The Okee Dokee Brothers Lead The Herd In Phil’s Picks 2016 Top 10 New Children’s Albums List

Courtesy:  Okee Dokee Music

Courtesy: Okee Dokee Music

Children’s music has a terrible reputation in America.  The cause of that reputation is pretty easy to figure out.  Certain children’s shows such as *coughs* Barney and others have created that stereotype.  The reality of children’s music however, is that it is anything but what people believe it to be.  If anything, the world of Children’s music is one of the most diverse within the larger musical universe.  This year’s field of new children’s offerings is proof of that.  New offerings from the likes of the Okee Dokee Brothers, Niss Nina and the Jumping Jacks, Dr. Noize and others is proof of that.  Speaking of all of those artists, they are all on this year’s Phil’s Picks top new children’s albums.  They and so many others have made this list another tough one to compile.  But it has been done.

The Okee Dokee Brothers top this year’s list of top new Children’s albums with their new album Saddle Up.  Also included in the list are those new titles from Dr. Noize, and Miss Nina. Also on this year’s list are The Holow Trees, The Sugar Free All Stars, and The Not-Its among others.  As a reminder, Phil’s Picks lists feature the year’s Top 10 new albums plus five honorable mention titles for a total of 15 albums.  So without any further ado, here are the Phil’s Picks Top 10 New Children’s Albums.

 

1) The Okee Dokee Brothers – Saddle Up

 

2) The Not Its – Are You Listening

 

3) Dr. Noize – Phineas McBoof Crashes The Symphony

 

4) The Deedle Deedle Dees – Sing-a-Long History Volume 2

 

5) Vanessa Trien & The Jumping Monkeys – Wonderful You

 

6) The Whizpops – Ranger Rick’s Trail Mix

 

7) Sugar Free All Stars – Sugar Free All Stars

 

8) Liz De Roche – Club Called Awesome

 

9) Eric Herman & The Thunderpuppies – Bubble Wrap

 

10) Miss Nina & The Jumping Jacks – Every Day’s Your Birthday

 

11) Hulaballoo – I Chew

 

12) The Hollow Trees – Hello Friends

 

13) Recess Monkey – Novelties

 

14) Nathalia – When I Was Your Age

 

15) Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could – Press Play

 

 

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Moock’s New Album Is All Kinds Of Enjoyable

Courtesy: Moockshake Music

Courtesy: Moockshake Music

2015 has been quite the fruitful year for the world of children’s music. New releases from veteran acts such as Recess Monkey, Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band, and Josh and the Jamtones have joined releases from others such as Jazzy Ash, The Bazillions, and fellow veteran performers Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer among others to form a field that has offered up quite the selection of music for audiences of all ages. Now another veteran artist by the name of Alastair Moock has added yet another new release to this year’s field, making things even more interesting for those keeping track. The album in question, All Kinds of You And Me, comes only a few months after fellow veteran entertainers Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer released a similar album in the form of Dancin’ in the Kitchen: Songs For All Families. While the two acts’ new albums are similar in their lyrical topics, it can be said that Moock’s new album manages to maintain its own identity apart from that of Frink and Marxer’s new album thanks to the fact that it takes the foundation established by Fink and Marxer’s lyrics and builds on it with even more interesting topics. It also builds on the pair’s foundation with its mix of musical styles. That is the second reason that audiences will enjoy this album. Last but hardly least of note of this album is its run time. The album doesn’t even hit the one-hour mark. Rather it clocks in at forty-five minutes. The album’s longest track, its closer ‘This Land Is Your Land,’ comes in at just over five minutes. And the shortest comes in at just under the three-minute mark. That each of the album’s songs runs at a relatively normal time makes each one all the more apt to keep listeners of all ages locked in from the album’s opener to its end. Moock’s lyrical and musical approach to each number does just as much to keep listeners engaged. All three elements considered together show All Kinds of You and Me to be one of this year’s bravest and most confident children’s records. What’s more that confidence and bravery pay off in spades, proving it to be one more of this year’s best new children’s albums.

Veteran singer/songwriter Alastair Moock’s latest full-length studio recording All Kinds of You and Me is one of this year’s best new children’s albums. The twelve-track, forty-five minute recording is not the first of its kind to be released this year. Fellow veteran performers Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer released an album in Dancin’ in the Kitchen: Songs For All Families only months before this album’s release. While the two albums are similar in regards to their lyrical content, they are also quite different. That is proven first through the fact that Moock doesn’t stick to just the concept of the different kinds of families that make up America’s population. He does cover this topic. That can’t be ignored. However, he doesn’t stop there. Instead he branches out paying tribute to Malala Yousefzai in ‘I Am Malala’ and even to Woody Guthrie in his cover of ‘This Land is Your Land’ and its narrative intro ‘You and Me.’ There’s even a playful little piece about the different holidays in the simply titled ‘Every Day’s A Holiday.’ While those songs each help to make Moock’s new album stand out among this year’s field of new children’s releases, the songs about families and America’s social norms do just as much to help it stand out. Moock tackles the rigid social norms and gender roles that dominate American families in the album’s opener ‘It Takes All Kinds,’ and in the two songs that follow, ‘PEOPLE’ and ‘You Might Be A Girl.’ These songs are brave to say the least. They take a similar track as that taken by Fink and Marxer. But unlike them he takes more of stand against those norms established by American culture in these songs. Every one of the songs noted here shows in its own way to play an important part in what makes All Kinds of You and Me a standout recording. While each of the noted songs plays its own role, that is not to say that the others don’t play a role, too. Quite the opposite actually. Each one of the album’s twelve total tracks plays its own part in the whole of the album’s impact with all twelve showing clearly why the lyrical approach to this album makes it one that every family should take in together. Any family that does will be glad that it did. That is because of the foundation for discussion that each song’s lyrical content forms. It’s just the starting point of what makes this record such an interesting listen. The musical approach taken by Moock throughout the record is just as important to its success and enjoyment.

The lyrical content of Alastair Moock’s latest LP is within itself plenty of reason for audiences of all ages to hear this record. That is because of the number of topics covered by Moock throughout the course of the album’s twelve tracks and forty-five minutes. He tackles the strict gender roles and social norms established within American culture in the album’s first three songs before going a little more playful as the album advanced. He even pays tribute to human rights and women’s rights activist Malala Yousafzai and to folk legend Woody Guthrie in the album’s closer among much more content. It is just one portion of what makes this record so enjoyable, though. The album’s musical content makes it just as enjoyable. By and large, Moock presents a folksy, bluegrass style sound throughout the record. Though, he does break off at a few random points. The album’s opener presents a fun, rockabilly sound while ‘PEOPLE’ boasts a lighthearted Dixieland style sound. ‘You Might Be A Girl’ is just as enjoyable in regards to its music as it boasts something of an old school R&B influence. That is of course this critic’s own interpretation. And then there’s the dreamy, dulcet tones of ‘My Life(Is A Lot Like Yours)’ that will conjure thoughts of Allison Kraus and Norah Jones. That is a tribute to vocalist Jennifer Kimball’s extraordinary talents. ‘All In A Day’ also boasts that old school R&B influence. It conjures thoughts of Otis Redding. For all of the interest that the noted songs generates, the most intriguing of the album’s songs (in terms of their musical content) is ‘I Am Malala.’ The song largely boasts a gentle, beachy sound that conjures thoughts of Jimmy Buffett by and large. Though, interestingly enough the song switches things up in its final bars, sounding more like the opening bars of ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ than that beachy sound that makes up the rest of its body. All of these examples together paint a rich musical picture that is just as certain to keep listeners engaged as that painted by the album’s lyrical content. The album’s musical and lyrical content taken jointly into consideration, they give listeners of all ages plenty of reason to hear this brave, enjoyable record.

Both the lyrical and musical content presented throughout the course of Alastair Moock’s new album make for plenty of reason for families to hear this record. While both elements are equally important to the whole of the record’s success and enjoyment, there is still one last element that should be examined in the whole of its presentation. That element is the record’s overall run time. The album clocks in at forty-five minutes. That is actually a relatively standard length both in regards to the realm of children’s music and that of music for adults. The album’s longest song is its closer, the cover of Woody Guthrie’s ‘This Land is Your Land.’ It comes in at five minutes and three seconds. The album’s shortest song is its second track ‘PEOPLE.’ That song comes in at two minutes and twenty-two seconds. Some might ask what significance any of this plays in the grand scheme of the album. It significance is that when set against the songs’ musical and lyrical content together, it can help to determine just how long the songs (and the album in whole) are likely to keep listeners engaged. Being that the songs’ musical and lyrical content is not over the heads of its intended audiences and the songs themselves are in fact really standard length, it means a greater chance of keeping audiences’ ears from beginning to end. Sure, five minutes for a song–especially a children’s album–might seem like a lot. But the simple redundancy of the song’s chorus makes it (‘This Land is Your Land’) one that will definitely keep young listeners’ ears for the full length of its run time. That, friends, is the importance of the album’s run time. And on a smaller scale the run time of each of the album’s songs. Those run times, set against the songs’ musical and lyrical content, make one whole record that stands out against its counterparts within the realm of children’s music this year. In turn, the combination of all three elements makes this record one of this year’s best new children’s records.

All Kinds of You and Me is a record that can be said to be all kinds of enjoyable from beginning to end. That is thanks to the album’s mix of musical stylings and lyrical themes. The run times of each of the album’s twelve total songs makes a total run time that together with the album’s musical and lyrical content is sure to keep listeners fully engaged regardless of their ages. All things considered, All Kinds of You and Me proves in the end to be all kinds of enjoyable for listeners of all ages and in turn one of this year’s best new children’s records. It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered direct via Alastair Moock’s official website at http://www.moockmusic.com. More information on All Kinds of You and Me is available online now along with all of the latest news from Alastair himself at:

Website: http://www.moockmusic.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alastair-Moock-Music/43677062968

Twitter: http://twitter.com/AlastairMoock 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Hot Air Is One Of 2015’s Best New Children’s Albums

Courtesy:  Recess Monkey

Courtesy: Recess Monkey

Veteran kindie rock band Recess Monkey released its latest full-length studio effort Hot Air last week. The twelfth full-length release from the Seattle, Washington-based trio, it is one of the band’s best works to date. That is thanks in large part to the mix of its indie-rock style musical content and its original lyrical topics. From a song about the joy of taking in a thunderstorm to an equally entertaining piece about speaking “penguin-ese” to a piece that every Star Wars fan ou there (yes, the band even has a song centered on the Star Wars universe), and more Hot Air proves from start to finish just what makes it such a fun record and even one of the year’s best new children’s records.

Nearly a year to the day after it released its 2014 album Wired, Recess Monkey has released its twelfth full-length album Hot Air. Twelve albums is a lot for any musical act regardless of genre. For any musical act to maintain its creativity, energy, and originality over such a span is just as much of a feat. Somehow though, the members of Recess Monkey–Drew Holloway (vocals, guitar), Jack Forman (bass, keys), and Korum Bischoff (drums)–have managed to do just that. That is clear in the songs that make up Hot Air. The album’s mix of indie-rock musical styling coupled with its original, creative lyrical topics will have listeners of all ages enjoying it from start to finish, even singing along (and maybe even dancing along, too). One of the songs that serves to prove this is the album’s song about the joy of thunderstorms, ‘Thunder & Lightning.’ While not the first song ever crafted about thunderstorms, the band’s approach to the song makes it stand out quite well among those other songs. The band wastes no time jumping right into the song, offering up an up-tempo piece set against the rumbling of thunder. What’s really interesting here is that the band uses not only an up-tempo musical backing for the song, but plays in a major tone, too. Even more interesting of the song’s musical side is that one could actually call it avante garde to a point. That is because of its non-standard style especially in its verses. This seems minor on the surface. But on a deeper level, it helps lay a positive foundation for the song. It’s not the standard emotional approach used by so many other children’s entertainers in handling the subject. Nor is it an ominous sound. Rather it is somewhat playful for lack of better wording. It is a really smart approach used by the band in this song. Holloway sings over that upbeat foundation, “The sky is a canvas for each lightning bolt/It’s painted so lovely and it gives me a jolt/Yeah, hear a big old rumblin’ all across the sky/Watch it light up like the fourth of July.” The picture painted by Holloway as he sings is not one of something ominous or scary but rather one of something truly incredible to behold. The lightning bolts are equated to giant electrical paint brushes (doesn’t that sound like the name for some kind of indie garage rock band?) that paint their way across the canvas of the sky. It’s a great way to both get young listeners to appreciate the beauty and power of storms and show them that there’s no reason to fear storms. Being such a multi-faceted song, it proves quite well within itself to be one of Hot Air’s best tracks and just one example of why Hot Air is one of Recess Monkey’s best LPs to date.

‘Thunder & Lightning’ is within itself one of the best songs included in the body of Hot Air. It also proves in the grand scheme of things to be one piece proving what makes Hot Air one of Recess Monkey’s best albums to date. It’s just one song that proves both arguments. The album’s lead single, ‘Penguinese’ also serves to show that Recess Monkey still has not lost its touch or its originality and creativity even twelve albums in. The song is about exactly what one might think. It is a fun, nonsensical piece about learning to speak “Penguinese,” the supposed language of penguins. It’s such a nonsensical song, yes. Yet it is that nonsensical approach that makes it so fun. Think for a brief moment and try to name one band in the mainstream or even kindie rock world that has written such a song. Can’t think of one? Exactly. Holloway sings over Bischoff’s infectious 2/4 disco-style beat, “Just got a new kid/A new kid at school/He’s a little bit different/But a lot of bit cool/He’s not from around here/He’s from far away/Doesn’t speak the language/But you really oughtta hear him say his penguinese. The sound effect in the background that is apparently supposed to be a penguin “talking” adds to the song’s hilarity and creativity. Holloway goes on to sing of the penguin, “Folks don’t understand him/He don’t act like they do/Take a look in his lunchbox/And they give a big “Ewwwww/But he’s a snappy dresser/With a tux every day/He doesn’t speak the language/But you really oughtta hear him speak his penguinese.” The recorders (yes, the band even uses recorders in this song. That’s just as original) somehow work in some odd way. Who would have thought? Recorders actually serving a real musical purpose. It’s okay to laugh. Don’t be ashamed. It’s so nonsensical yet so fun that listeners of all ages will find themselves unable to deny just how fun it is. In having to admit how fun it proves to be, listeners will agree that it is one more example of what makes Hot Air one of Recess Monkey’s best albums to date. It also shows itself to be one of the best of the album’s songs overall.

Both ‘Thunder & Lightning’ and ‘Penguinese’ are high points to Hot Air in their own right as well as points proving why Hot Air is one of Recess Monkey’s best albums to date. They are just a couple of examples of what makes this album so enjoyable, too. The album’s penultimate opus ‘Oh Lando,’ which is a direct tribute to George Lucas’ classic Star Wars franchise, is another of the album’s high points. It is also one more prime example of what makes Hot Air one of Recess Monkey’s best records to date. Yet again, how many bands out there either the world of kindie rock or mainstream music have crafted any songs in tribute to one of science fiction’s greatest properties? Exactly. For that reason alone, grown-ups will want to hear this song just as much as their younger counterparts. The song, which centers on the events that happen in Cloud City in Star Wars: Episode V–The Empire Strikes Back. The song’s bass-driven musical side is infectious and will instantly have listeners tapping their toes. Considering that Disney is preparing to release the next chapter in the Star Wars franchise this winter, it makes this song a fitting way to remind audiences of where the Star Wars franchise has come from as audiences prepare to see where it is going. It is original. And it is fun. Ergo, it is one more great addition to Recess Monkey’s new album and yet more proof of why Hot Air is one of Recess Monkey’s best albums to date. Set alongside the likes of ‘Thunder & Lightning’ and ‘Penguinese,’ all three songs show in their own right why Recess Monkey remains one of the best acts in the world of kindie-rock today. That is not to discount the album’s other tracks by any means. ‘Hand Me Downs’ lets listeners know it’s okay to have hand me downs. There’s nothing to be ashamed of in wearing them. The Benny Goodman-esque clarinet work on ‘Carry A Tune’ is sure to impress jazz lovers. And the indie rock style of ‘Lighter Than Air’ coupled with its bright lyrics about soaring among the clouds will put just as much of a smile on listeners’ faces. Whether for those songs, the compositions more directly noted here or any of the album’s other tracks not noted here, it can be said with ease that considering each of the album’s tracks, Hot Air is full of anything but hot air. It is one of Recess Monkey’s best albums to date and one of the best new children’s albums of 2015.

Hot Air proves from start to finish to be one of Recess Monkey’s best albums to date and one of the best new children’s alums of 2015. That is thanks in large part to the creativity and originality displayed throughout the course of the album’s fifteen tracks and thirty-eight minutes. It is available now in stores and online, and can be purchased online via Recess Monkey’s online store at http://www.recessmonkeytown.com. More information on Hot Air is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and tour schedule updates online now at:

Website: http://www.recessmonkeytown.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/recessmonkeytown

Twitter: http//twitter.com/recess_monkey

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Recess Monkey’s Latest LP Will Definitely “Connect” With Listeners

Courtesy:  Waldmania PR

Courtesy: Waldmania PR

Seattle, Washington based children’s entertainment trio Recess Monkey will release its latest full length studio effort this Summer.  The band’s new album, Wired, is currently scheduled to be released on Tuesday, June 17th.  The album, the band’s eleventh full length studio effort, is yet another fun musical ride for the band’s audiences.  It’s a great album for parents taking their kids around town while they run errands. One reason for that is the songs’ run time.  The album as a whole comes in at a little more than forty-minutes (forty-two minutes to be exact).  The songs’ lengths are important to the record as they are just the right length to keep young listeners’ attention.  Just as important to the album are the lyrical themes.   And last but not least, the band has carried over the poppy, mid-tempo vibe of its previous albums into this record.  That’s something that audiences more familiar with Recess Monkey’s body of work will most definitely appreciate.  That familiar feel works in tandem with the songs ‘ lyrical themes and their relatively short run times to make Wired yet another enjoyable release from Recess Monkey.

The first thing that audiences will take away from Wired is that the run time of its songs will easily keep young listeners engaged.  The album’s fifteen tracks bring the album’s total run time to roughly forty-two minutes.  The longest song on the album, ‘Duct Tape World’ comes in just below the 3:30 mark.  The shortest of the albums’ songs—the album’s title track–comes in at 2:03.  Recess Monkey’s music has generally tended to be aimed toward kids up to ten years old.  The attention span of a child that age is more than that of younger children.  But it is still relatively short by comparison to that of older audiences.  So coming from an observational vantage point, the run times on the album’s songs is just right once again for those key audiences.

The total run time of Recess Monkey’s new album is one of the cornerstones of Wired’s success.  The band keeps the attention of young ears thanks to the relatively short run time of each of the album’s songs.  Another cornerstone of the album’s success is its collective lyrical themes.  While the album’s title and artwork project one image, the album’s title track is anything but a reflection of the title and artwork.  The album’s title song centers on a young person that is literally wired on a sugar high.  The band—Drew Holloway (vocals, guitar), Jack Forman (bass, keyboards), and Korum Bischoff (drums)—does a great job musically reflecting the energy of a child on a sugar high with the song’s lyrics and frenetic energy.  Holloway sings right off the top, “You know I’m feelin’ so wired/I’m so inspired/My feet are on fire/Wired/I’m scalin’ the walls/And my feet climibin’ higher/Nothin’s gonna slow me down/Ate three bowls of them sugar squares/And do you wanna make the bed/I could carry the car to school/And not even break a sweat/I’m all hyper/Busy twitching/From the day.” Even Holloway’s own delivery conjures thoughts of a child on a massive sugar high as he sings.

Another example of how the lyrical themes on this album make it so fun comes in the form of ‘Grandpa is a Time Machine.’ This song tells the story of a child listening to the stories told by his or her grandfather about when he was younger. Just as is the case with ‘Wired,’ the band just as wonderfully mirrors the feeling that is felt by a child in this case. What person doesn’t recall being excited hearing stories from his or her grandfather when he or she was just a child? There is a certain charm about the stories being shared. And the band captures that excitement through the song’s up-tempo musical side. Holloway sings about his subject bringing his or her grandfather some iced tea and listening to him go back in time, sharing his stories as he sits in his favorite chair. Any parent listening to this song is certain to be taken back to that grand time himself or herself. In turn, said parents will find themselves enjoying this song as much as their children.

The poppy, up-tempo feel of ‘My Grandpa is a Time Machine’ and ‘Wired’ isn’t relegated to just those two songs. It is evident in both the songs in question and the other thirteen songs that make up Wired. That positive vibe is something that fans more familiar with Recess Monkey’s music will appreciate. That’s because all of the band’s previous releases carry that same poppy, up-tempo feeling. It’s the last factor to consider in examining this record and what makes it so fun. At the same time that that familiar feel is present throughout the album’s songs, the songs themselves don’t sound like songs from the band’s previous albums. It makes that familiar vibe all the more enjoyable. And when taken into consideration along with the positive lyrical side of the songs and their relatively listener friendly run times it becomes one more part of a whole that is one more great record from one of the best bands in the world of children’s music.

Wired will be available in stores and online June 17th. More information on Wired and all the latest from the band including tour dates and more is available online at http://www.facebook.com/recessmonkeytown, http://www.recessmonkey.com and http://twitter.com/recess_monkey. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Oh My, The Ohmies’ New LP Is A Fun Family Record

Courtesy:  Ohmazing Tunes

Courtesy: Ohmazing Tunes

The world of children’s music is one of the most intriguing in the overall scheme of the music industry.  That is because of just how many truly original acts exist in the realm of children’s music today.  2013 alone has seen quite a few examples of that with new releases from the likes of Recess Monkey, Justin Roberts, and others.  Now, another children’s act by the name of The Ohmies (pronounced Oh-Meez) has broadened that field even more with its debut record, Morning Wish Garden.  The sextet’s new release is a fun and smart record that will impress listeners of every age.  The reason for that it is a multi-purpose record.  Not only does it entertain young listeners, but it also teaches healthy living.  These two factors taken into account, The Ohmies’ debut record is sure to be a hit with any parent of young children and said children.

Morning Wish Garden is another enjoyable addition to the already vast array of children’s albums that have been released so far this year.  It is so enjoyable first and foremost because of its entertainment factor.  This album is the first for the band.  It has largely come to fame via word of mouth and its live shows.  So trying to translate its live show to disc was a calculated risk.  It’s a risk that has definitely paid off.  Even listeners that are new to the group’s material will agree that somehow, its members have managed to paint a vivid picture of its show through this record.  It’s difficult to put a finger on how exactly the band managed it.  But it in fact managed it and quite well at that.  Maybe it was the energy of songs such as ‘Wag Your Tail’, ‘Shake ‘Em Off Shuffle’, and ‘Ohmies Jamboree’ that helped the translation.  Maybe it was the musical variety presented throughout the record’s ten songs.  Maybe it was both of these elements plus more.  Regardless, every moment of this record makes it no less fun with each listen.  Even more to the group’s credit, the ability of the group to translate its live show so clearly to CD, it could even encourage young audiences to want to see the group live.  To that extent, it makes this record that much more praise-worthy.

The ability of the band to translate its live show to CD and successfully so at that is a big part of the album’s enjoyment.  What the group managed to do was make a live release album on a studio record.  That is an accomplishment to say the least.  Also to the record’s credit (and the group’s credit) is that the group’s members have also crafted a record that teaches healthy living.  And they have done so without being preachy, either.  This is an obstacle that so many children’s acts face today.  That’s because kids today are underestimated in terms of their intelligence.  Kids are very smart.  The members of The Ohmies have not underestimated that intelligence.  By getting kids to dance and move like snakes, dogs, grasshoppers, and even butterflies, the band’s members have found slick ways to encourage kids to get moving.  This is extremely important especially considering the battle currently being fought against childhood obesity.  It’s one more salvo in that battle for the health of the nation’s children.  It’s one more reason that The Ohmies are deserving of commendation.  It’s one more reason that The Ohmies’ new record is sure to be a hit with listeners of any age.

The Ohmies just finished up a three-day stint at the Austin City Limits Festival in Austin, TX.  It also has a performance scheduled for Wednesday, January 8th at the West Side YMCA at New York City’s APAP Festival.  Parents can find out about The Ohmies’ latest tour dates, news and more online at http://www.facebook.com/TheOhmies and http://theohmies.com.   To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Desert Island Disc Twice As Nice As Deep Sea Diver

Courtesy:  Waldmania PR/Recess Monkey

Courtesy: Waldmania PR/Recess Monkey

Recess Monkey has done it again.  This Seattle, WA based trio of teachers released early in 2013 an album that is without a doubt one of the year’s best children’s albums in Deep Sea Diver.  Now mere months later, the men of Recess Monkey have released yet another impressive new album in the form of Desert Island Disc.

Desert Island Disc is not entirely different from Deep Sea Diver.  Its overall sound though, is noticeably different from that album.  The overall feel of the album is different, too.  And it is that combination of a different sound and feel that makes for a good starting point with this record.  Where the sound and feel of Deep Sea Diver was perfectly linked to its nautical theme, so does the sound and feel of Desert Island Disc follow its more tropical, “beachy” theme.  The album’s opener, ‘Coconut Radio’ is a perfect example of that more tropical, “beachy” theme.  The ukulele, strings, and bongos together backing singer Drew Holloway will instantly conjure thoughts of a sun-drenched tropical island a la Gilligan’s Island (only parents would get that reference).  It will have no problem having young listeners (and maybe their own parents) dancing hula style to the music and singing along.  Making this song even more enjoyable and funny is the mini-cartoon included in the CD’s packaging explaining how to make a coconut radio.  The figure in the instructions must have known the Professor pretty well to be able to construct his own coconut radio ba-dump-bump-bump.

‘Coconut Radio’ is a fun kickoff for Desert Island Disc.  It is in fact just the beginning of the album’s fun.  Along with its generally fun songs, Recess Monkey also has maintained its reputation of including positive lyrical content in with that fun music.  A key example is the equally tropical and “beachy” ‘Trailblazer.’  By itself, ‘Trailblazer’ is another fun song that matches the album’s overall theme.  Lyrically, it’s just as family friendly as it serves to build up young listeners’ self-confidence.  Holloway sings in the song, “You are a trailblazer/You’re gonna find your path/You leap and you sing now/You make us smile and laugh!/You make us, make us, make us smile and laugh…Dream your dreams/And/You’re gonna find your way/Around the world alright.”  Recess Monkey isn’t the only band to craft inspirational songs.  But it can be said that in terms of originality in bringing inspirational messages to young listeners, Recess Monkey is one of the most original acts to do so.  And for that fact alone, the band and its new album deserves even more credit.

The positive messages and fun music work in tandem throughout Desert Island Disc.  They are not just there in the already noted.  The band offers its young listeners plenty of choices from which to choose in terms of songs that are both fun and empowering for its listeners.  For instance, who but this quirky trio could write a song about a hermit crab and actually make it a fun song that can be taken for the fun opus that it is?  Exactly.  There are also songs about appreciating the little things in life such as sea glass in ‘My Treasure’ and the one downside of playing in the sun; sunburn.  Parents will especially enjoy this song with its obvious Beach Boys influence.  They are just a tiny extra sample of what parents and children can expect from Recess Monkey on its new album.

The band is currently touring in support of Desert Island Disc and its companion piece, Deep Sea Diver.  So parents and children will get to hear some of the band’s new music before the album is available when they go to see the band live.  The band will be in Everett, Washington this Saturday morning performing at the annual Peps-A-Palooza.  It will perform alongside The Not-Its and Caspar Babypants among others.  And then next Tuesday, the band will perform for the Mercer Island Preschool Association in Mercer Island, Washington.  More dates are scheduled from here.  Parents can check and see if Recess Monkey will be coming to their town on the band’s official website, http://www.recessmonkeytown.com.  And fans can also keep up with all of the latest news from the band on its official Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/recessmonkeytown.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Recess Monkey Premiere Video For Latest Single

Recess Monkeys

Courtesy: Waldmania PR

Mark your calendars, parents.  Recess Monkey releases its latest album, Deep Sea Diver on Tuesday, June 18th.  In anticipation of the upcoming nautical themed album, the guys—Drew Holloway (vocals, guitar), Jack Forman (bass, keyboards), and Korum Bischoff (drums)—have officially debuted the video for the new single off of the album.  ‘Fish Sticks’ sees Holloway taking a trip beneath the waves in the band’s “tambourine submarine” to see the “famed” drummer, “Fish Sticks.”  Fans can check out the new video online now at http://babyology.com.au/sunday-arts/babyology-exclusive-world-premiere-of-the-very-groovy-fish-sticks-by-recess-monkey.html

The band is currently touring in support of the new album.  Fans in North Carolina will get the chance to see the band live when it makes a stop at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, NC.  The band will perform at The ArtsCenter on July 20th at 11:00a.m.  General admission for the performance is $9.  Friends of The ArtsCenter can get in for a discounted price of $7 along with children.  Children ages 2 and under get in free.  Family 4-pack tickets are available for a price of $28.  Tickets can be ordered online at http://www.etix.com/ticket/online/performanceSearch.jsp?performance_id=1714199&cobrand=artscenter.  And for more information on this and every performance at The ArtsCenter, go online to http://www.artscenterlive.org

To keep up with all the latest tour information, news and more from Recess Monkey, parents and children can follow the band online at http://www.facebook.com/recessmonkeytown and http://www.recessmonkeytown.com

Courtesy: Waldmania PR

Courtesy: Waldmania PR

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.