Thursday, December 14, 2017

Ben's Playlist - Friday, December 15, 2017

Cold (feat. Future) – Maroon 5
Must Be This Tall – Justin Roberts
Window – Gustafer Yellowgold
People Watching – Dean Jones
Calling All the Kids to the Yard – Cat Doorman
The Only One – Brady Rymer & The Little Band That Could
New Pair Of Shoes – The Bazillions

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Ben's Playlist - Thursday, December 14, 2017

How Lucky We Are – Justin Roberts
Do You Talk To Yourself – Dean Jones
I Love The Night – Gustafer Yellowgold
Rock Island Line (Featuring Billy Bragg) – Dan Zanes & Friends
Visions – Maroon 5
It's A Wonderful Life – Kepi Ghoulie

Quick Hits: Billy Kelly, NY Family Music Showcase & Brady Rymer Videos

Children's comedian/musician (how's that for a specific hyphenate) Billy Kelly returns to Symphony Space this weekend with a whole spanking new show (and no spanking). Join Bill on Sat., December 16 at 11:00 am at Symphony Space’s Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theatre. Tickets are a mere $14 and $17.

PR maven Stephanie Mayers is promoting an all-ages family showcase on Sunday, January 14 at Manhattan's Rockwood Music Hall. Performing acts from her talent roster include Falu’s Bazaar, JoJo & The Pinecones, Billy Kelly (him again?), Lard Dog & The Band of Shy, KB Whirly, Gustafer Yellowgold, the Bilingual Birdies Band, The Pop Ups, and Michael & The Rockness Monsters. Tickets are available for the low, low price of $10 – per family!

Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could have a second Hanukkah video, "Rainbow Candles," that celebrates the holiday. It's direct from their recent CD, REVVIN' UP THE REINDEER. You can get that CD here.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Ben's Playlist - Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Peace Be To All – Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could
Forever Young – Andrew & Polly
Summer's Here – The Bazillions
Rainbow Tunnel – Alison Faith Levy
Rattlesnake – Caspar Babypants
Mystery – Dean Jones
To and Fro – Cat Doorman

Quick Hits: Saul Paul Raps Acoustic, Rymer Hails Hanukkah

Kid hop is hot. Secret Agent 23 Skidoo is the reigning Grammy award winner for children's music with his 2016 CD, INFINITY PLUS ONE. The Alphabet Rockers seek to make the subgenre a repeat winner with their 2017 nominated CD, RISE. And Austin, Texas rapper SaulPaul is next in line (although not a nominee) with his new release, WE DREAM IN 3D.

SaulPaul calls himself a musician with a message and WE DREAM IN 3D celebrates imagination (the title track), movement ("Texas Two Step" and "Do That Hula Hoop"), and family ("Mama"). The disc checks in a a crisp 27 minutes. The standout track, "Rise," features 11-year-old vocalist Alexia Finney, although closing tune "Si Se Puede (Yes We Can)" is right there with it.

There's a whole world in SaulPaul's music and a goodly portion of it is locked inside the heads of its intended listeners. If your kids have already enjoyed some kid hop or if you want a friendly "gateway" act, give 'em a little SaulPaul for the holidays.

WE DREAM IN 3D is available on Amazon and iTunes.

The pride of Long Island, Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could, greet the first night of the festival of lights with the video to their new song, "Hanukkah Rocks." It's another lyric video, but you get to singalong, so that's a bonus. Bring the kids – it's a reading test as well!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Ben's Playlist - Monday, December 11, 2017

White Whale – Kepi Ghoulie
One Day By The Riverside – Brady Rymer & The Little Band That Could
One After 909 – Caspar Babypants
Cotton Fields (The Cotton Song) (Featuring Sonia De Los Santos, Elena Moon Park, & José Joaquin Garcia) – Dan Zanes & Friends
Solar Flares – Mo Phillips
Fly Like A Bird – Dean Jones

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Ben's Playlist - Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Fresh Spokes (Featuring Susan Lapidus) – Hot Peas 'n Butter
Do You Talk To Yourself – Dean Jones
New Pair Of Shoes – The Bazillions
Free Couch – Caspar Babypants
20 More Dollars – Chibi Kodama
Washington, DC – The Not-Its!
Dodgeball – Justin Roberts

Friday, December 01, 2017

Quick Hits: Holiday Songs from Laurie Berkner, LARD Dog, Uncle Dox

For adults, there's Oprah. The one-word wonder that everyone knows.

For the under-five set, there's Laurie. As in Laurie Berkner and the Laurie Berkner Band.

And for those kids (and their older siblings, relatives, and parents), there's a new holiday single, "Jingle Bell (Remix)" to be downloaded ($1.29 on iTunes).

 You can click through and hear the song. Or dance to the whole song. What can I say? It's one whole wholesome song, courtesy of the new "A Laurie Berkner Christmas Album." For that. you can click here.

LARD Dog and the Band of Shy are concluding their "Song of the Month" program with December's "Christmas Time Is A Wonderful Time." Kudos to LARD (Steven Erdman) and his cast of characters for walking the fine line between sublime and silly in 2017 with their songs. The year wraps up with a merry blast of 60s style power-pop done a la LARD. Where do they go in 2018? One can only imagine!

Uncle Dox is debuting free music singles this month, starting with "Snow Day." It's different than the other iterations of the song with the same title by several artists (Justin Roberts among others). The tune has a perky rap beat here with kids gleefully singing the refrain "Snow Day! Lets' celebrate!Bandcamp, Soundcloud, and Facebook.
"  You can get it complimentary of

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Mitzvah Bus: Mister G's Good Deed

Multiculturalism allows this generation to enjoy a whole new array of musical tropes. Kwanzaa was not even a holiday when I was a kid. The big deal in any Jewish household was Hanukkah – and the big song was "I Have A Little Dreidel." Followed closely by "Hanukkah O Hanukkah." Followed closely by... well, it would take several decades until Adam Sandler concocted "The Hanukkah Song."

Christmas albums are still the norm (paging Brady Rymer and REVVIN' UP THE REINDEER). However an outlier crops up every now and then. Brady included a Hanukkah track. Joanie Leeds has recorded TWO secular children's CDs. Those are fun, inclusive, and won't produce as much eye-rolling as the Chabad-backed Mighty Mitzvah Kids. Into this mix throw Ben "Mister G" Gundersheimer – just don't throw him under his latest release, THE MITZVAH BUS.

Mister G has won a latin Grammy Award. His other 2017 CD, MUNDO VERDE/GREEN WORLD, was a multi-lingual ode to ecology and Planet Earth. So there's clearly a larger agenda as Ben circles the globe, walking English, Hebrew, Spanish, and Yiddish onto his bus. The semi-traditional sounding "Shabbat Shalom" succinctly sums up his thought process:

Shabbat shalom
Come on home, put down that phone
Shabbat shalom
It's been all week
Now it's time for a treat
Shabbat shalom.

According to Mister G, his most cherished bar mitzvah present was a guitar, which served as his gateway to music education. Now he's playing it forward by honoring his grandparents and recording the reggae-tinged "Hanukkah," "Challahlalala," "Latkes for Breakfast," and more. The songs go completely around the yearly spectrum, including the descriptive "Purim Party Song" and "Camp," which seems to serve as the placeholder for a summer single.

THE MITZVAH BUS is part history lesson, part Hebrew tutorial, part holiday celebration, mostly whimsical, and entirely enjoyable. And like most children's CDs, it winds down with an appropriate good night song, here being "Lilah Tov," which translates into good night. And as long as I can go another year without having to explain "The Hanukkah Song" to my kids, it is a good night.

THE MITZVAH BUS is available at Mister G's website, Amazon, and iTunes.

Here is the video for Mister G's song, "The Bossy E":