January 2014

Do you have siblings that are always up in the middle of the night, scared of monsters under the bed? We bet you tell them that "Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens!" And if you didn't before, now you can. There's a lot of stuff that both you and chickens need to get done tomorrow, so being worried in the middle of the night is just distracting. B.B. King kills it in this version of Louis Jordan's "Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens". Check it out!
We're more than halfway through the work week. You are sick and tired of being sick and tired, and so are your kids. Here's a song to make everyone ready to finish this cold week off strong and get ready for the weekend. Melissa Ferrick's "Happy Song" was released on her debut 14 track album Massive Blur and offers an upbeat and optimistic song that she is actually asking for in this song. All the cool kids are meta these days.
1buzz_web Every Wednesday at 9:13 am, one of Pittsburgh’s finest music writers joins me (Cindy Howes) on the Morning Mix to play a couple favorite new songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Scott Tady! In case you missed it here’s what he played with commentary by Scott. Sleepy Kitty, “Don’t You Start”- That’s a great name for this St. Louis art-punk/garage-pop band that’s plenty cute – check out the playful voice and occasional whimsy of singer Paige Brubeck – until they fully wake up, and the distorted guitars and heavy drums show their claws. Co-founded by the drummer from Harvey Danger (“Flagpole Sitta” from the 1990s!) Sleepy Kitty lists among its influences Iggy Pop, MGM musicals, Pavement, pop artist Robert Rauschenberg and filmmaker Jean Luc Godard. Painted Palms, “Forever”- Louisiana cousins Reese Donohue and Christopher Prudhomme relocate to San Francisco and release an attention-grabbing, lushly produced debut album that’s pop-rock with flecks of electronica and ‘60s psychedelia. One of their songs, “Soft Hammer,” reminds me of Grizzly Bear. This song has more of a Beatles flair.
Arrested Development: a comedic television series, and a 90's hip hop duo. Both great forms of entertainment, but the latter is for kids too! Arrested Development formed in 1988 and released their first album in '92 3 Years, 5 Months & 2 Days in the Life Of... which featured this song, "Mr. Wendal". At the time, a lot of the hip hop scene was focused on gangsta rap like Dr. Dre's album The Chronic, released the same year as Arrested Development's first. A.D. aimed to provide an alternative to popular rap that focused on positive messages. This song, for example, gives you another perspective on how to look at homeless people, or those regarded as "nobody's". If you're interested in introducing your kids to hip-hop, this would be a great place to start.
With all of this chilly weather, we need something to keep us in high spirits, and Booker T. does just the job with his song "Fun" off of the most recent album "Sound the Alarm" released in June of 2013. At 69 years old, Booker T. Jones is still in full force as a soul musician, the career he started at the age of 16. This song doesn't have any vocals, other than the backup singers, singing "Fun, fun" throughout the course of the tune. Who needs more lyrics when the musicianship and composition are so great? Find yourself back in the 60's with this one, a song that's almost impossible to not dance along to.
Originally a 1956 song by Louis Prima, Brian Setzer Orchestra covered this classic and popularized it in the 90's. "Jump Jive An' Wail", off of the 1998 album, The Dirty Boogie won a grammy in '99 for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. In the late 90's and early 2000's, a swing revival took place which brought back the music of the 30's and 40's, and made it more current with musical aspects of rock or ska. This neo-swing tune will get both kids and parents dancing and will give everyone a fun taste of big band numbers.
Hey cool kids! You all like jam bands, right? Specifically 90's jam bands? The band moe. has a similar following to other prominent 90's psychedelic rock bands like Phish and Widespread Panic that your parents may have even been a part of. This song takes a silly approach to the common phrase "You say potato, I say potato" from the Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong song "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off". Members of moe. are having a hard time telling anything apart like the word potato and the number three. They can't even tell the difference between their bellybutton and a ping pong! Getting confused is something both parents and kids can get behind.
1buzz_web   Every Wednesday at 9:13 am, one of Pittsburgh’s finest music writers joins me (Cindy Howes) on the Morning Mix to play a couple favorite new songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Justin Jacobs! In case you missed it here’s what he played with commentary by Justin. Click the title to see their website! The War on Drugs, "Red Eyes"- This Philadelphia band, and former Kurt Vile associates, have always had a special crush on Bruce Springsteen. But with their latest album Lost in the Dream, out in March, they go fullon in-love. First single "Red Eyes" is the perfect example - a driving beat, spoke-sung lyrics, an on-the-road feel. I call it Daydream Springsteen. Yes, it took a long time to think of that.   Bombay Bicycle Club, "Carry Me"- These young piano-pop Brits caught me by surprise with their last album A Different Kind of Fix. For the upcoming So Long, See You Tomorrow, they throw all sorts of styles on the ceiling and see what sticks. In this track, they play dress up as a mind-altered dance pop, jilted in the all the right ways.
Today's Cool Kids song has mass... a-peel! Toys can be way too stimulating these days. What ever happened to good old imagination. You can call your dad from a bananaphone. You can call your dog from a bananaphone. The possibilities are endless. Listen to Rhonda Vincent's version of Raffi's "Bananaphone" here:
Steve Martin really does seem like the Jack of all trades. An actor, comedian, writer, producer, AND musician! Parents might recognize Steve from films like The Jerk or Parenthood and kids would probably recognize him from Cheaper by the Dozen, or The Pink Panther. Now, both parents and kids can bond over Steve Martin with todays Cool Kids pick, "Late for School". This song takes listeners through the troubles and stresses of getting to school on time when you are already late. With a lot on the line like your grade dropping, and missing out on pertinent information, this song takes you through the journey of a kid trying to make it to school on time. We suggest not following in the footsteps of the character in this song, but maybe listening to it on your way to school instead.