tackling “hot topics” like manners and healthy-eating.

Mister G – Bugs: Teacher/ASCAP-Award-winner/former indie rocker Ben Gundersheimer is back with another round of catchy kindie pop-rock tunes that should continue to build his loyal all-age following.

Alastair Moock – These Are My Friends: Boston-bred Moock is back with another rootsy family album, this time bringing along some very special guests like Rani Arbo and Lori McKenna. Moock’s last album was track-by-track greatness, and this album continues his streak with folk-rock covers (“Mail Myself to You”) and his own new creations (“Born To Dance”).

The Hipwaders – The Golden State: Band leader Tito Uquillas and the gang keep churning out delightful power-pop for the whole family, with their latest a tribute to the sunshine sound of California.

Alastair MoockAlastair Moock

Peter Alsop – Grow it At Home: Peter is aiming squarely at the kids with this award-winning album of goofy-good, green-themed tunes.

Rollie Polie Guacamole – Time for Hummus: Brooklyn-based Rollie Polie Guacamole will bring you back to your favorite summer jam band festival, but with the kid-safe lyrics and appropriate substances.

Hullabaloo – Road Trip: Made for the mini-van, this folk-rock duo’s latest release is full of clever songs about the pain and pleasure of family road trips. Take the journey with high-energy, twangy tunes like “Rolling Down That Road,” “Are We There Yet?” and “Good To Be Back Home.”

Chip Taylor & The Grandkids – Golden Kids Rules: With a pedigree that includes crafting hits like “Angel of the Morning,” this gravely-voiced musician is a welcome addition to the family music scene. Academy Award-winning brother Jon Voight graces the liner notes, while his three grandchildren duet on songs like the gentle title track.

Jane Roman Pitt – Midnight Lullaby: Instead of buying another one of those chimey lullaby albums, consider Jane Roman Pitt. This mother and grandmother does her own soothing take on contemporary tunes by artist like including Wilco, Sade, Tom Waits, Bob Dylan and Josh Ritter.

Laura Doherty – Shining Like a Star: If you love the breezy sound of female singer/songwriters, Laura Doherty delivers sweet and interactive acoustic tunes for the kiddos.

Charlie HopeCharlie Hope

Todd McHatton – Galactic Champions of Joy: We described Todd’s last album as “one of those rare releases that you can play from start to finish.” Once again, he delivers. This album is hard for parents to tire of, full of college radio-style rock for the whole family. Added bonus: a song called “I Think I’m A Bunny.”

David Rees – I Believe in Pasta: David Rees has a progressive new idea in the kindie space: album merged with iPad app. Beyond being an innovative idea, this experienced composer has also created a charming bunch of pasta-themed tunes for kids.

Jason Riley – Funky Folk: If you are yet to explore instrumental music with your kids, here is an interesting way to start. Riley takes on well-known songs like “Camptown Races” in genres like jazz, blues, funk and, when the album really shines, bluegrass.

The Que Pastas – Debut E.P.: If you have a penchant for the weird (as I do), you will love the debut (free) EP from this Denver duo. Quirky and catchy, this is not your average kindie band, and I look forward to seeing what batch of original recipes the ‘Pastas’ cook up next.

Dan Zanes and Friends are coming to town!

The first man of kindie rock is making his way to the Boston/New Hampshire area. Fresh off the release of his Broadway-themed 76 Trombones album, Zanes will be bringing the crew in for two shows at The Music Hall in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Even if you aren’t a hardcore “Zaniac,” this is a show you will want to enjoy with the whole family. The Music Hall itself is a one-of-a-kind venue, built in 1878, and designated an “American Treasure” by the U.S. Senate. Zanes’ timeless tunes are a perfect fit for the 900-seat theatre, a mix of fresh takes on traditional songs as well as his own brilliant creations. Rumor has it he will also be bringing an African dance and drum troop to the stage as well.

There are two shows on Saturday, November 20, at 11:30 AM & 3:30 PM. And if you aren’t in the New England area, check out the band’s other tour stops, as they may be coming your way.

Buy your tickets online today and see you at the show!

Nugget Island giveaway!

Win a signed copy of 76 Trombones by Dan Zanes .

In honor of this event we are giving away a signed copy of 76 Trombones, the collection of classic Broadway tunes from Dan Zanes and Friends, to one lucky Nugget Island reader.

How to enter: Send an email to matthewdsiden(at)gmail.com with your favorite Dan Zanes’ song in the subject line. One lucky winner will be selected using Randomizer. Hurry! Contest deadline is 11/20/2010 (day of the show).

Whether you are someone who makes weekly visits to your local music store, a regular iTunes shopper or a torrent delinquent, there is one purchase I implore you to make this week. Not only is it for a great cause, but the music included is top-notch.

Released today, Many Hands: Family Music for Haiti is a compilation album filled with marquis names in family music. Featuring both previously unreleased tracks as well as new songs recorded especially for this effort, ‘Many Hands’ is also the debut release on Bill Childs’ Spare the Rock Records. As the title suggests, all proceeds from this album will go to Haitian People’s Support Project, a non-profit working to help the people of Haiti, still devastated since the January 12, 2010 earthquake.

Dean Jones of family music sensation Dog on Fleas was one of the spearheads behind this project, and his band can also be found on this compilation. Other artists on board include Dan Zanes, Elizabeth Mitchell, They Might be Giants, Gustafer Yellowgold, Caspar Babypants, Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem and Secret Agent 23 Skidoo. And that’s just a small sample!

Many Hands cover art

If you live in one of the areas below, be sure to check out one of these family music star-studded CD release events.

• Sunday August, 15: Dog on Fleas, Grenadilla, Uncle Rock, Rosendale Theater, Rosendale, NY (Details)
• Friday, August 20: Elizabeth Mitchell & Family and Frances England, Mill Valley Library, Mill Valley, CA (free) (Details)
• Saturday, August 21: Dog on Fleas, Lunch Money, Randy Kaplan, Deedle Deedle Dees, Armory, Somerville, MA (Details & ticket link)
• Saturday, September 11, 11:00: Randy Kaplan, Johnny Bregar, and Recess Monkey, Multnomah Arts Center, Portland, OR, presented by A Child’s Time to Rock! (Tickets)
• Saturday, September 11: Deedle Deedle Dees, Gustafer Yellowgold, Dog on Fleas, Knitting Factory, Brooklyn, NY
• Sunday, September 26: Dan Zanes, Elizabeth Mitchell & Family, Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, Deedle Deedle Dees, Tony Vacca, Grenadilla, Pines Theater, Look Park, Northampton, MA. (Tickets)

Buy the album now!

In the age of the iPod mix, creating and releasing a compilation CD has to be a fine-tuned art to make it worthwhile. Yet, award-winning kid’s music label Music for Little People seems to have the formula nailed with two new releases celebrating their 25th anniversary.pickingrinnin

Pickin’ & Grinnin’: Great Folk Songs For Kids rounds up traditional folks singers, celebrated children’s artists, gospel artists and even a pop artist or two to formulate a perfect introduction to this genre. Tunes from timeless artists like Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie live naturally alongside modern kindie rockstars like Dan Zanes in this banjo-friendly compilation.

Love & Peace: Greatest Hits for Kids is another compilation from Music for Little People. This compilation highlights some of the label’s releases over the past 25 years. Chart topping artists like Brian Johnson of AC/DC and Faith Hill contribute to the compilation, as do respected players like Willie Nelson, John McCutcheon and Buckwheat Zydeco.

Of course with 100 releases under their belt, both compilations are just a quick glance at Music for Little People’s output. In addition, the company also makes music DVDs, musical instruments, CD and mp3 players, and child-safe headphones.

Check out their official site for more info.

We have two nightly, alternating bedtime traditions in our house.

1. Storytime

Life’s a party in The Jimmies’ videos. Life's a party in The Jimmies' videos.

2. “Watching Music”

While the first in pretty self-explanatory, the latter may need some clarification.

Maia is a music-junkie, and enjoys anything to which she can sing, dance or rock out. Once upon a time, after streaming an episode of Caillou, we showed her a music video on YouTube and a nightly tradition was born.

“Watching Music” now consists of firing up the laptop and watching kindie-centric music videos available online. Alternatively, we have also ripped some of Maia’s favorite music DVDs onto an iPod for her to enjoy on shuffle mode. We call it her own little MTV, minus the bad reality shows.

Believe it or not, there is an ample amount of resources online for finding kid-targeted music videos. Here are a few ways to get your own kiddie music video network going in your house.

Jitterbug.tv – This online destination strictly shows music videos for kids.  It is a great resource and one we have used often to find new artists and new videos.

GimmieJimmies.com (Video Page) - One can spend multiple nights just watching the videos on this site. The detail, artistry and sheer fun put into each video by this NYC-based band has to be seen to believe.  There should be a kids category at the VMAs based on their videos alone.

Zooglobble’s YouTube Channel - Stefan Shepherd’s Zooglobble website is well known by kindie music lovers worldwide. He has also set up a YouTube channel as well with links to hours of music videos and live performances of kids and family music.

“Jack’s Big Music Show” Music Videos – You are sure to chance upon one of the many  music videos from this show on JitterBug or Zooglobble. However, this is a one-stop source for the music videos pulled from this show.  (Maia’s favorite video, Lisa Loeb’s Jenny Jenkins, comes from this show.)

Xilisoft DVD Convertor Software – Taking some of Maia’s favorite music DVDs, we have used this software to rip individual files onto our iPod so we can also watch videos on the “big screen.”

Some of the ripped DVDs in our private iPod mix include:

PokeyPup – This is a great place to shop for music DVDs, as it concentrates on kids entertainment only.

Below are a few of our favorites videos for the sampling.

Lisa Loeb – Jenny Jenkins

Gwendolyn and the Good Time Gang – Farm Animal Friends

Justin Roberts – Pop Fly

Renee & Jeremy – It’s a Big World

The Jimmies – Cool To Be Uncool