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ORANGE SHERBET's DELICIOUS is a cool record. That was my response after listening to the title track and album opener of the new album from this San Francisco Bay Area trio. Set for release on May 15th, the little one and I have been spinning DELICIOUS here at Rock Father HQ for a couple of months already, but I wanted to wait until we were closer to release date to post any thoughts on it. The reason? So that you'd remember to buy it. DELICIOUS is tasty.
The opening track on WORLD OF WONDER, the latest album from ALISON FAITH LEVY had me scared for a few seconds of it's 0:56 runtime. Something about ''Reach for the Sky'' struck me as the set-up for the kind of over-folk, pop-cheese that a lot of parents associate with family music, and I personally try to avoid. Fortunately, this 'intro' track was just a lead-in, and when it got to the words ''Now Let's Rock!," I was able to breathe a sigh of relief and wipe the sweat from my brow. Having missed out on Levy's previous band, the SIPPY CUPS, my expectations were wide open. So let's take a listen to some of the best tracks...
When a copy of MO PHILLIPS' new album MONSTER SUIT arrived here at Rock Father HQ awhile back, I had to do a double-take to realize that the room pictured on the cover wasn't real. My eyes focused immediately on the greenish Monster Suit that is seen hanging on the back of a bedroom door, as if one of the 'Honkers' from Sesame Street had unzipped his business attire and left it right there. Then I noticed that the rug and guitar were made of paper and colored with crayon.
When the daughter of PAPA SNOW reached out to me to check out her Dad's new JUNIOR JUKEBOX Volume 1, I was intrigued. Aimed at reaching a niche audience within the family music realm, JUNIOR JUKEBOX presents a ten track collection of 70% traditional songs revamped ''in the style of'' famous acts from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. While the aim is there, unfortunately... Papa Snow misses.
I knew that there was something familiar about THE POP UPS when I gave their new album RADIO JUNGLE a first-listen last month. That familiarity might be that 50% of The Pop Ups is Jason Rabinowitz, who also fronts THE BLOODSUGARS - a band I'd previously landed upon via their Daytrotter session awhile back. The other 50% of the duo comes through Jacob Stein, founder of an acclaimed early childhood music program in NYC. Together they make some fine, pop-infused kid's music that holds the power to compel the little ones into a booty-shaking frenzy. This, I tell you from witnessing it first-hand. Indeed, my daughter has been enjoying RADIO JUNGLE, and as of this week - your kids can enjoy it as well.
In the years since GUSTAFER YELLOWGOLD first made his journey from the Sun to the Earth, the young yellow one has found himself at the center of many adventures throughout his adopted home of Minnesota. For his fifth collection in a series by illustrator/songwriter/fellow 'Rock Father' Morgan Taylor, Yellowgold is documented in his exploration of Holidays - some familiar - some not.
My wife has stated on numerous occasions that I'm ''a closet hillbilly.'' Sure, there might be some facts to back that up seeing as I have family with rural roots, own more than one DUKES OF HAZZARD t-shirt, think that KENNY ROGERS is a National Treasure, own quite a few of those old Time-Life Country collections on vinyl, and just last week I went to four stores looking for a copy of the new SHOOTER JENNINGS album on an archaic format called a ''compact disc'' (I found it at Walmart). Factor in the amount of time I spend gardening, and... The Rock Father™ will neither confirm nor deny the accusation officially. What I will say is that I like the new album from FARMER JASON and BUDDIES very much.
Released last year through Fisher-Price Music, THE MERRY GOES 'ROUND is the second full-length set of kids music from singer/songwriter JEWEL. Touted as an album ''fondly made to be enjoyed by adults and children alike,'' Jewel offers up a 16-track assortment of original songs and old favorites that find the songstress expanding upon her signature folk-pop stylings with a heavy dash of Southern flavor.
Imagine for a moment, a world in which Ace Frehley's Spaceman alter-ego spawned a guitar-slinging son with a whimsical penchant for taking a safari on a big wheel while singing about the alphabet. Now imagine this space-suited young man being joined by a talking guitar and embarking on a career as a children's entertainer, breaking out kid-friendly power ballads and arena anthems for the toddler set. Intrigued? Welcome to the world of RIFF ROCKIT.
It's hard for me not to be just a little bit silly when reviewing Lullaby Renditions of DAVE MATTHEWS BAND, the latest offering from the Rockabye Baby! collection of nursery-ready pop and rock tunes. I actually find Dave and his band of musical merry-men to be tolerable and quite good musically, yet I've never been a fan. Not once have I ever thought to myself, ''Yep, I need to go put on some Dave Matthews Band right now!'' Never happened. Never will. My wife, on the other hand - big, big fan. That means I get to take shots at the DMB for my own amusement from time to time.
About a month or so ago, while perusing Facebook and probably posting The Rock Father™ propaganda wherever appropriate, a message appeared to my attention from a gentleman named Crusty Booger. Little did the moisture-devoid poster know, but I was already somewhat aware of his rock prowess. Somewhere deep within the depths of Berwyn, Illinois - home to Horrorbles, Svengoolie, and the late Spire (a stack of impaled cars) is THE BOOGER PLANT - the sonic batcave of THE BOOGERS, purveyors of kid-friendly punk rock jams.
Last November, the folks at Twinkle Twinkle Little Rock Star blasted into outer space with a collection of songs inspired by the worlds of Science Fiction and Fantasy. SCI-FI LULLABY (available now on iTunes) is a 15-track set of famous themes re-worked for the infant crowd, perfect for introducing your favorite fandom to the smallest member of your family.