Saturday, September 8, 2012

Rage Against Kids Bop!

Two New Kids' Music CDs Released in October

Recall that I recently wrote about my love of Kindie Rock and since then, I am discovering more and more fun kid music that we all love. Daddy-O even stumbled on a new (to us) kids' music channel on Directv's Sonic Tap called Playground and it has really cool family friendly music. Did you know that Wayne Brady (Who's Line is it Anyway) sings kids music?!

Now I have two new CDs in my hot little hands - one playful to lift us up, and one mellow and soothing to bring us down at the end of the day.

For our upper, introducing Vanessa Trien and The Jumping Monkeys!Their new album is called Bubble Ride and the most exciting song on it for me is their remake of Free to Be You and Me! I can't believe that one of my favorite musical legacies from the '70s is continued in another generation - hooray! Here are the other songs on the album: Moomooheehawbaabaaneigh
Peacock Walk
Spinning Around
Tickle Monster
One Fine Day
Train Dance
Bubble Ride
Yo-Yo Song
Hey Ho
Mama Dada Blues
Deep in the Jungle,
What Am I To Do?
Free to Be You and Me
Bye Bye Song
Laila’s Rainbow Colors
I am not exaggerating when I say that when I first playing this in on our dance floor living room, the chickadees started dancing and bouncing around. Even the l'il chicken hawk too! Vanessa's music is so melodic, happy, creative and fun. Not to mention extremely catchy! We really loved Tickle Monster, but the whole album is "Kid tested. Mother approved."

Vanessa Trien has been crisscrossing musical borders for as long as she can remember. While grounded in the acoustic folk genre, Vanessa has assimilated her own style, shifting effortlessly through an eclectic bag of influences: folk, blues, country, rockabilly, jazz standards, Latin, Caribbean, and '70s and '80s pop.

Expanding her horizons to include kid-friendly music came naturally when Vanessa became a parent.  Indeed, her debut kids' album, Hot Air Balloon (2006), gestated right along with her first child. Both baby Ellis and the CD were deemed first-rate at birth.  Vanessa’s second kids' CD, Carnival Day (2009), accompanied baby Laila into the world. Vanessa Trien’s first two albums have been honored with two Parents’ Choice® Awards, a NAPPA Award, and two iParenting Media Awards.
If you're in Virginia or Massachusetts, you could actually go with the family to see Vanessa Trien and The Jumping Monkeys perform. 

September 26th - Alden Theatre in McLean, VA
October 14th - Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline, MA 
November 3 - Regent Theatre in Arlington, MA

Otherwise, Bubble Ride will be officially released October 2nd.

To take us down in the evening, which is an absolute necessity in our house, let me introduce you to Sukey Molloy's bedtime album, I Am Sleepy!  

Sukey Molloy
Photo Credit: Dyana Van Campen
I started listening to Sukey's bedtime CD after the chickadees and the l'il chicken hawk were already in bed asleep and I wanted to give it a test run. On my first listen, I wasn't able to get past the first two songs. I fell fast asleep - no joke. Her music and voice was so soothing and beautiful! It has a glorious Celtic sound to it - irresistible.

Since my oldest was an infant, and each birth thereafter, we've always listened to a favorite lullaby album at bedtime. But the past year, the iPod hasn't worked, so we've had to bypass the bedtime lullaby routine, which really bummed me out. I didn't realize how much until I started up the routine again. The chickadees love being back in the routine too - it definitely helps relax them better.

Sukey says of her new CD, "I wanted to give parents a recording that they could use to help create a peaceful, soothing, beautiful atmosphere that would nourish a sense of comfort and joy for a wide age range - toddler, preschooler, or a mother with a newborn infant." I would like to add my age range and demographic to those that benefit from her music. Better than Calgon.
PR: "I Am Sleepy! blends traditional (and not often heard) lullabies, original songs that Sukey composed especially for nighttime listening and stories and poetry she created with the intention of bringing a sense of both security and mystery at bedtime. The album weaves its way through a calming, quiet, yet always engaging and sometimes playful nightime "under the stars" tapestry imbued with the sounds of crickets, owls and lambs. Sukey's gentle storytelling and vocals are complemented by the contributions of her classically-trained musician friends on harp, recorder, violin, dulcimer, guitar, bass and piano."
I have very fond memories of learning to play the auto harp in elementary school. How cool is it that she plays the auto harp?! Extremely. I admire that Sukey and her husband both delight in the wonder of childhood. I aim for creating that in our family too. She says of her music, "I have fond memories of my mother singing and reading to me at bedtime. I wanted to bring that same warm, cozy sense of security and wonder to listeners young and old, creating a reassuring atmosphere for 'children's bedtime' that could be shared by the entire family. I hope that I Am Sleepy! will take adults back to their childhoods and give children memories to cherish."

I'm certain she will achieve just that with her new CD, which will officially be released on October 16th.

Tracks include:

The Moon Shines Down
Hush My Little One
Evening's Coming
Quiet Night Poem
Twilight Song
The Story of Twinkle Little Star
Night is Falling
Early in the Evening
Sleep So Gently
Shadows Dance Upon My Wall
Scottish Folk Song
The Story of Little Lamb
Little Lamb's Song
Wind Through My Window
Sleep Now and Rest
Russian Lullaby
All the World is Sleeping

I hope your family is able to experience the fun of childhood by listening to superior-quality kid music such as Vanessa Trien and Sukey Molloy. Someone needs to give our elementary school's after school programs some music guidance because the Kids Bop crap they insist on playing isn't cutting it. I cringe every time I do pick up. They are providing a disservice to masses of unknowing innocents.

Disclaimer: I was given copies of both CDs to facilitate this review, yet unpaid for my opinions.

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