Yo Gabba Gabba gets lots of well-deserved props for the musical guests that perform on the show. Whether it’s indie soft-rockers The Shins telling kids “It’s Ok, Try Again” or electro-funk act Chromeo reminding us to keep our hands “Clean,” there is no shortage of cool ‘Super Music Friends’ on this show.

But, one of the main reasons I tune in is Gabba’s animated music segments. Unlike the Super Music Friends Show segment, which features the band members as guests, these segments pair cutting edge animated segments with original songs from some of the coolest indie acts out there.  Usually completely forgoing the Gabba characters as well, these quick segments all feel like they are directly pulled from an animation festival.

Some of my personal favorites:

“Listen” – This chill out song from Paco mixes a message about listening to all the sounds around you with retro psychedelic animation from Lori DWatch now online

Image from “Listen”
Listen

“Hey, Won’t Somebody Come and Play” – One of my Maia’s favorite songs from Yo Gabba Gabba, this cover song from The Little Ones features rainbow-colored animation with artist Jesse Ledoux‘s unique characters brought to life by frequent Gabba go-to PUNY. Watch now online

Image from “Hey, Won’t Somebody Come and Play”
Hey, Won't Somebody

“This Is What The Summer Brings” – This song by Tony Goddess & The Silver Lining perfectly sums up my favorite time of year. The 2-D, hyper-colored animation by Joel Trussell is a quick-collage of everything that makes this time of year great. Watch now online.

Image from “This Is What The Summer Brings”
This Is What the Summer Brings

“Train” – This sunny, catchy tune from Tahiti 80 takes a little girl through 3-D, candy-colored wonderland and an adventure inside a dinosaur’s stomach. This animated piece from PandaPanther is probably my personal favorite. Watch now online.

Image from “Train”
Train

“I Found Love” – This song from the Trembling Blue Stars is another sunshiny Gabba classic. The pink, red and green, colored animation from Bran Dougherty-Johnson will remind you of both the retro cartoons you used to catch on the Disney Channel in the 80′s (non-Mickey ones) as well as the coolest Valentine’s Day card you’ve ever gotten. Watch now online

Image from “I Found Love”
I Found Love

“Bedtime Lullaby” – Animation house Lippy takes this beautiful song from Mark Kozelek and immerses it into an equally beautiful animated segment. As a young mouse drifts off to sleep, he is lead into a colorful dream inspired by the mobile in his room. Watch now online

Image from “Bedtime Lullaby ”
Bedtime Lullabye

“Come & Play With Me”- Another come-out-and play themed song, this time from The Clientele. This time the 2-D animation from Merijn Hos and Jurriaan Hos has a bunch of walking fruits and veggies playing on what looks like a psychedelic, 60′s-inspired alien planet. This is nothing you will ever see outside of a show like Yo Gabba Gabba and that is why I love it so.

Watch “Come & Play With Me”  now!

Lucky visitors to the upcoming “Art of Yo Gabba Gabba!” exhibit at the Pink Hobo gallery in Minneapolis are sure to be treated to some of these videos, as well as behind-the-scenes details. Your jealous Boston friend looks forward to a full report!

Asteroids
Sunny pop from the Asteroids Galaxy Tour. No, really.

We are huge proponents of quality kids/family music in our house. However, I also celebrate adding a few adult songs to your kiddie-centric playlist.  Specifically, appealing to your child’s blossoming music tastes while appeasing your need for some songs that are NOT about the ABCs and 123s. Below, is a summer-tuned, shuffle-friendly playlist of music that wasn’t written with kids in mind but that Maia and I thoroughly enjoy bobbing our heads to. Yes, it is slightly biased to my music tastes, but I promise this summer-riffic playlist will have you smiling too!

Basement Jaxx - We love blasting this electronic duo’s greatest hits. Their music is full of bubbly, fast-paced grooves with a decade-plus songbook to handpick toddler-friendly grooves from. Maia’s favorite is the chant-like “Bingo Bango.” New summer-themed single “”Raindrops” is also rising up our charts as well.

The Asteroids Galaxy Tour - This Danish band has several songs on their new album “Fruit” that are made for warm summer days. Our family favorite is “The Golden Age,” where lead vocalist Mette Lindberg’s vocals are mixed with a unique combination of rat-pack era jazz and hip-hop beats.

Passion Pit
Boston boys make it big

Sonny J – This English singer/songwriter/ DJ/ producer has a year-old album full of songs that are sure to get the family moving. The Jackson 5-meets-Fatboy Slim track “Can’t Stop Moving” is the true summertime standout on this sampledelic album. The video itself is worth a view too, recalling 70′s era “Sesame Street” musical numbers.

Passion Pit – One of the biggest breakthrough acts of the spring,  this Cambridge, Mass-based band have a few songs from their new Manners LP that are perfect summertime jams. The surefire hit is the synthy, beat-driven “Sleepyhead” with its  sing-along chorus.

Madonna - Don’t hate. We’ve got mad love for Madonna in my house. We have been playing Maia a lot of the newer stuff. “Do you like to boogie-woogie?” is one of her favorite lines. And no,  “Justify My Love” is not on the playlist.

A few more warm weather-inspired recommendations that Maia seems to have taken to, and that I am more than happy to play if the lyrics are appropo:

Ting Tings – (See previous post)

The Little Ones - L.A. indie pop (and “Yo Gabba Gabba” guests)

Phoenix – French pop/rock band

Annie – Norwegian electropop singer

Miike Snow – Swedish pop/rock/electronica band

Cut Copy – Australian synthpop band

Goldfrapp - British electronic music group

Backseat Fun!
All smiles in the backseat with Dad on the decks