Halloween Comes Early to Nugget Island!

Musical Tricks

Last Halloween, we got into the spirit early with the Nugget Island Family Halloween Hootenanny playlist for Spotify. Filled with classic family-safe scare-tracks and classic kindie treats, this playlist is a must for Halloween lovers. Add it to your Spotify playlists now to hear classic Halloween-loving musicians like John Zacherle, The Moon-Rays, Shiny Toy Guns, Spike Jones and Voltaire. Of course, no family Halloween  is complete without some kindie superstars, so we’ve invited artists like Doctor Noize, The Hipwaders, Justin Roberts, Rebecca Frezza & Big Truck, Recess Monkey, Roger Day, Trout Fishing in America and more to this All Hallow’s Eve shindig.

A Free Treat

Meanwhile, for those who want to celebrate the season of Fall – with or without Halloween – I wanted to call out a free download.  Kindie music superstar Joanie Leeds has written a new song called “Falling” – in celebration of the season – and she is giving it away as a free download here.

 

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.

Two things we love in our house: Halloween and Spotify. And the two now merge as I introduce my “Family Halloween Hootenanny” mix for all to enjoy. Christmas has its own carols, so let’s not forget the musical sounds of October super-celebration All Hallow’s Eve. While adults may have the likes of G.W.A.R., Rob Zombie, and psychobilly to enjoy, we need a few G/PG-tunes for the little ones. So, click the link below, fire up Spotify, and light the pumpkin for 100 tunes to terrorize (and more to come).

Kindie artists include

Ann Ruckert
Asylum Street Spankers
Baze and His Silly Friends
Creepy Public Domain Halloween Art. Doctor Noize
Erin Lee & Marci
Janet Sirett
Marcia Louis
Marla Lewis
Mary Kaye
MC Chris
Monty Harper
PLAYSOUNDZ
Rebecca Frezza & Big Truck
Roger Day
The Hipwaders
The Sunny-Side Up Band
Trout Fishing in America

And our new favorite:

Skelly and the Punkins

Sadly missing from Spotify:
Sue Schnitzer’s Boo, Cackle, Trick or Treat

And some spooky tunes from:

Bessie Smith
Cab Calloway
David Bowie
Disney’s Haunted Mansion
Eban Schletter
John Zacherle
Nightmare Before Christmas
Rasputina
Shiny Toy Guns
Siouxsie And The Banshees
Spike Jones
The Blanks
The Coffinshakers
The Kingston Trio
The Moon-Rays
Voltaire

Raised in a Jewish household, holiday music was never a part of my life. So while some of my family and friends may feel waves of warm nostalgia when hearing Mariah Carey sing “All I Want for Christmas is You” for the 1,000th time, I am more likely to remember my high school mall job.

However, now that I am in an interfaith marriage, I have found a way to bring Christmas music into my life in a way that pleases all musical palettes and makes Christmas special for the little one.

Kickin' it 'Kindie' this season
Kickin’ it ‘Kindie’ this season

Before Maia came into our life, I had fun with albums that remixed classic songs like Verve Remixed Christmas, Christmas Remixed and Merry Mixmas. I still play those with the little one, as she loves to bounce her head to a good beat. But as everyone in the house is also a kindie music lover, I was thrilled to get The Hipwaders’ A Kindie Christmas in my inbox.

This California-based trio released their first children’s music album in 2004 (“The Smile Project”) and quickly received a Parent’s Choice Award for it. Since then, they have followed up with two more albums and an EP, garnering airplay on XM Satellite Radio, a slot at the Lollapalooza Festival in Chicago, and 2008 Children’s Music Web Awards. Since 2004, they have been performing the original songs heard on A Kindie Christmas, but finally put them out for public consumption with this release.

The album is sure to get parents on board right away with the brief intro track, “Santasploitation,” a throw back to Blaxploitation soundtrack songs of the 70s. The band then takes things a bit more seriously with the Santa-free mellow pop/rock tune, “There’s Too Much Good,” a refreshing tune celebrating the peaceful, giving nature of the holiday season. For those who prefer their kindie rock with a little more rock, follow up tune ‘Wintertime” continues the same theme but with a bluesy-rock edge.

Don’t worry, Santa hasn’t been left behind. “Santa’s Train” should be a Christmas classic, with its country-rock sound, catchy chorus and brief riff referencing that other, overdone Santa song. Another highlight is the jangle-pop tune “Wake Up,” a song that celebrates the early morning Christmas experience with family and friends. Check out the  music video below.

This review would not be complete without mentioning the fun we had dancing around the kitchen to “Christmas Vicuna”, a Latin-flavored tune that tells the story of the year Rudolph had to be replaced by a South American vicuña (an alpaca-like animal). As you can tell, The Hipwaders are not afraid to mix humor and heart.

A Kindie Christmas is out now, so get it on iTunes ASAP before your advent calendar hits that last piece of chocolate. In our house,  The Hipwaders’ Christmas effort will certainly be added to our annual iPod holiday mix.

Halloween is my holiday. As a horror movie junkie and a lover of all things creepy, crawly and spooky, I absolutely delight in a day of the year where everyone of all ages accepts a little macabre into their manor.  Sure, it has to be down-aged for the little ones, but as soon as the decorations appear in stores, I am ready to celebrate.

schnitzer2
G-Rated Boos from Schnitzer

As my blog clearly demonstrates, I also enjoy celebrating quality and entertaining music with my daughter. So when All Hallows Eve comes around, it is an essential to find songs that match the season. As Maia is only three, I have to be somewhat selective in fright-themed tunes, but with wonderful sites like  Zooglobble.com, Kidsmusic.about.com, gooney bird kids, and Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child to guide me, we can get quite the playlist going. Here are a few songs to add to your mix this season.

Kindie Blood Curdles

“Howling at the Moon” by The Hipwaders -  This California kindie trio offers a fun werewolf tale that will inspire some backseat howling.

“Boo, Cackle, Trick or Treat” by Sue Schnitzer - A fun folk ditty from Sue’s full album of Halloween songs for kids.

“The Day After Halloween” by The Sippy Cups – We fell in love with this song last year, as well as its accompanying video. Another kindie superstar band, the song comes from their EP One Day Soon.

“The Edison Museum” by They Might Be Giants – This song is on their No! album. A spooky ditty  about a haunted mansion, this track will be creeping the kiddies out all year.

The Gabba gang plays dress up
Give them something good to eat

“A Monster Goes Rrraargh!” by ScribbleMonster & His Pals – This hard rocker from Chicago-area kindie quintet ScribbleMonster will have the little ones practicing their best monster growls well past the season of scares.

“Moogie Monster Man” by Kevin Kammeraad and Friends – Off Kevin’s 50+ track collection The Tomato Collection: The Big Album, this is less a Halloween song and more a celebration of make-pretend monsters.

“Monster Face” by Roger Day- Doing his best Pee-Wee Herman voice, Day demands all the kids make their best monster face and then dance, dance, freeze.

“Skeleton Song” by Mary Kaye – Maine-based Mary Kaye has created a delightfully quirky Halloween song with some fun xylophone instrumentation and mouth sound effects.

“Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet” by Monty Harper – Oklahoma-based children’s performer Harper tells a (kid-safe) creepy tale of a troll who exacts revenge on a house with no candy left.

Assorted Halloween Songs from Yo Gabba Gabba – In case you missed the  Halloween-themed episode, it features some great music, both from the regular cast of characters, as well as musical guests Shiny Toy Guns and I Monster. We love these songs so much, we had to find a way to extract and save the songs from the episode after we purchased it on iTunes.

Adult Supervision Recommended

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Zacherley cooks up Halloween fun in the lab

“Ghoul Bash” by Eban Schletter featuring Dave Gruber Allen – This composer/songwriter has brought a team of talent on board for his more adult-skewing album Witching Hour. Jill Sobule, Dave Foley, Paul F. Tompkins, Grant Lee Phillips and Tom Kenny (aka Spongebob Squarepants) all show up on various Halloween-themed tracks.

“Halloween Dance” by Reverend Horton Heat , “No Costume, No Candy” by The Swingin’ Neckbreakers – Both of these songs are from the Rob Zombie-produced compilation Halloween Hootenanny. While his adult efforts (both film and music) aren’t exactly family fare, these hard rocking songs are safe for your Halloween shuffle mix.

“Thriller” by Michael Jackson – ‘Tis the season to appreciate all things MJ.  Like most people in my age bracket, I was a bit traumatized by this video as a kid. Regardless, the song is relatively harmless, as long as the Vincent Price voice-over doesn’t unnerve any young ears.

Classic Cuts

“Monster Mash” by Bobby “Boris” Pickett and “The Purple People Eater” by Sheb Wooley - As a kid, these songs drove me crazy. Now, it is with tongue in cheek that I share them with my daughter..

“Which Witch is Which” from Walt Disney Record’s Halloween Songs & Sounds - Pulled f

Disney scares
Disney scares

rom a Disney novelty record, this track will entertain the Mickey lovers in the minivan.

“This is Halloween” by Danny Elfman (Nightmare Before Christmas OST) – While the accompanying images from the film may be a bit too intense for younger kids, the song itself has become a seasonal classic.

“Zombie Jamboree (Back To Back)” by Harry Belafonte – The “King of Calypso” sings about the undead in one of my favorite songs from these picks.  While you are at it, pick up the whole Belafonte collection for the rest of the year.

Halloween Detox (Or,  how to “unspook” your child through the power of music)

“Under My Bed” by Recess Monkey – Seattle kindie band (and teachers by day) turn the monster-under-bed story on its side with this not-so-scary story song.

“Soaper the Scaredy-Bot” by The Jimmies – Let Ashley Albert and co. remind your little ones not to be afraid of silly things with this irresistible kids’ tune that will distract them from that evil ghoul in the closet.

“Maybe the Monster” by Justin Roberts – This song, from the popular Chicago children’s singer-songwriter, is just one of the many songs out there to help kids remember that monsters are “make pretend.”

Happy Halloween!

“Coolest Little Monster ” by John Zacherley – Many of the (quite humorous) lyrics from the song will go over heads of little ones, but any song from this TV horror host personality is a must for the season.