Category Archives: Music

Count Me In

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of the album to review. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own.

“One more time from the top!” he said, as we held our whistles at the ready. He held a little white stick which had come with the box of holiday crackers at Christmas, each person opening their cracker to find a whistle and starting a tradition of musical torture for my family.

Conducting a mini concert with three members may not be a hard job, but for Wonder Boy he adores being the leader and the center of attention and didn’t mind Nana and I were playing completely different songs, as long as he was waving and telling us to start and stop.

It’s no wonder then that he loved The Little Rockers Band’s newest album counting in the band as “Count Me In!”  begun to entertain us on a road trip to Anaheim.

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“One, two, three, four… Mommy, I like this CD,” he told me before the first song had ended.

The Little Rockers bring a variety of familiar songs and new tunes to rock out with in the back seat of the car. For “Count Me In!” the band was inspired by everything from Motown to The Cars to my favorite, 90′s rock.

Wonder Boy loves to sing along to “Old Mick Jagger” who, as a different take than that McDonald fellow had a band. Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah! That song makes me giggle thinking of Jagger steppin’ his way around a farmyard with little groupies in tow.

My favorite song on the album is the acoustic take on Paul Simon’s “Me and Julio” and rivals the Me First and the Gimme Gimme’s take on it as songs to jam to on the freeway.

Want a taste? Check out the wildly funny music video from the album’s “Wild, Wild West”.

The band was formed in 2009 by the husband and wife team to go with their music classes, which are held in New Jersey. Check their website for more information about classes and upcoming tour dates for the band. They also do birthday parties!

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Count Me In! Will be available tomorrow, April 15, 2014 on Amazon.com, iTunes and LittleRockersMusic.com

Follow them on Facebook, Tweet them on Twitter and check out more videos on Youtube.

 

 

Small World Celebration

Disclaimer: I am a Disney fan just spreading the news because I love it that much.

It was a ride my son had ridden on several times  before he was even born, and one he rode on during his first trip to meet Mickey Mouse.

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It was the first app I downloaded on my phone for him to play, and he still chills tapping all of the different characters, singing the song quietly as he plays.

Our last trip to Disneyland he sang it over and over and over even though the ride was closed.

For Wonder Boy, “it’s a small world” is one of the highlights of a trip to Disneyland. Shelter from the sun, a calm longer ride with plenty to see, a respite out of the stroller in a safe place.

And now it’s time for someone else’s first ride.

This Thursday marks the 50th anniversary of the iconic ride, which was first at the 1964 World’s Fair. Thursday there will be a celebration at Disneyland park and voices from Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and Tokyo Disney Resort will sing that song that is a global earworm, whether or not you’ve ever ridden the ride.

You can even join in at home, by joining a Google + hangout  (which I can watch from my phone while we’re there) and submit a question for Disney Legend Richard Sherman,

Earlier today I finally got a chance to make a doll, which I will have my son also do as we gear up for our trip to Disneyland for the 50th anniversary.  For every doll made on the site, Disney will donate $1 to UNICEF on top of the $150,000 it already donated. It’s still less than halfway to their max of $100,000 so go make one!

You can also film a sing-along on the SmallWorld50.com site – and the singing, I’m sure, will keep going the rest of the day!

I also encourage anyone with a free afternoon to check out a participating Disney store (call ahead and ask)  from this Thursday to Sunday, where children are invited to take a journey on an imaginary boat ride around the globe, learning how to say “hello” in various languages and singing “it’s a small world” along the way.

Will you be celebrating this week too? What’s your favorite section of the ride?

The Sleeping Beauty and a boy

Disclaimer: I received tickets to see the Royal Ballet Cinema Series’ “The Sleeping Beauty” in theater. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own.

I was talking a couple of days ago to my husband about the upcoming “The Sleeping Beauty”  movie event which, since he went with me to Swan Lake he has, um, cordially passed on his ticket to the event, when a little voice piped up from the back asking to go.

THE SLEEPING BEAUTY  ; October 2011

My four-year-old, the active one in the theater full of commentary and joy when we saw Frozen a couple of months ago, wants to come with me.

My son has seen Disney’s Sleeping Beauty at home. He loved the owl, the dragon, when the prince fell in the water. He wanted the blue dress (The Royal Ballet wanted it pink).

Did you know the music for the ballet is also used in Disney’s film?

I’ve long wanted to go to a large production of a ballet, and the Folsom movie events have been a good way to visit a couple favorites. I loved seeing Swan Lake, finally, on the big screen last time and I’ve only seen pieces of The Sleeping Beauty performed.

 

I know he will recognize the story since he has seen the Disney film, and enjoy the familiar music.

I also know he will not last the whole production and, to a theater of people who are also pretending they are at the ballet it will be a challenging experience- but one I may decide to share with him.

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But, even if we don’t make the whole movie, how better to help him discover something new in a way he recognizes?

Even if he will never love the ballet and dance and performances like I do, why not at least let him experience it in a convenient way? Better a movie theater with popcorn than a live performance, perhaps.

So, he and I will be having a date next Thursday in Ontario to see the ballet.

Want to go too? Check here for theaters and tickets.

Did you know?

  •  The Sleeping Beauty was the first ballet after the company reopened the Royal Opera House in 1946 after WWII; Ballet legend Margot Fonteyn played Princess Aurora.
  • The Sleeping Beauty is the largest productive in the Royal Ballet’s costume repertoire, involving more than 700 fittings, 500 costumes and 80 tutus – that’s a lot of tulle!
  • The Sleeping Beauty utilizes all 98 members of the Royal Ballet Company.
  • Each season, the Royal Ballet dancers use 6,000 pairs of pointe shoes and 6,000 pairs of flats. Combined with the character shoes, elastic, ribbons and detailing relevant to each production, the total cost for footwear is more than $415,000 a year!

Have you ever seen The Sleeping Beauty?

In A Heartbeat

Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of In A Heartbeat for review. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own.

My mom has worked at the same phrase with Wonder Boy since he was a baby.

“See you later alligator!” She would call as we drove away. “After a while crocodile!”

As he grew a small vocabulary, she would prompt him to say the second part, saying it with him.

How, he gleefully shouts it from the back seat (as long as baby brother isn’t asleep) after we drop her off after an adventure.

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Laura Doherty covers Bill Haley and the Comets’ ‘See Ya Later, Alligator” in her newest album, “In A Heartbeat”.  It has a warm folk style with some jazz and rock touches, talking about jazzy dinosaurs, butterflies, electric guitars and other stuff that’s great for preschoolers who love to sing along in the back of the car.

This album won’t drive you crazy on repeat with the charming peppy folk songs and warm vocals.

One of my favorite songs talks about breakfast, which “gives you energy, energy, energy every day,” and goes through yogurt, blueberries and other great foods to start the day off. With a little boy who struggles at eating a decent breakfast on preschool days, having a song that talks about his favorite foods is a great reminder for him that he needs to eat to have a good day at school.

Laura Doherty_Mosaic_photo credit Phil Onofrio_72dpi

 

This song is also a great one for Wonder Boy, who’s favorite animal at the San Diego Zoo is the flamingos.

 

 

For all my rockers, the album also features guest artist Glenn Kotche, drummer for Wilco who helps takes kids on a percussive tour on “Drum Kit”.

I love albums full of songs that are easy to learn and repetitive for long car rides, so this album is going straight into the collection for long drives to places like the zoo- to see the flamingos, of course.

You can check out Laura Doherty on Facebook, on Twitter, and she also has a Youtube channel.

Her album “In A Heartbeat” is available on CDBaby.com, Amazon.com, iTunes and select stores in Illinois.

 

Let It Go

He asked for the song again and again until I tapped the repeat song option, winding down the canyon with quiet words fumbling as he tried to sing along, each rendition louder and more sure.

I bought the song after watching him run to catch the commercial, watching him enraptured by the “ice queen” as hew called it on Youtube, after his beaming reaction to when we watched it in the theater, him hopping from his seat to my mom’s lap and back again, Lil’ Wonder asleep in my arms for most of the movie.

I tried asking him several times what it was he liked about the song, choosing the questions carefully to string out his short and unintentionally vague answers he gives every time I hope for a deeply thought response.

Why does he like the song? Because it makes him happy, because when he isn’t singing it, he feels sad. (A little dramatic of an answer, but whatever.)

What do you like about the song?
The part where it says let it go, let it go, he said very matter-of-factly.

That part, of course, is the easiest part to remember, much like the oh oh oh oh oooooh in Britney Spears Till the World Ends, the section of chorus mastered about a year ago sung absentmindedly while kicking to the beat.

But after a dozen rounds on the way to a playdate and another few on the way home I contemplated what else he could be feeling.

What is he letting go?

Is he imagining a chill on his hands as he builds his own castles of ice? Magical and sparkling like his daydreams and playtime imagination?

Is it because he spends his days as a four-year-old being told to brush his hair, brush his teeth and no no no as he navigates the day full of baby brother, toys and consequences getting frustrated and imagining a world where he runs the show?

Is he absorbing the words and unintentionally soaking in the lesson that he has unlimited potential if he allows himself to be who he was meant to be instead of how others dictate- a lesson that I still am working on.

Or is it really because he just thinks its a good song?

He was raised on Disney princess movies, though as he got old enough to demand Cars over and over and over they got passed by for Cars, Toy Story, Chuck and Friends and all of the other boy stuff he adores.

Lately, we had a discussion when I brought Sleepy Beauty on deck, myself worn out after a boy day and lured him in with a dragon which finally appeared at the end because ‘that’s the most dangerous part’ I said.

Do princess story lines work for little boys? Sure. Mine saw dancing animals and adventure, happy endings and nice people being rewarded at the end.

In Frozen, he saw how happy she was to be able to make her ice castle, happy to be herself,  He saw sisterly love and how hard they wanted each other to be happy. He saw Anna’s desolation at constant rejection and her duty to her sister first as she ran off to save her.

Family first is a strong feeling in our little world, and we are tight knit because of it. He has helped with his brother from when he was little, stepping up when I ask him to ‘watch his brother’ while I run upstairs for a wash, letting him play with all of his big-boy toys no matter how much drool goes on them.

Frozen is, I hope, a step going in the right direction. Where the classic princess storyline containing a prince is laid to rest and adventures with girls takes the lead.

And one where, instead of someone being saved- someone finding themself, becoming the heroine and literally taking their gloves off and making their own magic, doing the rescuing themself.

Something my son can look up to as he fantasizes his own castles forming in the air.

And whatever he lets go, I know he will grab onto something better.