Big shout out to the Philadelphia Inquirer for their preview of the recent album release show from Lard Dog & The Band of Shy in Philadelphia at World Cafe Live:
Can't get away right now? How about taking an imagination vacation?
Stefan Shepherd of Zooglobble recently premiered the new video "Cosmic Vacation" from Michael and the Rockness Monsters saying "Seriously, this computer-animated trip around the solar system (and back) is candy-colored and super-sweet and will captivate the nearest preschooler at hand." What more reason could you need?
See the Zooglobble premiere here and watch the video below:
It may be the dead of winter but that doesn't mean a good pirate song can't snap you our of your frozen funk. In advance of the upcoming February 27 release from Michael and the Rockness Monsters, Dan Walsh over at Dadnabbit debuted the first video for the album last week.
Bringing the love, music and rock to kids of all ages.
(METUCHEN, New Jersey)- January 11, 2016- Michael Napolitano, the spirited founder of the award winning Preschool of Rock will release ‘Michael and the Rockness Monsters’, the debut self-titled album from his all new band on February 26, 2016.
After almost a decade of performing, teaching, writing and developing his widely popular Preschool of Rock program, Michael Napolitano has helped foster the love of music in thousands of children. Now, the seasoned performer is introducing his new blend of music to the world with Michael and the Rockness Monsters, a kid-focused collection written for the sole purpose of having fun and letting his creative spirit loose.
On Michael and the Rockness Monsters, Michael allowed himself more freedom with the songwriting than on his past Preschool of Rock releases. Without needing to pair each song with a specific class theme or structured activity, he was able to write music that came purely from artistic inspiration. There are no classroom walls or age restricters here, all are welcome to this energetic party.
The tone of the album presents itself as loose with a warm, sunny energy. This is playful and honest music that comes from the heart. Music lovers might hear the influence of the Beach Boys, Tom Petty and Phish, all of which have inspired Michael’s musical style. There is a sweet and noble message present throughout the album which is about keeping the fun and beauty in life a priority and not letting the grind of the everyday world distract you- excellent subject matter for all ages. Older children will likely find much to grasp onto lyrically as many of the songs touch on some of the bigger issues that they face as they begin to grow up and see the world happening around them. Michael’s own experiences with his daughters, now 6 and 8, served as inspiration for including this new observation in his writing.
On “Pretty Little World” we are encouraged to embrace the small things and to see the simple beauty in every day life which goes well along with “Fisherman” whose excellent moral reminds us not to worry about catching the fish, but rather focus on enjoying the experience. “Cosmic Vacation” allows the listener to take a journey by exploring the world in their own mind while “In a Band” is a great reminder to us that everyone is able to play along, young or old, big or small, no one should be left out. The toddler audience who Michael is no stranger to writing for, will certainly find the music very accessible through the approachable subject matter and it’s upbeat vibe and playful instrumentals. Tracks like “Pirate”, “Farm Dreams’, “Rock It” and “Dinosaur Haircut” are sure to reach the youngest listeners while appealing to kids of all ages.
On Michael and the Rockness Monsters, Napolitano himself shines as the impressive multi-instrumentalist many of his existing fans know him to be. The album’s producer, Grammy winner Dean Jones assists on instrumentation as well, making it a skillful collaborative effort. In keeping with tradition, Michael’s own children can be heard singing on some tracks as they have for all of his previous recordings, making it true family album.
Michael and the Rockness Monsters will be performing in support of the release, for current event dates please check michaelandtherocknessmonsters.com
ABOUT MICHAEL NAPOLITANO
Michael Napolitano started his musical lifestyle at an early age of 3 when placed lovingly behind his father’s drum set. The son of a touring musician, a huge influence on Michael's path came from his roots. From his years as a musician performing and touring with various artists to his 10 years with Blue Man Group, and now with 8 years behind him with his own award winning Preschool of Rock, Michael has developed a unique style influenced by his own family and life experiences and of course his deep love for music. With the creation and release of Michael and the Rockness Monsters, the father of two begins the next step of his impressive musical career.
MICHAEL AND THE ROCKNESS MONSTERS TRACKLISTING:
- Pirate Song
- Rock It!
- Cosmic Vacation
- Dinosaur Haircut
- Pretty Little World
- In A Band
- Single Digits
- If I Were AnOctopus
- Farm Dream
- Mr Zizowé
- Humming Song
‘LARD: Life’s a Real Dream’
“LARD” isn’t something anyone has ever used for frying. But make no mistake: It’s cooking.
An acronym for “Life’s a Real Dream,” the title captures the whimsy of Steven Erdman, the songwriter, cartoonist and animator who stars in this rollicking musical production at the 13th Street Repertory Theater. Taking the stage as his alter ego, the Human Lard Dog, he performs with his Band of Shy, delivering a rockabilly sound with what I’d call a Devo sensibility.
Lard Dog actually hails from Belopio, supposedly our solar system’s last planet. (Sorry, Pluto, it’s your second dis in a decade.) Pretzels power everything there, and the inhabitants slurp noodles, dig holes upward and revere the number 23. If Lard Dog’s attire — a mix of flying ace and tennis nerd — is any indication, they dress funny, too.
In other words, the planet is supremely silly, and so is this hourlong show, whose charming M.C., Louis Luminous (Patrick Holbert), offers each arriving audience member a choice of a prop to wave: a cartoon eye or a cartoon head (Lard Dog’s self-portrait), each mounted on a cardboard stick. When I declined to take one, he told me politely that I had to. (I give “LARD” points for insisting that adults behave like children.)
Onstage, a screen shows words to shout, lyrics to sing and comical videos and images, including those of figures wearing LARD signs, like Oscar Wilde and a Tyrannosaurus rex. (Barry Goldwater has a cameo as Lard Dog’s dance instructor.)
Surprises happen within the aisles, too. Lard Dog lands in his spaceship, a giant pretzel. Other objects, like cotton balls and balloons, take to the air. This is the only concert I’ve attended at which audience members sing “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” to the tune of “Louie, Louie.” It’s also the only one I’ve attended at which everyone performs lustily on a sadly underused piece of percussion: Bubble Wrap.
The Band of Shy — Jeremy Beck, Akira Ohiso, Rosa Avila and Pablo Kessel — plays more conventional instruments as well, and Lard Dog and Honey Babe (the lovely-voiced Kendy Gable) provide vocals. The songs range from sizzling to soulful, and though the music sometimes muffles their lyrics, they address earthly concerns like shyness (Jason Dole portrays a bashful friend) as well as outer space lunacy. (Above, from left, Mr. Ohiso, Ms. Gable, Mr. Erdman, Mr. Beck and Mr. Kessel.)
The group has two more performances and a CD release planned for March, so there’s still time to investigate Belopio. Don’t be shy.
(Saturday and Jan. 2 at 11 a.m., 50 West 13th Street, Greenwich Village, houseoflard.com.)
MAYERS CONSULTING AND SPARE THE ROCK, SPOIL THE CHILD PRESENT HOOTENANNY 2: BACK TO BASICS
Back in 2007, a bunch of family musicians got together at Jalopy in Brooklyn to play music for each other, talk, and have a good time. It was awesome. Lifelong friends were made, seeds of collaborations were planted.
Lots has happened since then.
It's time to get back to the music. See great family musicians, new and old(er), many working together for the first time. Talk with your friends in the scene. Make new friends. Hang out. Celebrate collaboration.
Confirmed performers thus far include:
- Rachel Loshak and Morgan Taylor
- AudraRox and Danny Weinkauf
- Sonia de los Santos and Brady Rymer
- Tim Kubart and Ashley Albert
- Dan Zanes and Shine and the Moonbeams
- The Deedle Deedle Dees and Moona Luna and Mona Kayhan (singing in French!)
- Michael and the Rockness Monsters and Secret Agent 23 Skidoo
- Jazzy Ash and KB Whirly
- Walter Martin and Vered
Join us at Jalopy in Brooklyn, where it all began on January 16, 2016 from 7- midnight. Tickets are $15 and are available here.
Lard Dog and his 6-piece Band of Shy are flying in from Planet Belopio to New York City to do one thing:—give some wang dang diddle to your inner soul. Plan to dance, sing, and cry—tears of sheer joy—at one of fifteen upcoming performances at 13th Street Repertory Theatre (50 W 13th St). The all-ages musical theatre show titled “LARD: Life’s A Real Dream” will run every Saturday at 11am from September 26, 2015 to January 2, 2016.
Who is Lard Dog? He’s the alter ego of multi-media artist Steven Erdman, complete with his musical, whimsical, and comedic sensibilities. He’s like a cartoon character come to life. Or maybe he’s the other way around—a real-life character who crossed over into the realms of your imagination.
Okay, so there is some silliness afoot. Just look at any promo shot and there’s a fellow in yellow shorts with a name plate that reads “LARD,” an acronym for “Life’s A Real Dream.” There are songs about “Belopio,” a blue-tongued fellow named “Ploop,” and a smash hit dance craze called “The Pooky Do”. Lard Dog sings his super catchy original songs with the support of his first-rate Band of Shy,
For something that’s as on-the-surface wild and energetic, moments of introspection and reflection abound. While you may not know what the songs mean at first, you don’t doubt that the Lard Dog believes every word. This lends weight to catch phrases like “shyness is power,” “you’re small, but your heart is tall,” and “it’s nice to be important, but more important to be nice.” The collision of art, music, theater, and audience participation makes for a multi-sensorial experience sure to please adults and kids alike.
So do you have some toes for tapping? Do you like to sing and dance? Do you like pie? Or pretzels? If so, then get ready to boogie. The Human Lard Dog and The Band of Shy have the perfect collection of tunes for you and your family. Come play along and slurp the noodle of life! After all, Life's A Real Dream.
Every Saturday at 11am
September 26 to January 2
Show is 60 minutes.
October 3, 10, 17, 24, 31
November 7, 14, 21, 28
December 5, 12, 19, 26
"Hip kids have been spotted accompanying their parents to the LAMC’s outdoor shows since the conference and festival began over 15 years ago. Now, in the era of kindie rock, it’s become even more family friendly. On Saturday (July 11), LAMC hosts a concert by Sonia de los Santos especially for the little bilingual ones at Casa Azul Bookstore uptown. The Mexican singer and guitarist, known for collaborating with children’s music god Dan Zanes, debuts her first solo album De Nuevo León to the New York Island." BILLBOARD MAGAZINE