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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468 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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This week, we’ll hear a world premiere from Poco Drom and a new song from Twinkle Time & Mista Cookie Jar, plus we’ll celebrate baseball’s opening ...

  • Added: Mar 28, 2022
  • Length: 55:17
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This week, we’ll hear new music from Sugar Free Allstars, Lucy Kalantari featuring Falu and Fyutch, Bhi Bhiman, and Andyroo and the Andyrooniverse,...

  • Added: Apr 05, 2022
  • Length: 55:16
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This week, we’ll preview the River’s Family Music Meltdown and Book Bash in New England, plus we’ll hear new songs from The Strawbitty Yops, Smith ...

  • Added: Apr 13, 2022
  • Length: 55:17
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This week, we’ll listen to artists who will be in New England for the Family Music Meltdown, plus we’ll hear new music from The Doubleclicks, Smith...

  • Added: Apr 20, 2022
  • Length: 53:05
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This week, we’re looking back at the first fourteen years of the River’s Family Music Meltdown and Book Bash. We’ll hear songs from Meltdown bands ...

  • Added: Apr 24, 2022
  • Length: 56:09
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This week, we’re celebrating moms and parents with a special Mother’s Day show, with songs from Smith & Yarn, The Deedle Deedle Dees, Parliament, K...

  • Added: Apr 24, 2022
  • Length: 54:50
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This week, Liam’s back home for a few weeks, so we’ll play some songs that he’s played on his not-for-kids college radio show! Plus we’ll hear new ...

  • Added: May 09, 2022
  • Length: 56:47
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This week, the Okee Dokee Brothers will stop by and sing a few songs, including from their latest “Songs for Singing,” plus we’ll chat with Go Bana...

  • Added: May 15, 2022
  • Length: 54:39
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This week, Todd ’n’ Tina are stopping by to sing a few of their goofy songs, plus we’ll listen to music from Rhythm Child, Iggy Pop, Diana Ross, Di...

  • Added: May 16, 2022
  • Length: 56:35
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This week, we’ve got lots of new music, including tracks from The Roughhousers, featuring members of X and Old 97’s, as well as from Josh Lovelace,...

  • Added: May 30, 2022
  • Length: 56:08
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This week, Jesse Norell is coming by to sing a couple of songs from his new Aorta Borealis album, plus we’ll hear new music from the Roughhousers, ...

  • Added: Jun 05, 2022
  • Length: 58:50
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This week, we’ll hear new songs from Josh Lovelace, Jasmyn, Benny & Friends, and Justin Roberts, plus we’ll hear songs by Dan & Claudia Zanes, Otis...

  • Added: Jun 13, 2022
  • Length: 51:20
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This week, we’ll hear new songs from Josh Lovelace’s Young Folk project, The Roughhousers, Go Banana Go, and Brady Rymer & the Little Band that Cou...

  • Added: Jun 20, 2022
  • Length: 55:50
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This week, we’ll hear new songs from Josh Lovelace’s Young Folk project, The Roughhousers, Brady Rymer, and Sugar Free Allstars, plus we’ll hear mu...

  • Added: Jun 29, 2022
  • Length: 56:50
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This week, we’ll hear new songs from Josh Lovelace’s Young Folk project, Mama B, Regina Spektor, Nathalia, and Smith & Yarn, plus we’ll listen to W...

  • Added: Jul 06, 2022
  • Length: 55:38
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This week, we’ll hear new songs from the Roughhousers and Michael Franti, plus we’ll hear songs from Sharon Jones, Shovels & Rope, Lunch Money, Ada...

  • Added: Jul 11, 2022
  • Length: 55:01
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This week, Louis & Dan & the Invisible Band will stop by and sing some songs and introduce some visible band members, plus we’ll hear songs from Th...

  • Added: Jul 18, 2022
  • Length: 55:53
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This week, Papa Siama is coming by the studio to play some songs inspired by his time growing up in Congo, plus we’ll hear new songs from Sugar Fre...

  • Added: Jul 24, 2022
  • Length: 56:23
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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
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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