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Posts Tagged ‘Music’

  1. One Week

    February 13, 2015 by admin


    We’ve had a heck of a week.

    In the past seven days we have: recovered Bluey from a wicked illness, found out we need to find a new place to live, had TRDad go down with a serious knee injury (during a busy holiday week for his work), watched TRMom fighting off her own cold, found the shower drain needed a full replacement, brought Plum home from school sick, and dealt with a crazy email error from the school which set us on edge…

    All this while trying to plan for our family Valentine’s Day celebration and maintaining our usual work and family schedules…

    How do we hold it together?

    • Humor: We crack our jokes, get silly with each other, and remind one another what’s really important.
    • Music: Few things happen in our world that can’t be brought into focus with a good song.
    • Teamwork: We’re all in this together. We help each other out where we can but if necessary, we remember to call on others to lend a hand.


    Next week is coming- there’s no saying it won’t be as active and interesting as this one.  Bring it on!

  2. Holiday Tunes Update

    December 19, 2014 by admin

    fairy_10_mdWe are huge fans of holiday music.  Each year we try to seek out as many new songs as we can find to further fill out our extensive holiday playlist.

    And we attempt to do it for free.

    That’s right!  There is so much free holiday music out there, that each season we are able to add several hundred tunes to our collection.  You just need to know where to look.

    Free downloads are somewhat harder to come by than they used to be.   The big push to convince people to stream music instead of owning it outright has led many purveyors (like Amazon, for instance)  to offer “playlists” and streams, rather than true downloads.  But they are still out there.

    Here are a few starting places for you:

    Noise trade:  Many artists use free downloads from Noisetrade as a way to gain fans.  And this is no less true for the holiday season.  Head over to the Noisetrade website and type Holiday or Christmas into the search bar.  You’ll instantly see dozens of albums, eps and singles available for free download.

    iTunes:  Each week, the Apple iTunes store offers a free download from one of its many artists.  Stop by and add few free tunes!

    Let us know if you find other reliable sources for free holiday tunes and we’ll add them to the list!!

  3. 1, 2, 3, 4: Counting Songs Your Kids And You Will Love On Your Playlist

    September 10, 2014 by admin

    As we’ve mentioned before, we like our family playlist to include songs that everyone likes.   But does that mean we don’t have some educational songs for our kids on that list? No. We have educational songs that we love on the playlist!

    Here’s a sample of songs from our regular playlist that help our kiddoes learn how to count while they enjoy singing along:

    1,2,3,4/ Feist : Yes, this one only goes up to four (for most of the song anyway).  But it’s catchy and fun, and you have to start somewhere.

    2,4,6,8 Motorway/ Tom Robinson: Counting by twos is also a great skill!

    Dance Dance Dance DanceI’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You/ Black Kids: Another one that only counts to four.  But we love it so! Bluey adores the refrain!

    Monkey- Hockey/ James Kochalka: This song counts all the way to to nine with fun lyrics about a sports playing primate.

    Kiss Off/ Violent Femmes: Ten is for Everything! Everything! Everything!

    7 Things/ Miley Cyrus: She doesn’t count out loud in this song, but it still offers a chance to encourage counting up to seven!


    While a majority of the recommendations above weren’t written as kids songs, this one was. But it’s so good, we love it and sing it every time it comes on.

    3 Is The Magic Number/ Blind Melon: Counting by threes! It takes three legs to make a tripod, or to make a table stand.3 6 9

    So load up your iPod with these great sing-along counting songs and bring some more math to your day-to-day!

  4. Come on! Let’s go make some noise!

    July 26, 2014 by admin

    imageWas it too quiet in our house?  No, not really.  Not at all.

    So did we need a drum?

    Of course!  We added a snare drum to the mix.

    We picked up this drum curbside and immediately saw its potential,  It was a new musical instrument to enjoy and a repair project.

    We brought it home and cleaned it up a bit.  We discovered that we would need two new drum heads, so we measured our drum top.  Our quick investigation also revealed that we needed a drum key to remove the specialized bolts that hold the thing together.  So we headed off to the drum store.

    And of course, we had to get new drumsticks!  After spending about $20, we were ready to fix up our drum.

    All that we required now was a quiet afternoon to get to work.

    What a great project!  Bluey was right in there to take the lead on the repairs.  TRDad just helped with the bolts that seemed stuck and then leant a hand to make sure that all of them were more or less evenly tightened.The Repairs Underway

    You can see a wave in the drum head on one side, so we’ll probably try to re-do it at some point.  Maybe it’s not up to Neal Peart’s standards.  But for our purposes, it works!

    The OriginalWith about half an hour of effort, we turned a trashed drum into a new musical instrument for our growing collection.  And we learned a little more about the construction of musical instruments.

    Now when the call goes out to “Rock on!” we can drum in style!

  5. Tweet For A Track

    June 20, 2014 by admin


    You know we love pointing out sources for free and legal mp3s.  Here’s a new one we discovered recently, thanks to Righteous Babe Records.

    How about a simple way to combine supporting artists while you spread the word about them, and then they give you free music?

    Could it be simpler than sending a tweet?

    At Tweet For A Track, you find a song you like and send out an auto-composed tweet about it.  Then the service sends a download code to your email for the track.

    It’s free,  It’s simple. We’ve picked up tracks from Joan Jett and Ingrid Michaelson, as well as tons of new artists, all for a simple tweet.

    Give it a go!

  6. Family Gardening

    May 11, 2014 by admin

    When seeking out fun activities for the family, we regularly check in with the happenings at our local colleges and universities.  You never know what you might get to see or do.IMG_5788

    We recently had the best day attending the University of Wisconsin Family Gardening Day!

    Hosted by the Science Outreach Department, Family Gardening Day is held at the D.C. Smith Greenhouse, the Allen Centennial Gardens and the Steenbock Library.  Each location set up a few booths to help educate people about gardening, talk to some experts, and allow you to get your hands in some dirt!

    We had a great time.  We got to look through a powerful microscope at tiny little garden bugs.  We taste tested different varieties of carrots and we took home seeds from the seed library.

    But our favorite parts were all the plant give-aways!

    IMG_5782We made small terrariums complete with live plants, constructed living necklaces that will grow to become bean plants, and took home a ‘spaghetti garden’- a set of tomato, pepper, oregano and basil plants to plan and harvest this summer. All for free thanks to the generosity of the event planners.

    If you live near Madison, keep your eye on the UW for their next fun happening.  No matter where you live, remember to check out your local college or university for fun activities for you and your family!

  7. The Pabst Theater

    May 4, 2014 by admin

    Pabst TheaterWe are always on the search for sites offering free, legal Mp3s to expand our musical knowledge-base.  A frequently overlooked source for free cutting edge songs is the venues that host concerts.

    Many theaters are able to host songs from bands as promos for upcoming shows.

    2767747155_0ef8e6cac9A great theater we love (where TRMom and TRDad saw the ubercute Martha Wainwright, among others) is the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee.

    A quick view of the Pabst website shows the “Free Mp3” tab on the right-hand side.  A few seconds later you’ve got eight or ten new songs to enjoy.

    You don’t need to attend the concerts, or join the theater’s website.  You don’t need to live in Wisconsin, or anywhere near the Pabst.  Just download and enjoy!

    Is there a theater near you offering free music to entice ticket sales?  If so, let us know!

  8. Hating Your Kid’s Music

    April 16, 2014 by admin

    “OMG!  If I hear ‘Let It Go’ one more time, I’m going to explode!!!!”

    Let It Go!

    Let It Go!

    We hear this a lot lately.

    It happens that this TR Family loves the film, Frozen, and the awesome soundtrack.  But we understand that the Broadway style music may not suit everyone.

    Explain to us two things:

    1. Why is so much adult energy being spent on this adolescent competition of who likes the coolest music?
    2. Why go out of your way to tell your kids that their opinion is worthless?


    This ‘my music is better than your music’ stance is pure BS.  It was stale when we were all high school freshmen, let alone in the here-and-now.  Different music appeals to different people, no matter their age, so just get over it.

    If your kid likes Frozen, or Bieber, or whatever- that doesn’t mean your kid is hopeless.  Your music isn’t better, it’s just different.  Millions of people around the world like Bieber.  Maybe they’re all onto something?

    Or maybe not.

    Even if, on some absolute plane of music judgment you can prove that Let It Go is the worst song ever- where does it get you?  Your kid likes a song.  Just allow him/her the joy of the moment, without being made to feel bad about it.

    Or use this song, or whatever song your kid is obsessed with, to become a bridge to other music you happen to like more.

    Our Plum loves Taylor Swift.  And through her enjoyment of Swift, we’ve been able to introduce her to Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves, Coldplay and Tegan&Sara– to name just a few.

    And it goes both ways.  By opening yourself to the possibilities that there are other types of music out there for you to enjoy, you might learn a few things from your kiddo.  Plum has shown us some cool tunes from Selena Gomez or Sara Bareilles.  Bluey’s love of the Figureheads has us enjoying some fun kid-hop.

    Open your mind and use music as a way of sharing and connecting with your kids, rather than creating another wall between you.

  9. New Musical Express

    April 4, 2014 by admin

    images-1New Musical Express, once the go-to magazine for news about the hottest bands in the UK, is now host to a great website that includes tons of news articles, retrospectives, free album streaming, and free downloadable Mp3s.

    NME (as those “in the know” call it) is one of the largest online music magazines these days!  And did we mention the free music?

    Only trouble is, freebies aren’t grouped together into one single part of the site.  So the best way to find the many free tunes is to head over to NME, and type ‘free mp3’ into the search window and marvel at all the posts that pop up.

    Just today we found remixes of Roxy Music, 19 free songs from London-based record label Something In Construction, and songs from The Weather and Seven Saturdays.

    Although NME is a UK magazine, the music reviews and downloads are not all British bands- indeed the last two bands noted above are from Portland, OR and LA, respectively.

    So put NME in your bookmark file, and check in regularly.  You are bound to find some great new music (along with keeping up to date on the latest in music news- like Kate Bush doing live shows! )250px-Nme_cover


  10. Free on iTunes

    February 28, 2014 by admin

    itunes-logoAs you know, we are big fans of free and legal music downloads.  We search regularly for opportunities to sample new songs and find new artists to listen to.

    One of the places we head to frequently is the ‘Free’ section at the iTunes store.

    You may already have an iTunes/AppleID account, but don’t forget to make a regular stop at the “Free” page.  As one of the largest sources of online music, iTunes is able to host free downloads from the major label artist you have already heard of and may already like.  The free songs rotate regularly, so check back often.

    Tip: You can also download videos, TV shows, books and movies from the free section.

    Kelly Clarkson, Zola Jesus, Kellie Pickler along with other top artists and up-and-comers have had free tunes up on iTunes recently.  So make a point to stop by, see what they’ve got to fill out your playlist a bit more.

    Maybe you’ll discover some great new music.