New Music by Danny Weinkauf : “No School Today”

I can remember the first time I gave my mom a lame excuse for missing school.  I believe I woke up sweaty, feverish, a tad nauseous, and completely unable to attend 3rd Grade.

Two hours later, I was driving my Barbie around the living room in her Corvette without any hint of a temperature, and ate my grilled turkey sandwich without a hitch.

To say I got busted would be an understatement.

Once my parents sniffed out I was perfectly fine, I got an earful, along with my Barbie privileges taken away.

Calling in sick to school or work when you’re really not is something that probably everyone has attempted at some point.  So, naturally, that topic is perfect fodder for a children’s music song, and Danny Weinkauf has stepped up the plate to deliver an album that’s perfect for both sick and healthy days.

Danny Weinkauf, best known for his work as a bassist for They Might Be Giants, is personally responsible for the  awesome “I Am a Paleontologist” on TMBG’s album Here Comes Science.

NoSchoolToday 300dpi 150x150 New Music by Danny Weinkauf : “No School Today”He has an impressive list of song-writing credits for television, commercials, and film.  And now he can add solo children’s music album to his list of credits.  No School Today will be released on April 29th.

Weinkauf’s album feels like a relative of his work with They Might Be Giants but taken many steps further.  His sound makes me think of my college days, spent listening to Robyn Hitchcock (and NOT skipping class, I should say, in case my mother is reading this) with it’s rock-pop tunes and driving, “stick with you” melodies.  Reason enough to make this album a hit with both parents and children, alike.

One of my favorite tracks on the album is “Marsupial”, with its groovy baseline and syncopated chorus.  Another favorite is “Ballad of Ben”, a tribute to the artistic genius of Ben Folds with Folds-like “soft punk” and sophisticated piano-work.

Weinkauf wrote “Archaeology” as a follow up to the popular “I Am a Paleontologist” because fans often confused the two fields when approaching him.  The song has a very Elvis Costello feel, and explains what an archaeologist does, much like his take on paleontology.

Beloved children’s musician Laurie Berkner lends her distinctive voice to “Our Love Fits.”  This tune shows off Weinkauf’s sharp wit and humor, and Berkner and Weinkauf’s vocals go together, so the song says, like “the Mia to the Farrow.”

“No School Today” is an alternative rock list of ailments to skip school, with a great beat and lyrics that force you to bob your head in both rhythm and familiarity.

Danny Weinkauf premiered the video for this song last week, and I’m hooked! My first thought was remembering those cult classic sock puppets .  Anyone?

But I digress.  Check out this awesome video!

“Ice Cream” starts by doing it’s due diligence in touting the nutritional benefits of healthy eating, then confesses the truth that most of us know too well:  ice cream just tastes better.  The slightly-punk “The Moon is Made of Cheese” is a theory that would make Neil DeGrasse Tyson quiver in his shoes.  And “The Kidney That Lived in Four People”, featuring Hank Green, closes the album with lyrics based on a true story of one kidney that was donated many times over.

No School Today also includes interjects short and sweet tunes in to the mix, with the quirky “Whipped Cream” (a list of favorite treats with a funky backbeat), “Hey!” (the leadoff song to the album), “Oh No Oh Yeah”  and “Lullaby for Quinn.”

Danny Weinkauf’s son Kai sings lead vocals on many songs on the album, including “Champion of the Spelling Bee”, “Ambivalent”(a song for flip-floppers, short and to the point) and “Cast My Vote.” He also sings lead on the most mellow tune of the album, “Together We Can Fly” and while Kai’s voice is unique and fitting, I would have liked to hear Danny’s take on this one.

Whether you’re home with that “nasty cough” you’ve called in sick with, or alive and well and looking for music to dance with your kids in the kitchen to, Danny Weinkauf’s No School Today is sure to cure what ails you.

For a limited time only, you can access a FREE song download of the song “No School Today” by going HERE.

Danny Weinkauf’s No School Today will be available on iTunes and Amazon on April 29th, but  because I adore this album so much, I’m giving one away to a lucky reader who can give me the best No School Today excuse!  C’mon, let’s here them! What is the silliest/funniest/most creative tactic you’ve either used or heard for skipping school?

All you have to do is enter the Rafflecopter widget below, leaving a comment and doing a couple of social media things, by 11:59pm on Friday, April 18th.  Open to anyone 18 and over in the contiguous United States.

Good luck, and I can’t wait to hear what excuses you have!

Top Toddler Songs on Kid Tune Tuesday…

ktt2 Top Toddler Songs on Kid Tune Tuesday...
I was perusing my iTunes library recently, looking for something else, when I came across a song that we used to listen to All. The. Time.  when Mr. B was a toddler/preschooler.  I mean, on repeat.  Over and over again. Till I found myself quietly cursing children’s television programming and their catchy theme songs.

You catch my drift.

But coming across the song got me thinking about that time period when both of my kids were not quite babies, not quite old enough to handle David Guetta in short doses.  There were some really great songs we listened to, songs that were hits with Mr. B and got the same reception from Miss P.  So I compiled a list of our favorites to share them with you!

Top Toddler Songs

by They Might Be Giants

They Might be Giants brings their effervescent quirkiness to this catchy song that’s easy for little ones to follow.  Giving verbal movement cues, this song will turn your toddler in to a clapping, stomping, jumping machine. What’s not to like about a song that gets your kids moving?

“I Know a Chicken” by Laurie Berkner

Similar to “Clap your hands” in its ability to get your child dancing around, the call-and-response structure to a song about knowing a chicken that can lay eggs that gets your kids singing along.  It also provides an outlet for them to shake and wiggle to their heart’s content in a variety of speed and direction.  Get your egg shakers handy!

“Waltzing Matilda” by Dan Zanes (feat. Deborah Harry)

Yes, you read that right.  Deborah Harry.  Debbie.  Blondie.  Heart of Glass.  She still has a siren of a voice.  This gorgeous Australian song has always been a favorite of mine, and I love what Dan Zanes’ folk style brings to it.  Sure, the subject matter is a little dark, but the strings are gorgeous and the singing and harmony is lulling.

“5 Little Ducks” by Trout Fishing in America

Trout fishing has made a simple song in to something funny, fun and engaging. The banter between the two musicians is hilarious (Mr. B used to be able to recite this verbatim), a nice twist on the classic playground song.

“Mahna Mahna” by Cake

I’m putting my neck out and saying that this is by far the most superior version of the Muppet classic.  What I love about Cake is their coolness, the smooth vocals and funky guitars.  And I absolutely love shouting out along with John McCrea in a good ole “Ah yeah, alright”

“I’m So Glad I’m Here” by Hot Peas ‘n Butter

What kid doesn’t like the opportunity to scream their name at the top of their lungs?  My kids loved the chance to shout their names when prompted in the lyrics.  And it gave us an opportunity to insert silly names for each other as well.

“Jungle Boogie” by The Sippy Cups

This band seems like their 12 hours away from performing the same show at a rave with glow sticks.  I’ve never seen them live, but my youtube research indicates The Sippy Cups put on zany show with a stage packed full of performers, a sensory overload for sure, but also a crazy good time.  Which seems perfectly fitting for this song.  Their versions is more kid-friendly by inserting actual jungle animals in to the lyrics.  Parents:  It still has that booty-shakin’ tempo and groove you know you want to dance to.

by The Wiggles

That’s right, I brought out The Wiggles.  Before you throw food at me, let me explain.  Believe me, I know how The Wiggles can quickly become an overload.

When Miss P was 3 months old (and rejecting her car seat with vocal protest every. single. second of every car trip) we drove to Colorado Springs for a vacation.  The entire 1 1/2 hour drive down, every time we got in the car to go anywhere, and the whole trip back to Denver, The Wiggles played constantly in our car, per Mr. B’s request.

So, I get your eye rolling and gagging if that occurred when you read the song title.

But this song is pretty cute, and encourages healthy snacks, so I can’t really complain too much.



Any toddler songs you think need to be added to the list?  Voice your choices in the comment section!

TMBG on Kid Tune Tuesday…

ktt2 TMBG on Kid Tune Tuesday...

Good ole They Might Be Giants. Or as they’re hipply known, TMBG. Funny how I listened to them in high school and college, and now here they are, still making songs I want to listen to. Yet, my kids can listen to them too! Now, don’t get me wrong. Before I knew they were making kid albums, I compiled a CD of my favorite TMBG songs that I thought were appropriate for Mr. B, and we listened to that thing until it kicked the bucket. Songs like “Birdhouse In Your Soul,” “Particle Man,” “Women and Men,” and “Doctor Worm.”

Their last kid CD, Here Comes Science has some great tunes on it, like the adorably fun “Electric Car” and “Meet the Elements.” But the most popular one has got to be “I am a Paleontologist.” Geared towards that demographic that Mr. B fits so neatly in – the 4-6 year old circuit of dinosaur lovers. It’s a catchy tune that has a bit of an edginess to it. Like you could mosh to it. Do they still mosh these days?

And the results:

MR B:  Look, Mom, I’m a dancing bone! four%20sippy%20cup TMBG on Kid Tune Tuesday...  
MISS P:  Meh, it’s alright…  three%252520sippy%252520cup TMBG on Kid Tune Tuesday...