Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child

Series produced by Bill Childs

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Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child, is a weekly radio show for kids and their grownups, broadcasting from Austin, Texas. It's indie music for indie kids.


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"Spare the Rock doesn’t, and that’s why everybody loves it."
- John Flansburgh, They Might Be Giants

"Remember how kids used to wake up on Saturday morning excited to watch cartoons? My kids wake up Saturday morning excited for the first strains of TMBG singing 'It’s Spare The Rock…with Bill & Ella…and sometimes Liam! Since we started carrying the show, it has become a local cultural phenomenon. Plus, Bill Childs is a nerd. So are his kids. And nerd is the new cool. Do you think they are going to let crappy kids music hit the airwaves? I’ve heard everything from Rush to Dan Zanes, The Pixies to Brady Rymer. Pete Seeger to The f****** Muppets. Yeah, I said it in a thing about kids music. I f****** love this show."
- Monte Belmonte, Program Director, WRSI (93.9 The River) For seven years, Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child has been providing the soundtrack to thousands of childhoods in the Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts and southern Vermont. The show plays “indie music for indie kids,” including the best of music aimed at kids (like Dan Zanes, Elizabeth Mitchell, Lunch Money, Caspar Babypants, and They Might Be Giants) right along side kid-friendly tracks from the likes of The Ramones, Mike Doughty, Ella Fitzgerald, Brian Eno, Pizzicato Five, Andrew Bird, Fishbone, and more. Throw in book reviews and exclusive in-studios from dozens of artists, including the likes of Jonathan Coulton, Asylum Street Spankers, Dan Zanes, Dog on Fleas, Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem, Elizabeth Mitchell, They Might Be Giants, and many more, and you’ve got an idea of what the show is about. One thing it’s not is your typical kids’ programming. We’re radio nerds, and we want to raise another generation of radio nerds. That means a set that starts with Elvis Costello, switches to Brooklyn history-oriented family rock band the Deedle Deedle Dees, and then pivots to Guided By Voices, or one that starts with British folk punker Frank Turner, then family hip-hop artist Secret Agent 23 Skidoo (featuring Cactus from Granola Funk Express), and finishes up with Earth Wind & Fire. Check out some recent playlists (at http://sparetherock.com) and you’ll get the idea. It’s Kidz Bop- and condescension-free, and genuinely curated, not randomly generated by the RadioCompuBot 3000. It is good radio, period, not just good-for-kids. Now, Spare the Rock is broadcast from Austin, Texas, and is available in a one-hour format to any radio station that wishes to air it, commercial or non-commercial, anywhere in the world. Listen here on PRX.org, read more at our syndication page, or send me an email at show@sparetherock.com for details. Hide full description


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"Spare the Rock doesn’t, and that’s why everybody loves it."
- John Flansburgh, They Might Be Giants

"Remember how kids used to wake up on Saturday morning excited to watch cartoons? My kids wake up Saturday morning excited for the first strains of TMBG singing 'It’s Spare The Rock…with Bill & Ella…and sometimes Liam! Since we started carrying the show, it has become a local cultural phenomenon. Plus, Bill Childs is a nerd. So are his kids. And nerd is the new cool. Do you think they are going to let crappy kids music hit the airwaves? I’ve heard everything from Rush to Dan Zanes, The Pixies to Brady Rymer. Pete Seeger to The f****** Muppets. Yeah, I said it in a thing about kids music. I f****** love this show."
- Monte Belmonte, Program Director, WRSI (93.9 The River)For seven...

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385 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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This week we’ve got new music from Shovels & Rope featuring The Felice Brothers, Flula Borg with Go Banana Go!, The Gothsicles, and Little Miss Ann...

  • Added: Mar 01, 2021
  • Length: 56:10
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SaulPaul's residency concludes this week, and what a treat it’s been! This week, you’ll hear songs from Genevieve Goings, Red Yarn, Michael Franti,...

  • Added: Feb 25, 2021
  • Length: 52:02
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SaulPaul's residency continues this week, with tracks from Aaron Nigel Smith, The Lucky Band, Roy More III, Pentatonix, Snooknuk, and much more! It...

  • Added: Feb 18, 2021
  • Length: 55:03
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SaulPaul is guest hosting again this week as part of our celebration of Black History Month. He’s playing tracks from Ziggy Marley, Common & John L...

  • Added: Feb 11, 2021
  • Length: 54:47
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Kicking off a month of guest hosting gigs, celebrating Black History Month, SaulPaul is playing songs from Andra Day, Pierce Freelon, Wendy & DB, K...

  • Added: Feb 04, 2021
  • Length: 53:33
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This week, we’ve got the premiere of a song from Nakia with Charlie Cotton, plus the premiere of a song from Shovels & Rope featuring Sharon Van Et...

  • Added: Jan 27, 2021
  • Length: 56:39
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This week, we’ll hear some new songs from SaulPaul with Red Yarn, Dean Jones & Jacky Davis, The Deedle Deedle Dees, and Elena Moon Park, plus we’ll...

  • Added: Jan 21, 2021
  • Length: 54:46
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This week, we’ll hear some new songs from 123 Andres and Joanie Leeds, plus we’ll listen to Moon Hooch, Dan Zanes, Ella Fitzgerald, CandyBand, and ...

  • Added: Jan 14, 2021
  • Length: 55:04
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This week, nine-year-old ukulele star Louie Phipps will stop by and guest DJ, plus we’ll hear new songs from The Bright Siders and Flor Bromley and...

  • Added: Jan 07, 2021
  • Length: 51:47
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This week, we’ll kick off 2021 with new music from The Bright Siders, Moon Hooch with Leo P, Twinkle Time, Dawes, Kelli Welli, and more, plus songs...

  • Added: Dec 30, 2020
  • Length: 57:40
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This week, we’ll wrap up the year with new songs from Strand of Oaks, Little Miss Ann, Too Many Zooz with Big Freedia, plus songs from Bruce Robiso...

  • Added: Dec 23, 2020
  • Length: 54:09
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This week, we’ll celebrate Christmas with new songs from The New Standards, Brady Rymer, and 123 Andres and Mista Cookie Jar, plus we’ll hear songs...

  • Added: Dec 15, 2020
  • Length: 53:49
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This week, we’ll celebrate Hanukkah with songs from Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Joanie Leeds & the Nightlights, The Jimmies, and Daveed Diggs, pl...

  • Added: Dec 06, 2020
  • Length: 54:29
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This week, Parry Gripp is calling in to talk about his holiday record, plus we’ll hear new music from The Comet is Coming and Pierce Freelon, and s...

  • Added: Dec 01, 2020
  • Length: 54:57
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This week, we’ve got new music from Jazzy Ash, Elliott Park, and Uncle Rock & Dean Jones—plus we’ll listen to songs from CandyBand, Quincy Jones, T...

  • Added: Nov 22, 2020
  • Length: 53:54
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This week, we’re celebrating Thanksgiving, with songs from Best Coast, Big Star, Mi Amigo Hamlet, and more—plus Elliott Park will call in to talk a...

  • Added: Nov 15, 2020
  • Length: 54:22
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This week, we’ve got new music from Ziggy Marley with Ben Harper, Dean Jones & Jacky Davis, Pierce Freelon & Rissi Palmer, Jazzy Ash, Marsha & the ...

  • Added: Nov 11, 2020
  • Length: 57:50
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This week, we’ve got new music from Ziggy Marley with Angelique Kidjo, plus a new song from Mary Elizabeth Winstead with Honus Honus from Man Man—a...

  • Added: Nov 11, 2020
  • Length: 57:25
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This week, we’ve invited Pierce Freelon back to guest host again. This time, he’s sharing a look back at Kukuza Fest, the kids’ music festival he c...

  • Added: Sep 28, 2020
  • Length: 55:38
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This week, we’ve got new music from Caspar Babypants, Dean Jones & Jacky Davis, and Ziggy Marley—featuring Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machin...

  • Added: Sep 27, 2020
  • Length: 51:52