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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417 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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This week, Louis & Dan & the Invisible Band come by the show to talk and sing some songs; we’ll talk to Miss Paula about her new book, and we’ll he...

  • Added: Oct 11, 2021
  • Length: 54:06
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This week, we’ll hear new songs from Kurt Fortmeyer, Alison Faith Levy, RAII & Whitney, Dan & Claudia Zanes, and more, plus we’ll listen to music b...

  • Added: Oct 06, 2021
  • Length: 56:38
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This week, we’re mostly listening to some old favorites, including songs from Los Lobos, Manu Chao, Nina Simone, Lunch Money, Luscious Jackson, Sau...

  • Added: Sep 19, 2021
  • Length: 54:55
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This week, we’ll hear new songs from Mama B & Uncle T, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, Koo Koo Kanga Roo, and Jack Forman, plus we’ll listen to music from ...

  • Added: Sep 19, 2021
  • Length: 53:51
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This week, we’ll hear new songs from Alison Faith Levy and Mil’s Trills, plus we’ll listen to music from ScribbleMonster, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Sp...

  • Added: Sep 14, 2021
  • Length: 56:57
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This week, we’ll hear new songs from The Oot n’ Oots, Alison Faith Levy, Tricked Out Tricycle, and Flor Bromley, plus we’ll listen to music from Pa...

  • Added: Sep 07, 2021
  • Length: 55:06
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This week, we’ll hear new songs from They Might Be Giants, Frances England, Mil’s Trills, and Kath Bee, plus we’ll listen to Kimya Dawson, Link Wra...

  • Added: Sep 01, 2021
  • Length: 55:45
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This week, we’ll hear new songs from Koo Koo Kanga Roo, Sonia De Los Santos, Elliott Park, and Mr. Doug, plus we’ll listen to music from Sudan Arch...

  • Added: Aug 24, 2021
  • Length: 55:30
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This week, we’ll hear new songs from Flor Bromley, Renee & Jeremy, Divi Roxx, Jenn Hartmann Luck, and Tim Kubart, plus we’ll listen to music from L...

  • Added: Aug 16, 2021
  • Length: 57:12
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This week, we still miss getting to do in-studios and so we’re playing some from the vault—Dale Watson and his Lone Stars, Harry & the Potters, and...

  • Added: Aug 07, 2021
  • Length: 57:32
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This week, we’ll hear new songs from Frances England, Renee & Jeremy, Sonia de los Santos, Flor Bromley with SaulPaul, and more, plus we’ll listen ...

  • Added: Jul 30, 2021
  • Length: 57:32
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This week, we’ll hear new songs from Dan & Claudia Zanes, Lindsay Munroe, Fyutch, and others, plus we’ll listen to music from The Orb, Dean Jones, ...

  • Added: Jul 28, 2021
  • Length: 54:10
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This week, we’ll hear new songs from Mister Michael, Sonia De Los Santos, and Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, plus we’ll listen to music from Tom Waits, Cl...

  • Added: Jul 21, 2021
  • Length: 58:19
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This week, we’ll feature artists from Minnesota in honor of adding Rock the Cradle Radio as an affiliate—including The Honeydogs with Chastity Brow...

  • Added: Jul 12, 2021
  • Length: 55:35
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This week, we’ll settle into summer with new music from Dan & Claudia Zanes, Katie Ha Ha Ha, Renee & Jeremy, Culture Queen, and Lucky Diaz & the Fa...

  • Added: Jul 05, 2021
  • Length: 55:12
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This week, we’ll celebrate the Fourth of July with all American artists, including new songs from Sonia de los Santos, Red Yarn, Queen Piarei, Riss...

  • Added: Jun 28, 2021
  • Length: 57:22
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This week, we’ll celebrate the official start of summer with seasonal songs from The Bazillions, Vistas, and The Not-Its!, plus we’ll hear music fr...

  • Added: Jun 21, 2021
  • Length: 56:38
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This week, we’re celebrating Black Music Month and Juneteenth by turning the whole show over to Pierce Freelon, whose new multi-generational album ...

Bought by WSLR


  • Added: Jun 16, 2021
  • Length: 54:47
  • Purchases: 1
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This week, Sonia De Los Santos will come by and sing some songs for us, plus we’ll hear a world premiere from Jenn Hartmann Luck, and new songs fro...

  • Added: Jun 07, 2021
  • Length: 55:49
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This week, we’ll hear new songs from SaulPaul, The Suburbs, Koo Koo Kanga Roo, and Shine and the Moonbeams, plus we’ll listen to Lunch Money, Rhian...

  • Added: May 31, 2021
  • Length: 53:54