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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478 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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This week, it’s our main holiday show for the year! We’ll hear songs from Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Fountains of Wayne, Lead Belly, Quiet Compa...

  • Added: Nov 27, 2022
  • Length: 56:28
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This week, we’re going to hear songs about Hanukkah, Christmas, and friendship, including music from Daveed Diggs, Mister G, Weezer, The Jimmies, S...

  • Added: Nov 26, 2022
  • Length: 56:47
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This week, we’re going to listen to a bunch of songs about stars, with music from Elizabeth Mitchell, Sally Timms & Jon Langford, Gustafer Yellowgo...

  • Added: Nov 26, 2022
  • Length: 58:56
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This week, we’ll play songs of gratitude, with music from Vince Guaraldi, Big Star, Red Yarn, Vered, The Cowsills, CandyBand, Sly & the Family Ston...

  • Added: Nov 22, 2022
  • Length: 54:14
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This week, we’ll hear new music from Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Crugie, Whoopie Chicken, and Renee & Jeremy covering Harry Styles, plus we’ll listen...

  • Added: Nov 16, 2022
  • Length: 56:32
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This week, we’ll hear some computer and robot themed songs, including music from Kraftwerk, The Sippy Cups, and Flaming Lips; we’ll hear some Disne...

  • Added: Nov 09, 2022
  • Length: 58:06
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This week, we’ll do a little bit of celebration of Dia de los Muertos, plus we’ll hear new music from Too Much Joy, Macaroni Birthday, and Good Kid...

  • Added: Oct 29, 2022
  • Length: 53:30
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This week, it’s our Halloween episode, with songs from The Deedle Deedle Dees, Triple Rainbow, Jad & David Fair, Koo Koo Kanga Roo, Turkey Andersen...

  • Added: Oct 22, 2022
  • Length: 54:03
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This week, we’ll continue in the Halloween theme with new music from Flor Bromley featuring Genevieve Goings, Andrew & Polly, Kelli Welli, and Joan...

  • Added: Oct 18, 2022
  • Length: 57:33
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This week, we’ll hear new music from Lucy Kalantari and Louie Phipps, plus we’ll start getting into the Halloween season with songs from Mister G, ...

  • Added: Oct 09, 2022
  • Length: 56:11
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This week, we’ll hear in-studio performances from Craig Finn and Mates of State, a new song from The Roughhousers, and tracks from The Not-Its, Qui...

  • Added: Sep 19, 2022
  • Length: 54:38
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This week, we’ll hear music from Erin Ivey, The Gourds, Josh Lovelace, ScribbleMonster, Siama, Paul Westerberg, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Secre...

  • Added: Sep 18, 2022
  • Length: 54:44
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This week, we’ll hear new music from Go Banana Go, plus we’ll listen to songs by Kishi Bashi, Rissi Palmer, Brady Rymer, Koo Koo Kanga Roo, Kimya D...

  • Added: Sep 16, 2022
  • Length: 56:39
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This week, we’ll hear the hardest metal song about eating vegetables you’ve ever heard, plus new songs from Musiquita and Jazzy Ash & Red Yarn, plu...

  • Added: Sep 14, 2022
  • Length: 53:53
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This week, we’ll hear some wake up songs from Bob Marley, Ralph’s World, Prince, The Verve Pipe, and Trout Fishing in America, plus we’ll hear new ...

  • Added: Sep 05, 2022
  • Length: 53:58
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This week, Rhett Miller from Old 97’s is calling in to talk about his new kids’ book, The Baby Changing Station, plus we’ll hear new music from Ste...

  • Added: Aug 31, 2022
  • Length: 55:37
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This week, we’re gonna hear some horns with songs from Ozomatli, Antibalas, They Might Be Giants’s Other Thing Brass Band, Too Many Zooz, Maynard F...

  • Added: Aug 22, 2022
  • Length: 56:49
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This week, we are celebrating the memory of Morgan Taylor, the creator of Gustafer Yellowgold and long-time friend of the show who passed away earl...

  • Added: Aug 14, 2022
  • Length: 56:54
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This week, Josh Lovelace is coming by to talk about his third Young Folk album, Moonwalking, and sing some songs, plus we’ll hear a new song from J...

  • Added: Aug 08, 2022
  • Length: 52:37
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This week, Aric Bieganek is coming by to sing some songs, plus we’ll hear new music from Alex the Astronaut and Wendy & DB—plus songs from Brian En...

  • Added: Aug 02, 2022
  • Length: 54:08