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.