Jun 19

We’re traveling and so we recorded a few shows ahead of time.  So I can’t do anything on the radio about Charleston, and I don’t know that I would or should anyway.

But I do want to write a little bit here before our day in London starts.

When a person of color, or a person of a non-Christian faith, does something horrific, the narrative is about the group or groups to which they belong.  And just as often, when a white or (nominally) Christian person does a similar act, the narrative shifts to being about mental illness, and how surprising the act was.

Of course we have to talk about mental illness, and of course a fully healthy person doesn’t do these things (though lets steer clear of making this yet another chance to stigmatize those with mental illness).

But we can’t end the conversation there.  I think we have to think about how children are raised — with love or with hate, and with active conversations about race and class and differences and privilege.  And about guns.  When those conversations are not part of our culture, it’s not at all surprising that these killings keep happening.

I don’t know anything about the Charleston killer’s childhood beyond what has been reported, and I don’t know if that’s all been accurate. I’m not saying a thing about his parents.

But I do know that he walked into a place that welcomed him and sat down next to people who were raised to welcome visitors with open arms and open hearts and open minds.  He at least pretended to pray with these loving people, and then he stood up, looked around at them, these people who had welcomed him and prayed with him, and he shot them to death.  With a gun given to him by his parents.

It’s reasonable to ask why I’m posting about this on the website for a children’s radio show.  Jessica Luther, an Austin mom, posted this on Twitter yesterday:

“A 5yo black girl survived last night by playing dead. Surely my 6yo white son can survive a conversation about why she matters.”

Maybe naively, I think part of that conversation can be started and facilitated through music.  Music that celebrates love and difference and play and fun and history and the future.  Music that gets kids dancing together, spinning together, singing together, holding hands together.  Music that asks interesting questions and hopefully gives parents a chance to talk about some possible answers.

So, put on some music, hold your kids, and, if the time is right, have a hard conversation about what happened.  It can only help.

Love you all.

As usual, Elizabeth Mitchell (here with Dan Zanes) is a great place to start.  Hopefully the embedding will work:

P.S. Please don’t make the narrative be just about the South, either. South Carolina has some amazingly wonderful and loving people, and every state has its problems. Certainly there are regional issues but these are not issues unique to anyone or any state.



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Getting closer…

Apr 27

Well that sounds pretty good.  You’ll start hearing it on the air in Austin soon; and remember, we launch May 10!

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Howdy, Charlottesville!

Jan 04

I’m super pleased to announce that a new station — 106.1 The Corner, in Charlottesville, Virginia — has picked up the show!  The Corner is a commercial AAA station not unlike the River, with a real commitment to community and an eclectic playlist.  They’ll be airing the show Sunday mornings starting this weekend.

Adding them into our current affiliates, Spare the Rock is now heard on five stations, two commercial and three non-commercial!  Here’s when you can hear us, all times local:

The show is distributed by PRX, and you can listen on demand at their website too.  And if you know of a radio station where we’d be a great fit, let me know (show AT sparetherock DOT com) or send them to our syndication information page!

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Playlist for 10/22/2011

Oct 22

Thanks to special guest host Jarrett Krosoczka and Zoe!  Here’s what we played, and you can listen any time at our page at

Segment 1

TMBG – It’s Spare the Rock

-Ella ID

TMBG – Birdhouse in Your Soul

Jackson 5 – I Want You Back (Z-Trip Remix)


Roots – Lovely, Love My Family

Her Space Holiday – Sleepy Tigers



Segment 2


ID/Atticus and Enzo

Scott Fischer – Jump

Karen O & the Kids –  Rumpus


Pete the Cat

Carole King – One Was Johnny



Segment 3


Toots & the Maytalls – Monkey Man


James Brown – Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag


Mister G – Shark in My Bathtub


Steve Weeks – 4 Little Girls



Segment 4

ScribbleMonster – Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child

ID/prep to rock

TMBG – Don’t Spare the Rock


Punk Farm – Old MacDonald Had a Farm


Me First & the Gimme Gimmes – Over the Rainbow

Alkaline Trio – Movin’ Right Along

Me First & the Gimme Gimmes – Tomorrow


Punk Farm – Wheels on the Van


Segment 5

Recess Monkey – Lunch Lady Theme


Recess Monkey – Flying

Lunch Money – Getaway Car


Justin Roberts – Backyard Super Kid

School for the Dead – Superhero



Segment 6


Stevie Wonder – Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Justice – D.A.N.C.E.


OK Go – White Knuckles

Michael Jackson – Wanna Be Startin’ Something


Flannery Brothers – Tuckered Out


TMBG – The Spider

TMBG – Spare the Rock

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KidVid Tournament Round 1: Pete Seeger Regionals #4 vs. #1

Mar 22

I’m pleased as punch (assuming punch is indeed pleased) to be hosting part of Zooglobble’s friendly annual family music video competition here. Here’s the first of two matchups for you today; you have until midnight tonight to vote. Feel free to comment, but the only official count is the poll at the end of the post.

Keller Williams, “Hula Hoop To Da Loop” (1) vs. Justin Roberts, “Obsessed by Trucks” (4)



And up second:

Recess Monkey, “Black Hole in My Room” (2) vs. Jamie Broza, “Waters of March” (3)



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KidVid Tournament Round 1: Pete Seeger Regionals #3 vs. #2

Mar 21

…And here’s the second matchup for your vote.  Again, you have until midnight tonight, and only the poll at the end of the post counts.  And please, no wagering.


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