Music review: Lunch Money’s Spicy Kid (we got to meet the band!)

The following is by contributor Jennifer Brown.

This week, I imagine there are so many of you who are, like me, thinking about the start of school.  Either you recently have or are about to abandon your summer schedule for the routine of learning.  It’s a bittersweet time this changing of seasons.  There’s a little bit of childlike joy and carefree days that comes with the summer season.  At the same time there’s a lot of comfort and familiarity with the routine of fall and back to school days.

But today, I’m putting those thoughts aside for just a minute to relive one of my favorite memories from this past summer — a summer concert date with my five year old son (who will be starting kindergarten this week).

We spent a good part of our summer staying with grandparents in North Carolina while our family moved from California to Florida.  My two boys and I spent a lot of time “staycationing” in my childhood home city where I got to discover and rediscover so many of the fun kid things the city had to offer.

One of the places we frequented was the children’s library, where I had an awesome moment of serendipity:  Lunch Money, one of the guest bands on Recess Monkey’s recent album “In Tents” that I wanted to check out, was giving a free concert!

I couldn’t contain my excitement at the prospect of a) taking my kid to his first real concert, b) seeing my first kids concert as a kids music blogger and c) meeting the band!

I was not disappointed.

[Read more…]

In Tents: Recess Monkey runs away with the circus

The following post is by contributor Jennifer Brown.

Recess Monkey, one of our favorite bands here at Simple Kids, has done it againIn Tents their latest upcoming release (it’s available this Saturday June 16, 2012) does not disappoint in their attempt to create children’s music that’s enjoyable for the entire family.

In Tents

In Tents, tells the musical tale of circus life highlighting everything from outrageous acts like the “Human Cannonball,” to filling your tummy with “Popcorn” & “Lemonade” and finally enjoying the ride on some of those classic carnival attractions like the “Carousel” and the tilt-a-whirl (“Sit and Spin”).

The background tale of how the band’s “manager” Mayor Monkey (a hilariously mischievous character you’ll recognize from previous albums) trades the band’s instruments for a broken down circus.  The story that develops through these cleverly penned hits is told in the beautifully graphic liner notes.  Take time to read it to your kids, because once you know the story behind the songs it makes them all that much more enjoyable.

I think you’ll also enjoy the photographic story and getting to know the band a little better.

[Read more…]

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel: a collaboration of story and song from Maestro Classics

The following is by contributor Jennifer Brown.

Do you know Mike Mulligan? How about the Tortoise and the Hare or Casey at the Bat?  These classic children’s stories can now be part of your listening repertoire with the added benefit of introducing your children to classical music through a series called Maestro Classics that I recently had the opportunity to review.

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel

 We love to listen to stories both at home and in the car, so when we got the chance to check out “Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel” with its own original score to enhance the story it seemed like the perfect mix for my music and machine loving boys.

The narration is fantastic and engaging, but the music brings a deeper element to the story.  Our family really enjoyed listening to the story, but even more we enjoyed listening to the story a second time after hearing the About the Music track which gave insight about how certain sounds were created.  My (almost) 2 year old excitedly began imitating the sound of the steam (created with a scuba tank) when we learned about its origin.  It’s now his signature sound for requesting a replay.

[Read more…]