Most of you are probably aware of the vast Kindie Rock scene out there. Here are some of our current favorites that are in steady rotation at our house:
BRIAN VOGAN AND HIS GOOD BUDDIES, BVGB
This is the 6th album from the Good Buddies and it delivers everything you come to expect from them, awesome sound, funny, poignant lyrics, and a vast exploration of well-executed musical styles. You’ll find ballads, klezmer, pop songs, and an alterna-rock, feedback-laden track called “I’m a Nasty Cavity” to round out the mix. Brian Vogan channels the spirit of childhood in his albums. He is regularly inspired by his work with children at the Childhaven schools in Seattle. We ***LOVE*** Brian Vogan and his Good Buddies and hope you do too, take a listen!
Dinosaur in My Drawer
I’m a Nasty Cavity
Marla Has Two Moms
RECESS MONKEY, Hot Air
More Kindie Rock greatness out of Seattle ( we swear we are not biased) with Recess Monkey’s latest album. Beautifully crafted, this album presents itself as a optimistic, Beatles-esque journey through a day-in-the-life of a child’s mind space. All three band members are elementary school teachers whose goal is to publish a kindie-rock album per year. This is their 12th album released and last year, it garnered Parent’s Choice Award Gold Medal. Take a listen!
Lighter Than Air
Brian Vogan and his Good Buddies and Recess Monkey are a part of the Kindiependent Collective, a group of indie artists who are passionate about cultivating a vibrant kids music scene in the Pacific Northwest.
FRANCES ENGLAND, Explorer of the World
Bay area singer, songwriter, kindie rocker extraordinaire released her latest album, “Explorer of the World”, April 1st of this year. The album’s tone is sweet, quiet and authentic. Frances England’s style lands somewhere between folk and acoustic alternative rock. Her hooks are catchy and her lyrics capture the essence of childhood wonderment. There is a lot of depth to this album and is absolutely worth listening to while relaxing, doodling, or (more realistically) while you are diligently shuttling your children and their friends to their next activity. Listen to these tracks and be transported.
Explorer of the World
There are also some noteworthy original and cover tracks have recently popped up in our children’s listening requests.
JACK WHITE AND THE ELECTRIC MAYHEM, You are the Sunshine of my Life
Jack White. Muppets. Enough said. Jack White’s guest appearance on the new “Muppet Show” prompted the release of a cover of Stevie Wonder’s “You are the Sunshine of My Life”, which, apparently, is Kermit and Miss Piggy’s song (they are creatures of the 70s after all…). Below is a clip from the season finale where Jack White attempts to get the frog and the pig back together.
DAVID BOWIE, Kooks
The loss of David Bowie at the beginning of this year had me playing a lot of old Bowie albums in the car. A lot. The song “Kooks” from David Bowie’s early album “Hunky Dory” came so often requested by my daughter that I wondered whether anyone from the Kindie Rock scene had covered it. Lo and behold, Elizabeth Mitchell plays a cover of “Kooks” on her 2012 album “Blue Clouds”. Her cover is sweet, folky, and anchors the track solidly back to childhood and new parenthood, but, you know, sometimes you just can’t beat the original. Take a minute to revisit the Bowie original.
RENEE & FRIENDS, Starfish and Coffee (featuring Maya Rudolph)
Another pick inspired by a more recent, huge loss, Prince’s Starfish and Coffee covered by Renee Stahl featuring guest vocals by Maya Rudolph has become a part of our “tribute” listening at home. Renee & Friend’s version, from her latest album, “Simpatico”, has a more college coffee house feel than Prince’s original version. Yet, it is still charming and is worth listening to alongside the original. It is good to expose your children to variety! Here is Renee & Friend’s version, and below it, a link to Time Magazine’s tribute post featuring the late artist, Prince performing Starfish and Coffee on the Muppet Show.
Prince on The Muppet Show, 1997 “Ideas can come from anywhere…”