A magical double billing: Natalie Merchant and Barbara McClintock bringing music and poetry to life in LEAVE YOUR SLEEP, a beautiful book and CD set.
This collection of classic children's poetry, adapted to music by Natalie Merchant, opens the door to a wondrous world filled with witches and fearless girls, blind men and elephants, giants and sailors and dancing bears. Leave Your Sleep features a daring and delightful selection, ranging from the beloved (e.e. cummings, Edward Lear, and Jack Prelutsky) to the undiscovered (the young Nathalia Crane). Natalie Merchant's brilliant musical renderings, selected from her highly praised album, share the stage with Barbara McClintock's richly imagined art to create a memorable reading, looking, and listening experience.
“I’ve always had a deep love for picture books, for their simplicity and beauty. I inherited a collection from my grandmother that had been a part of her childhood in the 1920’s. The delicate line drawings, poems and stories of these books created a magical world that I entered over and over. When I open their pages now to read them to my own daughter, I revisit that same place of innocence. I created the album Leave Your Sleep with the hope that I could charm children with a similar magic. Now, with Barbara McClintock’s enchanting illustrations beside these poems and music, I can’t imagine any child able to resist the spell," says Natalie Merchant.
When we first put on Tales From The Monstrosity Scrolls, we had to do a double take. Sure, it’s billed as kids’ music, but this CD is total badass music that parents and kids can rock out to. Each song has its own story and is so utterly cool. Many of the songs feature kids singing along, but somehow it never comes across as juvenile and adds an extra awesome factor to each song. “Happy Clouds” has a Killers’ vibe, while “Party Killer” has an awesome retro Nirvana sound. If you want to rock out to real rock music—and enjoy it with your kids, too—Tales From The Monstrosity Scrolls will be on permanent play in your minivan (rockbandland.org).
While P!nk and pretty soft baby lullabies may not necessarily go hand in hand, the new Lullaby Renditions of P!nk from Rockabye Baby will be in constant rotation in your baby’s nursery. You’ll “Raise Your Glass” (or your baby’s bottle), “Get The Party Started” and “Try” as you dance around with your little one in the middle of the night. Just don’t be tempted to sing the lyrics to “U + Ur Hand” or “F**kin’ Perfect” while trying to rock your baby to sleep ($17, rockabyebabymusic.com).
Every song on Laura Doherty’s new CD In A Heartbeat is sweet and gentle. The music is good for babies all the way through to the kindergarten set. “I’m A Little Fish” talks about the ocean and all the creatures that inhabit it, including dancing seahorses. “Jazzasaurus” has, naturally, a jazzy vibe and “Heartbeat” has a great drum beat. “Butterfly” encourages kids to fly and show off their true colors while “Domingo The Flamingo” teaches kids the days of the week, and helps little ones to figure out what his favorite day of the week is. (Hint: It’s his name.) Each song is kinder than the next, and a true treat for both parents and kids alike (lauradohertymusic.com).
You learned how to have “No More Drama” in your life and what “Real Love” was from Mary J. Blige. Now you can spend the holidays with your favorite singer in the fabulous new A Mary Christmas by Mary J. Blige. The 12-track CD includes classics such as Little Drummer Boy, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas and Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer, among many others. There are even duets on the CD, like Do You Hear What I Hear? with Jessie J, Noche De Paz (Silent Night) with Marc Anthony and When You Wish Upon a Star with Barbra Streisand and Chris Botti. The CD also comes with a 64-page magazine, including stories from Mary’s life, her personal Christmas favorites, special memories and more. This CD will definitely become one of “My Favorite Things” ($11, amazon.com).
You won’t have to hunt for great music—and laughs—with Josh
and the Jamtones latest single Bear Hunt! The title song, “Bear Hunt” is a humorous
skit, and the reggae vibe of “I Love U” will get kids movin’ and groovin’. “The
Snow Is Falling Down” is sweet, soft and a great song to usher in the winter
weather. A standout from the CD is “Swing Low.” The band shows respect to the
original version while still putting their own stamp on it. Bear Hunt! is like a cool variety hour
of music, sketches, laughs, and above all, good old-fashioned dancing all
rolled into one ($9.99, cdbaby.com).
The worries of your day will melt away when you listen to The Very Thought of You. The CD by Lorri
Hafer and the Music Of Your Life Quartet has a delicious big band sound that is
at once fun and soothing. Classic songs are covered, such as “I Only Have Eyes
For You,” and “The Very Thought Of You.” Lorri brings new life to the song,
“I’d Like To Teach The World to Sing,” which she originally sang on, too. The
music on this CD will make you want to kiss your kids goodnight, pour a glass of wine for
you and your sweetie, snuggle close and slow-dance the night away in your
living room ($10, itunes.com).
Click below to see Lorri in concert, performing "Our Love Is Here to Stay."
Sure, you Wang Chung-ed in the 80s. But Wang Chung’s latest
album, Tazer Up!, will have you
rocking with the English musical group all over again. The CD has a decidedly
Wang Chung vibe but for the 21st century. Nick Feldman’s and Jack
Hues’ vocals sound exactly the same as they did from their Dance Hall Days. There are many stand out songs from the CD. If
you’ve been in a bad relationship—and really, haven’t we all—“Rent Free” will
become your jilted lover’s anthem. “Stargazing” has a psychedelic metal vibe
that is really awesome, “Abducted By the 80s” is just sheer fun and “Justify
Your Tone” is super slow and sexy. And of course, Wang Chung pays homage to one
of their signature songs, “Dance Hall Days” with a psychemagik remix that is
delicious for 80s purists as well as new fans alike. Tazer Up! simply hits every note perfectly.