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It’s the end of July and since Hobby Lobby has their Christmas stuff displayed in full glory, that means that Halloween is just three months away! I kid, because I love Hobby Lobby and Christmas… but HALLOWEEN? That’s my favorite holiday of them all. In fact, I can’t wait to start covering all things ghoulish here on The Rock Father this year, and today I’ve got the first bit of Halloween-themed news for the season… On October 9, award-winning kids’ musician ANDY Z will release his fifth studio album, THE GRAND SCREAM OF THINGS, a musical Halloween audio play created especially for kids in their “tweens.”

From the official press release:
grandscreamcoverThis Halloween fantasy begins with young Andy Z emerging from a dream state where he has been exhorted to “Find the Witch.” The narrative employs colorful characters like Andy’s high-energy pet Chihuahua, Reggie, who not only barks but has learned to speak with a “south of the border” accent. Reggie discovers a magic wand that confirms the veracity of Andy’s nocturnal visions and sets him on a path to find the owner of the wand – Sandy Witch. Very much in the mode of an “old time radio show,” Andy’s day is a series of surreal adventures, which are mysteriously under the spell of his romantic interest, Pleadia, a teenage alien. The Grand Scream of Things is like Fibber Magee and Molly meets Sponge Bob on a Halloween Day packed with more stream of consciousness adventure than even James Joyce could “conjure up.”

Driven by Andy Z’s quest to introduce a new art form to the landscape of entertainment for the 8 to 12 year old set, The Grand Scream of Things gives kids a chance to use their imaginations to create their own visual images for this hip bit of aural theater that incorporates a mixed bag of pop musical styles. Andy’s buddy, “Danger Dude,” being a teen punk rocker from England, right away breaks into a song about “The Punkin Patch.” Pleadia introduces the boys and Reggie to the Lizards of the Lounge, who do some scat singing and other swinging to the driving sounds of a hot horn line and a cool rhythm section. Other encounters of a musical kind include Jam Master Z and the Baking Fools, whose recipe for pumpkin bread is offered up in hip hop fashion, and a skateboarding punk rodent, Blue the Rat, the Andyland school mascot. Andy Zcontributes his own bit of punk, a song about his “Alien Girlfriend,” and he later laments the way things are turning out with a power pop tune, “The Right Thing.” The show concludes with a couple of big production numbers, “The Grand Scream of Things” and the grand finale “Friends.”

Produced by Grammy® nominee Tor Hyams, The Grand Scream of Things features ten Andy Z originals that range in style from Brit and American punk to hip-hop and even Big Band swing. Listeners will hear echoes of Green Day, The Ramones, Jimmy Eat World, Jack Johnson, John Mayer, and ‘70s funk band Brick. (Andy’s song, “Pumpkin Patch,” which has been featured on NBC’s Today Show in multiple Halloween segments, is heard here in a Brit punk version titled “Punkin Patch.”) Guest vocalists include popular kids’ musicians Paula Messner (Candy Band) and RhymeZwell. The top-notch San Francisco based instrumentalists heard on The Grand Scream of Things include Michael Olmos (trumpet), Bobby Strickland (saxophones), and Michael Rinta (trombone), who, collectively, have played with everyone from Santana, The Grateful Dead, Sly & The Family Stone and Todd Rundgren to Etta James, Herbie Hancock and Taj Mahal.

Notes Andy Z, “Throughout my years of entertaining kids and families, I’ve noticed an unfortunate lack of music that’s appropriate for ‘tweens,’ particularly with regard to song lyrics. I wanted to come up with something that has the sound and energy of the music their older siblings and friends are “in to,” but with lyrics that work for 8 to 12 year olds. I feel that the quirky nature of this project goes straight to a very happy part of their brains. In many ways, creating this album has been like starting a new school. The kids who were with me in the Andyland kindergarten are now moving on up in the grades, so of course I want to provide music for them that has ‘grown up’ a bit, and The Grand Scream of Things is a part of that natural evolution. The last two years have been a thrilling adventure, allowing me to create an art form just right for ‘tweens’ that reflects the world of my imagination in story and song.”

Andy Z’s previous albums include Summer in Andyland (2007), Return to Andyland (2005), Welcome to Andyland (2004), and Pockets (2002). In 2009 Andy released a DVD, Sing & Dance with Andy Z, and the following year his book-with-CD Scarecrow, Where Do You Go? was published. Andy’s work has been honored with two iParenting Media Awards, two Parents’ Choice® Awards, and Creative Child Magazine’s Seal Of Excellence.  

For more: http://thegrandscreamofthings.com/ 

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