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OWTK’s Top Kindie CDs, Songs, & Album Art of 2010

It’s that time of year again; time for turkeys to scrounge for good hiding spots (better than the ones their buddies used last year) and for the unfortunate folks who work retail to start rolling out of bed at 4:00 A.M.  That’s right, it’s year-end list time!

A couple things to keep in mind:

  • 2010 is, for the purpose of these lists, defined as 11/1/09-10/31/10.
  • I went out to 50 top songs for 2010 because I had to.  In fact, I could’ve went out to 100.  ‘Twas a great year for kid’s albums but also for individual tracks.

I feel like I, and many others that do what I do (that is, “cover” kindie music), say this exact thing ever year, but really, this was a FANTASTIC year for kid’s music: We had the trio of Seattle schoolteachers release their finest and most cohesive album to date.  We saw one of the greatest living songwriters for kids once again prove his pop genius.  We had a pair of whipper-snappers from Brooklyn make one of the most inspiring and creative debut kid’s albums of all time. We got 2 albums from the one of the most underrated kid’s musician – 1 featuring a band some consider the best live band in America and 1 for charity, featuring many of the best artists making music for children today.  We got a jazz album from a new Nashville outfit that is as classy and it is fun, a new-grass disc from a youthful Minnesota duo, and another great set of kid-hip from the undisputed king of the genre.  We also had an under-the-radar Californian deliver a gorgeous study in kid’s indie-pop.  So yeah, all in all, one of the greatest years ever to be a music loving family (and a music loving family-music critic).

[here's where I get all gushy about how great the kindie scene is right now]

The kid’s music scene goes so far beyond and above whatever Disney pop-star is in vogue (or rehab) today or whatever top-40 bullshit Kidz Bop is pawning off on American families.  The indie kid’s music world is filled with rap, county, bluegrass, pop-rock, folk, electronica, new wave, singer-songwriter, storyteller, indie-pop, indie rock, alt.county, classic rock and pretty much every other genre and sub-genre of music imaginable (save for Norwegian Death Metal, thankfully).  If you still haven’t taken the leap into the kindie scene, now is the time.  Hit eject on that damn Wiggles disc and give any (or all) of these a try.

OWTK’s Top 10 Kindie Albums of 2010 (in order, as submitted to the Fids & Kamily Music Awards)

  1. Dean Jones f/ The Felice Brother “Rock Paper Scissors”
  2. The Pop Ups “Outside Voices”
  3. Justin Roberts “Jungle Gym”
  4. Recess Monkey “The Final Funktier”
  5. The Okee Dokee Brothers “Take It Outside”
  6. Secret Agent 23 Skidoo “Underground Playground”
  7. Various Artists “Many Hands Family Music for Haiti”
  8. Randy Kaplan “The Kids Are All Id”
  9. Todd McHatton “Sundays at the Rocket Park”
  10. Coal Train Railroad “Coal Train Railroad”

OWTK’s Favorite 50 Kindie Songs of 2010 (in no particular order)

  1. Secret Agent 23 Skidoo “Secret Handshake” from “Underground Playground”
  2. Neil Brewer “Not Like You” from “Neil Brewer and Friends Are Back in School”
  3. Todd McHatton “Green Eleven” from “Sundays at the Rocket Park”
  4. Jonathan Coulton “The Princess Who Saved Herself” from “Many Hands Family Music for Haiti”
  5. Justin Roberts “Trick or Treat” from “Jungle Gym”
  6. Sugar Free Allstars “Disco Dance Party” from “Funky Fresh and Sugar Free”
  7. The Pop Ups “Big Wheel” from “Outside Voices”
  8. The Jellydots “Someday Soon” from “Jelly Jukebox”
  9. Coal Train Railroad “Snuggling Suits Me Just Fine” from “Coal Train Railroad”
  10. The Dirty Sock Funtime Band “Dino-Soaring” from “Sock-A-Delic”
  11. The Bramble Jam “Pancakes” from “Move Your Boots”
  12. Rhythm Child “I Can’t Play Today” from “Eat A Bowl of Cherries”
  13. Recess Monkey “My Brother is a Satellite” from “The Final Funktier”
  14. The Okee Dokee Brothers “Lucy & Tighty” from “Take it Outside”
  15. Dean Jones w/ Jerrice Baptiste “Little by Little” from “Many Hands Family Music for Haiti”
  16. Dean Jones f/ The Felice Brothers “Sing Like A Sparrow” from “Rock Paper Scissors”
  17. Clementown “KC Octopus” from “Polka Bats and Octopus Slacks”
  18. Caspar Babypants “Googly Eyes” from “This Is Fun!”
  19. Brian Vogan “How to Fly” from “Sing A Little Song”
  20. Alastair Moock “Twins Are Twice As Fun” from “A Cow Says Moock”
  21. Bari Koral “Colors” from “Rock and Roll Garden”
  22. Billy Kelly “Johnny Box” from “Is This Some Kind of Joke?”
  23. Aaron Joseph “City Kitty” from “A Band of Our Own”
  24. Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem “Purple People Eater” from “Ranky Tanky”
  25. Elizabeth Mitchell “Keep on the Sunny Side” from “Sunny Day”
  26. Roger Day “Sara Bellum, the Brainy Girl” from “Why Does Gray Matter?”
  27. Randy Kaplan “Joe and Finn” from “The Kids Are All Id”
  28. The Not-Its! “First Kid in Outer Space” from “Time Out To Rock”
  29. Uncle Rock “Stop at a Mom and Pop” from “The Big Picture”
  30. Princess Katie and Racer Steve “Honest Kid” from “Tiny Cool”
  31. Justin Roberts “Fire Drill” from “Jungle Gym”
  32. The Pop Ups “Outside Inside” from “Outside Voices”
  33. Dean Jones f/ The Felice Brothers “Frenzy” from “Rock Paper Scissors”
  34. Jim Cosgrove “We’re Electrons” from “Swimming in Noodles”
  35. Secret Agent 23 Skidoo “Once Upon A Rhyme” from “Underground Playground”
  36. Alexandra and the Good Batch “reddotdaddyday” from “Extended Playdate”
  37. Flannery Brothers “Sea Glass” from “New Explorers Club”
  38. ImaginOcean Original Cast Recording “Jellyfish Jive” from “ImaginOcean: Original Off-Broadway Cast Recording”
  39. Lucky Diaz “Fire Fighter Girl” from “Luckiest Adventures”
  40. Recess Monkey “Jet Pack” from “The Final Funktier”
  41. The Okee Dokee Brothers “Neighbors” from “Take it Outside”
  42. Ralph’s World “Black Hole Boy” from “All Around Ralph’s World”
  43. Sugar Free Allstars “6th Grade Band” from “Funky Fresh and Sugar Free”
  44. The Dirty Sock Funtime Band “Donut Brain Aliens” from “Sock-A-Delic”
  45. Tim and the Space Cadets “Superhero” from “The Greatest Party Ever”
  46. Todd McHatton “Funny Little Friends” from “Sundays at the Rocket Park”
  47. Joanie Leeds “Popcorn” from “I’m A Rock Star”
  48. Clementown “Funky Snowman” from “Polka Bats and Octopus Slacks”
  49. Key Wilde & Mr. Clark “Going to the Moon” from “Rise and Shine”
  50. Randy Kaplan “Little Laugh” from “The Kids Are All Id”

OWTK’s Top 15 Kindie Album Art/CD Covers of 2010 taking into account the cover art/layout/font selection(s) and/or the complete album packaging (in no particular order)

  1. Recess Monkey “The Final Funktier”
  2. David Tobocman “Lemonade School”
  3. Todd McHatton “Sundays at the Rocket Park”
  4. Alexandra and the Good Batch “Extended Playdate”
  5. Billy Kelly “Is This Some Kind of Joke?”
  6. Elizabeth Mitchell “Sunny Day”
  7. Justin Roberts “Jungle Gym”
  8. Lucky Diaz “Luckiest Adventure”
  9. Key Wilde & Mr. Clarke “Rise and Shine”
  10. Oran Etkin “Wake Up, Clarinet”
  11. The Okee Dokee Brother “Take it Outside”
  12. Randy Kaplan “The Kids Are All Id”
  13. Sing Me to Sleep Indie Lullabies
  14. The Jellydots “Jelly Jukebox”
  15. The Pop Ups “Outside Voices”
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9 Comments

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  3. Wow, Jeff, great list and love the two additional lists! I agree that the cover art on some of these kids’ CD’s is fabulous.

  4. Indeed! And I just couldn’t ignore it, even though more and more folks never actually see or touch the artwork or a CD sleeve these days. I wanted to recognize, ven in this small way, the outstanding effort many put forth in designing their albums.

  5. Ack! How’d I possibly leave off 23 Skidoo’s “Underground Playground” from my Top Album Art list??? That is a great CD cover.

  6. nice list! wish 2010 was 1/1/10 to 12/31/10 so I could be on there but I appreciate the Googly Eyes addition in the songs list! Cheers!
    caspar

  7. The Not-Its! says:

    Nice lists Jeff. I gotsta know…who is the band that some say are the best live band in America? Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. The Felice Brothers. I’ve heard several rock critics make such a remark or at least pose the question.

  9. Thank you so much for putting me on the radar Jeff.
    I noticed some of the album links above go to some pretty pricey versions.
    Get Sundays at the Rocket Park here for the actual price: https://www.createspace.com/1826903

joc