Category Archives: Music

Karma lesson

My bank recently put in two drive-thru ATM machines on one wall.

It’s actually pretty genius, since most people seem to just pull up for some quick cash and keep going.

A couple of weeks ago, we were in the car on a blistering hot day finishing the last of some afternoon errands.

Wonder Boy was jammin’ along to Inside Riot with me when we pulled into my ever-lucky left side teller machines. Both cars started to move at the same time and cheered inside with my luck, since all of the vents in the car point back on the boys and  was feeling sweaty.

However, the SUV in front of my pulled up to the first and stopped.

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I honked. I yelled something to her through the closed windows of my car and made dagger eyes as hard as I could.

The woman inside of it got out, looked at me, and then took the one step over to the teller window and proceeded to do a month’s worth of banking.Over her frizzy hair, I could see the sad lonely machine waiting for someone to come use it.

I was livid.

I took a deep breath, and looked back at Wonder Boy.

“Hey buddy,” I said. “I am SO frustrated. She should have pulled up to the first machine so we both could use it. She is being selfish.”

“I’m frustrated too,” he said. He wanted to be home, with  a snack, and better air conditioning.

I have not been handling my stress well lately. I snap easily, I am always tired, and I cry out of frustration more than my son should see. But I try to hold one though close to my heart, even though I am no Buddhist.

“Have I told you about karma, buddy?”

He shook his head.

“Well, we could be mad, and yell, and say bad things because we are frustrated she isn’t using the teller right and now we have to wait. But, instead, lets think good thoughts. See, buddy, when you think good things and do good things, good energy will be around you. If you’re bad and mean, you will have bad things around you.”

I looked over at his sleeping baby brother, cheeks pinkish with the heat of the day, snoring peacefully.

“See? He can take a nice long nap. We can listen to Uncle David’s new CD some more and you can rock out in the back seat with your air guitar some more. We can sit and talk together and spend time together.”

“Yay!” he cheered.

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As hard as it is some days, I try to point out the positive. Yesterday I had a hard day, feeling left out, defeated and failing. The dollars are definitely flying out faster than they are in.

Yesterday I also signed up for a course in college.

It’s hard, really hard, to focus on the positives some days, to hear beyond what my own head is screaming in my ears.

Living with grace in moments where you can do nothing about it, or when you feel you are swimming upstream, is SO hard. But worth it.

And starting my own kids down the road of focusing on the positive in moments when your frustration bubbles over like rice in a pot, is something else i can put on my imaginary shelf of accomplishments, to dust off and admire when I need most.

 

Wired

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the CD for review purposes. NO other compensation was given, all opinions are my own.

Recess Monkey is back at it again.

WiredCD

“Wired” is technology themed but definitely not exclusive to it, as songs range from talking about braces to duct tape and all the craftiness in between.

The ‘gadget rock’ album drops today and so does the first video, Brick by Brick.

Caution- do not watch this video barefoot.

The songs remind me of the songs that used to be all over the ‘classic’ rock stations from my youth. The Beatles, Rolling Stones, and other bands that are best at outdoor picnics or car shows, as well as some 80′s rock and punk.

Groovy, electric, tech-y.

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“Grandpa is a Time Machine” is starting to sound more and more like me, as I reminisce how much tech has changed even in Wonder Boy’s lifetime ( and try to explain the record player toy to him).

And I know my son would adore a “Take Your Kid to Work Day” as he always begs to be left with Daddy when we visit him for lunch.

The band delivers with fifteen songs that were actually recorded on analog tape instead of the band’s usual computers, making Wired a completely different experience and makes an amazing sound.

Check out Recess Monkey on their website where you can find link to their social media, apps, concert listings and more great album and merch!

“Wired” is available at recessmonkey.com, amazon.com, cdbaby.com, theAVCafe.com, bigkids.com, iTunes, bandcamp.com, Silver Platters, Sonic Book Records, and Barnes & Noble.

 

Shy Kid Blues

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

Wonder Boy has always been the opposite of shy.

His first day of preschool the program director partnered hi up with a little boy who was having a hard time of it after his mother had left him.

They’re still great friends two years later, as well as virtually every kid at his little preschool.

He gets constant reminders about other people’s personal space and very early on I had to train him to introduce himself to a strange kid before patting them on the back and calling them friend.

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The Hullaballoo duo Steve Denyes and Brendan Kremer have been friends since kindergarten, and their newest album, “SHy Kid Blues”  album is a mostly autobiographical telling of the story of how the two friends became close.

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The album is a mix of songs and spoken dialogue, perfect for listening in the car on a road trip or while quietly playing Legos with a best friend.

Explains Steve Denyes, “In an era when kids seem to have an overabundance of ‘screen time,’ we really wanted this to be a project where the audio would inspire them to create a picture in their minds rather than have one pop up on a screen. In recording the monologues, we were inspired by classic radio shows like Prairie Home Companion and more modern versions like This American Life and Radio Lab, where stories are told in conjunction with sound effects that spark the imagination.”

While I don’t AT ALL have a shy kid when it coms to making friends, the familiar theme of first days at school and making  new best friends and getting to act silly with buddies drew in his attention.

The song “Best Friends Forever” is perfect for end-of-the-year slide shows and going over school memories.

And “That’s Just Us (Playing Rock and Roll)” is perfect for rebellious tots who love to jam with Elvis and music at car shows.

And “Sometimes Even I feel Shy” is a song that resonates with even my tenacious charmer when he feels a little overwhelmed in  situation.

Want to see them LIVE?

Hullabaloo will be performing at SoCal venues over the next couple of months! Here is a list I compiled of the season’s highlights, please check out the full list online.

May 29 – San Diego Botanic Gardens, Encinitas, CA – 6:00 p.m.

May 31 – North Coast Repertory Theatre, Solana Beach, CA Album Release Concert! – 10:30 a.m.

June 1 – Fiesta Del Sol, Solana Beach, CA – 9:30 a.m.

June 1 – Shir Energy Festival, Cardiff, CA – 11:30 a.m. & 1:30 p.m.

Dos Lagos Promenade Amphitheater Corona CA 92883 – 11:00 a.m.


July 4 – LEGOLAND, Carlsbad, CA – 6:15 p.m. & 7:45 p.m.

And more…

“Shy Kid Blues” will be available at their website, cdbaby.com, iTunes, and other online music services and retailers.

Like them on Facebook, tweet them on Twitter, or check out their Youtube for great videos.

Whoopty Whoop

Disclosure: I received a copy of the album for review purposes. All opinions are my own. No other compensation was given.

My husband keeps a song from ‘Yo Gabba Gabba’ on his phone. I’m guessing it’s for impromptu dance concerts with Wonder Boy.

I admit, I always feel the urge to to wiggle along when I hear it as well.

Koo Koo Kanga Roo is an energetic and fantastical dance duo that has toured with Yo Gabba Gabba and is currently touring with the Aquabats.

kookookangaroo Anyone who believes in unicorns is good in my book.

Their latest,”Whoopty Whoop”‘, is an instant favorite in our house and a must for energetic kids looking for a reason to wiggle, spin, run, hop, jam, or just dance their hearts out.

Whoopty-whoop

“quoting Wonder Boy – “This makes me want to dance!”

The impromptu dance party on the way to preschool proved his point.

Want a taste? Turn up the computer speakers and jam to “Fanny Pack”.

And this pizza-lovin’ pair is great for anyone, now just the little tykes.

“I thought it was strange that a children’s music band was on tour with Frank Turner, but when I saw them live I understood how genius the band was and it all made sense” -MIKE PARK( label head ASIAN MAN/FUN FUN)

Wonder Boy asked for repeats of “All I Eat Is Pizza” over and over on the way to preschool, making me hungry for some cheesy goodness. And did I mention there is an “I Want Cake” song? Yum.

The Coolest Person just screams summer anthem to me, with a touch of punky goodness and a Shakira-esque shakin’ rhythm in there.

They’ve played concerts at playgrounds, nursing homes and  bars – I totally recommend this album for a kid-friendly album for dancing along to with grown up friends too at a summer barbeque (or pizza party). They even have an exercise DVD – perfect for doing it with your kids to get everyone moving more and get fit together.

Check out Koo Koo Kanga Roo on Facebook and chat with them on Twitter; check out more Koo Koo Kanga Roo videos on their site or on Youtube.

Buy the album on their site, Amazon or iTunes, and check out their other high-energy albums as well.

HEY!

Want to be in their next video? Click on the picture for details how to enter on their blog.

Pogo dance

 

The Apple Tree & The Honey Bee

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

We have a habit, Wonder Boy and I, of rolling down the window when we hit the alleyway that runs besides the playground at his playschool.

He leans out as far as his car seat will let him and waves, calling each of his friends by name.

I turn the music up just a little bit louder.

Because we party like that at 8:45 on a Wednesday morning.

We had a long run of “Let It Go’ every trip, but now we’re back to our normal schedule of rockin’ kids music to get a good mood goin’.

The latest album we’ve been enjoying is the Bari Koral Family Rock Band’s “The Apple Tree & The Honey Bee” ( which coincidentally is out today!)

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One of Wonder Boy’s favorite songs is “When I’m Five” because he has been saying that since he was four, since so many neighborhood kids are just a little older than him and already in kindergarten. He wants to grow up and get “driver’s licenses” (school ID’s) just like them. And he loves the dododooooo’s.

 

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He also loves the “Big Truck” song. He loves to check out the big rigs that we drive by on the freeway, and we usually try to guess what they’re carrying- he loves to say “soda!”.

I love the yoga poses tie-in for the album. Click over to the band’s web site and see yoga poses that tie in with the song  “Dancing Bear” and buy the music and yoga activity book from the band.

 

The Bari Koral Family Rock Band’s fourth album The Apple Tree & The Honey Bee is available along with more of their music at Amazon, iTunes, CD Baby and the band’s online store. Look for them playing near you soon!

Hook up with the band on Facebook and watch videos (including yoga) on their Youtube channel.