Thursday, December 24, 2009

I heart Sufjan Stevens

My all time favorate Christmas music is from Sufjan's Stevens Christmas box set. The video itself is kind of lame but it's got a nice heartwarming message. Anyways, this is one of my favorate songs from the box set. I love all the quirky instruments and harmonies. Happy Holidays to my 2 readers out there!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Chairlift - Bruises

So I've mentioned that I teach Wiggleworms at the Old Town School of Folk Music. I basically bring my guitar and sing tunes for babies and caregivers. Last Tuesday, was the last class of the 16 week session so of course we had a little holiday party. I must say that there are some very generous people in the world. Along with some nice gift cards, I received some heartfelt thank you cards from several moms. A little affirmation goes a long way. Anyways, Hal, one of my little babies, and his mom, Nanette, made me a mix cd as a thank you gift. This is the second cd she has made me. I'm always trying to find fun "grown-up" pop songs that I can bring into the classroom to play on my guitar or even just to play while I blow some bubbles. Here is the one that stuck out the most for me. I love this song!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Old Town School of Folk Music Holiday Party

So . . it's late right now and I've had a couple mixed drinks. I'm allowed to say that right? Anyways, I went to the Old Town School of Folk Music Holiday Party. That's the place where I work as a Wiggleworms instructor. The party was at a place called Schuba's in Chicago. Honestly, I'm a little sweaty because I spent the last 2 hours dancing my you-know-what off. Here's why I'm writing though. Here's the cool part. Well Old Town has this thing where employees can sign up at the party to play 2 songs on the stage. If you know anything about Old Town, you know there is a very talented pool of musicians who work there. It's is really quite amazing. I didn't get up and sing. It was really nice to sit back and drink my drinks and watch the talent. But there were a few kids musicians who went up on stage. There was Lindsey, and there was Tisa who don't have kids cd's but should. Then there was Jeremy Babcock of the "Dreamtree Shakers' who got the crowd going and also Joel Frankel who is a kids musician that I just adore. In the audience, there was Laura Doherty and Mr. Singer of Sharp Cookies. As well some other Wiggleworm instructors who are very talented like Lisa and Anne-marie. Anyways, I'm feeling a bit inspired these days especially with this blog. I watched Julie and Julia today and that inspired me. I guess I've been feeling a bit confused as to why I write this thing. I think I felt like I had to just write reviews of cd's and concerts. But lately I"m seeing the possibilities with this thing. Kids Music is so much more than just that. And overall I live it everyday in some shape or form. I'm going to find a way to share this world with you if you'll let me.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Red Moon Winter Pageant 2009

For me, nothing says Chicago like Red Moon Theater. Yes, I know they made it big-time at the White House this year at Halloween. However, at this year's Winter Pageant, my husband, daughter and I felt the same sense of magical wonderment we've always felt at their productions over the years. Even though Red Moon seems to find it's way everywhere in Chicago like Millenium Park, Wicker Park, Columbus Park, and Chinatown, viewers still get a grass roots feel from almost every production. You get a sense that a community of artists and musicians are working together to make it happen. It's puppets, it's machines, it's art, it's juggling, it's shadow and water and bubbles and more. The music at this years pageant was amazing. Mark Messing of Mucca Pazza I believe was involved.
Here's a little taste of the magic.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Milly's almost all kid Holiday spectacular

Today at the Old Town School of Folk Music on Sunday Dec. 13, there will be two shows 3:30 and 5:30. If you are old school Chicago like me, you've seen Milly's posters around for many years. I believe it's another old school Chicagoan, cartoonist Heather McAddams who does the unique Milly's posters too! Looks like fun!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Wonder Works Museum - Oak Park, IL

Oak Park, IL is usually known for being the birthplace of Ernest Hemingway and Frank Lloyd Wright structures. So who knew there was this little gem of a museum in Oak Park called the Wonder Works Museum that offers a wonderful concert series. The museum isn't very large which many parents like especially when trying to keep an eye on siblings or friends choosing to do different activities.

My kids band played there this past Sunday at 4pm. We were the first concert to kick off there concert series. There's a concert area with a little stage. The room is very intimate and the crowd is very diverse. Anyways, check-out the line-up here. Very impressive.

Jim Gill
Sunday, Dec 20, 2009, 4pm

Thaddeus Rex
Sunday, January 24, 2010, 4pm

Ella Jenkins
Sunday, Feb 21, 2010, 4pm

The Boogers
Sunday, Mar 21, 2010, 4pm

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Beat Kitchen Fall Kids Concerts!!!!

So here is the line-up for this year's kids concert series at the Beat Kitchen. The Beat Kitchen is my favorate place to play. It may be the pre-show bloody mary's, the yummy food, the great sound, or the intimate crowd. It also may be Gomez, the bar owner's commitment to bringing great kids' music to Chicago. Or it may be the parents reminiscing about hanging out at this bar in their younger years. Whatever the case, parents love to meet out with their other family friends for some live music. As far as Kids Concerts, we might not have Jammin' Java, that cool Bowery Poetry place in NY, or World Live Cafe PB & J but Chicago does have the Beat Kitchen. Let's toast to that!

10/25 Shana Sings
11/1 Human Tim + Robot Tim
11/8 Karen 4 Kids
11/15 The Little Miss Ann Band
11/22 Mary Macaroni
12/6 The Swing Sets "Remember the 80's"
12/13 Lindsay & Jesse
12/20 Jeanie B! and the Jelly Beans

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Free Music at the Library!

So, the neighborhood I live in in Chicago is off the beat and path. While I have incredible "Latino"-owned and "Polish" owned grocery stores, the closest library has slim pickins. So when I pick my daughter up from her school which is in a much swankier neighborhood, we hit the library over there. The Lincoln-Belmont Library which is just a block away from the Whole Foods has a really stellar kids music selection. Today, I went through their cd's and found several Ella Jenkins. I can stop right there but I won't. To add to the list, there was Laurie Berkner, Joel Frankel, Jim Gill, Susan Salidor, Bill Harley, and even the Jimmies. Actually, over by the "grown-up" music, there were several musicals and bands kids love too.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Goodbye Mary Travers

For some reason, 80's music never spoke to me when I was a teenager. I enjoyed Cat Stevens, Simon and Garfunkel and Bob Dylan. I learned how to play guitar after hearing Joni Mitchell's "Blue" album. Of course, one of the first songs I ever learned on guitar was "Leaving on a jet plane". I know John Denver wrote this originally but for some reason Peter, Paul, and Mary's version was the one that stuck for me. Honestly, I don't know very much about Mary Travers life but I do feel a connection to her and her voice. It's like when I smell lilacs and it brings me back to catching fireflies in the backyard as a kid. Rest in Peace Mary Travers.

Friday, September 4, 2009

On the Waterfront Fest

So there are some pro's and con's to playing kids music and writing a kids music blog. The pro is that you know the inside scoop on what fests have a kids stages because you've played them. The con is that when you're writing about a fest that you're playing at it comes off as self-promotion. (Which I'm not exactly opposed to).

Anyways, Bill Osbourne has an impressive line-up at this year's On the Waterfront fest in Rockford, Illinois. Not only is the Little Miss Ann Band playing but so is Thaddeus Rex (a reading enthusiastic kids musician), The Boogers (kids music meets the Ramones), and Secret Agent 2 Skidoo (kid-hop music all the way from Asheville, NC).

Cheap Trick may have paved the way with their music in Rockford, but us kids rockers are going to keep it going.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Thanks, Nanette for the Mix Cd!

So for all three of you who may be reading my blog, I'm back. Where have I been you ask? Oh well. . I wish I had a good answer to that but mostly doing a lot of gigs, enjoying summer, camping, and playing with my new ukelele. You might remember that I teach at the Old Town School of Folk Music. I teach Wiggleworms where I play guitar and sing to parents and their babies. I've had the good fortune of having an amazing supportive group of strong sassy moms throughout my five years of teaching. In fact, it was one mom who gave me 2 cd's (Smithsonian Folkways Children's Collection and an Elizabeth Mitchell cd) that encouraged me to make a children's cd. Anyways, recently one of the moms from my class, Nanette gave me a mix cd that has really inspired me lately. Sometimes, my current music taste falls heavily into indie rock music. Well, the mix she gave me is definately more folk based and the songs messages are very touching. Above is one of the songs that both my daughter and I really like. It is called "The Little Birds" and I think it is off of Putamayo kids.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Kidzapalooza 2009

Tor Hyam is back with an incredible line-up for this year's Kidzapalooza stage at Lollapalooza Fri. August 7 to Sunday August 9th. Frances England is my personal fave.


Yuto Miyazawa
Paul Green’s School of Rock All-Stars
Frances England
Secret Agent 23 Skidoo
Zach Gill (ALO Jack Johnson)
Special Guest
Lunch Money


Frances England
Zach Gill (ALO Jack Johnson)
Quinn Sullivan
Secret Agent 23 Skidoo
Care Bears on Fire
Special Guest
Ralph's World


Care Bears on Fire
The Q Brothers
Ralph's World
Lunch Money
Peter DiStefano & Tor
Perry Farrell
Paul Green’s School of Rock All-Stars

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Wicker Park Fest Kids Tent

Wicker Park Fest is this weekend both Saturday and Sunday. Kids tent will be on Milwaukee on Evergreen. If I wasn't playing this fest, I would never have been able to find the kids tent line-up:( on-line. I've played this fest twice before and I love it! It's so much fun.

This year's line-up is bursting with Old Town Folk Wiggleworms peeps like Lindsay Weinberg, Laura Doherty, Karen Lubicz-Banks and I. Also, Jeremy Babcock who isn't a Wiggleworms instructor is part of the Old Town family!

Noon Mary Macaroni
1:00pm Lindsay Weinberg
2:00pm Beazley Phillips
3:00pm Jeremy Babcock of the
Dream Tree Shakers
4:00pm Bucktown Music School
5:00pm Little Miss Ann

Noon Mary Macaroni
1:00pm Kids’ Yoga with Soulistic
2:00pm Chang’s Martial Arts
3:00pm Mad Science of Chicago
4:00pm Laura Doherty
5:00pm Karen 4 Kids

Monday, July 13, 2009

Where's the kids stage?

Logan Square, Chicago. . . is the home of Pitchfork headquarters. If you live in Chicago, you might know that Logan Square is bursting with hipsters. And hipsters have kids too! Grown-up hipsters, otherwise known as "Grubsters" want their kids to have access to quality indie rock kids music. Even the Shins were on Yo Gabba Gabba! And Andrew Bird was Dr. Stringz on Jack's Big Music Show. So Pitchfork, where's the kids' stage????

Oh well. . maybe next year?? Here's their grown-up line-up. Maybe Yo La Tengo will do "Speedy Motorcycle".
FRIDAY Built to Spill • The Jesus Lizard • Yo La Tengo • Tortoise SATURDAY The National • Beirut • Doom • Yeasayer • Final Fantasy • The Pains of Being Pure at Heart • Fucked Up • Plants and Animals • Cymbals Eat Guitars • The Black Lips • Matt & Kim • Lindstrøm • Wavves • Ponytail • Bowerbirds • The Dutchess and The Duke • The Antlers • Disappears SUNDAY The Flaming Lips • Grizzly Bear • M83 • The Walkmen • The Thermals • Pharoahe Monch • Blitzen Trapper • Frightened Rabbit • The Mae Shi • The Very Best • Mew • Vivian Girls • Japandroids • DJ/Rupture • Women • Killer Whales • Dianogah • Michael Columbia

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Folk and Roots Fest

The Old Town School of Folk Music will host a kids tent at their Folk and Roots Festival this Saturday and Sunday in Welles Park. There will be a wonderful line-up of diverse music, percussion, and dance for kids. First off, I will be playing with my husband. Laura Doherty and Julie Helenius will also be doing a set. I am excited because Erin Flynn will be playing with her band. Erin's cd "Dreamer of Dreams" is a wonderful addition to any family music library.

Saturday, July 11th

* 12:00p | Wiggleworms with Little Miss Ann
* 12:50p | Ecuadorian Folk Dance with Carmen - Nuestra Música
* 1:40p | Cowpoke Sing-along with Annie
* 2:30p | Storytime Dances with Jen
* 3:25p | Laura Doherty
* 4:35p | Kids Rhythm Circle with Lenny
* 5:30p | Special Music by Special People

Sunday, July 12th

* 12:00p | Wiggleworms with Julie
* 12:50p | Hip Hop Kidz with Lyn
* 1:45p | Remember the '80s? with The Swing Sets
* 2:45p | West African Drumming with Rick Neuhaus
* 3:40p | Erin Flynn Band
* 4:40p | Zumba for Kids with Isabella - Nuestra Música

Friday, July 3, 2009

Family Music?

So, when I went to Stinkfest now known as Kindiefest back in May, the discussion was about how kids music was now being called family music. What I gathered from the discussion is that family music is music that appeals to all members in the family and not just the kids. Being a kids musician, honestly, I didn't totally jump on board that one. After Monday night, I might be persuaded now. Some of the parents and kids from my daughter's school gathered at Millenium Park's Pritzker Pavilion for one of their free concerts - The Feelies. If you're in, uh ahem . . my age bracket, you might remember the band. I guess for me this video of my daughter and some of her friends dancing says it all.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Joel Frankel

Joel Frankel has been on the Chicago kids music scene for over 2 decades. He's got several kids cd's with numerous awards. His song "We go together" was in the movie "Big". The video I posted is a song that I do a lot in my Wiggleworms classes (giving full props to Joel of course). Thumbs up to a Chicago Pioneer in Kids Music who continually earns my high respect!

Mr. Joel Frankel will be playing on Saturday, July 4th at Village of Deerfield Farmers Market.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Taste of Chicago Fun Time Stage

This weekend kicks off the start of the Taste of Chicago which runs from Friday, June 26th to Sunday, July 5th. The kids entertainment stage is located in the Family Village on the corner of Columbus and Jackson. My band, the Little Miss Ann Band will be playing (Shameless Self-Promotion). I'm excited because a great kids hip hop band from North Carolina called Secret Agent 23 Skidoo will be playing after us. They are actually playing 3 shows on Saturday and Sunday.

Taste of Chicago Fun Time Stage Schedule:
Friday, June 26, 2009
Emcees: Young Chicago Authors Word Play Performers
• 11:30am, 3:30pm - Kidbucks Game Show (win prizes)
• 12:30pm - Histories for Kids, Inc. presents Pirate Tales
• 1:30pm - The Smarty Pants Big Balloon Show
• 2:30pm - Dave Herzog's Marionettes presents Captain Cranky and His Crew
• 4:30pm - ComedySportz
• 5:30pm - The Happiness Club

Saturday, June 27, 2009
Emcees: Young Chicago Authors Word Play Performers
• 11:30am - The Little Miss Ann Band
• 12:30, 2:45pm - Secret Agent 23 Skidoo
• 1:45pm - Just Us Kids of the All-City Elementary Youth Chorus
• 4:05pm - CircEsteem & The Chicago Youth Circus
• 5:05pm - Kidz Clog & Cloggin' Craze
• 6:10pm - 2nd Thought

Sunday, June 28, 2009
Emcees: Young Chicago Authors Word Play Performers
• 11:30am - Secret Agent 23 Skidoo
• 12:45pm - Northside College Prep Cheerleaders & M.I.T. Step Team
• 1:10pm - M.A.D.D. Rhythms
• 2:15pm - Paul Green School of Rock - Chicago
• 4-7pm - Battle of the Bands (finalists ages 13-18 compete for prizes)

Monday, June 29, 2009
Emcees: Young Chicago Authors Word Play Performers
• 11:30am - Misericordia Heartbreakers & Heartzingers
• 12:30pm - Ella Jenkins
• 1:30pm - Leonardo
• 2:30, 6pm - Kidbucks Game Show (win prizes)
• 3:30, 4:40pm - ComedySportz
• 4:10pm - The Poetic Storyteller
• 5:20pm - Wheeling High School's Crucial Step Clique

Tuesday, June 30, 2009
"International Day"
Emcees: Young Chicago Authors Word Play Performers
• 11:30am - The Sunrise Chorus from The Chinese Fine Arts Society
• Noon, 4:30pm - Halau 'O Manulani
• 12:30, 5:30pm - Matsiko Children's Choir from Uganda
• 1pm - McNulty Irish Dancers
• 1:30, 2:30pm - Polonia Polish Folk Dance and Song Ensemble
• 2, 3:30pm - The Japanese Culture Center presents Aikido & Capoeira Demonstrations
• 3pm - Indonesian Performing Arts Chicago
• 4pm - Wavel Polish Dance Group
• 5pm - Perifaneia Dance Group
• 6pm - AfriCaribe

Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Emcees: Young Chicago Authors Word Play Performers
• 11:30am - Magic That Quacks You Up with Steve Belliveau
• 12:45pm - Nelson Gill Duo
• 1:45pm - Getting Excited About Science with Steve Belliveau
• 3, 4:10pm - ComedySportz US vs ComedySportz UK
• 3:40pm - The Poetic Storyteller
• 4:50pm - Wheeling High School's Crucial Step Clique
• 5:45pm - Emerald City Theatre Company's Jolly Rogers

Thursday, July 2, 2009
"Healthy Kids Day" presented by United Healthcare
Emcees: Young Chicago Authors Word Play Performers
• 11:30am - Come Out and Play with Chicago Park District for a kids fitness demo
• 12:15pm - Healthy cooking with Chef Gloria D. Hafer, Vicky Solczak, & After School Matters
• 1:00pm - Stretch-n-Grow, Fabulously Fun Fitness for Kids!
• 2:15pm - Healthy snacks with Belle & Liv Gerasole, The Spatulatta Girls
• 3:15pm - Hip-Hop Yoga with Mindful Practices
• 4:45pm - Healthy cooking with Michelle O'Malley, Executive Chef/Owner, A Kid's Kitchen
• 6pm - PKay's Health & Fitness Hula Hoop Aerobics

Friday, July 3, 2009
Emcees: Young Chicago Authors Word Play Performers
• 11:30am, 2:15pm - Six Flags Great America presents The Wiggles
• 12:10, 1:40, 2:55pm - It's Hip Hop, Baby!
• 12:45pm - Super Stolie and The Rockstars
• 3:30pm - On Broadway Dancers from Coal City, IL

Saturday, July 4, 2009
Emcees: Young Chicago Authors Word Play Performers
• 11:30am - Eric Galvan (2007 Taste of Talent All-Star)
• 11:45am - On Broadway Dancers from Coal City, IL
• 12:35pm - The Trouble With Boys (2008 Taste of Talent All-Star)
• 1:35pm - Tri-Town Raiderette Dance Team
• 1:55pm - Maya Tatum-Lattimore (2005 Taste of Talent All-Star)
• 2:20pm - Ashika Sachdev (2008 Taste of Talent All-Star)
• 2:50, 3:45pm - Chi-Town Cheerleaders (2002 Taste of Talent All-Star)
• 3:15pm - Faith Bardney (2008 Taste of Talent All-Star)
• 4:10pm - Asha Kamali's Kids J.A.M. (Just Aim and Move!) (celebrity choreographer)
• 5:30pm - Radio Disney Road Crew 4th of July Dance Party (games, music, prizes)

Sunday, July 5, 2009
• 11:30am - Taste of Talent Contest for Kids, hosted by NBC5 Brant Miller (finalists ages 4-14 compete for prizes)
• 3pm - Be A Karaoke Star (ages 18 & under)
• 5:15pm - Jesse White Tumbling Team

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Andersonville Midsomer Fest

Andersonville Midsomer Fest Family Stage

This weekend is one of my favorate festivals in Chicago in the heavily Swedish influenced neighborhood of Andersonville. The family tent offers 5 hours of family entertainment on both Sat. and Sun.

12 pm - Pet Parade
1 pm - Trowbridge Guitar Studio
2 pm - Raisin Rhyme
3 pm - Scribble Monster
4 pm - Emerald City
5 pm - Little Nashville

12 pm - Merry Music Makers
12:30 pm - Dream Big Performing Arts
1 pm - Andersonville Suzuki Academy
2 pm - Happiness Club
3 pm - Trinity Irish Dancers
4 pm - Radio Disney
5 pm - School of Rock

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Boogers

I received an e-mail from Crusty B of the Boogers. Don't judge a guy by his name though. This guy, Paul Crowe, is an overachiever to say the least. He is a developmental psychologist, a punk-rocker, and a dad of three boys! His band, the Boogers, from Berwyn, Il. have created a kids cd "Road to Rock" that offers kids a more hard-edged selection of nursery rhymes as well as original songs. The heavy Ramones influence is apparent in this 20 song kids cd. The Boogers music will surely get any kid moving with their chord-driven bouncy tunes. Hey, your kid might even want to start a mini moshpit. I don't recommend stagediving off your bed, though. So when you're taking a road trip this summer with your kids to Wisconsin Dells, grab "Road to Rock" by the power-punk trio, the Boogers! Your kids won't even ask you 100 times "Are we there yet?"

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Justin Roberts June 6 and 7

Saturday, June 6th, 2009 10:15 AM
Justin Roberts & The Not Ready for Naptime Players
Printers Row Lit Fest - Kids Corner Stage
W. Polk St. between Clark & Federal
Chicago, IL 60605
Price: FREE
TWO 45-MINUTE SETS: 10:15 AM & 2:30 PM!

Sunday, June 7th, 2009 11:45 AM
Justin Roberts & The Not Ready for Naptime Players
Printers Row Lit Fest - Kids Corner Stage
W. Polk St. between Clark & Federal
Chicago, IL 60605
Price: FREE
TWO SETS: 11:45 AM (1 hour) & 2:30 PM (30 minutes)!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Free Wiggleworms at Millenium Park All Summer

Only 9 more days. Mark your calendar. It's really the best deal in town. Everyday from June 10 to September 4th in the Family Fun tent at Millenium Park, there's a free Wiggleworms performance at 10 a.m. everyday. Everyday for like 80 days straight. Pack a lunch, take the train, bring your kids' suits to play in the fountain. That's not all that's free for kids too. In the past, there's been a bunch of other free things going on for kids in the same tent - storytime, art/science projects, full kids band later in the day, things to play with like hula hoops, building blocks, or beach balls, etc.

Here's the line-up!!
June 10th - Julie Helenius
June 11th - Maryanne Johnson
June 12th - Mr. Singer
June 13th - Linda Robertson
June 14th - Laura Doherty
June 15th - Karen Banks-Lubicz
June 16th - Anne-Marie Akin
June 17th - Lindsay Weinberg
June 18th - Maryanne Johnson
June 19th - Mr. Singer
June 20th - Karen Banks-Lubicz
June 21st - Linda Robertson
June 22nd - Tim Knuth
June 23rd - Anne-Marie Akin
June 24th - Lindsay Weinberg
June 25th - Lisa DeRosia
June 26th - Mr. Singer
June 27th - Shana Harvey
June 28th - Lindsay Weinberg
June 29th - Tisa Plays
June 30th - Anne-Marie Akin
July 1st - Rose Nadolsky
July 2nd - Shana Harvey
July 3rd - Mr. Singer
July 4th - Laura Doherty
July 5th - Shana Harvey
July 6th - Tisa Plays
July 7th - Laura Doherty
July 8th - Little Miss Ann
July 9th - Tim Knuth
July 10th - Mr. Singer
July 11th - Carol Weston
July 12th - Julie Helenius
July 13th - Linda Robertson
July 14th - Anne-Marie Akin
July 15th - Little Miss Ann
July 16th - Lindsay Weinberg
July 17th - Mr. Singer
July 18th - Julie Helenius
July 19th - Shana Harvey
July 20th - Lisa DeRosia
July 21st - Diana Laffey
July 22nd - Little Miss Ann
July 23rd - Lisa DeRosia
July 24th - Mr. Singer
July 25th - Shana Harvey
July 26th - Julie Helenius
July 27th - Tisa Plays
July 28th - Rose Nadolsky
July 29th - Carol Weston
July 30th - Angela Watkins
July 31st - Little Miss Ann
August 1st - Linda Robertson
August 2nd - Julie Helenius
August 3rd - Diana Laffey
August 4th - Anne-Marie Akin
August 5th - Little Miss Ann
August 6th - Lisa DeRosia
August 7th - Linda Robertson
August 8th - Shana Harvey
August 9th - Julie Helenius
August 10th - Maryanne Johnson
August 11th - Karen Banks-Lubicz
August 12th - Little Miss Ann
August 13th - Tim Knuth
August 14th - Karen Banks-Lubicz
August 15th - Julie Helenius
August 16th - Laura Doherty
August 17th - Maryanne Johnson
August 18th - Laura Doherty
August 19th - Little Miss Ann
August 20th - Lindsay Weinberg
August 21st - Shana Harvey
August 22nd - Lindsay Weinberg
August 23rd - Lisa DeRosia
August 24th - Maryanne Johnson
August 25th - Angela Watkins
August 26th - Linda Robertson
August 27th - Maryanne Johnson
August 28th - Angela Watkins
August 29th - Linda Robertson
August 30th - Laura Doherty
August 31st - Maryanne Johnson
September 1st - Angela Watkins
September 2nd - Lindsay Weinberg
September 3rd - Lisa DeRosia
September 4th - Angela Watkins

Friday, May 29, 2009

Do-Division Street Fest

On Saturday, May 30, Dan Zanes & friends will be playing at The Harris Theater in Chicago (205 E Randolph Drive) at 1pm & 4pm.
Tickets $25 adults, $15 kids

If you decide you'd like to go a little more el fresco and bring your family to a fest, there's the Do-Division Street Fest. The fest features kids entertainment all day Saturday and Sunday including myself (shameless self-promotion). This takes place on the Adventure Stage Chicago Family Stage which is located on the corner of Division and Leavitt streets.

Saturday, May 30th
12:00 - 12:45 - Tall Tales Storytellers (The Mill)
1:00 - 1:45 - Jeanie B!
2:00 - 2:30 - Hogwash: An Improvised Tall Tale
2:45 - 3:15 - Kiara
3:30 - 4:15 - Mr. Singer & Kerry Appleberry
4:30 - 5:15 - The Mime Company
5:30 - 6:00 - Super Stolie

Sunday, May 31st
12:00 - 12:45 - Mary Macaroni
1:00 - 1:45 - Chang's Martial Arts
2:00 - 3:30 - The Schnozberries
3:45 - 4:15 - Quest Theatre Ensemble
4:30 - 5:00 - Rock for Kids - All Star Choir
5:15 - 6:00 - Little Miss Ann Band
Sunday, May 31st
12:00 - 12:45 - Mary Macaroni
1:00 - 1:45 - Chang's Martial Arts
2:00 - 3:30 - The Schnozberries
3:45 - 4:15 - Quest Theatre Ensemble
4:30 - 5:00 - Rock for Kids - All Star Choir
5:15 - 6:00 - Little Miss Ann Band

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Roky Erickson

So this has absolutely nothing to do with family music. I watched a really good documentary "You're gonna miss me" Sunday night at our friends' house. You guys have probably already heard of this guy, Roky Erickson. He's this great musician who sadly has been affected by mental illness - specifically Schizophrenia. It's kind of a "Daniel Johnston" story. Anyways, I posted this video because the title sounds like a kids song. Also, because I finally figured out how to post a video off of Youtube. Yeah!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Tricia Sebastian - Corazon Alegre

When I go to the grocery store, I often visit the ethnic aisle. I might grab some soy sauce or some miso soup, or some tortillas. Luckily, I do have access to specific ethnic grocery stores that offer me even more wide variety than the ethnic aisle at the grocery store. I feel the same way about "ethnic" kids music. Although I enjoy certain popular kids music "ethnic" compilations, I am also aware that there is a whole world out there of cultural music beyond a mix cd.
As a former Chicago Public School teacher, I'm also firm believer that kids should have all different types of role models. Kids musicians are role models. It is for the above reasons, that I am happy to write about Tricia Sebastian's second cd, "Corazon Alegre".

Corazon Alegre/Happy Heart is an ideal CD for parents who want to introduce their children to English and Spanish music. fusion of international rhythms. The cd opens up with a Hairspray-like radio broadcast song, "Wake up". Songs about foods like "Arroz con Leche" and "Mmmm Tortillas" are nice alternatives to songs about Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches.

Tricia is originally from Corpus Christi, Texas, performs and records bilingual children’s music in the Chicagoland area. Several songs from her first album, Canta Conmigo, have been featured in many children’s compilations CDs and the song “El Chocolate” was rerecorded in New York City for a national television commercial for Quaker’s Chocolate Oat Crunch Life Cereal. It was also aired on ABC’s hit sitcom Ugly Betty.

As an educator, Tricia directs the Coro de Las Americas children’s choir and the Latin Songs ensemble for the Old Town School of Folk Music where she has also taught bilingual Wiggleworms for many years. Since 2000, Tricia has enjoyed working in the Chicago public schools as a teaching artist for Ravinia Festivals Music Discovery outreach program.

Thank you Tricia, for offering something beyond the ethnic aisle - something so rich in culture and diversity. Also, thank you for being a role model to spanish speaking kids as well as english speaking kids! Muchas Gracias!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Couples who make Kids Music

Yesterday my husband and I celebrated 9 years of marriage. 15 years together. My husband is the drummer in my band (The Little Miss Ann Band) and does the cover art for my kids cd's. More importantly, he has provided tremendous moral support. When our daughter was little and we had just bought our humble home, my husband supported my idea to use my scant savings to make my first kids cd just because. . .

Married duos are no new thing to music in general. Couples like Captain and Tennille, John and Yoko, and Sonny and Cher have sung and played music together over music history.

Kids music is no different. My all-time favorate, Elizabeth Mitchell and her husband, Daniel Littleton, (and daughter Storey) are not only a family unit but they are a working band. They have created 4 soulful folk-rock kids cd's (as well as adult music too). One was with Lisa Loeb and their last cd was a Smithsonian folkways recording.

Another husband and wife duo that make kids music are called the Innocence Mission. After making several grown-up cd's, Don and Karen Peris worked together to create a dreamy kids cd called "Now the day is Over".

My husband and I played music before we had our daughter like the others I mentioned. The only big difference for us is that we never had a little person sleeping up in her room while we were practicing in the basement before.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Laura Doherty "Kids in the City"

There's something that happens to a lot of parents in major cities like Chicago when their kid turns around two and they're getting ready to have another child. They come to a major crossroads in their lives and decide whether they want to stay in the city or move out of the city. My husband and I just like many other people we know decided we wanted to raise our daughter in the city. While we mourn not having a big yard, easy errands, and a school our daughter can walk to, we celebrate music, art, theater, alternative lifestyles, and culture everywhere we look. (Note: these things do exist outside of the city but I don't think to the degree that most major cities have them.)

That is one reason I give props to Laura Doherty and her newest CD "Kids in the City" Using Chicago as her inspiration, Doherty writes about the El Train, skyscrapers, the Farmer’s Market, the zoo (Lincoln Park), and all the wonders of the city, as seen through a child’s eyes.
My favorate song on the cd is "I spy".

Doherty is also the director of the Wiggleworms program at the Old Town
School of Folk Music in Chicago and has been teaching in the program for over a decade.
In Chicago, taking a Wiggleworms class is like a rite of passage for parents/babies. I'm not just saying that either because I am a Wiggleworms instructor. Anyways, Doherty also co-produced and performed on the CD “Wiggleworms Love You”, a Parent’s Choice
Award winner.

"Old McDonald", "Down by the Bay" will always be standards in the kids music world, but I think there's still plenty of room for new themes for the urban child.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Ella Jenkins

Today I seriously stopped in my tracks. I was on my way to do an event at a park, and who do I see, Ella Jenkins??? My heart started beating. I wanted to say hello but I was too scared. Yeah, I know I'm a chicken. I just had too many things to say to her. Anyways, Ella Jenkins blows me away for so so many reasons. Firstly, the album "You'll Sing a Song, and I'll sing a Song" was my daughter's favorate album as a baby. Also, being an octogenerian (someone in their 80's) and still playing music for kids is another reason. Add to that, that she has received the Lifetime Achievement Award and some Smithsonian Folkways recordings. Along with her ukelele, harmonica, guitar, and percussion instruments, Ella Jenkins has been playing interactive music for kids for over 40 years! I bow down to Ella.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Gustafer Yellowgold

So Wednesday night, I drove out to a mall in the Chicago burbs to see Gustafer Yellowgold with my daughter at Barnes and Noble. I'll be honest it was a school night. My daughter said she'd only go with me if we could only stay for 2-4 songs. She's 7 years old. What can I say? Anyways, we stayed for 6 songs!

Wow! Not only is Morgan Taylor extremely crushable, he's multi-talented. He is a singer/songwriter, an illustrator and a storyteller. He created this whole multi-media show with a little yellow cone-headed guy named Gustafer Yellowgold. I especially loved Gustafer's little eel friend. Anyways, Taylor's narrates and sings throughout the trippy "yellow submarine" like animated show. I loved that the animations were hand-drawn and not overly computerized. His voice and the songs were also really good!

Gustafer Yellowgold is from NY and is passing through. Don't miss your chance to see his show. He'll be playing two shows on May 16th at Schuba's, 3160 N. Southport - 11 am and 4 pm.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Laura Doherty May 17th

Laura Doherty will be playing a cd release concert at the Beat Kitchen on Sunday, May 17th at noon. $5 cover. Laura is the Wiggleworms director at the Old Town School of Folk Music and has come out with her debut kids cd, "Kids in the City". If you are Chicago-centric like me, you'll enjoy the "el" train and "hot dog" references on her cd!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Gustafer Yellowgold

Gustafer Yellowgold will be at Barnes and Noble in Skokie on Wed. May 13th at 7pm for free. They will also be at Schuba's on Sat. May 16th, 11 a.m. and 4pm for $10.

From what I"ve listened to Gustafer Yellowgold sounds like Donovan meets Elliott Smith. And I like it! I think it's worth packing up the kids and heading out to Old Orchard on Wednesday or over to Southport on Saturday. Hey make it a day on Saturday, and go over to Uncle Fun's Toy Store and then over to Murphy's for a Chicago-style hot dog!!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Stinkfest Commentary

Stinkfest was amazing. It was at this really cool place called the Jalopy. The Jalopy is a musical venue/bar/coffeehouse/guitar shop. I talked to the owner and guess what? They were from Chicago and modeled the place after Old Town School of Folk Music!!! Anyways, the Jalopy set the tone of whole day as well as the stunning weather. History was being made. This was the first-ever family music conference of this magnitude. Artists, promotors, writers, distributors, bookers, and other music professionals were coming together to share knowledge on the fastest growing industry in music today. The four discussion panels were all relaxed yet very informative. They included Promotion, Booking, Distribution, and discussion about TV, Books, and Beyond. The best part about this whole event was the sense of community amongst everyone there. Tor Hymans said it best. He talked about how we have chance to do family music in a different way and that there were no limits.

Here is a great quote from, a blog from the founder/CEO of Sonicbids, Panos Panay, "Children’s music artists: you have my respect. I can assure you you’ll be seeing a lot more appropriate listings on Sonicbids in the near future. P.S. Talk about creative. The entire Stinkfest took place in a cool theater called Jalopy. We need more music events that happen in music venues. Enough with the boring hotel decore."

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Stinkfest 2009

After teaching two music classes tomorrow morning, I'm off on a plane to New York. I'm going to go to Stinkfest 2009 in Brooklyn organized by Tor Hyams, Stephanie Bell Mayers, and Bill Childs.

This isn't something I usually do. I usually hang around Chicago strumming my guitar most of the time. However, Stinkfest is an opportunity to learn about the Kids Music Industry. There will be 3 panel discussions specifically about promotion, booking, and distribution. There are some incredible panelists scheduled to discuss these topics.

To top it all off, there's an industry-only showcase which includes:
Brady Rymer
Mariana Iranzi
Key Wilde & Mr Clarke
The Jimmies
Ralph's World
Audra Rox
Paul Green's School of Rock
Secret Agent 23 Skidoo
Lunch Money

Wouldn't you know my digital camera just broke so I can't take pics? Anyways, I'll tell you how it goes.

Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys Kids Show

Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys Kids Show at the Old Town School of Folk Music

Saturday, May 9, 2009 | 11:00am

Gary and Laura Maurer Concert Hall :: 4544 N Lincoln Ave.

$13 General Public/$15 Old Town School Members/$15 Seniors & Children


Bring the whole family and swing away to the classic, West Coast country sounds of the Fly-Rite Boys. A Big Sandy kids concert is a must see for any young’un!
Since forming in 1988, Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys have emerged as one of the world's most respected practitioners of American roots music—western swing, rockabilly, and traditional country—playing it like they invented it.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Shana Sings! May 3 at the Beat Kitchen

In a city like Chicago, where latinos makes up a huge part of the population, it's nice to know there are teachers like Shana Harvey, a bilingual Old Town School of Folk Music Wiggleworms instructor. Shana teaches both English and Spanish classes. She will be at the Beat Kitchen (2100 W. Belmont) this Sunday May 3rd at noon. $5 admission.

Here is some information about the event:

Sing in Cinco de Mayo with Shana and her Mexican folk band, Tarima Son! The chiquitos will delight in sounds of traditional harp, guitarron, jaranas, and violin as they stomp along to the rhythm of zapateado dancing. You've never heard Wheels on the Bus until you've heard it "Tarima Style!"

Monday, April 27, 2009

Human_Tim and Robot_Tim

I'm a sucker for an album that has a bunch of instrumentation like ukes, banjos, autoharps, and toy pianos especially when one guy is doing it all. Tim Knuth's 13-song debut album Human_Tim and Robot_Tim "Pop of the Tots" does exactly this. Not only did Tim play all the instruments on the cd, he also recorded it, mixed it, and even did the cd design. The funny thing is that this Old Town School of Folk Music Wiggleworms instructor will stick to his story with a straight face about his music-playing friend Robot Tim.

"All the parts on my record are sung and played by me and my robot, who is really like a music recording computer. I have a room in my basement that looks like a cross between a
recording studio and a junk-shop, and I spend lots of time playing different instruments and making odd noises. "

This album (recommended for ages 3-8) alternates between Indie Pop "They Might be Giants"- influenced songs to Country songs a la Hank Williams style. The whole cd however has both acoustic AND electronic sounds infused throughout it. Human_Tim has an ear for adding these extra effects subtlely and at just the right spots.
The song that I've been playing over and over (and over) is "Curious Planets", a heartfelt and catchy commentary on the state of our planet. I also like Tim's Johnny Cash-like "Rainbow" song. Nice work to Human Tim and uh, nice work to you too, Robot Tim.

Friday, April 24, 2009

May 2009 Chicago area Kids Concerts

Old Town School of Folk Music Wiggleworms instructor, Lindsey Weinberg and her brother will be playing a kids show at the Beat Kitchen (2100 W. Belmont Avenue) today Sat, April 26 at 12 p.m.
Price: $5 (all ages)
Event Phone Number:

Shana Sings
Beat Kitchen - 2100 W. Belmont Ave. - Chicago
May 3 : 12 p.m.
Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys
Old Town School of Folk Music - 4544 N. Lincoln Ave. - Lincoln Square
May 9 : 11 a.m.
Jim Gill
Harper College - 1200 W. Algonquin Rd. - Palatine
May 9 : 10:30 a.m.
Gustafer Yellowgold Show
Schubas Tavern - 3159 N. Southport Ave. - Lakeview
May 16 : 11 a.m. | May 16 : 4 p.m.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Dreamtree Shakers

So, today I was riding my bike on the streets of Chicago which is anything but relaxing and this Dreamtree Shakers song kept going through my head. And although I was dodging potholes and broken glass on the street, all was good for me. I felt peaceful as I hummed the song "Watching the Leaves Fall" to myself. That is how this 10-song debut album "Dream and you will See" from a new kids band, the Dreamtree Shakers makes you feel. Singer/Songwriter Jeremy Babcock and harmonizing Shawn Schlag have been playing together since middle school in a band called "Third Wheel". Many of the members of Third Wheel are in the kids' band "The Dreamtree Shakers". Something about the lovely harmonies, the inviting flute, and the easygoing yet energetic feel of their music makes you want to play hacky sack at a Dead concert. (ummm . .this is actually a good thing). Tackling subjects like nature, friendship, optimism, and achieving ones dreams go beyond your basic kids music topics. My other favorate songs are "Her Sound is Sunshine" and the title track "Dream and you will See". This is an album to get if you enjoy singing with your kids (or by yourself) in the car.

why, ann, why?

Here's the start of something new. As if I don't have enough on my plate. I tried to start one about 3 years ago but I didn't have as much technological savvy. Why did I decide to start a kids music blog now? There's a couple of reasons. The main reason is I went to my mailbox at Old Town yesterday and found 2 kids cds that were given to me and I liked them both! Surprisingly enough, both of them also thanked me in their "thank you" section. So then the lightbulb went off for me. Why not make a kids music blog? The other reason is that there's a lot of kids music coming out of Chicago. However, there's very little in terms of specific kids music websites that I know of based here.