Best

For the past few years, I’ve helped produce the Fids & Kamily Awards, a consensus yearly best-of poll for family music.  Go check out the archives there for the winners; below, I’ve put my picks.
2009:
Here’s who I voted for, in order:
1. Here Comes Science – TMBG
2. Dizzy – Lunch Money
3. Go Waggaloo – Sarah Lee & Family
4. More More More – Bunny Clogs
5. 26 Animals – Artichoke
6. Panda Brain – Telephone Company
7. Time Machine – Sippy Cups
8. Field Trip – Recess Monkey
9. Worser – Duplex
10. Robot Dance – Mr. Leebot
Some CDs I gave serious consideration to (in alphabetical order):
Baze & His Silly Friends
Ben Rudnick
Billy Kelly
Daddy A Go Go
Good Ms. Padgett
Gustafer Yellowgold
Human Tim + Robot Tim
John & Mark
Laura Doherty
Keith Munslow
Laura Freeman
Milkshake
Not-Its
Robbert Bobbert
Rocknoceros
Ziggy Marley
2008:
1. They Might Be Giants – Here Come the 123s
2. Frances England – Family Tree
3. Justin Roberts – Pop Fly
4. The Nields – Rock All Day, Rock All Night
5. ScribbleMonster – Songs with No Character
6. Brady Rymer & the Little Band That Could
7. Secret Agent 23 Skidoo – Easy
8. Recess Monkey – Tabby Road
9. Barenaked Ladies – Snacktime
10. Egg – Sunny Side Up
Full list of consideration:
Astrograss – Let Me Stay Up All Night
Barenaked Ladies – Snacktime
Brady Rymer – Little Band That Could
Central Services Board of Education – Central Services Presents…
Dan Zanes – Nueva York
Egg – Sunny Side Up
Father Goose – It’s a Bam Bam Diddly
Frances England Family Tree
Harmonica Pocket – Ladybug One
Justin Roberts – Pop Fly
Me 3 – The Thin King
Medeski Martin & Wood – Let’s Go Everywhere
Nields – Rock All Day, Rock All Night
Peter Rundquist – Bug Feathers
Princess Katie & Racer Steve – Fast & Feisty
Ralph’s World – Rhyming Circus
Randy Kaplan – Loquat Rooftop
Recess Monkey – Tabby Road
ScribbleMosnter Songs with No Character
Secret Agent 23 Skidoo – Easy
Terrible Twos – Jerzy the Giant
They Might Be Giants – Here Come the 123s
Trout Fishing in America – Big Round World
V/A – Funky Kidz
Note that I wasn’t very methodical in tracking my thinking, so there may be CDs I thought about that didn’t get onto this list. And there were tons of other very good CDs that just missed a spot even on this list.
2007:
1 Freedom in a Box – Deedle Deedle Dees
2 Mommy Says No! -Asylum Street Spankers
3 It’s a Big World – Renee & Jeremy
4 Have You Never Been Yellow – Gustafer Yellowgold
5 Educated Kid – Hipwaders
6 Have You Ever Seen an Owl – Terrible Twos
7 Alphabet Songs Vol. III – Steve Weeks
8 Calling All Kids – CandyBand
9 Make Your Own Someday – Jimmies
10 Play – Various Artists (DeSoto)
Consideration:
Adlerman, Danny
Andre 3000
Asylum Street Spankers
Bent, Parker
CandyBand
Curious Glimpse (v/a)
Day, Roger
Deedle Deedle Dees
Ernie & Neal
For the Kids 3 (v/a)
Garcia, Enzo
Gustafer Yellowgold
Gwendolyn & the GTG
Himmelman, Peter
Hipwaders
Hullabaloo
Jellydots
Jimmies
Jones, Dean
McCoury, Little Mo
McDermott, Joe
Mr. David
Nields
Play (various artists)
Princess Katie & Racer Steve
Recess Monkey (Aminal House and Wonderstuff)
Renee & Jeremy
Robbi K
Rocknoceros
Rudnick, Ben
Sugar Free All-Stars
Terrible Twos
Uncle Rock
Weeks, Steve
Weinstone, David
2006:
1 (tie)
Frances England – Fascinating Creatures
Jellydots – Hey You Kids
3 (tie)
Audrarox – Audrarox
Justin Roberts – Meltdown!
5
Ginger Hendrix – Macaroni Boy Eats at Chez Shooby Doo
6 (tie)
Sippy Cups – Electric Storyland
Rebecca Frezza – Tall and Small
Dan Zanes – Catch That Train!
9
Baby Loves Jazz Band – Go Baby Go
10
Uncle Rock – Plays Well With Others
I really liked the records by Elizabeth Mitchell, Brady Rymer, Charity and the JAMband, Wee Hairy Beasties, Enzo Garcia, Elizabeth Street, Eric Herman, Mary Kaye, Hipwaders, Yosi, Trout Fishing in America, Princess Katie & Racer Steve, and most of them were on various iterations of the list.

For the past few years, I’ve helped Stefan from Zooglobble and, as of 2009, Gwyneth from Gooney Bird Kids, produce the Fids & Kamily Awards, a consensus yearly best-of poll for family music.  Go check out the archives there for the winners; below, I’ve put my picks.

2011:

As usual, I was part of administering and a voting member of the Fids & Kamily Awards this year.  Follow the link for a full description, but basically: a bunch of people who pay attention to family music vote on their favorites with a weighted ballot, and the albums with the most points win.  It’s based on the Village Voice Pazz & Jop poll.  Wayne Brady didn’t get any votes.

As you know if you listened on Saturday, Recess Monkey‘s Flying! won the top spot.  But I thought I’d also share what my picks were.  More than most years, I had a lot of ties, and relatively few huge spreads, so I’m just listing my top ten in alphabetical order by artist (though I’ll name my one favorite down below):

  • Alastair Moock: These Are My Friends
  • Billy Kelly: In the Family Garden
  • Cat & a Bird: Cat & a Bird
  • Dan Zanes: Little Nut Tree
  • Deedle Deedle Dees: Strange Dees, Indeed
  • Frances England: Mind of My Own
  • Lunch Money: Original Friend
  • Papa Crow: Things That Roar
  • Recess Monkey: Flying!
  • ScribbleMonster: Look Both Ways
Other artists that came thisclose to getting some votes (i.e., my honorable mentions): Flannery Brothers, Jimmies, Mike Park, Mister G, Gustafer Yellowgold, Brady Rymer, Not-Its!, Hipwaders.  Again, Wayne Brady wasn’t close.

My overall favorite CD of the year was the Deedle Deedle Dees’ Strange Dees, Indeed.  Anyone who’s paid attention knows that I love the Dees (and, full disclosure, have hosted them in our house and consider them good friends).  Their live shows have always been ridiculous fun.  Now they’ve got a record that matches up with those shows, thanks to the producing talents of Dean Jones.

2010:

1 (tie). Elizabeth Mitchell - Sunny Day

1 (tie).  Justin Roberts - Jungle Gym

1 (tie).  Various Artists - Many Hands: Family Music for Haiti (note: I have made back what I put into this record, so the F&K organizers all agreed that it was okay for me to vote for it)

4.  Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem - Ranky Tanky

5.  Dean Jones (with the Felice Bros.) - Rock Paper Scissors

6-10 (all tied for 6th):

Deedle Deedle Dees - American History + Rock ‘n’ Roll = Deedle Deedle Dees

The Not-Its! - Time Out to Rock

Secret Agent 23 Skidoo - Underground Playground

Uncle Rock - The Big Picture

Recess Monkey - Final Funktier

I didn’t do a good job in 2010 of keeping track of all of the CDs I considered for the list.  Sorry.

2009:

Here’s who I voted for, in order:

1. Here Comes Science – TMBG

2. Dizzy – Lunch Money

3. Go Waggaloo – Sarah Lee & Family

4. More More More – Bunny Clogs

5. 26 Animals – Artichoke

6. Panda Brain – Telephone Company

7. Time Machine – Sippy Cups

8. Field Trip – Recess Monkey

9. Worser – Duplex

10. Robot Dance – Mr. Leebot

Some CDs I gave serious consideration to (in alphabetical order):

Baze & His Silly Friends

Ben Rudnick

Billy Kelly

Daddy A Go Go

Good Ms. Padgett

Gustafer Yellowgold

Human Tim + Robot Tim

John & Mark

Laura Doherty

Keith Munslow

Laura Freeman

Milkshake

Not-Its

Robbert Bobbert

Rocknoceros

Ziggy Marley

2008:

1. They Might Be Giants – Here Come the 123s

2. Frances England – Family Tree

3. Justin Roberts – Pop Fly

4. The Nields – Rock All Day, Rock All Night

5. ScribbleMonster – Songs with No Character

6. Brady Rymer & the Little Band That Could

7. Secret Agent 23 Skidoo – Easy

8. Recess Monkey – Tabby Road

9. Barenaked Ladies – Snacktime

10. Egg – Sunny Side Up

Full list of consideration:

Astrograss – Let Me Stay Up All Night

Barenaked Ladies – Snacktime

Brady Rymer – Little Band That Could

Central Services Board of Education – Central Services Presents…

Dan Zanes – Nueva York

Egg – Sunny Side Up

Father Goose – It’s a Bam Bam Diddly

Frances England Family Tree

Harmonica Pocket – Ladybug One

Justin Roberts – Pop Fly

Me 3 – The Thin King

Medeski Martin & Wood – Let’s Go Everywhere

Nields – Rock All Day, Rock All Night

Peter Rundquist – Bug Feathers

Princess Katie & Racer Steve – Fast & Feisty

Ralph’s World – Rhyming Circus

Randy Kaplan – Loquat Rooftop

Recess Monkey – Tabby Road

ScribbleMosnter Songs with No Character

Secret Agent 23 Skidoo – Easy

Terrible Twos – Jerzy the Giant

They Might Be Giants – Here Come the 123s

Trout Fishing in America – Big Round World

V/A – Funky Kidz

Note that I wasn’t very methodical in tracking my thinking, so there may be CDs I thought about that didn’t get onto this list. And there were tons of other very good CDs that just missed a spot even on this list.

2007:

1 Freedom in a Box – Deedle Deedle Dees

2 Mommy Says No! -Asylum Street Spankers

3 It’s a Big World – Renee & Jeremy

4 Have You Never Been Yellow – Gustafer Yellowgold

5 Educated Kid – Hipwaders

6 Have You Ever Seen an Owl – Terrible Twos

7 Alphabet Songs Vol. III – Steve Weeks

8 Calling All Kids – CandyBand

9 Make Your Own Someday – Jimmies

10 Play – Various Artists (DeSoto)

Consideration:

Adlerman, Danny

Andre 3000

Asylum Street Spankers

Bent, Parker

CandyBand

Curious Glimpse (v/a)

Day, Roger

Deedle Deedle Dees

Ernie & Neal

For the Kids 3 (v/a)

Garcia, Enzo

Gustafer Yellowgold

Gwendolyn & the GTG

Himmelman, Peter

Hipwaders

Hullabaloo

Jellydots

Jimmies

Jones, Dean

McCoury, Little Mo

McDermott, Joe

Mr. David

Nields

Play (various artists)

Princess Katie & Racer Steve

Recess Monkey (Aminal House and Wonderstuff)

Renee & Jeremy

Robbi K

Rocknoceros

Rudnick, Ben

Sugar Free All-Stars

Terrible Twos

Uncle Rock

Weeks, Steve

Weinstone, David

2006:

1 (tie)

Frances England – Fascinating Creatures

Jellydots – Hey You Kids

3 (tie)

Audrarox – Audrarox

Justin Roberts – Meltdown!

5

Ginger Hendrix – Macaroni Boy Eats at Chez Shooby Doo

6 (tie)

Sippy Cups – Electric Storyland

Rebecca Frezza – Tall and Small

Dan Zanes – Catch That Train!

9

Baby Loves Jazz Band – Go Baby Go

10

Uncle Rock – Plays Well With Others

I really liked the records by Elizabeth Mitchell, Brady Rymer, Charity and the JAMband, Wee Hairy Beasties, Enzo Garcia, Elizabeth Street, Eric Herman, Mary Kaye, Hipwaders, Yosi, Trout Fishing in America, Princess Katie & Racer Steve, and most of them were on various iterations of the list.

2005:

(No Fids & Kamily awards…)

Best Local Artist: Jay Mankita

Best All-Around Label: Putumayo

Best Zoologist-Singer (and great nature songs): Lucas Miller

Best Use of Sound Words: Milkshake

Oh, So Kids Music Doesn’t Have To Be Terrible? Award Part I: Justin Roberts

Oh, So Kids Music Doesn’t Have To Be Terrible? Award, Part II: Dan Zanes & Friends

Best Metal Band for Kids: Thunderlords

Best Band of Escaped Assembly Line Robots (And Most Creative Concept Band): Bzots

Best Monster Voice (And Super Nice Folks) (and runnerup for Bill’s favorite band of the year): ScribbleMonster & Pals

Best Kids’ Rock Band That Actually Listens To Rock Music: CandyBand

Best Concept Album/Book Combination: Kevin Kammeraad’s Tomato Collection

Best Exclusive Performance (and All Around Great Guys) Award: Ben Rudnick & Friends

Best Alphabetical Albums: Steve Weeks

Best Video, Most Hilarious Song: Telephone Company – Mustache

Awesome-But-Not-Quite-Clear-It’s-Really-Appropriate-For-Kids-Compilation Award: The Bottle Let Me Down (Bloodshot Records)

Favorite Show Song: They Might Be Giants – Dr. Worm (Severe Tire Damage)

Bill’s Favorite Band of the Year: Lunch Money (runner-up was ScribbleMonster & Pals)

Ella’s Favorite Band of the Year: CandyBand