Listen to This: New Music about the Holidays, Wokeness, and Lost Socks!

LUCY KALANTARI & THE JAZZ CATS, It’s The Holidays!

Ring in the holidays with some kid-friendly jazz! Brooklyn-based Lucy Kalantari & the Jazz Cats have a new EP out that celebrates all the celebrations of the holiday season. The 5 original songs on this EP are dedicated to Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and the New Year. The first single from the album has a Klezmer influenced sound but is lyrically rooted in Halloween spookiness. My Mommy is a Mummy is a funny, playful, and infectious song that describes what happens when a mom wakes up in an altered state but still has all the mom responsibilities! Not only is this song timely in regards to the season, but upon purchase of the single, all proceeds are donated to Puerto Rico’s hurricane relief effort, so it is music for a good cause. And really, good vibes and building community is what this EP is all about. Kalantari states, “I wanted to bring more attention [to] community. I always love singing about finding joy in the simple things of life, and in this album I continue to build on that while inviting listeners to open their eyes and take note of all the people around them that make up their community: their families, their friends, and neighbors.” Kalantari even lyrically addresses some of the friction that can happen when families and friends congregate together in her Thanksgiving themed song, Grateful. The holidays takes some patience, people! And  it takes a good dose of gratitude, understanding, and acceptance. Heartfelt warmth courses through this album. The Dixieland vibe brings a familiar and optimistic tone to the tracks It’s Snowing, It’s The Holidays, and That’s a Wrap.  Before you know it, you’ll be creating your own second line parade in your living room. I encourage you not to resist that urge!

Hey, New Yorkers: Lucy Kalantari & the Jazz Cats are performing live at two different branches of the Brooklyn Public Library on 10/28/17: McKinley Park Branch at 11am and at the Kensington Branch at 3pm!

Update: Lucy Kalantari & the Jazz Cats will be performing live on New Years Celebration Concert on December 30th! Industry City Courtyard; doors at noon, show at 1pm. Free admission!

 

ALPHABET ROCKERS, Rise Shine #Woke

The Oakland-based Kid Hop crew, Alphabet Rockers, have a new album out called Rise Shine #Woke and it is overflowing with messages of empowerment and positivity. The album invites listeners to put consciousness in motion. Alphabet Rockers say, “We want to help parents raise the next generation of change-makers. We’re here to ignite their courageous conversations. Our music is part of a movement.” This album is definitely a catalyst for action, encouraging all to become an agent for positive change. It opens with a powerful message about learning. The beginning interlude starts with a quote that says we, as people, begin to learn while still in utero. The takeaway message: caregivers, don’t wait to engage children in active thinking. Boom! The albums takes off from there. Structurally, the album is split into 5 sections. Each is defined by a different interlude track that frames the theme for that particular section. The first section focuses on waking up your senses, moves children and families to sing and dance while making conscious the importance of  standing up for others, speaking out for justice, and being confident in your purpose. This is followed by an interlude that introduces the idea of curiosity and questioning. That kicks off another set of songs that focus on being proud of who you are as a diverse individual (listen carefully for some pretty stellar samples from one of President Obama’s speeches). Musically, the album draws inspiration from artists like Erykah Badu, Marvin Gaye, The Roots, and Lauryn Hill (from back in the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill days). The hooks are catchy and the message couldn’t be more timely. “We act because we care.” Be inspired!

Bay Area peeps! The Alphabet Rockers are coming to a location near you! Click here to see the current line up of live shows!

 

MISTA COOKIE JAR, The Quest for the Missing Polka-Dotted Pink Sock

Mista Cookie Jar has a new single out that delivers the ultimate narrative adventure! It’s catchy, funny, and spins an all too familiar tale of hunting for that elusive stray sock. In this case, the sock goes missing during the night and spurs a dream of a foot plunging into a cold abyss. Startled awake, Mista Cookie Jar finds that he only has one sock left on. His poor naked foot is so very cold without its matching polka-dotted pink sock, and he won’t stand for it any longer. And so the hunt begins! At first, it is for the sock itself, and then, after a fruitless search, the mission shifts to try to find a replacement sock. At its heart, it’s an anthem encouraging persistence, self-expression, and bold fashion choices that bestow feelings of super powers. We can all relate! Take a listen and don’t take your eyes off of your favorite clothing item, lest it too may disappear. 

To read more about Mista Cookie Jar’s socks and inspiration, click here

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