Anti-folk icon Kimya Dawson's latest album is Alphabutt, a collection of hilarious, catchy, scatological kids' music that's sure to delight parents who are weary of treacly children's songs. If your kids are going to sing a song over an over again, isn't it better if the song goes, "A is for Apple, B is for Butt, C is for Cat-butt, D is for Doo-Doo, E is for Elephant-butt, F is for Fart, G is for Gorilla-fart, H is for Hairy Gorilla-fart"?
Like millions of others, I discovered Dawson's music through the film Juno -- a pretty good movie with a totally killer soundtrack, and Dawson's contributions to it are the standouts. I've since bought all her music and now I find myself singing her catchy, funny, rude tunes all the time. I've been listening to Alphabutt around the clock for weeks now, and singing the songs to my daughter, who enjoys their off-kilter, jangly humor even though she's too small to get the words yet.
Though this is kids' music, it's pure Dawson -- weird and irreverent and jangly, with charming guest vocals from her two-year-old daughter Panda Bear and many guest singers. The tracks range from sweet and weird to funny and weird, and they're shot through with compassion, wit and talent. From songs about pregnancy neurosis ("Smoothie") to toilet training ("Pee-Pee in the Potty") to surviving the pressure to conform ("Keep on Writing") to pure delightful nonsense ("Seven Hungry Tigers"), this album is an absolute knockout.
Life is a continuing cycle of newness, then growth, and then gone: then birth and growth again. I started thinking about that theme of new life and new beginnings several years ago, and WAKE UP!, published by Candlewick Press, is the result. Working with my collaborator, poet Helen Frost, our book is about opening eyes—our own, first—and pointing to the world that’s right here, containing us all. Helen and I are both based in the US Midwest, so we started there, with a world that we didn’t need to travel far to explore, only wake up enough to actually see.
John Scalzi’s on tour with his new novel, The Collapsing Empire: he’s posted a list of ten things every touring author knows, and very few other people ever get to see.
Steven Boyett writes, “Humble Bundle has released a unicorn-themed Bundle, with proceeds to benefit the World Wide Fund for Nature and Fauna & Flora International. For as little as $1.00, you can get Ariel, by Steven R. Boyett (full disclosure: that’s me); Unicorn Mountain, by Michael Bishop; Homeward Bound, by Bruce Coville; and Unicorn Triangle, […]
“Gets stuff done,” is a good way to be described by anybody. Especially by coworkers or bosses. Because whether you’re in finance or a children’s librarian, stuff needs to get done. But how do you make sure stuff gets done? You definitely can’t do all the stuff yourself, unless your company/organization/government office consists entirely of you. And […]
Even the most expensive pair of hi-fi headphones can’t match the feeling of bass rumbling through your body at a live show. That’s why music aficionados designed The Basslet, an accessory that reproduces that sensation from your wrist. Does it make your whole body shake with deep subs? Not really, because that would be terrifying, but […]
They probably just sleep a lot. But still, you can remotely keep an eye on them when you’re at work and missing them deeply with this HD monitor from Kodak.If you have a new puppy that destroys everything in sight, or you just want to be a little more security-conscious, this WiFi camera is a […]