The Mother of all Concerts Justin Roberts {and a giveaway}

WARNING! This is a long post about children's music. You may have no interest to read ahead. If not, I hope to be back soon with my regularly scheduled pile of crap, so please return at a future date. If you choose to read on, there is a give away at the end of this post.

Remember I mentioned that I have some seriously favorite all time kids music? After I wrote that post I realized it had been over a year since I checked on my number one favoritist of all time, Justin Roberts. By checked I don't mean all crazy stalker-mommy (um, maybe just a little bit). So I checked in to see if any new music has been released.Turns out he has a new album out which I'll get to later. What was even more exciting was that he was on "tour" and his next stop was only an hour and a half away (two hours tops. O.k. maybe a bit more. Give me a break. he's like my hero). So what's a few hours in a car each way when you get to see and hear JUSTIN ROBERTS? And this weekend no less! Holy mother of God. It must be kismet because it just so happens Justin Roberts was scheduled to play a "concert" on Chefs birthday. What better way to spend your birthday than rocking out at a concert mid afternoon listening to juvenile lyrics for an hour and a half accompanied by cranky screaming children. Sign me up and drag everyone in tow. More on the "concert" in a bit.

 Above is a just a sampling of some of the album covers from my iPod playlist. I'm sure some of the names are old hat to you kind readers, but there are a few brilliant songs that I have to introduce you to. They are songs that I can hear literally over and over. Some are silly, some sweet, some almost not rated for children's ears and one that even brings a tear to Chef's eyes.

Clearly I'm a fan of Justin Roberts as noted above (I'm happy to say his restraining order against me is no longer in effect). I also really love Ralph Covert (Ralph's World), Laurie Berkner, I occasionally listen to Sesame Street songs (most from my youth a LONG time ago), compilation CD's like anything pirate related (some rowdy songs there), Dan Zanes... the list goes on.

Since we no longer have to buy full length CD's and we get to pick and choose which songs we want from "itunes" or the like, it's a lot easier to compile a great list of fun kids songs. Most of what I have is actually from the olden days and I own lots of CD's that I had to upload to my computer and put into playlists. These days when the kids hear a song they like I can purchase just that song. Sweet. A recent example is when Luca feel in love with the ending song (Down to Earth) from Wall-E by Peter Gabriel (sigh). She is such a hippie that little girl of mine. And Rocco loves the Life is a Highway re-make for the Cars movie. Oh to watch their little bodies move.

Enough of the kids. On to the music that makes me move. Should I start with Justin? No, maybe a song that gets me laughing every time. The kids think it's genius too. It is also  timely because it's a Christmas song.

1. Brenda Lee -  I'm Going to Lasso Santa Claus
This is such a sweet song recorded in 1956. Her voice sounds awfully chipmunk-like. The song is easy for the kids to get into. I usually tire of this one about two days after Thanksgiving.

2. Dan Zanes - Choo Choo Ch Boogie 
Just a fun song that gets me going every time!

3. Laurie Berkner - Victor Vito and The Goldfish 
Pretty good songs. I like them just fine. Don't want to scratch my ears off after 2-3 listens. More than that maybe a little blood.

4. Raffi - Banaphone
Don't ask. Me likey.

5. Since there are a few artists that I compiled for Rocco's 8th birthday party I thought I'd just show you the list of space themed music we made for my universe obsessed 8 year old.

{So this is a little side note. A great party favor is to make music CD's to put in the goodie bags. Rocco had a space themed 8th birthday (read about my party neurosis here). It's a really inexpensive way to give a great gift that kids don't really appreciate until the drive home from the party. I've had so many parents tell me later that when they popped the CD into the player the kids were totally in love. Lot's of the parents never really played music for their kids so this was a new experience to them. I know. Shame.}

6. Captain Bogg and Salty - Drunken Sailor
O.k so I love this song like a drunken mommy but I've had to get creative. If you have kids that are younger it won't matter much, but when your kids start asking what drunk means... uh oh. I have maintained that when pirates are drunk they are very silly. By silly I mean they are borderline getting a time out. This is working so far. This song may soon get the kibosh from the playlist. That, or I'll just have to listen to it on mommy time. Seriously though. This song is a great old shanty style song. The few second prelude you get on itunes preview does it no justice. LOVE IT!

I originally bought this CD for a friend who was throwing a pirate themed party for her son. I don't think her kids really embraced this album, but I LOVE it. So do my kids. One reason I love it is that is has the music that is played on the Disneyland Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Hello! Rocco loves the song "Davy Jones' Locker". He is so fascinated that there is a place at the bottom of the sea that pirates have a final resting place. He is awfully scared of dying and it is interesting to me that he loves this song so much. I like all the songs on this album and know the words by heart. They are a good mix of pirate music especially if you are planing a pirate party. I like "Treasure, Treasure" quite a lot.

8. Ralph Covert - All Albums
He's pretty much a close second to Justin. There are some truly brilliant and funny songs he sings. A must for anyone with a boy that likes trucks is "Eighteen Wheels on a Big Rig". I can sing this one in my sleep and it gets pretty tough. Ralph sings to 18 forward, backward, even numbers, odd numbers, Roman numerals and even in Pi. Love love love!!! Another song is "Itsy Bitsy Spider" in which he mentions existentialism. What a way to bring the parents into kids music!

Yes you read that correctly. John Lithgow. I know go figure. Don't ask me how I have this CD. I cannot remember for the life of me where I first picked this one up. It's old too. Originally produced in 1999. 

We have one of those old shower waterproof CD players that I have been playing music to the kids with in the tub since they were just a few months old. 

I guess I can give this Sony quite a good review because I've had this forever and it still works.

This is another CD with brilliant songs. I don't love the whole CD, but there are a few to love for sure. "Singin' in the Bathtub", "You Gotta Have Skin", "A You're Adorable (the Alphabet Song)", "No One Loves You Any Better Than Your M-O-Double-M-Y". My kids scream for bath music. This is the only CD in the bathroom. it gets played over and over for so many years now. Since bath time doesn't last the length of a CD we employ the shuffle mode of the CD player.

9. Justin Roberts - Everything He's Ever Written is Magic!
O.k. so it's probably slightly unhealthy how much I love his music. The lyrics are just great. Justin Roberts has a folksy sound.

Must hear songs are
 In the Car -  Such a great song about getting in the car before mom to turn the "radio dial up to nine".
Yellow Bus - Genius. In the end the character of the song is wondering why the bus hasn't arrived, but it's Sunday!
Get Me Some Glasses - A great song if you have a child that wears glasses.
Nine Planets - The kids love this because they think it's funny that there is a song about nine planets when there are only eight now.
Pop Fly is a great little song about playing little league baseball.
I Lost the Tooth I Lost - Luca is currently loving this because her front tooth is on the verge of coming out.
Mama is Sad - This is a sad little song about divorce. Luca recently asked me why the little boy is sad in the song and why did the mama take off her ring! Yikes. I wasn't ready for that one. I think it's a good song for a child that is going through divorce or separation but if your family is tight maybe just skip this song. My kids don't even know the concept of parents getting separated. I like to keep them young for as long as possible. I'm sure they'll learn all that stuff soon enough through school.
Moving - Oh the song that brings tears to Chefs eyes. He moved a lot as a child and this song perfectly describes the feelings of leaving things behind from a childs perspective.
I love them ALL. I just realized I've been writing this post for hours and hours and I could still go on and on.

The concert was Sunday afternoon in a very affluent area of  "The Bay Area" of San Francisco.  I'm mentioning this because the event was actually hosted by a pre-school. I don't know about you, but the preschool my kids attended never put on events like this.

This group of kids and parents are what makes Californians look like loony tunes to the rest of the country.Very self absorbed children with their self absorbed parents. Oh please don't let anyone read this that actually came to this show. I'm not referring to you of course.

We got in line early and sat right up front. When Justin came on stage I immediately thought WTF was I thinking getting us up front? about 100 screaming, tripping, sneezing, stinky, clueless children bum rushed the stage and our foot space. After the initial shock of the rush of helium voices and tiny feet stomping my camera bag we realized the front row was great. The person who I most expected to get her groove on (Luca) turned into a statue and blinked exactly once in 90 minutes. She looked absolutely petrified. I wanted to shout "Please ignore this little statue up front. She really does enjoy your music". Rocco sat still like a statue buts that's totally expected. Since he's blind he has to sit still to soak in all the sounds and movement from the crowd. He participated when Justin Roberts had the kids do things with their hands. The star of the show was Cenzolito (little Vinny). He totally joined in on the mosh pit of four year olds. He rocked the afternoon away.

Long story short. Wait, too late. Loved the show. Kids loved the show. Got home late. Tired.If you've read this far you deserve a chance to win something great.

On to the give away. I have an autographed copy of Justin Roberts latest CD Jungle Gym to give away! Your thinking No way! I'm saying Hail Ya. I'm so excited for you.

To enter just leave me a comment telling me your favorite children's music. I'm always looking for new to me artists. Giveaway ends next Sunday November 21st at 6 p.m. p.s.t. Open to everyone, everywhere.

p.s. Speaking of weird stalkers... there was a couple there that was on their fourth JR concert.


Jo said...

hands down elizabeth mitchell is my fave children's singer. love her!

Becky said...

Oh, I think right now my favorite is They Might be Giants kids albums, like "Here Comes Science" and "Here Comes the 123s". Although their regular stuff is also really fun for kids too. And a lot of The Aquabats stuff is nice and if you ike Yo Gabba Gabba, it's the same people

Rhiannon said...

I know it's a little old school, but I still love me some Raffi. You can't beat a little Joshua Giraffe or Baby Beluga


Emily Elizabeth said...

I completely agree with Jo - Elizabeth Mitchell is the best! I even listen to her after my daughter is in bed :)
Love the tip about music in the bath - great idea!

Anna said...

hmmm, there's Hans Mayer round these parts, sure there's others I can't think of right now. My girls love dancing to music though!

Cricket said...

Have you heard Trout Fishing in America? Love them. They have a song called Alien In My Nose! They're totally my heroes.

Chandra said...

Elizabeth Mitchell is our current fave. Sadly, we don't even own one of her CD's, but the library does, so it's all good!

Millie said...

We listen to an album called "Songs we learned at school" by John Spillane. It is all in Irish and it literally is, Irish songs that my husband and I learned at school. My kids love singing along to them with us in the car. They also have learned some of them in school.

LindsayRae said...

We are just getting into the world of (enjoyable kids music here. I was always a fan of Raffi when i was little so this post has helped me with some ideas to get the little guy listening..Thanks!!


kicking the leaves said...

My son has his little guitar and loves to sing along with Elvis, Gene Vincent and the Beatles but I'd love to get him some actual kids stuff. We love Dan Zanes and, other than Raffi, I don't know any of the music you mentioned so thanks for all the recommendations.

Nancy said...

What a great post, I'll be doing a lot of searching on the internet as most of these artists are new to me. I just went on Justin Roberts website and his music is really hip. My little boy is 10 months old and I play alot of nursery rhyme CD's that I get at the library. I think my favorite from when my sister's kids were little was the soundtrack to Tarzan, love it (her kids are in there teens now and that CD still holds a special place in our hearts). Thanks for the giveaway.
nlczerw (at) gmail (d0t) com

Josie said...

I love kids music! We're always listening to kids music over here. We love Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could -- lots of happy, get up and dance music. My kids also love the Barenaked Ladies (but that could be because they're my favorite band and they listen to them a lot!) children's album and Jessica Harper. (We used to always check out the book Nora's Room from the library, and she sings the book, which my kids absolutely love.) And of course, we love Justin Roberts, Ralph's World and Laurie Berkner. We also have a bunch of random single songs that the kids heard on the radio and wanted to have -- I love that I can buy single songs from iTunes! I wish I had known about that Justin Roberts concert -- I totally would have been there!

Mel said...

thanks for the fantastic list! It will help me in filling up my daughter's first MP player for Christmas. We have been listening to the Curious George soundtrack (Jack Johnson) around here lately. I love it and so do they!

mouellette 80 at hotmail dot com

craftytammie said...

I heart justin roberts too!! even my husband likes his music, and it's great that we can listen to it in the car without losing it. Dan Zanes and Lisa Loeb and TMBG are some others I like. Thanks for the chance to win!

Kimberly said...

Every week or so I select three new CDs from the library and I have yet to run across Justin Roberts. I am so excited to give him a listen!

Andrea @ TheTrainToCrazy.com said...

great list!

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