5/07/2010

I Confess...I'm a Paste Eater! ToyBlock Music Review & Giveaway (CLOSED)

(GIVEAWAY CLOSED AT MIDNITE - MAY 18TH. Thank you!)


Incorporating music into your child's daily routine is such a positive development tool. Early exposure to music has been said to increase math and language skills in children and provide considerable social, emotional and physical benefits. Listening to music, dancing and singing with your child is also just plain fun and relaxing - a great way to soothe even the crankiest of toddlers sometimes!

When you think of children's music, you probably think of that annoying purple dinosaur or those cheesy kid's CDs sold in a display rack at the local "mart" store and the headache you'll have after listening to them for very long. Some of it is cute and fun but not for long. Like myself, many parents are searching for diversity in the styles of music they share with their children--as well as songs with G-rated lyrics, music that inspires creativity and can be enjoyed by family members of all ages. (Translation--music that doesn't suck and won't drive you insane!)

I was recently contacted about ToyBlock Music. It's a collaborative children's music project that has set some children's classics to a variety of styles of "real music" such as pop, funk, and folk. Their first EP "Eats Paste" was released on April 1, 2010 and I was very fortunate and excited to be given a complimentary electronic copy to listen to with my son.

First - The ToyBlock Story:

Joanna Quargnali-Linsley, Chicago mom-preneur and president/founder of ToyBlock Music, got tired of listening to boring, demeaning kids' music. It all sounded the same, and it all disappointed both her and her year-old daughter. So she decided to do something about it.


"Exposing kids to good music just makes sense, and they love it," Joanna says. "What kids listen to should be just as interesting and complex as what we listen to as adults."

After over a year in the making, the project's EP, "Eats Paste," was released on April 1st. It features a funk version of "The Wheels on the Bus," a surf-punk "The Cat Came Back," a dark singer-songwriter take on "There Was an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly," and other unique gems.

ToyBlock Music is also proud to say that a percentage of its profits will be directed to PAGER, a nonprofit organization which assists families with children suffering from pediatric GERD. Joanna decided to connect TBM with PAGER's efforts because of her daughter’s struggle with the disease. “Infant and childhood GERD is not like having ‘a little heartburn,’” she explains. “It is 5 hour screaming fits, the inability to eat, lifetime food aversions, sleepless nights, and so much physical and emotional pain for the whole family. So few people really understand the severity of GERD in kids unless they are affected by it.

My Review
I downloaded the digital EP (album) from ToyBlock's website in seconds. It comes as a compressed/zipped file and is easily extracted and saved to your computer's music folder. I quickly downloaded the music to my MP3 player ("i" use the big name popular tunes program & player...) and was ready to enjoy with my son in no time.

There are 7 songs on this EP, recorded by professional musicians (two are Grammy award winners!) and singers. I was really excited to see a hip Funk version of "The Wheels on The Bus" as this is my son's current obsession! Some songs are a bit more softer, in a folksy or singer-songwriter style--"Wynken-Blynken and Nod", and "Oh Susannah", while others are more upbeat such as "The Crawdad Man", "Alice the Camel" and the surf-punk style song "The Cat Came Back". 

My little guy appeared to be a bit bored with Wynken, Blynken and Nod, and a bit relaxed listening to Oh Susannah, and There Was an Old Woman, but really perked up, smiling, bobbing his head and moving his arms to the rest of the faster songs--especially his beloved The Wheels on The Bus heheh! I love The Crawdad Man - it's my personal fave!  We've been playing this EP in the car on our way to daily activities/errands, and around the house and really enjoying it.

My Conclusion
I really like this EP and my son enjoys it as well. I would definitely recommend it to any parent who is looking for something a bit new and different in childrens/family music.  I like that you can download individual songs or the whole EP if you so choose. I also like that a percentage of the profits from this EP are going to PAGER to help fight pediatric GERD.

I wasn't too crazy about the lyric "perhaps she'll die" in the song "There Was an Old Woman" for a toddler, but that's just me - I might just be a bit sensitive - it is an traditional song that has been sung to kids for many years (including in my elementary school way back when). Most kids may not give it any thought. I'd like to see more upbeat songs on future EP or CD releases by ToyBox Music. Most parents and kids like fun, happy songs to which they can dance, wiggle and sing along.

THE GIVEAWAY

One lucky reader will win (1) Digital Download Copy of the EP "Eats Paste" from ToyBlock Music.

Who Can Enter: USA Residents Only Please, 18 and older.

MANDATORY TO ENTER: 
Go visit ToyBlock's website , listen to the song samples, and Leave a comment telling me which one is your favorite song - and Include your Email Address (in this format: JaneDoe AT Yahoo Dot Com)

Additional Entries:
1 Entry for Each of the following - Leave a Separate Comment for Each entry - Don't forget to give your email address!!

--Follow me on Twitter (& Tell me your Twitter ID)

--Follow my blog publicly thru Google Friend Connect

--Follow ToyBlockMusic on Twitter (& Tell me your Twitter ID)

--Copy & Tweet this & leave a direct link to your Tweet in the comment: (Can Tweet 1x per day - leave a separate/new comment each day for the Tweet)  I wanna be a Paste Eater & #Win #Giveaway @Retrogirl66 blog for a free copy of the EP Eats Paste by @Toyblockmusic http://bit.ly/agZkhF 

GIVEAWAY ENDS TUESDAY MAY 18, 2010 AT 11:59 PM CST
 
Winners will be drawn by random drawing - and notified by email. Winners must respond within 48 hours or another person will be selected.
 
I received a complimentary copy of this digital music EP album in exchange for my honest opinion. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions and thoughts expressed in this post are entirely my own. I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

19 comments:

Tracy said...

I checked them out.. I like Winken Blinkin and nod. I used to read that poem to my 19 year old. How cool would it be for my youngest son to listen to it also!

Tracy said...

I follow you!

Tracy said...

I follow you on twitter...

Lara said...

I like Alice the Camel
momdram@gmail.com

Lara said...

I follow your blog
momdram@gmail.com

Lara said...

I follow you on twitter (@momdram)
momdram@gmail.com

Lara said...

following toyblockmusic on twitter (@momdram)
momdram@gmail.com

Jess said...

Love the cat came back. My two boys were dancing as we listened (entering from mbc)

angelface041206 at yahoo
http://all-about-the-savings.blogspot.com

Jess said...

tweeted
http://twitter.com/all_about_savin/status/13933874074

angelface041206 at yahoo
http://all-about-the-savings.blogspot.com

Emmi said...

I love Alice the Camel!
mommyfreetime (at) gmail (dot) com

Emmi said...

following you on twitter
mommysfreetime
mommyfreetime (at) gmail (dot) com

Emmi said...

following your blog
mommyfreetime (at) gmail (dot) com

Cakeblast said...

I like "The Cat Came Back" - I had heard Lauri Bergner sing that song on Nick Jr. (Jacks Big Music Show I think) and thought it was an original. I had no idea it was a classic. I like Toy Block's psychedelic take with male and female alternating vocals better than Bergner's version.

Cakeblast said...

I follow you on Twitter as @cakeblast

Cakeblast said...

I now follow your blog via google friend connect!

cakeblast AT Gmail Dot Com

Cakeblast said...

Following Toyblock Music as @cakeblast

Joanna said...

Thank you all so much! Feel free to sign up for our newsletters for future giveaways. And thanks Retro-Girl!

Sara said...

I liked the cat came back.

sarahansman at yahoo dot com

from MBC

Retro Girl said...

Sara---this giveaway ended on May 18th Per the Post. Sorry but you've commented after it has already ended! (Emailing you) Sorry!

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