As STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS continues to thrill audiences around the Globe, there has been yet another awakening... this time in the family music department. Michigan purveyors of Americana, the DEEP FRIED PICKLE PROJECT have unleashed their new music video - one that invites audiences to join them on a journey to a barren wasteland far, far away from Jakku, to the place where audiences first met Luke Skywalker... "Tatooine." Set to the tune of "Rocky Top" (first recorded by The Osborne Brothers, but forever endeared to me thanks to the Kenny Rogers NASCAR movie, SIX PACK), this bluegrass-fueled jam comes from the new JUG BAND EP (iTunes), and begins "Way back in the old-timey times, in a holler over yonder..."
I do not like spiders. No matter what their place in the ecosystem, I do not like them, particularly in our house. Oddly enough, right now, this very second, there is a massive spider just outside the front door of Rock Father HQ - sleeping (I think, since she's dormant during the day), just waiting to emerge in her perfectly-spun web at night. This particular spider is MASSIVE, I think it's an Orb Weaver of some kind, but I've never seen one as big as this - probably because I've never allowed one to live this long. Thing is, this spider is just out of the way enough - and has been doing such a great job with the mosquitos and other flying critters (attracted by the porch light, I'd imagine) that I've let her continue her work... for now. Little does she know that eventually, I will "turn," and extinguish her fire... because that's what I do to eight-legged arachnid beasts. From the spider's perspective, the "monster" - the "boogeyman," if you will - is us, human beings. Heartwarming stories aside, it's totally appropriate for Halloween that we're talking spiders, and THE LAURIE BERKNER BAND lands here in my annual 31 Days of Halloween with "The Itsy Bitsy Spider," just-released on LAURIE BERKNER's FAVORITE CLASSIC KIDS' SONGS, available on Amazon or iTunes.
I always get asked about music for a Halloween Playlist, and while there's a lot of variables in the mix, I always like to sprinkle the unintentional Halloween songs with the classics. This year, the folks behind the long-running NOW series of compilations have made it easy by doing just that with the 2015 release of NOW THAT'S WHAT I CALL HALLOWEEN. The 18-track collection features classics from John Carpenter's HALLOWEEN, THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS and TRUE BLOOD, alongside some songs that have been featured right here at THE ROCK FATHER Magazine in previous 31 Days of Halloween countdowns - tracks from Rockwell, Rob Zombie, The Specials and more.
31 Days of Halloween: RALPH'S WORLD - "Harry's Haunted Halloween Circus" (plus "Sawdust & Spangles")Written by James Zahn
I'm always on the lookout for new family music with a seasonal spin, but once in awhile, it's true that what's old is new again. "Harry's Haunted Halloween Circus" is one such example, previously released on the 2006 RALPH'S WORLD album, AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA, and re-emerging from the depths on the 2015 RALPH'S WORLD ROCKS & READS. There's plenty of ghoulish goodness to be had, with ghosts and winged beasts, spooky sounds and phantom acrobats. The song lands here in my annual 31 Days of Halloween, but it's also got a companion with an appropriately-timed "circus" theme...
Three years ago, PBS KIDS ROCKS! was released as a 15-track collection of tunes for the whole family. Now, PBS KIDS ROCKS! has been reissued as an expanded, 28-track collection featuring songs from Grammy Award-winners Old Crow Medicine Show, Ozomatli, Los Lobos, They Might Be Giants, The Weepies, Best Coast and two-time Parent’s Choice Gold Award-winner SteveSongs, known as Mr. Steve on PBS KIDS. Available now on Amazon and iTunes, each of the songs helps kids explore topics related to literacy, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and social-emotional learning. Bilingual tunes are also included. Check out some streams and info below!
I've covered a ton of family music here on THE ROCK FATHER Magazine over the past few years, and in all of its various forms, it's been Kindie (Kids + Indie Rock) that's generally been the best of the bunch. I'd actually mentioned the possibility of creating a "Kindie Metal" project on a few occasions, but last night (thanks to my friend Demetri) I found out that someone has gone ahead and done it. SHARKY SHARKY is a guitar-heavy Kindie Metal band out of Aberdeen, Scotland. Rumor has it, they may or may not have something to do with UK Power Metallers, ASCENSION, and their new lyric video for "Jake the Jellyfish" has just been released. I'm telling you right now - Kindie Metal is the future of family music, and something that I look forward to seeing more of - a new genre that I will champion. Check it out below...