What We're Listening to Right Now #6
Jun 23, 2016
Wow, sometimes a week slips away just like that. We went to Colorado to visit my family, and I didn't plan ahead. Hence, no blog posts.
All of that driving gave us a lot of time to listen to music in the car though, and so now that we're back, I thought I'd share a few of our recent favorites.
1. Shining Like a Star by Laura Doherty
I honestly can't remember how I found this album--whether it was by random chance at the library one day or if someone actually recommended it to me. What I do remember is that my kids started to sing along with it as soon as I turned it on in the car. I made a mental note of that because it was so unusual. Typically, it takes them a few times through an album before they're comfortable enough to start singing, but with Laura Doherty, they picked it up instantly. I think it's because her songs are somewhat intuitive with a predictable pattern that kids can latch onto easily. Her style reminds me a lot of Laurie Berkner, who you already know we love.
Favorite song: Mine is "Tap Dance," but I think my kids' is "Hula Hoop"
2. Bubble Wrap by Eric Herman and the Thunder Puppies*
I'm going to be completely honest and tell you that this isn't my favorite album on this list, but it might very well be my kids'. After they listened to it for the first time, Maxwell begged for me to put it on his iPod--something he hasn't requested in a long time. They love the clever lyrics and Eric Herman's upbeat, somewhat eclectic style. Many of his songs have been turned into music videos, including most recently, "Take a Bath," which, even I have to admit, is pretty funny.
Favorite song: "Bubble Wrap" (my kids totally relate to this one!)
Tumble Science podcast
This is one of our more recent podcast discoveries, and we love it. Similar to Brains On, which I mentioned in a previous listening post, each episode focuses on a different scientific question--from black holes to the bottom of the ocean to whether or not your dog actually likes you. It is co-hosted by Lindsay and Marshall, who are witty and entertaining and share this fun-loving dynamic that should come as no surprise since they are married. The show involves real kids and real scientists, and going from one end of the spectrum to the other like that makes it both authentic and educational. Maxwell especially has really fallen in love with science because of both Tumble Science and Brains On. His own head is constantly buzzing with questions, and these podcasts have given him the confidence to know he can find the answers.
Favorite Episode: "The Puzzle of the Friendly Dog"
4. Ocean Eyes by Owl City
I realize this is the odd one out in this group, but occasionally, we listen to something that's not strictly kids' music, and for the past couple of months, it's been Owl City. I admit, half the time I have no idea what the lyrics are even talking about, and generally I'd say music with a strong electronic influence is not my favorite, but somehow, this particular combination works for me. My kids love dancing to these songs, and it's also the perfect music for summer road trips. For whatever reason, listening to Owl City almost always puts me in a good mood.
Favorite song: "Vanilla Twilight" (one of the few songs that doesn't make me feel like I entered the twilight zone)
5. Jungle Gym by Justin Roberts
Do I dare admit that one evening when Mike and I were on a date, this album happened to already be in the car . . . and we didn't turn it off? True story. The lyrics are so incredibly clever and funny and just so true to life that whether there are kids with us or not, we find the songs really entertaining. From sleepovers to little brothers to playground injuries, it's just spot on every single time. And you know how sometimes musicians can carry a funny thing too far and then it's in your face and not funny anymore? Well, I have yet to have that happen with Justin Roberts. I think the only slight criticism I could make is that his voice took me awhile to warm up to, but now I like it, too. This album gets two thumbs up from everyone in the family.
Favorite song: "Trick or Treat" or "Sign My Cast" (sorry, I can't choose just one)
6. Catch the Moon by Lisa Loeb and Elizabeth Mitchell
Sometimes the right song just plays at the right time, and then, even if you weren't inclined to love it, you have to because it was just too perfect of a coincidence. That kind of happened to us with this album (although I think we would have liked it anyway). On our recent fishing adventure (the one where the boys all caught their first fish), we went to a place called Silver Lake. This album happened to be in the car as we were driving there. The very first song is "The Big Rock Candy Mountain," and this version has a line that goes like this: "There's a silver lake, and a gold one too. You can paddle all around 'em in a wooden canoe." As soon as my kids heard "silver lake," they got even more excited, and then of course, on the way home, we had to listen to it again because by that time they had four fish in the cooler, and it just felt like this song had brought us luck. But coincidence aside, if you haven't heard the sweet, simple songs of Lisa Loeb and Elizabeth Mitchell, you're missing out. They can do folk music like no one else.
Favorite song: "The Big Rock Candy Mountain" (for obvious reasons)
As always, I'd love to hear about what YOU'VE been listening to lately. You always give me more good ideas for things to try. In fact, we discovered Justin Roberts because of one of you, and so thank you, thank you, thank you for your recommendations!
*I received a copy of Bubble Wrap in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.