Tag Archives: review

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.

RecessMOnkeyWired

“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.

 

Craftivism

 

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

Someone yarn bombed a tree in my town last year, and I just stood there, adoring it. I loved the bright colors, the artful placement.  I loved the radical nature of it, and I loved the crochet work, as my hands seem far too full for hooking over and over (and the weather too warm for baby hats).

Somehow, away from the cultural norm of sewing your own clothes and blankets, knitting socks and sweaters and baby booties, crafting has taken a turn from the essential to a realm for activists seeking to draw attention to a cause or just brighten someone’s day.

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Craftivism talks about many different projects, each with their own take on making the world a better place one stitch/tile/ craft at a time. From foam cupcakes left in random places to embroidered works of art depicting activist flyers and slogans,

The book shows how people have embraced crafting and radicalized it, taking out offensive ideas and using decoupage to add radical language.

The AIDS quilt is one that many people might recognizes, and embraces the entire notion of using hand-made crafts to convey a message.

Craftivism is a great book for someone who loves to make, or one who is passionate about social causes.

Want a peek? The book made Buzzfeed.

Craftivism retails for $24.95 in the US, find online retailers here.

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.

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“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

 

Coconuts over Recess Monkey

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

DesertIslandDisc

We had a lot going on over the summer, and between the baby and a wedding and other events, there just wasn’t a lot of time for the beach.

My mom and I took Wonder Boy down for a special trip just for him (and to make sure the property was ready for family to stay there since it had some renovations done. He had asked for a trip to the beach, so I really wanted to give him a couple of hours in the sand since he had been doing such a good job being a new big brother.

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We meditated down to the beach playing Recess Monkey’s latest, “Desert Island Disc” while thinking of the brief getaway we would be making from civilization.

Lil’ Wonder stayed with grandma away from the beach and sand. Wonder Boy’s first trip to the beach was before he could sit up by himself, and somewhere in that fistful of sand he put in his mouth he developed a love for digging and building sand castles.

Well, mostly digging.

My son loves just playing in the sand, while I go stick my toes in the cold wet sand and meditate on the waves coming in and out.

From the groovy hula motions of “Coconut Radio” (that title alone makes me think of Gilligan’s Island) to the Beach Boys-esque “Getting a Sunburn” (which could have been my little brother’s anthem growing up.

RecessMonkey

and, there’s definitely “Island Radio Disc” to me sounds like Sargent Pepper and his famous band got stranded on a desert island just before the Beatles made their famous album.

Recess Monkey is a family favorite and I’m glad to a have two discs to play on long trips (one there, one on the way back) that doesn’t drive anyone bonkers and I don’t have to worry about my son hearing lyrics he shouldn’t.

The album was recorded with instruments that, if they were washed upon an island, would be able to play.

 ” Notes Recess Monkey’s Jack Forman, “After the electrified excitement of Deep Sea Diver, we wanted to explore the calmer side of our songs, and what better place than on a remote beach?  Desert Island Disc ended up being played with instruments only available on an island:  strange, pieced together drums, acoustic textures, and waves gently lapping on the shore.”

WHile the songs are silly, they also blend in enough with the rest of our playlists that when people come over, they can’t tell that they’re hearing kid’s music, and my son gets to enjoy the music he loves too.

I love the play on words on “Dessert Island”… who wouldn’t want to sail on a sea of fudge?

Goodness knows if I was ever abandoned on a desert isle, I’d want graham cracker crumbs instead of sand and some marshmallows to round out my banquet while looking out at a chocolate ocean.

The disc completes the saga started by Recess Monkey on their “Deep Sea Diver” album (yep, already talked about it here) and compliments it perfectly- definitely reminiscent of the same Beatles, Beach Boys, and other groovy bands, but is also a little more laid back, mellow, and perfect for hanging out in the backyard on a sunny afternoon, diggin’ in the sandbox.

If you haven’t already gotten a hold of “Deep Sea Diver” I recommend it, but you don’t need it to enjoy “Desert Island Disc”.

 

“Desert Island Disc” is available on their website, iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon and other retailers on October 15.

Follow them on Twitter or like them on Facebook to follow along o their post-island adventures.