Friday, April 28, 2017

Salamanders Stake Music Cred in Montana

Children's music is everywhere! It's not just a bicoastal phenomenon, with fly-over stops in Chicago and other major cities. The Salamanders, the pride of Missoula, Montana, are back with their second CD, BUBBLES, to stake their claim as the top kids act along the Clark Fork River (look it up). Is it facetious to declare that the Salamanders put Montana on the map? Well, as far as children's music is concerned, the answer is a resounding golly. As in "Golly G. Gus," a track from BUBBLES.

For new century children's music goes, the Salamanders are as engaging and original as any regional group. They put their own spin on a number of universal topics, such as opening track "Let's Sing a Song." But really, who else is penning tunes like "Matt Damon Magentized Me," which complains:

I thought it would be so neat-o
To have the power of Magneto

Head 'Mander "Cowboy" Andy Hunt clearly structured the CD to have a mix of predictability and wonder. "Pirate Santa" revisits the concept of holiday gift-giving and places it on the High Seas. The mirth of babyhood is celebrated on "Mancub." The group even has the audacity to throw in a spirited "Skeleton Rag" instrumental.

The heart of the CD is the title track, "Bubbles," with all the fun and anticipation of producing a bubble big enough to fly away over the entirety of the United States. Or at least to Pittsburgh. And in the end, everybody cleans up in time for a "Lovely Goodbye." Everybody worries about their children using video games or toy light sabres as gateways to trouble, smoking, or worse – civil disobedience. The Salamanders promote their music as a gateway to creative expression and wisdom. Perhaps they're onto something up there in Montana (It is up, isn't it)? Time to consult Google Earth...

BUBBLES is available from the Salamanders' bandcamp page, Amazon, iTunes, and CDBABY.

Here is a live performance of the album-closing tune, "Lovely Goodbye":

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Ben's Playlist - Friday, April 28, 2017

Banana Bread – Caspar Babypants
Dance Like Yo Daddy – Meghan Trainor
Dodgeball – Justin Roberts
Feed The Machine – Nickelback
Island in the Ocean  – Bob and Luc Schneider
Only One You – Danny Weinkauf

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Ben's Playlist - Thursday, April 27, 2017

Humans Are Still Evolving – Dean Jones
I Dreamed I Could Fly – Eric Herman And The Invisible Band
One After 909 – Caspar Babypants
Serotonin – Mista Cookie Jar
Why Did You Teach Me That Word – Keith Munslow And Bridget Brewer
Your Happy Place – Jason Didner and the Jungle Gym Jam

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Ben's Playlist - Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Because I Love You – Caspar Babypants
Fly Like A Bird – Dean Jones
How Can You Tell If It's Going to Rain? – Andrew & Polly
L.A. Girlz – Weezer
One – Aaron Nigel Smith
Popsicle – Bob and Luc Schneider
Squirrel Fight – Michael & The Rockness Monsters

Monday, April 24, 2017

LARD Dog Unleashes Boogah Battling for April

LARD Dog and the House of Shy go big, big, big band for April's Song of the Month. The intrepid ensemble unleashes its exciting expected musical encounter, "Don't Let the Boogah Bug You Out" for listeners of all youthful ages.

The literal definition of a boogah is right on the tip of my finger. Or nose. Anywhere except my tongue. Yuck! The figurative definition of a boogah is anything that gets in your way, bums you out, or grosses you out. Dig?

The month is almost over so click now, don't wait for any further discounts or special offers.

Here is a link to the full (so far) four songs of the month from LARD and Company. "I Like," the first release, dug itself like an earworm into SiriusXM Kids Place Live's "13 Under 13."

You can even view an intensely surreal video for "I Like"! Where? Here!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Ben's Playlist - Monday, April 24, 2017

All the Pretty Horses – Cat Doorman
Expo Line – Andrew & Polly
Have You Ever Been Real – Dean Jones
Lost And Loving It – Kepi Ghoulie
Me On The Map – Brady Rymer & The Little Band That Could
Mr Pickle – Michael & The Rockness Monsters
That Way – Chibi Kodama

Friday, April 21, 2017

Rockness Monsters Pop, Bop, and Roll On

A decade working with the Blue Man Group gave Michael Napolitano an above-average dose of the surreal. After a 10 year stint (and five CDs) as the Preschool of Rock, he's twisted his vision into Michael and the Rockness Monsters. Their new CD, FUNNY FACES, pits the ordinary ("Babies Cry") up against the extraordinary ("Squirrel Fight"). Your kids won't know what's coming next.

"Mr. Pickle" is a 1940s boogie-woogie jazz number as engineered by Frank Zappa. The novelty tune "Elevator Song," currently getting airplay on SiriusXM's KidsPlace, harkens back to Mayor Monkey once forcing Recess Monkey to live in an elevator. There are still many handprints that FUNNY FACES is blueprinted for messy little hands, from "Feet for Hands" to the prototypical "you are special" song, "Everything Anything." Michael even enlists his 92-year-old Aunt Jo to participate on the family-themed "So Happy."

Assisted by a host of talents (including Tim Sutton from Ratboy Jr, Tracy Bonham, Sonia de los Santos), FUNNY FACES was helmed by children's music über-producer Dean Jones. Side note – I referred to Dean in a conversation using that exact term and received the response, "He runs Uber?"

Growing up is a confusing time. Adults say one thing and mean something else. What exactly is a double entendré? What is an entendré, for that matter? Michael and the Rockness Monsters deliver a safe space with songs that sounds like fun for intrepid minds. With FUNNY FACES, Mr. N delivers his valedictorian project as he graduates from the Preschool (of Rock). And he's still kidding. In this case, that's a good thing.

FUNNY FACES is available on April 28 from Michael and the Rockness Monsters' website, Amazon, and iTunes.

Here is the video for "Cosmic Vacation":