Now in it's seventh year, the annual Fids & Kamily Music Awards have become a traditional celebration of the best in kids & family music. Inspired by the Village Voice's long-running "Pazz & Jop" Music Poll, Fids & Kamily gathers it's data from a variety of rock n' roll gangsters folks that are connected to family music in some fashion or another - bloggers, writers, radio personalities, and more. For the first time, The Rock Father is represented in the poll, as I was recently invited to become one of this year's 26 judges. So who were the best of the best? Find out below...
Indulge me for a moment and envision Emmet Otter's Jug Band - but as humans, rocking out with a washtub bass, a kazoo, a cigarbox guitar, and a host of other homemade instruments. Ok, that is pretty much any jug band, but if you were able to picture Emmet Otter, I think you might enjoy GREEN AND BUMPY, the latest album from Michigan's DEEP FRIED PICKLE PROJECT.
One of those bands that defies the rules of typical classification, Ozomatli has long bent genres with their funky blend of rock, hip-hop, and latin grooves. Chances are, even if you don't know Ozomatli, you've likely still heard Ozomatli and bumped along to their soundtrack-staple, "Saturday Night" on occasion. Still not sure? Check this and come back. Sound familiar? Now, Ozomatli has entered the kindie realm with the release of Ozomatli Presents OzoKidz.
There's been a shortage of legit rock for kids being released lately, an unfortunate fact that could certainly bring a tear to this man's eye - especially seeing as the name of my site is The Rock Father. While there's been no shortage of great music for kids and families (quite the opposite, actually), the drought on the rock note came to an end this week, due in large part to a pair of releases from Fun Fun Records, a new children's imprint of Mike Park's Asian Man Records. The first of those albums? KEPI GHOULIE's KEPI FOR KIDS.
As a kid in the 80s, it was always kind of a thing that when October rolled around, you'd keep your eye out for the new Halloween "specials" that would land on TV just in time for the spooky season. It seemed that every year brought with it a new crop of self-contained stories that took place against a backdrop of fresh fall colors and pumpkin patches peppered with shades of orange and green. Whether it's age or reality, it doesn't seem that there's as many of those "specials" these days, but this year I found a new one that exists only in audio form.
Connecticut-based Children's Author, Musician, Teacher, and self-professed "all around cool guy," Ryan SanAngelo has assembled a brand-new collection of family-friendly fright songs for Fall. AUTUMN THEMES AND HALLOWEEN SCREAMS (out now on Little King Press) contains 20 super-short sonic blasts that clock in at a combined 34 minutes.
*Note: There's an update at the bottom of this post. Funny story - Back on September 7, acclaimed children's musician MISTER G unfollowed The Rock Father on twitter. I have no idea why he'd do that, but I use a service called "JustUnfollow" to keep track of such things (interesting social experiment), so I returned the favor by unfollowing @MisterGSongs. Then I tweeted about it.
It's a big week for Pirates and their supporters with the tenth annual "Talk Like A Pirate Day" taking place this Wednesday, but just a day before comes an appropriate soundtrack courtesy of CLINT PERRY & THE BOO HOO CREW. A family-friendly band of merry music makers from San Diego, Perry and Co. have been known for some Pirate-centric tunes on occasion, and with the release of SHAKE YOUR PIRATE BOOTY, they're all presented together as a complete collection.
With so many of my recent posts having to do with the arrival of Fall, it seems fitting that this one is about an album called APPLE APPLE. Although the traditional Apple Harvest here in Northern Illinois (and much of the Midwest) is dismal this year (heat followed by frost followed by drought), the new album from THE HARMONICA POCKET would certainly make a mighty fine soundtrack for an afternoon in the orchard - something that I'd still like to attempt even with pickin's that are slim. Speaking of pickin'...
Released this week, WHEN YOU'RE A KID, the debut EP from NYC-based SHIRA & FRIENDS, is a five-song, fifteen-minute fireball of family-friendly tunes destined to get the little ones movin' and groovin.' What struck me immediately on the opening number and title track is that Shira Kobren's voice sounds a little like a kid-friendly Liz Phair. The clap-along pop rock shifts gears into a ska-flavored groove for "Dance, Dance, Dance," while getting punked up for nighttime jam, "Doin' the PJ."
With my wife back at work now post-maternity leave, I've been accumulating quite a collection of music to be reviewed both for kids and for grownups. Yep, I'm a bit behind on things, and another album that's already hit the streets is HUH-UH, the new record by BARRY G. AND THE DREAM JAM KIDS. Released earlier this month by Universal's new MyKaZoo Music, HUH-UH marks the first solo release from Barry G., a member of the Dream Jam Band.
Bubbly and bright, MELISSA GREEN delivers an uplifting dozen-song set on her new album, SING LOUD!
A family-friendly pop-rock collection infused with elements of country, doo-wop, and even rap, Green's stylistic cornucopia quickly commanded dancing from my toddler, marking an instantaneous "win" for the songstress' fourth studio set.