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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371 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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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
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This week, we’ve got new music from Dean Jones with Jacky Davis, Mark Pound, Jasmine & Bleu, and Mista Cookie Jar, plus we’ll hear songs from Joani...

  • Added: Sep 24, 2020
  • Length: 52:58
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This week, The Bazillions are coming by to sing some songs on our deck, plus we’ll listen to some baseball songs and new tracks from Pierce Freelon...

  • Added: Sep 20, 2020
  • Length: 56:06
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This week, we’re going to hear new music from Mister G, SaulPaul, Pierce Freelon, and 1-2-3 Andres, plus we’ll listen to songs by Elizabeth Cotten,...

  • Added: Sep 17, 2020
  • Length: 51:27
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This week, we’ll chat with Shine of Shine & the Moonbeams about the Kukuza Festival, which aims to amplify Black voices in family music, and we’ll ...

  • Added: Sep 08, 2020
  • Length: 53:12
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This week, we’ve got a guest DJ set from Uncle Devin of the Uncle Devin Show and Wee Nation Radio, which features R&B, hip hop, go go, and more! It...

  • Added: Sep 02, 2020
  • Length: 54:03
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This week, we’ll be chatting with SaulPaul about his new album “Be The Change,” we’ll hear new songs from Jazzy Ash and Mista Cookie Jar, plus we’l...

  • Added: Aug 26, 2020
  • Length: 56:46
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This week, we’ve got new music from 123 Andres, Poco Drom, SaulPaul, and Mark Pound, plus we’ll hear songs from First Aid Kit, Ziggy Marley, Sugar ...

  • Added: Aug 19, 2020
  • Length: 53:05
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Hey, it’s Bill Childs from Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child! This week, we’ve got new music from SaulPaul featuring Alphabet Rockers and Denzil Fin...

  • Added: Aug 13, 2020
  • Length: 56:17
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This week, we’ve got new music from Poco Drom, Quiet Company, Hooray Miss Marae, Jasmine & Bleu, and Steve Weeks, plus great songs from SaulPaul, C...

  • Added: Aug 06, 2020
  • Length: 57:15
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This week, we’ve got new music from April Verch, Aaron Nigel Smith, Mista Cookie Jar, and Go Banana Go, plus songs from Lucky Diaz, Too Many Zooz, ...

  • Added: Jul 29, 2020
  • Length: 58:55
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Hey, it’s Bill Childs from Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child! This week, we’ll hear new songs from Red Yarn, Pierce Freelon, and Artichoke, plus we’...

  • Added: Jul 16, 2020
  • Length: 01:09:29
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This week, we’ll hear new songs from Wendy & Db, Red Yarn, The Deedle Deedle Dees, David Gibb & Brady Rymer, and Field Mouse covering Fountains of ...

  • Added: Jul 08, 2020
  • Length: 56:28
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This week, we’re back in the studio, and we’ve got new music from The Deedle Deedle Dees’ new album “How To Save America” and Suzanne Jamieson’s “B...

  • Added: Jul 01, 2020
  • Length: 56:31
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This week, our friend SaulPaul--the Musician with a Message--guest hosts the whole show. You'll hear lots of his songs, especially featuring those ...

  • Added: Jun 24, 2020
  • Length: 53:43