We asked our favourite band parents if they let their kids listen to explicit lyrics
Remember buying your first tape or CD with one of those Tipper Gore-era explicit lyric stickers? The feeling of anticipation as you pulled back the all-too-hard-to-open packaging and placed the contraband cassette/disc in your Walkman, only to set sail on an ocean of forbidden words that your parents would kill you for using? (Or maybe even listening to.)
It felt like forbidden fruit. It was language that made you prick up your ears.
Now that we’re parents, the tables have turned. Sharing the music we love with our kids means all of those explicit lyrics we used to revel in have a different weight to them. But what do you do? Heed the parental advisory you once so happily flouted? Read more...
Everything you need for a funky family reggae party
Break out those bongos and crack a ginger beer: summer is the time for reggae. Here are our top picks for family-friendly tunes, books, music videos and activities – everything you need to lively up yourselves!
Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers‘ 2010 album, Family Time has some fun and upbeat songs by Jack Johnson, Willie Nelson, and Rita Marley. (It also won the Grammy for best kids album in 2010.) Also check out B is for Bob, Ziggy’s other children’s album, containing kid-friendly remixes of his dad’s catchiest tracks. Think: xylophones, tweeting birds, and tinkling triangles.
If you’re looking for a more general overview of the genre, Reggae For Kids features various artists singing reggae versions of classic kids songs like “Puff the Magic Dragon”, “Over the Rainbow”, and “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”. Read more...
Beth Blenz-Clucas was at Kindiefest in Brooklyn last weekend
For folks who think children’s music begins and ends with the latest TV sensation, “kindie” will be a new concept. No one’s got an accurate count, but my estimate is that there are now literally thousands of unsigned singers and bands making a career out of performing for kids. At last weekend’s Kindiefest (the fourth annual national family music conference in Brooklyn, NY), more than 300 of these artists showed up, networked and learned a few things to bump their careers forward.
Why is this important to the average family? Well, because the artists who come to Kindiefest, sharing their dreams and music, are the ones who will shake your soul during the coming year. It’s just that simple.
Coined as a term in South London circa 1998, dubstep is a genre of electronic music with roots in reggae and Jamaican dub. It’s characterized by intense baselines, shuffling rhythms, a heavy drum element and cross-genre samples. Usually slower than most electronic music, it requires some creative dance moves, and usually involves costumes to match. Here’s our guide to enjoying dubstep for kids.
1. Discover dubstep along with Sesame Street’s Yip Yips. The friendly aliens descend from Mars, happen upon a radio inside a residential home, and proceed to get their minds blown by some Skrillexremixes. Watch the furry critters go wild and get yippy to the wobbly beats:
2.Bassnectar’s music is a treat for the senses. His kid-friendly tunes are majestic and hypnotic, and they incorporate vocals with fun images and characters like belly dancers and snake charmers. Give his remix of Ellie Goudling’s “Lights” a listen! Read more...
THE FAM: Kindie superstars Lucky Diaz and Alisha Gaddis of Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band, and Lucky’s daughter Ella. Alisha told us that all the music in their house is kids’ music. “We love music, and we expose Ella to everything from Stevie Ray Vaughn to the Beach Boys, Maria Callas to Broken Bells. We try to do that with our own music. We want parents to listen to it and like it — even if it is for kids. But our FAVORITE song to listen to together is: B-52’s “Love Shack” it is one of Lucky’s favorite and makes us all laugh!” Read more...
Cool ways you and your family can enjoy the Fab Four even more
The Beatles’ timeless tunes are good for everyone, so introduce your kids to the Beatles and they’ll be hooked for life. We’ve come up with such a crazy-exhaustive list of fun things for your Beatles-loving family to enjoy, it’ll keep you busy eight days a week.
The Beatles Rarity has done a fantastic job collecting clips from the Beatles’ animated TV series. Follow the mop-topped heart breakers as they gallivant around London and tour around the world to a soundtrack of Beatles songs. Your kids will be imitating the accents after the first few minutes.
When it comes to the most magical time of the year, we know how to romp
Spring really is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!” Flowers are sprouting, the breeze is warm and trees are ripe for the climbing. We’ve rounded up our most stellar ideas to help you and your kids to take full advantage of the season — we’ve got you covered, from picnic basket pointers to mud puddle musts.
5. Construction paper isn’t known for being the coolest of craft supplies, but this stop-motion music video for a new Josh Ritter song proves otherwise. Also, if you’re not listening to Josh Ritter, this is a good opportunity to start. He’s awesome. Read more...
1. We know, this is by now just common sense, but we need to remind kids about sunscreen. It seems the teens are too cool for it. Maybe that’ll all change when today’s 6-year-olds are teens. Don’t those teens know that sun damage causes premature aging??
Beth Blenz-Clucas blogs about music for kids that grownups will love too
Children make music out of just about anything they can find – pots and pans, buckets, wooden spoons, your best china – you name it, they’ll want to bang on it. When it’s not destructive, this kind of early music play is extremely important for kids. At least one family music artist, Billy Jonas, never left his childhood instruments behind, as he creates a wall of sound from garbage bins, oatmeal boxes and carpet tubes… and a set of glass bottles.
There’s something about moisture, air and glass that can create sounds ranging from goofy to ethereal. One example of the latter is this YouTube video showing an artist performing a Mozart piece on a glass armonica. While it is certainly very refined, clearly what we have here is music-making from a glorified pop bottle: Read more...