Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Mitzvah Bus: Mister G's Good Deed

Multiculturalism allows this generation to enjoy a whole new array of musical tropes. Kwanzaa was not even a holiday when I was a kid. The big deal in any Jewish household was Hanukkah – and the big song was "I Have A Little Dreidel." Followed closely by "Hanukkah O Hanukkah." Followed closely by... well, it would take several decades until Adam Sandler concocted "The Hanukkah Song."

Christmas albums are still the norm (paging Brady Rymer and REVVIN' UP THE REINDEER). However an outlier crops up every now and then. Brady included a Hanukkah track. Joanie Leeds has recorded TWO secular children's CDs. Those are fun, inclusive, and won't produce as much eye-rolling as the Chabad-backed Mighty Mitzvah Kids. Into this mix throw Ben "Mister G" Gundersheimer – just don't throw him under his latest release, THE MITZVAH BUS.

Mister G has won a latin Grammy Award. His other 2017 CD, MUNDO VERDE/GREEN WORLD, was a multi-lingual ode to ecology and Planet Earth. So there's clearly a larger agenda as Ben circles the globe, walking English, Hebrew, Spanish, and Yiddish onto his bus. The semi-traditional sounding "Shabbat Shalom" succinctly sums up his thought process:

Shabbat shalom
Come on home, put down that phone
Shabbat shalom
It's been all week
Now it's time for a treat
Shabbat shalom.

According to Mister G, his most cherished bar mitzvah present was a guitar, which served as his gateway to music education. Now he's playing it forward by honoring his grandparents and recording the reggae-tinged "Hanukkah," "Challahlalala," "Latkes for Breakfast," and more. The songs go completely around the yearly spectrum, including the descriptive "Purim Party Song" and "Camp," which seems to serve as the placeholder for a summer single.

THE MITZVAH BUS is part history lesson, part Hebrew tutorial, part holiday celebration, mostly whimsical, and entirely enjoyable. And like most children's CDs, it winds down with an appropriate good night song, here being "Lilah Tov," which translates into good night. And as long as I can go another year without having to explain "The Hanukkah Song" to my kids, it is a good night.

THE MITZVAH BUS is available at Mister G's website, Amazon, and iTunes.

Here is the video for Mister G's song, "The Bossy E":

Monday, November 27, 2017

Quick Hits: New Mista Cookie Jar, Brady Rymer Videos

Mista Cookie Jar has debuted his latest video, for the song "The Quest for the Missing Polka-Dotted Pink Sock." It's the saga of one man looking for his sartorial accoutrement. Spend three minutes with Mista CJ and see what he's been doing.

Brady Rymer and the little Band That Could continue to drop videos in support of their holiday CD, REVVIN' UP THE REINDEER. This week's offering is a lyric video for "Trim the Tree."

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Quick Hits: Holiday Videos from Brady Rymer, Randy Kaplan & Kid Pan Alley

Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could have gone holiday music crazy! But fear not, it isn't an eggnog overdose – it's all to promote their latest CD, REVVIN' UP THE REINDEER. This week's video is "It's Christmastime," and yes, Virginia, you can expect a fully-decorated tree:

The non-profit organization Kid Pan Alley teamed with noted educator/children's music recording artist Randy Kaplan for the song "Santa's On Vacation." The lyrics were written by Tim Johnson  and Mrs. Allard’s 3rd grade class, Poplar Grove School. Randy put his distinctive spin on the material and they even created a photo/video for the song:

Matt's 7th Birthday CD

Hello – Adele
Ben – Zee Avi
ABC – Jackson 5
Papa Loves Mambo – Dean Martin
Despacito (feat. Daddy Yankee) – Luis Fonsi
Hava Nagila  – Ben Folds
 Hey Jude  – Caspar Babypants
Rolex – Ayo & Teo
Everything I Didn't Say  – 5 Seconds of Summer   
Dino-Soaring   – The Dirty Sock Funtime Band
Raining Tacos – Parry Gripp
Grapes   – Andrew & Polly
Dog Park – Jack Forman
Shrimp – Recess Monkey
 I'm a Gummy Bear (The Gummy Bear Song) – Gummifer 
The Duck Song – The Duck
Hello Goodbye – Caspar Babypants

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Ben's Playlist - Monday, November 20, 2017

Island in the Ocean – Bob and Luc Schneider
I Feel Better – Caspar Babypants
Sunshine Sunny Sun Sunshine Day – Danny Weinkauf
What Kind Of Fruit – Dean Jones
Window – Gustafer Yellowgold
That's a Wrap – Lucy Kalantari & the Jazz Cats
Inkpot – Kepi Ghoulie

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Ben's Playlist - Friday, November 17, 2017

Crazy Mountain Road – Eric Herman And The Invisible Band
Have You Ever Been Real – Dean Jones
Brighter Side – Gustafer Yellowgold
That Way – Chibi Kodama
Feels Like Summer  – Weezer
It's A Wonderful Life – Kepi Ghoulie

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Ben's Playlist - Thursday, November 16, 2017

Forever Young – Andrew & Polly
Calling All the Kids to the Yard – Cat Doorman
Hanukkah Rocks – Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could
Play That Song – Train
King of the World – Weezer
One After 909  – Caspar Babypants
Hammer – Aaron Nigel Smith

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Ben's Playlist - Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Here Comes The Sun – Andrew & Polly
Summer's Here – The Bazillions
Bop Bodiop! – Cat Doorman
You Better Believe – Train
Tae Kwon Do – Bob and Luc Schneider
Cotton Fields (The Cotton Song) (Featuring Sonia De Los Santos, Elena Moon Park, & José Joaquin Garcia) – Dan Zanes & Friends
Banana Bread – Caspar Babypants

Quick Hits: Holidays Tunes and Micah and Me

Portland, Oregon's Micah and Me is a mix between Red Yarn and Hullabaloo. On their debut CD, MICAH AND ME IS HERE, the fatherly trio (Aaron Canwell, Ryan Chouinard, and Justin Deckart) share a mix of kindie classics ("All Around the Kitchen" and "Itsy Bitsy Spider") with flavorful originals ("Mosquito Waltz" and "My Creature").

Dads everywhere get together to  play music for themselves and their families. Micah and Me was lucky enough to live near recording artist/producer Johnny Bregar, who saw a kindred spirit that could guide them through the process of permanizing their works. One dozen polished songs later, MICAH AND ME IS HERE is here for audiences of (mostly) very young ages. Situated in Portland, but ready to entertain in your living room as well.

MICAH AND ME IS HERE is available from Micah and Me's website and Amazon.

Here is the band's entire performance earlier this year at the Fremont Theater (perhaps separating out a few songs in particular to highlight would help):

The holidays are upon us and so are seasonal movies and specials. Children's recording artist Trudee Lunden (aka the Green Music Lady) has penned lyrics for "Christmas Love Is Calling," a song included in the upcoming Universal home video release, "Santa Stole Our Dog!" (starring Ed Asner as Santa). Composer David G. Steele produced the song for recording artist Allison Orobia. You can find the song for purchase at Amazon and iTunes. Here is more info about the movie.

Lucy Kalantari and the Jazz Cats released an EP of seasonal music, IT'S THE HOLIDAYS! and have made the song "Grateful" available for streaming through Thanksgiving. You can grab the song here at Soundcloud.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Ben's Playlist - Monday, November 13, 2017

Relax Your Mind (Featuring Neha Jiwrajka) – Dan Zanes & Friends
T.L.C. – Alison Faith Levy
So Gazed Upon – Cat Doorman
New Pair Of Shoes – The Bazillions
Blackberry Pie – Caspar Babypants
It's Snowing – Lucy Kalantari & the Jazz Cats
Humans Are Still Evolving – Dean Jones

Monday, November 06, 2017

Quick Hits: Father Goose, Lard Dog & Brady Rymer

Father Goose pays tribute to Bob Marley with his new song, "I Wanna Love U." An upbeat reggae rave, the song features favorites Aaron Nigel Smith, Little Goose, and Josh and the Jamtones. Goose seeks to make the point that people with differing views can come together to make beautiful music. Hopefully... in the same way, people can get together to make a peaceful world. You can listen to "I Wanna Love U" by clicking through.

I voted for Lard Dog and the Band of Shy in this year's Fids and Kamily Awards. If you didn't pick up the CD, you can hear this month's free song, "The Kimbaloo," by visiting their website. I encourage you to sample the tune, and if so inclined, go for a deeper dive.

Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could continue their promotional bandwagon for their new CD, REVVIN' UP THE REINDEER. The latest offering is a video for the song "New Accordians." You don't have to go anywhere, I've got the video right here:

Friday, November 03, 2017

Matt's Playlist - Saturday, November 4, 2017

Sunday Morning – Joanie Leeds & The Nightlights
Time to Make the Donuts – Recess Monkey
Everybody Loves My Baby – Jazzy Ash
Cloud Skateboard – Mo Phillips
Sleeping Dogs – Randy Kaplan

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Ben's Playlist - Friday, November 3, 2017

The Softest Guitar On The Moon – Caspar Babypants
Chain Reaction – Brady Rymer & The Little Band That Could
This Is How We Bring In The Sun – Justin Roberts
Bop Bodiop! – Cat Doorman
Rock Island Line (Featuring Billy Bragg) – Dan Zanes & Friends
Concentrate – Demi Lovato
Picky Eaters – Danny Weinkauf

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Ben's Playlist - Thursday, November 2, 2017

How Lucky We Are – Justin Roberts
By The Light – Red Yarn
I Dreamed I Could Fly – Eric Herman And The Invisible Band
White Whale – Kepi Ghoulie
Peace Be To All – Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could
Tell Me You Love Me – Demi Lovato