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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324 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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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
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This week, we’ll hear new music from Father Goose, Harry and the Potters, and The Happy Racers, plus songs from SaulPaul, The Jam, Joan Jett, Franc...

  • Added: Jun 25, 2019
  • Length: 55:50
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This week, we’ll hear new music from the Story Pirates with Lin-Manuel Miranda helping out, plus songs from Carole King, Father Goose, Stevie Wonde...

  • Added: Jun 18, 2019
  • Length: 57:53
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This week, we’ll hear new music from Ants Ants Ants, Songeez, and Johnny & the Raindrops, plus we’ll get to some Bill Withers, Iggy Pop, Elizabeth ...

  • Added: Jun 12, 2019
  • Length: 55:15
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This week, we’ll hear from the family music side project of some folks from Cruiserweight—Adam and the Bull Shark— plus new music from Adrian Quesa...

  • Added: Jun 04, 2019
  • Length: 55:10
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This week, our old friends Trout Fishing in America stop by Studio 1A to talk and sing some songs, plus we’ve got new music from Harry & the Potter...

  • Added: May 27, 2019
  • Length: 52:58
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This week, we’ve got new music from Cats With Nice Faces, The Lucky Band, The Doubleclicks, and more! Plus songs from Sweet Spirit, Stevie Wonder, ...

  • Added: May 21, 2019
  • Length: 57:45
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This week, we’ve got new music from Lianne Baskin, Cats With Nice Faces, Ultrasonic Kids, and Howie D—yes, Howie from Backstreet Boys! Plus songs f...

Bought by KMRE-LP


  • Added: May 14, 2019
  • Length: 48:03
  • Purchases: 1
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This week, we're celebrating Mothers Day, and we've got new songs from Andrew & Polly, Laurie Berkner, Walter Martin, Arcade Fire, and more! Plus: ...

  • Added: May 06, 2019
  • Length: 54:55
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On this week’s show, we’ve got new music from Renee & Friends, Jack Forman, Randy Kaplan, Adrian Quesada, and Nathalia, plus songs from Jellyfish, ...

  • Added: Apr 30, 2019
  • Length: 54:15
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On this week’s show, we’ve got a set celebrating the return of fireflies to Austin, plus new songs from Laura Jane Grace, The Lucky Band, Too Many ...

  • Added: Apr 24, 2019
  • Length: 55:14
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On this week’s show, we’ll chat with Chelsea Clinton about her new book about endangered species. Plus, new music from Miss Lynn’s Rainbow Machine,...

  • Added: Apr 16, 2019
  • Length: 55:01
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We've got new music from Punk for Families and Miss Lynn's Rainbow Machine, plus songs from Ella Fitzgerald, Kacey Musgraves, Sponge, Rodney Crowel...

  • Added: Apr 07, 2019
  • Length: 55:45
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We've got new music from The Lucky Band, Angela James, and Renee & Friends, plus songs from King Curtis, Feist, Guided By Voices, and more!

  • Added: Apr 03, 2019
  • Length: 52:58
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On this week’s show, we’ll hear more from bands playing the Meltdown, plus songs from Bob Marley, Los Lobos, Dick Dale, Elizabeth Mitchell, Craig F...

  • Added: Mar 26, 2019
  • Length: 53:50
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On this week’s show, Brett Peters from the It Gets Better Project stops by to talk about their work, plus we’ve got new songs from Miss Paula and t...

  • Added: Mar 15, 2019
  • Length: 55:58
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On this week’s show, we’re looking back at 11 years of the Family Music Meltdown and Book Bash in Northampton, with songs from Dan Zanes, Mister G,...

  • Added: Mar 11, 2019
  • Length: 56:20
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It's our South by Southwest preview show, plus we've got new music from Songeez, Rick Huddle, the Candy Bandits, and more!

  • Added: Mar 05, 2019
  • Length: 56:11