Tag: kids’ music

Editors Best of 2009: The coolest books, music, and DVDs for kids

If there’s one thing our kids’ rooms have in common, it’s very packed bookshelves. Here are some of our favorite books, music and DVDs to help educate, inspire, and just keep kids cool. Kristen: Thanks to The Double Daring Book for Girls, I know how to build a raft. And so does my 5-year-old. An absolute must-have addition to any kid’s library. Liz: I love the original Poetry Speaks to Children book/DVD combo and now I love Hip Hop Speaks to Children. It may give you a whole new appreciation of what can be a very moving art form. Kristen:...

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Unwrap a free holiday playlist of kid-friendly songs

If your holiday music collection needs a little boost of something you haven’t heard ten thousand times already, check out  the list of 7 free downloadable holiday tunes from Jitterbug.tv. They’re all original songs from cool bands for kids. In other words: not one cheesy remake of The 12 Days of Christmas in the bunch. Jitterbug’s gift to my ears features festive, fun, and kid-friendly holiday songs from such CMP favorites as The Hipwaders, Brady Rymer and Princess Katie & Racer Steve. Each one can either be downloaded to your mp3 player, iPhone, or played straight off the laptop...

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C’mon by Renee & Jeremy is easy listening, not cheesy listening

My kids are bouncing off the walls with cabin fever already and the constant refrain of “Santa is coming” isn’t helping out. For those moments when we need to seriously chill out without falling asleep, Renee & Jeremy’s new kids’ music CD C’mon suits us perfectly. The LA duo of Renee Stahl and Jeremy Toback follow up their much-loved debut CD It’s a Big World with a dozen mellow beauties. With a sound I’d describe as Jack Johnson meets the coed Indigo Girls, C’mon is full of pretty harmonies and uplifting lyrics, like the opener Share. I’ll play that...

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A Kindie Christmas provides a much needed Christmas carol break

I’ve reached that time of the season when I hit the wall when it comes to Christmas carols, and yet I’m not ready to totally go cold turkey. Let’s just say I need a little holiday music palate cleansing, and The Hipwaders’ new A Kindie Christmas CD is just the ticket. With their distinctive sound we lauded not-too-long ago for their EP Goodie Bag, A Kindie Christmas keeps me in the spirit of the holidays with lyrics about Santa, reindeer and tinsel. But other than the sound of a few sleigh bells and a ho-ho or two, only the...

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The perfect little gift for the tween who has everything. (And don’t they all?)

Got a tween girl on your list this year? I don’t, I confess. But if I did, I totally know what I’d get her. (See, isn’t that always the way? Now if only I could trade this great tween gift idea with someone who knows the perfect thing for a 62-year-old man, my holiday shopping would be taken care of.) My own gift-giving woes aside, these little Ladybug Earbuds at The Conran Shop are so cute I could eat them. They’re compatible with any 3.5 mm headphone socket so her iPod touch, MP3, computer and whatever else she can...

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Christmas music to help you supress your Grinch; Express your Elf

Whereas Alvin and the Chipmunks blaring on the radio this week was a far too jarring transition for me into Holiday Music Overplay Season, popping in the new Uncle Rock CD, Express Your Elf, was much more what the doctor ordered. Or at least the two kids in the back seat. This album of fun Christmas covers includes Robert Burke Warren’s original takes on Most Wonderful Time of the Year and You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch— seriously, Boris Karloff has competition with that baritone. There’s also a La Bamba-Feliz Navidad mashup that’s so seamless, I kind of wonder...

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Princess Katie represents for feisty royalty everywhere

For my niece’s first Christmas, I got her a big collection of DVDs from great kindie rock artists, hoping it would help keep her away from all that awful kids’ music as she got older. But I never really think to check our favorite musicians’ websites for holiday gift ideas. And then I did. And now I’m glad. Because the Princess Katie and Racer Steve shop is pretty cool. There are holiday gift packs for fans of the band’s bouncy kids music, but what I really like are the Feisty Princess t-shirts which I know quite a few girls...

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The best kids music of 2009 that parents will love too . . . pinkie swear

2009 may go down as a year of the sucky economy, but at least I can feel pretty happy about the state of children’s music. Especially after seeing the brand spankin’ new list of 2009 Fids & Kamily Music Poll Winners. I’m honored to have been one of the judges along with movers and shakers in the kids’ music industry, including bloggers, journalists, performers and producers.  So who won? The geeky brainiacs among us are thrilled that They Might Be Giants’ Here Comes Science topped the list, closely followed by plenty of CMP favorites. I’m also quite pleased that...

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Putumayo comes out with a new Christmas CD, and my ears feel like they got a gift

With all due respect to the latest pop star du jour, most modern renditions of my favorite classic holiday songs leave me wishing for stronger eggnog. But now that I’ve started playing the Putumayo Presents awesome new A Family Christmas CD well before Thanksgiving, I’ve found the perfect soundtrack to take the kids and me straight through to the new year. Starting with Johnny Bregar’s peppy acoustic version of Santa Claus is Coming to Town and ending with a Mardi Gras-esque Frosty the Snowman, A Family Christmas will get me through even my Scroogiest moments. Traditional songs like Sleigh...

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If a CD can make us love Wheels on the Bus you know there’s something to it

I used to want the Wheels on the Bus to fall off and roll into a ditch, especially after having to suffer through that song with three toddlers. But then Rhythm Child‘s Norman Jones and his skillful horn-drum-fiddle-full Rhythm Child Network took that broken-down bus, funked it up and turned it into something something fun and—I can’t believe I’m writing this– cool on their 10-song CD Eat a Bowl of Cherries. What’s also cool is the entire premise of the Rhythm Child Network which singer, performer and hand-drummer Norman and his wife Heather created to expose kids to a...

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Trying Funny Stuff makes me want my kids music with extra Jimmies

I don’t want my kids to grow up listening to lame, easy-listening music which is why The Jimmies’ fun-rock songs have been on heavy rotation since we got Make Your Own Someday, their first CD, a couple of years ago. And now with their jam-packed kids’ DVD/CD combo, Trying Funny Stuff, complete with music videos, a laugh-out-loud “making of” documentary and live-concert footage, we are even more happily covered in Jimmies. Trying Funny Stuff kicks off with six music videos of some of our favorite songs, like the rocking Cool to be Uncool and the sweetly nostalgic Taddy. The...

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Just imagine Johnny Cash pushing a Bugaboo. That’s Hullabaloo.

I don’t yee-haw or two-step, although I may start after spinning Hullabaloo’s country-fried, folksy kids’ music CD, High Roller, a few more times. With my vote for coolest CD cover art of the year, High Roller gets toes tapping with plenty of banjo and fiddle but what really wins me over are the lyrics. How could I resist a title song that has a baby bragging about his cool stroller with its “3.5 inch rims” in a voice that conjures up Johnny Cash pushing a Bugaboo? Most of the songs that this Southern Calfornia duo of Steve Deynes and...

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They Might Be Giants takes on science and like that, a whole generation of future physicists is born.

Hearing my six year old singing songs like Meet the Elements or Photosynthesis makes my geeky-heart’s day, especially considering they are songs from my old favorites They Might Be Giants, on their new kids’ CD & DVD combo Here Comes Science. Normally, anything titled “Here Comes Science” would have me stifling a yawn, but John and John have managed to make educational science songs both brain- and ear-worthy — an instant classic. My 5, 6 and 8 year-olds are the perfect age for this album, whose subject matter is more complex than TMBG’s earlier releases, Here Come the ABC’s...

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Dan Zanes outgrows the house party with The Fine Friends are Here!

My kids don’t need another reason to zone out in front of the TV which is why the energetic new DVD from Dan Zanes, great god of the kids’ indie rock movement, is okay by me. Part live show, part music video The Fine Friends Are Here! practically demands that we get up and dance along with the audience as he rocks, jumps and grooves through an hour of his favorite tunes. And it isn’t just Dan: there are some killer violin, banjo, accordion, mandolin, rap and breakdancing performances from his friends too. Shot at the Jalopy Theatre in...

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Peter Himmelman’s trampoline has room for many

It’s not easy to get into the mind of a kid — just watch me trying to pry “how was your day” from my eight-year-old—but LA singer-songwriter and father of four Peter Himmelman seems to have this knack on his new kids’ music CD, My Trampoline. Whether he’s singing about a child’s unabashed love for a pet tortoise or extolling the virtues of lying under a tree, his ability to wrap smart lyrics around pop-rock beats gives my kids and me something to both listen to, and think about, on our drives around town. Peter’s voice reminds me of...

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Steal this CD

Any band that uses solar power to make their CD then encourages people to copy it for their friends makes me feel all warm and fuzzy before I’ve even heard a note. Thankfully, The Harmonica Pocket‘s new kids’ music CD, Ladybug One, is filled with such cool, trippy harmonies and smart, offbeat lyrics, it’s as satisfying as all their do-gooding. Starting with the sultry, lush Firefly which has me wishing for a hot summer’s night, Ladybug One moves into my fave, the bouncy Spider in my Breakfast–a lot more adorable than it sounds, and my kids find the lyrics...

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Arrghhhh, ’tis Talk Like a Pirate Day, mateys

We may not speak proper pirate but that doesn’t stop us from trying on Talk Like a Pirate Day. (Yes, that’s an actual thing. Swear.) So we’ve got a round up of some of our favorite pirate booty from past months. The kids’ pirate shoes from Sweet Shoes are listed under “boys” but we beg to differ. Pirates old enough to swab their own decks (so to speak) may get a kick out of Small Threads’ Pirate Skivvies which we just discovered last week at Magpie Lovely. Selecta’s pirate-themed pacifier clip at Kangarooboo just makes us smile. Miss Natalie’s...

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Let’s hear it for the girls!

CD audiobooks, or what I still call “books on tape,” are my secret weapon against boredom in the car. Our newest gem is Tell Me a Story 3: Women of Wonder which follows in the footsteps of its much loved predecessors, Tell Me a Story and Tell Me a Story 2: Animal Magic. And, as the mother of two girls, I am thrilled that the heroes of these new stories by Amy Friedman are actually heroines. In just over an hour’s drive, my kids move from Cambodia to Turkey to the old, Wild West in these six stories culled...

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Tagging The Not-Its!

I remember when the bands coming out of Seattle’s indie music scene set the bar for what was cool, so it shouldn’t surprise me that the most rockin’ new kids’ band, The Not-Its!, call that region home. Their debut CD, We Are The Not-Its!, makes me want to pull over to the side of the playground, open the hatchback and turn the volume up as high as it’ll go, to share their music with the masses of kids. Yes, it’s that good. What hooked me is hearing kids’ music with real indie-band backing but minus the preachy “wash your...

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Ja, Little Mon

On a recent drive to the beach, my kids and I glumly watched the black clouds rolling in as we all collectively whined, “Rain again?” Fortunately the CD I chose to turn on at that moment was Asheba’s totally fun calypso and world beat release, In The Kid Zone. The mood in our car changed as soon as we heard the sound of the steel drums and the artist’s joyful, smooth voice. And while I’ve never been to the Caribbean, native Trinadadian Asheba sure made me feel like I was headed that way with the authentic sound of songs...

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