Every year, thousands of people descend on Austin, Texas, to see hundreds of bands play all around town as part of South by Southwest’s music festival.
This year, families in town have their own unofficial showcase to check out — the Family Music Meltdown at the Thinkery, Austin’s new children’s museum. All ages are welcome, and it’s free!
The showcase will take place at the Thinkery’s events courtyard, and parking is also free (while it lasts) in the garage behind the museum.Wednesday nights at the Thinkery are community night, where admission is by donation, so it’s a great time to check out the all the amazing programs, exhibits, and activities your kids will love.
Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child is a family music record label and nationally syndicated radio show for kids and their grownups produced in Austin, Texas. The Orange Wall Collective is an Austin-based collaborative effort between Free Fun in Austin and LiveMom.com to bridge the gap between bloggers and brands. Clamorhouse Kids is a management and events company featuring stories and songs for a young century.
Sponsored by KidOShoe, Terra Toys, NeedTo.com, Free Fun in Austin, LiveMom.com, and Music Bats. Special thanks to 89.3 The Current and Wonderground Radio.
We’re just over two months away from The River‘s Family Music Meltdown and Book Bash — Saturday, March 29, 10-4, Smith Vocational & Agricultural High School in Northampton. This is our sixth year doing this event, and I gotta say, I think it is the strongest lineup we’ve ever had. Check it out:
Alastair Moock & Friends (Grammy nominee!)
Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem (featuring Grammy nominee Anand Nayak!)
The Deedle Deedle Dees
Danny Lion (Dan from Flannery Brothers)
In the Nick of Time
Tom Knight puppets
Talking Hands Theatre puppets
And Jarrett J. Krosoczka has, as always, put together an amazing lineup of authors too:
Tanya Lee Stone (Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors?: The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell)
Bob Shea (Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great)
Raina Telgemeier (Smile, graphic novel adaptations of Baby-Sitters Club)
Dave Roman (Astronaut Academy: Re-Entry)
Okay, we’re not presently on a boat. But we might be!
I’ve been talking with Jonathan Coulton and his JoCo Cruise Crazy partners for a while about co-presenting a family music cruise, with great music, activities, programming, and so on. And we’re super excited about the idea!
But we want to know what you think. And to get that information, we’ve got this quick and easy survey for you to fill out. Could you take just a few minutes and do so? No commitment, no fuss.
We’ll be heading out there for the second weekend and we’re pretty excited about it. I wrote a brief set of suggestions for people going there with kids for the nice folks at LiveMom; read it here. They’ve teamed up with some other people to create ACL with Kids, another great resource.
More directly relevant to the show, we’ve got some great in-studios lined up — we’ll record them over the next week and air them in coming weeks. In addition to the Jellydots (airing this weekend), we’ve got The Ohmies, Play Date, Caspar Babypants, Tim & the Space Cadets (hopefully with some of Mother Falcon too), and the Verve Pipe. And that’s just for ACL — also coming up, we’ve got Mike Doughty, Danny Weinkauf (of TMBG), and some other potential visits that will BLOW YOUR MIND.
I’m happy with our our videos are coming along too — Liam’s been a great help as camera operator. Check out the Jellydots video:
Thanks to Joanie Leeds for guest DJing — you can see her at the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst, MA, on Saturday morning at 11!
TMBG – It’s Spare the Rock
TMBG – Electric Car
Elizabeth Mitchell – John the Rabbit (live in-studio)
Red Yarn & Friends – Bob the Rabbit (new)
Cloud Cult – Help
Psapp – Everybody Wants to be a Cat
Joanie Leeds Guest DJ set
Jonathan Coulton – The Princess Who Saved Herself (live in-studio)
ID/prep to rock
TMBG – Don’t Spare the Rock!
Peelander-Z – Taco Taco Tacos
Sippy Cups – Seven is the New Fourteen
Superchunk – FOH (new)
Key Wilde & Mr Clarke Don Mario’s Song
Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison – Born to Roll
The Bright Siders – Forever Friends (new)
Stevie Wonder – Sir Duke
Slavic Soul Party – Never Gonna Let You Go
TMBG – Four of Two
TMBG – Spare the Rock
Celebrating our move to Austin, we are proudly sponsoring two days of lunchtime family music showcases during SXSW week. The Family Music Meltdown (Austin Incarnation) will take place on Thursday and Friday, March 14 and 15 at Tamale House East, 1701 E. 6th St., Austin. And it’s free to all — we don’t need no stinkin’ badges!
Thursday’s line up features local Austin family musicians Joe McDermott and Laura Freeman, along with Brooklyn’s Deedle Deedle Dees and New England’s Lake Street Dive (doing a rare family performance) 11am to 2pm.
Friday’s show kicks off with the legendary Jad Fair, and also will feature Austin favorite Mr. Leebot, Minneapolis singer Haley Bonar, Oklahoma City funk duo Sugar Free Allstars, and a reprise from the Deedle Deedle Dees 11am to 1pm.
More acts may be added, including some potential very special surprises. Keep an eye on sparetherock.com for information and to learn more about the radio show and label. The showcases are presented in cooperation with Spirithouse Records and WRSI-FM (Northampton, MA).
Yes, that is the riff from “Sabotage” during the “how to be a train” lesson at the start. Camera by Liam:
Some folks couldn’t get into the sold-out show, including this very sweet four-year-old who came all the way from Albany (if I heard right). So Liz & Daniel sang some songs at the merch table, including this one. It’s a lovely moment and worth your time:
That’s what music for families can be, folks. Do that.
We’ll be back at the Green River Festival again this year — July 14-15 — with the best in family music. We’ll be joining in the celebration of Woody Guthrie’s 100th birthday (we’ll have some special surprises to announce between now and then), along with a generally amazing lineup. Check out who we’ve confirmed so far:
Sarah Lee & Guthrie & Johnny Irion
Deedle Deedle Dees
Alastair Moock & Friends
Eloise the Great
Dog on Fleas
Royal Order of Chords and Keys
And, as in past years, we’ll have the Meltdown Stay Up Late Stage (or something like that), with other acts into the evening, including:
Like the vast majority of radio programmers and reviewers, I receive most music we play and that I write about for free, and I get into most shows I organize, and some other shows, for free. We have gotten review copies of a few books that Ella talks about for free.
"Spare the Rock doesn’t, and that’s why everybody loves it."
- John Flansburgh, They Might Be Giants
Family Music Meltdown Austin
Wednesday, March 12
Koo Koo Kanga Roo
The Que Pastas
Lloyd H. Miller & the Austin Phonebook
presented by Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child; Free Fun in Austin; LiveMom, Clamorhouse Kids, and the Thinkery
Sponsored by KidO Shoes and Terra Toys