Blog Testimonial

Dear Johnette,

Thank you! We have already enjoyed your resource by using your notes on school study guides to help us do a better job with that.

Take care,
Banana Slug String Band

Thanks cool Slugs! Keep up the great work!!

Punk Rock Preschoolers!

Illinois kiddie rockers The Boogers musically pummell the tots at Chicago's Wonder Works Children's Museum with their version of "Mary Had a Little Lamb," from their kids' music debut Road to Rock. Long live Rock & Roll...

The Boogers - "Mary"

Monkeys and Squirrels

Part National Geographic, part Jack Johnson, part "Runaround Sue," Corey Jenkins' (aka Jenks) first video from his debut kids' album Animals from A to Z is the tale of a Mexican monkey with a yen to wander. Silly? Maybe, but then check out Jenkins' Nickelodeon-worthy short film about a park ranger with a squirrel phobia. Even sillier and funnier, and featuring another tune from Animals from A to Z, "All About Squirrels."

Jenks - "Little Monkey on the Roam"

Scott and the Squirrels, by Corey Jenkins

Alphabet Soup Assembly Poll

The results of the Alphabet Soup Assembly Poll are in! Visitors were asked, "If assemblies where alphabet soup, which top three ingredients you would add?" The top three answers were 1) laughter 2) participation 3) movement.

There you have it!

Thanks to everyone who participated in the poll!

That's How It Goes Playin' In A Band

Know what rocks? A dude wearing a cut off t-shirt playing bagpipes, rolling down the street on a flatbed truck with his band, giving you a rundown of the crappy side of being a rocker. Cool.

ACDC - "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'N' Roll)"

This is your brain on music.

I have been reading a book called This is Your Brain on Music by Dr. Daniel Levitin. It talks about how we perceive and understand music and how it affects our brain. Levitin is a nueroscientist with a background in the music industry, specifically rock music. He has a unique perspective and his book contains some very interesting concepts. That's why I'm listing it as January's book of the month.

I'm the Kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing of Rock!!!

...or, "I Can't Live Without My Radio!" which, in this case, is an old crib monitor that Steamboat uses as a makeshift mini boom box. We turn on the CD player in his room where the monitor base is and, voila! instant radio! Rock the Bells!

Where Do I Fit In?

Never thought I'd feel sad for a tomato! The Board of Education's wistful powerpop tune about the tomato's place in the food pyramid makes it to video. Dig this awesome song, then check out a full review of The Board of Education album over at the site.

The Board of Education - "The Lonely Tomato"

Get Gustafer Yellowgold Fever!

Just heard/watched the new CD/DVD Gustafer Yellowgold's Mellow Fever ... wonderful! Morgan Taylor's third installment in Gustafer's life story is as tranquil, silly, moving, and catchy as ever, and explores even more the mysterious past of our hero, and introduces a couple of new characters.

Mellow Fever comes out in March, so until then you can catch up by checking out past reviews of Gustafer Yellowgold's Wide Wild World and Gustafer Yellowgold's Have You Never Been Yellow?

Oranges and Lemons

We have been working on several nursery rhymes in our classes this semester, and one of them is Oranges and Lemons. It is an old English rhyme that refers to the various church bells around the London area. I found it quite interesting that one of the mothers in class (she's from England) knew more verses than the one we were using in class. She researched it at and sent me the original words as follows:

Oranges and Lemons Poem

"Oranges and lemons" say the Bells of St. Clement's

"You owe me five farthings" say the Bells of St. Martin's

"When will you pay me?" say the Bells of Old Bailey

"When I grow rich" say the Bells of Shoreditch

"When will that be?" say the Bells of Stepney

"I do not know" say the Great Bells of Bow

"Here comes a Candle to light you to Bed

Here comes a Chopper to Chop off your Head

Chip chop chip chop - the Last Man's Dead."

What really blew me away was the poem references to the public executions of debtors during the late 1700s. It's interesting that such a sinister sounding rhyme has survived, like so many others, to become a well beloved children's poem.

That Freedom Highway

Teach your babies this song, and have them teach their children's children. Springsteen, Seeger, and his grandson Tao Rodriguez rock Guthrie's classic for Obama, with Lincoln looking over their shoulder. They even sing the often-omitted later verses, including:

Nobody living can ever stop me,
As I go walking that freedom highway;
Nobody living can ever make me turn back,
This land was made for you and me.

"This Land is Your Land"

Best Kids' Music Debuts of 2008

I've never compiled a list like this, so it was pretty exciting to see how many top-notch freshman albums came out this year in children's music. I posted the list over at, where everyone is welcome to make their own suggestions and comment on the ones I chose. Check out the Top 12 Best Kids' Music Debuts of 2008!

***Kimya Dawson***

Considered an "Anti-folk" hero, Kimya, to me, is more a "Pro-stream-of-consciousness" performer: her songs concentrate heavily on lyrics while instrumentation is almost an afterthought. But that's a good thing, as her thinking-out-loud songs explore deeper feelings, spur of the moment thoughts, and silly ideas that other performers wouldn't bother developing into songs.

Dawson's grownup band, The Moldy Peaches, reveled in low-key, lo-fi, sometimes shambolic, but always attention-grabbing songs. She reels it in a little on Alphabutt, much the same way she did on the Juno soundtrack. The closest thing this comes to in the arena of kids' music is Woody Guthrie's 1956 classic Songs to Grow On for Mother and Child. And Dawson is pretty much singing to and for her little girl Panda on Alphabutt, the same way Guthrie's son Arlo was the main audience for Mother and Child.

Here's a one-sentence review for ya: Kimya Dawson's Alphabutt is the sound of parenting. For once, a performer records what it really sounds like when you're hanging out with your kids, unselfconsciously singing songs and having fun. These tunes aren't about anything mindblowing, no lessons are overtly or subconsciously being taught here. The songs just celebrate feelings that come with mommyhood (pre- and post-birth): love, companionship, anxiety, joy, pride.

Kimya gives you sing-alongs like "Louie," "I Like Bears," and the crazy-ass "Wiggle My Tooth;" autobiographical observations like "Smoothie" and "Happy Home (Keep On Writing);" and bizarre but funny character portraits like "Bobby-O." Dig the simple but effective chant "Pee-Pee in the Potty," the lovely and word-filled "I Love You Sweet Baby," and the noisy naptime ode "Little Monster Babies." And for a quick idea of what Alphabutt is all about, listen to the brilliant and hilarious title tune, and follow it with the sweet "Little Panda Bear."

It was very punk rock of Kimya to follow up her Juno success with an album of children's songs. She could have easily recorded a collection of more slickly-produced, soundtrack-ready tunes rather than kid-friendly songs about pee, farts, bears, aerobics instructors, and dogs. Kudos to her and others who have the guts to push the boundaries of kids' music even farther.

Delightful Sounds Store

I am excited to introduce our new online store hosted at Ebay. We offer musical themed t-shirts for adults and children, as well as a variety of music and play items. The store name is delightfulsounds, and you can click here to visit our store.

Kimya Likes Bears AND Giants

"I Like Giants" is from one of Kimya Dawson's grownup albums, Remember That I Love You, but it would have fit right in on her kids' CD Alphabutt. The NYC-based punk dance troup UNDERTHRUST choreographed a video for "I Like Giants," a pretty deep song despite it's sing-songy, nursery rhyme sound. "I am just a speck of dust inside a giant's eye." ... indeed.

Kimya Dawson - "I Like Giants"

To do list

To do or not to do. That's often the question for your young child. However, as parents we have power through our words to influence their decisions in a positive manner. It is more important to explain what they should be doing than what they shouldn't. Let me give you an example. Do not picture a TREE in your mind. TREES are not allowed. If you think about a TREE, you are going to get in trouble! How many of you thought about that tree? I did. That's just how our minds work.

"Don't" is an abstract concept. It's not as concrete in our minds as an action or object would be. Now put it in perspective. Your young child lacks the reasoning ability that we have as adults. When we say, "do not throw that!", their mind focuses mainly on the action part of the command. As an alternative, I could say, "Put that in my hand." or "Hold on tight to it." I'm not saying this works like magic every time. You have to take into consideration that we all have a will, and sometimes we just don't want to do what we're supposed to do. A positive approach to parenting does not replace the need for discipline or consequences in a case of willful disobedience. Just remember to be consistent.

This approach to parenting does require more thought on the parent's part. It's easier for me to just point out what's wrong with the situation. However, in order for your child to have true learning potential in the situation, you need to state the desired action. You may even want to take some time to right down a few ideas. Think about some of the more frequent infractions you are having trouble with. List what you would have liked to happen. Be creative and remember to keep your child emotionally engaged in the learning experience. If you come up with any great ones you would like to share, I hope you will post them as a comment below. Until next time, good luck in this adventure they call parenthood!

Dog On Fleas Love Ugly Fruit

One of my favorite bands promote organic farming. Dig it.

Dog On Fleas - "Ugly Fruit"


Nick Vujicic is 25 years old and was born without arms or legs. Given no medical reason for this condition, he has faced many challenges and obstacles. I am truly inspired and amazed when I watch this man. I hope that watching this video will inspire not only those with physical disabilities, but also those who are just struggling in their day to day life. Remember to be all that you can be in the new year. Click here and enjoy!

***Parry Gripp***

Do You Like Waffles? is the best thing since ... waffles! Parry Gripp began his musical career with the (self-admittedly) geeky rock band Nerf Herder, whose pop culture-filled power punk tunes garnered them comparisons to Weezer, Weird Al, The Offspring, Green Day, and The Dead Milkmen.

Gripp decided to try his hand at jingle writing, but his only commission, a commercial for a waffle that came with its own dipping sauce, was never used. Undeterred, Gripp recorded a huge cache of very short, tightly produced, ridiculously catchy, and very funny songs that he compiled in 2005 as For Those About to Shop, We Salute You. His second album of mini songs, Do You Like Waffles?, takes the best of his first CD, adds a few new tunes, and leaves off songs like "We're Gonna Kick Your Ass Today" and "Nice Motherf@#!*&g Truck" so the whole family can rock out.

Every tune on Do You Like Waffles? is about food, so this album'll either make you hungry or make you laugh, or both. Check out especially the power pop brilliance of "Soup," "Hip, Hip Hoo-Raisin," "Bran Flakes," and "Theme from Melvin the Magic Hotdog."

Here's the irony: now companies are chasing Gripp to get him to write ads. He's composed for Hallmark's Hoops & Yoyo series, and for the Wawa convenience store chain. And if that's not prolific enough for ya, dig his Song of the Week website, which features lots of new tunes not included on either album, with artwork by Nathan Mazur. Videos for songs like "Spaghetti Cat" and "Hamster on a Piano (Eating Popcorn)" are takin' YouTube by storm!

me 3 Make a Short Video for a Short Song

...and the song is called...that's right, "Short Song." Played louder and faster, this tune by me 3 would make a great stadium rocker!

me 3 - "Short Song"

New Video from Melissa Green!

Time to ride, ride, ride, with Melissa Green on this latest video from her new DVD Clap, Shake and Roll. Melissa's "4 Nickles and a Dime" is another kids' tune about two-wheeler fun for all you bike aficionados out there.

Melissa Green - "4 Nickles and a Dime"