Tag Archives: week of music

Alastair Moock-Social justice music for children!

For ages: any age can groove to Alastair’s tunes

Language: English

Topics Covered: social justice, racism, white supremacy, feminism, education, self-expression, identity, freedom, and self-acceptance.

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Moock’s annual PoP show takes place November 16th at Club Passim

Summary: Today we share an artist whose quirky, thoughtful lyrics spice up the children’s music that he makes. The well-established genre is refreshed by Alastair Moock’s rambunctious, rootsy rhythms. While Moock is working up a new album titled “Be A Pain” and preparing for shows at Club Passim in Cambridge, MA on November 16th, a performance of “Just Kidding: Alastair Moock” at New York City’s Symphony Space, as well as a Holiday Family show at Beverly, MA’s Cabot Theater, we wanted to highlight the awesome work that he has been putting out consistently since he began performing music for children over 10 years ago!51J6U25421L._SY355_

Moock started his career performing his brand of Americana for adults in 1995, but with the birth of twin daughters in 2006, he turned to music that families could listen and sing to together. A standout track from his 2009 children’s album A Cow Says Moock is “Two Mommies” a catchy ode to different family structures. After each example is sung (two mommies, two daddies etc.) Moock and his chorus of adults and children validate the family by adding “and that’s all right with me”. The easy rocking beat and repeated lyrics make this a song that even toddlers can understand and sing along to.

UnknownWhen Moock’s daughter Clio was diagnosed with leukemia at age 5, he wrote “When I Get Bald” a goofy, good-natured take on an especially challenging subject. The heartwarming video for the song features Alastair, his daughter Clio and band mates in a barber shop, and while they begin the video with full heads of hair, the same cannot be said when the song is done! Normalizing and validating, the song is a tribute to all the silly things he will do when he’s bald!

“Make It Great” off of 2016’s eponymous album is a tongue-in-cheek acoustic track where Alastair takes phrases often heard about how great America is which follows a very familiar structure, all the way up until the dry delivery of the final line of the verse. He sneaks in the truth after having lulled the listener with propoganda, and reminds listeners that what survives of “history” is a narrow story with many very important players are forcibly left out of the narrative. Moock’s style of Americana with a southern twang assists him in this delivery, and plays with the lowest common denominator of things identified as “American” and “southern” (both huge concepts) and challenges preconceived notions about genre and geographic prejudice.

We cannot recommend Alistair’s music enough, and if his videos are anything to go on, you need to see him the next time he’s in your neck of the woods! Or, better yet, invite him to come to you, and learn about hosting a house concert!

About the Artist:

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Photo by Michael D. Spencer

Alastair Moock is a 2014 GRAMMY Nominee, two-time Parents’ Choice Gold Medal Winner, recipient of the ASCAP Joe Raposo Children’s Music Award, and has twice been voted by the Fids & Kamily Industry Critics’ Poll among the Top 3 Albums of the Year. Long one of Boston’s premier folk artists, Alastair turned his attention to family music after the birth of his twins in 2006. The New York Times calls him “a Tom Waits for kids” and The Boston Globe declares that, “in the footsteps of Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie, Alastair Moock makes real kids music that parents can actually enjoy.” Moock and Friends’ live shows are rowdy, rootsy, singin’ and dancin’ fun for the whole family!

Q&A with Ants on a Log

Ants on a Log

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Julie (left) and Anya (right) together make up the band Ants on a Log

You all learned about the album Curious yesterday, so now it’s time to learn a little bit more about the minds behind Ants on a Log!  Julie and Anya have a multitude of activities, interests, and creative passions.  We feel lucky to have been able to catch up with them and bring you this short and sweet Q&A!  The only thing we need more information about is Harpo the dog (our people have called Harpo’s people and we are eagerly awaiting an interview 😉 ) Enjoy, lovely humans!
The Tiny Activist: Introduce yourself/your organization!

Ants on a Log: Ants on a Log is Julie (they/them) and Anya (she/her). We play fun, harmony-driven, socially conscious music for children and families in Philadelphia and beyond. When we’re not on stage, Julie is a music therapist and assistant director at Camp Aranu’tiq, and Anya is an elementary school science teacher.

TTA: What are you passionate about?images

AoaL: Songwriting, trees, communal living, housing equity, learning about human behavior, teaching, eradicating plastic water bottles, Harpo the dog, our next big musical journey. We are also passionate (and sometimes exhausted) about feminism and gender
freedom, and how we can influence a next generation of people who are kind and
curious.

TTA: Tell us about a project you’re currently working on!

UnknownAoaL: We just released the soundtrack to our musical, “Curious: Think Outside the Pipeline!” which feels like both the end and the beginning of a journey. “Curious” is an
eco-feminist musical about a young girl and her non-binary sibling who work together to organize their community in fighting for clean air and renewable energy. The siblings
persevere in the face of distracted politicians, greedy businessmen, and even their mansplaining Uncle Steve. Hope and community prevail, aided by humor, scientific
research, a dancing pencil, and songful neighbors. We will perform “Curious” a few more times in 2020 and then we’ll start on a new album and perhaps even a new musical!

TTA:  How can people support you on your journey?

51YHFwxluoL._SY355_AoaL: What a lovely question, thank you! Listening to our music and giving our CDs as gifts is the best. Sharing our music videos is great too. And for those who really want to help us sustain our work as socially conscious musicians for kids, supporting us on Patreon is very helpful. We have recently been on a mission to reach audiences beyond Philly, and we’ve learned that each follower on FB, Instagram, etc. really does make a difference.  Beyond the music, you can support our mission by learning to use non-binary pronouns, using less plastic, and figuring out how to confront that mansplainer in your life (we hope our song “Air and Space” is of use to you in this area). Thanks for supporting in any and all of the above ways!

TTA:  What book was your favorite in 2019 so far?A1Tt4ZgmO+L

AoaL: Anya loved Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer (adult).
Julie loved Julián is a Mermaid by Jessica Love. (Pre-K–2).

TTA: What are you looking forward to in the coming year?

AoaL: We have been blown away by the youth-led climate change movement. We can’t wait to see how Greta Thunberg continues to change the world and make waves. Can she please be President of the World?

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Stay Connected with Ants on a Log!

Ants on a Log Website

YouTube Channel

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

Q&A with the Alphabet Rockers

Happy Tuesday!  We typically would wait until Saturday to do Q&A’s but during our Week of Music anything can happen!  Can you tell just how exciting our lives are? Anyways, jokes about our thrilling lives aside, we are more than excited to be able to bring you more information about The Alphabet Rockers.  This dynamic duo is the driving force behind a myriad of great music and social justice action.  Hope you enjoy our chat as much as we did!

The Tiny Activist: Introduce yourself/your organization!

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Photo by Kristin Chalmers

Alphabet Rockers: We are cofounders – Kaitlin McGaw and Tommy Soulati Shepherd – and we’ve been making hip hop as an Alphabet Rockers crew since 2007. Coming together in Oakland at that time, we were excited to make fun music for young families that enhanced learning but we’ve grown with the times. The learning we lift up in our music is no longer ABC’s and tying shoes- it’s gender justice for trans and non-binary kids, it’s Black liberation and joy, it’s the beauty of migration and welcoming immigrants…it’s a world where we can all be free. We bring this music to 50 schools across the country each year, to libraries and to big stages like the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture in DC and the Kennedy Center in NYC.

TTA: What are you passionate about?

AR: Creating a world free from racial and gender bias. Youth activism. And hip hop.

TTA: Tell us about a project you’re currently working on!iconsquare39029970-C4E0-4666-81EEBD46B0F69D49

AR: Right now, it’s all about The Love. Our new album is currently on the GRAMMY ballot (keeping fingers crossed for a second nomination), and we have big shows lined up to premiere the album including the Oakland Life is Living Festival and SF Jazz this fall. After a year bringing together almost 60 guests artists and centering representational LGBTQ+ voices, we can’t wait to give it all away. We say “The Love is for You” because this album lifts up so many perspectives. Whether you are listening as an ally, a trans child, a queer artist or a two-spirit activist waiting to hear your native land honored, we’ve got you. YOU are the love.

TTA: How can people support you on your journey?

Screen Shot 2019-11-03 at 9.44.50 AMAR: Subscribe to our So Get Me podcast for families making change. Listen to it anywhere you get your podcasts and you’ll hear our young Rockers share their activism- like The Butterfly Effect project lead by Lily (10) and Kaia (11). They have rallied folks to make and display 15,000 butterflies to symbolize each child being held in a detention center at the border. You can hear them on our podcast along with activist authors Kate Schatz and Innosanto Nagara who are both fans of our music. Also, download The Love. Really listen. Let it move you into action.

TTA: What book was your favorite in 2019 so far?81fUyRgp9LL

AR: We got a sneak peek of Innosanto Nagara’s M is for Movement that comes out
November 2019 and we LOVED it! Wait ’til you see the gorgeous artwork and dig into
the story of one child born at the rise of a movement.

TTA: What are you looking forward to in the coming year?

AR: This year we welcome a new baby into the Rocker family (Kaitlin just had her second!) so that’s a huge bright spot- reminding us what all this is for and expanding our crew. Also making room for our young rockstars to shine on stage- Lil’ Tommy (11), Kali (11), Maia (10) and Lily (10) are bringing their voices, ideas and spirits forward more everyday. Just looking forward to bringing our art to the world during this particular time in history. When they throw shade…we throw shine.

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Photo By Steve Jennings

Current badass work The Alphabet Rockers

are doing with other groups:

On Saturday, November 16th from 3-4pm at Lake Merritt Amphitheater in Oakland, The Butterfly Effect will host a rally featuring youth speakers and performances by the Grammy-nominated Alphabet Rockers, and Destiny Arts Center youth. Nancy Ukai, a Japanese American whose family are internment camp survivors and who is an activist with Tsuru for Solidarity, will also speak at the event. On display will be 15,000 butterflies created by the community as a sign of friendship and support to the children in detention. 

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To join the effort, and for more information about The Butterfly Effect,

visit https://butterflyeffectmigration.org

Youth are available for interviews.

2019b- Alphabet Rockers Creators - Photo by Kristin Chalmers
Photo by Kristin Chalmers

Stay connected with The Alphabet Rockers!

Alphabet Rockers Website

Instagram: @alphabetrockers #TheLOVE

The Week of Music!

Hi everyone!  We got the amazing chance through several publishers to review books and music for The Tiny Activist!  We are feeling incredibly lucky to be in this position, and decided to do something special.

Over the course of November 3rd to November 10th we will be posting every day with a new review or Q&A that is musically related.  You can expect social justice themes, beautiful folksongs, and lots of knowledge to be dropped.

We hope you enjoy this upcoming week as much as we enjoyed being able to put it all together.  Have a great day, rabble-rousers 🙂