New Tunes On the L.A. Family Music Scene

By Michael Berick

fun ideas for kids - November music

This Record Belongs To____ offers a modern and vintage listening experience. PHOTO COURTESY JESSICA ROTTER & LIGHT IN THE ATTIC RECORDS

News of a new release from Dan Zanes’ Festival Five Records would normally make it a full month for family music fans. Sonia De Los Santos, a member of Zanes’ band, is putting out her debut solo disc, Mi Viaje: De Nuevo León to the New York Island (My Journey: From Nuevo Leon to the New York Island). Sung primarily in Spanish, this lovely album features tunes from across the Hispanic world as well as De Los Santos’ interpretations of “If I Had A Hammer” and “This Land Is Your Land.” But this cool new release is only the beginning.

Also out this month is the first They Might Be Giants kids’ album since the 2009 release of Here Comes Science. Due Nov. 27, the new CD Why? harkens back to the band’s first kids’ music effort, No! This new one isn’t themed like TMBG’s last two children’s music CDs. It’s just a set of wonderfully quirky tunes that only John Flansburgh and John Linnell could dream up.

But wait, there’s more! November will also bring the release of This Record Belongs To____, a collaboration between acclaimed indie music label Light In The Attic and Jack White’s Third Man Records. This unique album/storybook set was inspired by the beloved Little Golden Books series and Sesame Street’s In Harmony records. The 16-song compilation is divided between up-tempo tunes and more mellow ones from a diverse selection of artists including Woody Guthrie, The Pointer Sisters, Jerry Garcia, Kermit the Frog and Nina Simone. The accompanying picture book is an original tale of forest animals discovering something strange – a record player – and a unique children’s record player has been created to go with the vinyl version of the album.

To celebrate the release of This Record Belongs To____, there will be events at Children’s Book World (11 a.m., Nov. 7, 10580½ Pico Blvd., L.A.; www.childrensbookworld.com), LACMA (12:30 p.m. Nov. 15, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., L.A.; www.lacma.org) and Book Soup (11 a.m., Nov. 29, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; www.booksoup.com). Kids can enjoy a reading of the picture book and learn about records and turntables from L.A.-based DJ Zach Cowie, who compiled the album.

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