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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326 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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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
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On this week’s show, we’re continuing to preview some of the shows coming up during South by Southwest, plus we’ll listen to some music from Aretha...

  • Added: Feb 23, 2019
  • Length: 55:02
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On this week’s show, Mister Neal from the Groundwork Music Project comes by to talk about that non-profit’s work to get music education to kids all...

  • Added: Feb 19, 2019
  • Length: 57:33
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We're previewing some big festivals coming up in Austin and in New England, with songs from Mister G, Dan Zanes, The Nields, Koo Koo Kanga Roo, and...

  • Added: Feb 11, 2019
  • Length: 57:05
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We're continuing our celebration of Black History Month, with songs from Shine & the Moonbeams, Van McCoy, Wade Marcus, Uncle Devin, and more! It's...

  • Added: Feb 05, 2019
  • Length: 53:28
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It's a super fun week on Spare the Rock, with songs from SaulPaul, Jazzy Ash, Bill Withers, Fishbone, Rhythm Child, and more!

  • Added: Jan 30, 2019
  • Length: 57:51
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This week, Franz Nicolay from The Hold Steady and World/Inferno Friendship Society joins us by Skype to guest host the show with his five-year-old....

  • Added: Jan 21, 2019
  • Length: 58:13
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We've got new music from Sidecar Astronauts, plus songs from Willie Nelson, Rosey Grier, Kepi Ghoulie, Joan Jett, and more! It'll be fun.

  • Added: Jan 13, 2019
  • Length: 56:39
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We've got new songs from Dan Zanes, SaulPaul, and They Might Be Giants, plus tracks from The Not-Its, Best Coast, Sonia de la Santos, and more! It'...

  • Added: Jan 09, 2019
  • Length: 50:04
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We've got just a fun mix of stuff this week, ranging from Prince and Bad Moves to The Pop Ups and Father Goose, and going back a few years to class...

  • Added: Jan 02, 2019
  • Length: 57:06
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This week, it’s our New Year’s show, with some of our favorites from Slaid Cleaves, Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis, Old 97’s, Gustafer Yellowgold, an...

  • Added: Dec 26, 2018
  • Length: 53:25
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This week, it’s more holiday songs and more! We’ve got new songs from Evan and Vanessa, Old 97’s, Greg Dulli, Lucky Diaz, and The Not-Its, plus son...

  • Added: Dec 18, 2018
  • Length: 54:36
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This week, it’s our main holiday show! We’ll have new songs from Old 97’s and Ants Ants Ants, plus holiday music from Sharon Jones and the Dap-King...

  • Added: Dec 11, 2018
  • Length: 54:36
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We'll be celebrating Chanukah and ice cream and new music fromEvan & Vanessa and Danny Weinkauf and more!

  • Added: Dec 03, 2018
  • Length: 55:57
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We're getting close to the winter solstice, and so we're thinking about sun--and playing sun songs from Gustafer Yellowgold, Elizabeth Mitchell, Po...

  • Added: Nov 25, 2018
  • Length: 55:34
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This week, we’re being grateful, with thankfulness songs from Big Star, Mi Amigo Hamlet, Elizabeth Mitchell, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweat...

  • Added: Nov 15, 2018
  • Length: 52:50
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This week, we’ve got new songs from Scott Keever, Lori Henriques, Sulinha, plus songs from Father Goose, Man or Astro-Man?, Dan Zanes, and more! It...

  • Added: Nov 12, 2018
  • Length: 52:52
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This week, we’ve got new songs from Mister G, Marsha & the Positrons, and Austin’s SaulPaul, plus songs from Too Many Zooz, Ziggy Marley, Velvet Un...

  • Added: Nov 06, 2018
  • Length: 53:53
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The mighty Koo Koo Kanga Roo are on tour and they took over the show for the week too!

  • Added: Oct 30, 2018
  • Length: 54:09