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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321 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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This week, we’ve got new music from Jazzy Ash, Duke Otherwise, and Koo Koo Kanga Roo, plus songs from Ella Fitzgerald, Jesus Jones, Son Volt, and S...

  • Added: Nov 11, 2019
  • Length: 53:58
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This week, we’ve got Craig Finn stopping by the studio, plus we’ll look back at nearly 15 years of in studios. Also new music from Dog on Fleas, Be...

  • Added: Nov 04, 2019
  • Length: 53:11
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This week, we’ve got world premiere music from Dog on Fleas, new music from The Invisible Cities, and songs from Dolly Parton, Best Coast, Josh Lov...

  • Added: Oct 25, 2019
  • Length: 55:43
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This week, New York’s famous busking trio Too Many Zooz will come by and play some songs, plus we’ll count down the best family music records of th...

  • Added: Oct 23, 2019
  • Length: 51:39
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This week, we’ll hear new music from Michael and the Rockness Mounters, plus songs from 123 Andres, Matt & Kim, The Mr. T Experience, Sister Sledge...

  • Added: Oct 13, 2019
  • Length: 52:50
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This week, we’ll hear from Gustafer Yellowgold backstage at ACL, plus new music from Micky Dolenz, Rudy Trubitt, and Too Many Zooz—and a new Daniel...

  • Added: Oct 09, 2019
  • Length: 52:58
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This week, we’ll play some songs from Austin City Limits Festival artists, plus we’ll remember Daniel Johnston with songs by Mates of State, Mary L...

  • Added: Oct 01, 2019
  • Length: 55:43
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This week, The Doubleclicks are coming by the studio and will sing a few songs from their new record, “The Book Was Better,” plus we’ll hear new mu...

  • Added: Sep 16, 2019
  • Length: 55:55
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This week, we’ll hear new music from Lori Henriques, Rudy Trubitt, and Again Again, plus songs from Ella Jenkins, Bob Mould, SaulPaul, Ella Fitzger...

  • Added: Aug 29, 2019
  • Length: 52:55
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This week, we’ll hear new music from The Lucky Band, Miss Paula and the Candy Bandits, Oran Etkin, and Frank Turner, plus we’ll hear songs from Sis...

  • Added: Aug 28, 2019
  • Length: 55:50
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This week, we’ll hear new music from The Shazzbots, Andrew & Polly, The Doubleclicks, and Josh Lovelace, plus songs from Quincy Jones, Arcade Fire,...

  • Added: Aug 27, 2019
  • Length: 54:09
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This week, we’ll hear new music from The Princes of Serendip, ScribbleMonster, Laurie Berkner, and Caspar Babypants, plus songs from Lunch Money, J...

  • Added: Aug 26, 2019
  • Length: 54:57
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This week, we’ll hear new music from Alphabet Rockers and The Binkees, plus we’ll preview some shows this fall with songs from Craig Finn, Flaming ...

  • Added: Aug 19, 2019
  • Length: 55:01
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This week, Harry and the Potters are coming by the studio to play some wizard rock! Plus we’ve got new music from Caspar Babypants and Josh Lovelac...

  • Added: Aug 14, 2019
  • Length: 54:44
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This week, we are celebrating our 14th birthday as a radio show! So we’re playing almost entirely songs we played on our first few shows way back i...

  • Added: Jul 27, 2019
  • Length: 55:08
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This week, we’ve got new music from Caspar Babypants, Too Many Zooz, Oran Etkin, and Andrew & Polly, plus songs from Nina Simone, Lipps, Inc., and ...

  • Added: Jul 26, 2019
  • Length: 51:14
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This week, a new song from Esperanza Spalding from Borderless Lullabies, the record benefiting legal counsel for children at the border, plus new m...

  • Added: Jul 22, 2019
  • Length: 55:39
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This week, we’ve got a new song from Rosanne Cash, from a record benefiting legal counsel for children at the border, plus new music from Josh Love...

  • Added: Jul 15, 2019
  • Length: 54:17
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This week, in what is as surprising to us as it is to you, we’re talking with an actual Backstreet Boy, Howie D, about his new family record., “Whi...

  • Added: Jul 08, 2019
  • Length: 56:08
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This week, we’ll find out what it sounds like when Steve Albini produces a kids’ song for Rolie Polie Guacamole, plus we’ll hear new music from Ste...

  • Added: Jul 02, 2019
  • Length: 53:09