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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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189 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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On this week’s show, we've got our tribute to Willie Nelson for his birthday, including the Barton Hills Choir with Ray Benson, plus tracks from Mi...

Bought by KMRE-LP


  • Added: Apr 25, 2017
  • Length: 58:09
  • Purchases: 1
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We've got new music from Emily Arrow, The Spring Bees, and StevenSteven -- plus The Salamanders singing about the universal experience of being mag...

Bought by KMRE-LP


  • Added: Apr 17, 2017
  • Length: 54:56
  • Purchases: 1
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We've got new music from Red Yarn, we've got Rodrigo y Gabriela, we've got Frank Black, we've got Justin Roberts, we've got The Not-Its!. What more...

Bought by KMRE-LP


  • Added: Apr 11, 2017
  • Length: 53:23
  • Purchases: 1
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We've got new music from the Walkmen's Walter Martin, plus new tracks from Jim & Jayne, The Binkees, Katie Ha Ha Ha, and Mo Phillips, plus a Tumble...

Bought by KMRE-LP


  • Added: Apr 05, 2017
  • Length: 49:26
  • Purchases: 1
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We've got the rest of our live show with Dan Zanes & Claudia Eliaza, plus new music from Walter Martin, the Moonlights, and the Spring Bees!

Bought by KMRE-LP


  • Added: Mar 27, 2017
  • Length: 51:38
  • Purchases: 1
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On this week’s show, we’re broadcasting the second part show we did live at the Academy of Music in Northampton, Massachusetts, with performances f...

Bought by KMRE-LP


  • Added: Mar 21, 2017
  • Length: 49:55
  • Purchases: 1
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On this week’s show, we’re broadcasting the first part show we did live at the Academy of Music in Northampton, Massachusetts, with performances fr...

Bought by KMRE-LP


  • Added: Mar 12, 2017
  • Length: 55:04
  • Purchases: 1
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On this week’s show, it’s our last show before South by Southwest, so we’ve got lots of previews, plus the return of our friends from the Tumble Sc...

Bought by KMRE-LP


  • Added: Mar 01, 2017
  • Length: 53:10
  • Purchases: 1
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On this week’s show, we’ve a brand new song from Ben Lee, whose new family album is all about Islam — plus lots of South by Southwest previews. It...

Bought by KMRE-LP


  • Added: Feb 27, 2017
  • Length: 54:53
  • Purchases: 1
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On this week’s show, we’ve got a bunch of South by Southwest previews, plus new music from Randy Kaplan and Little Miss Ann! It’s indie music for ...

  • Added: Feb 22, 2017
  • Length: 52:15
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On this week’s show, Emily Arrow will come by the studio and sing songs inspired by kids’ literature, plus we’ll have brand new music from Steve Bu...

Bought by WSLR and KMRE-LP


  • Added: Feb 14, 2017
  • Length: 54:53
  • Purchases: 2
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We've got brand new music from Karen K and the Pointed Man Band, plus music from ELO, Dan Zanes, the So So Glos, and Mudhoney! It’s indie music fo...

Bought by KMRE-LP


  • Added: Feb 07, 2017
  • Length: 55:57
  • Purchases: 1
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We've got a preview of Spare the Rock Live, coming up later this month, plus an in-studio from Latin Grammy winner 1-2-3 Andres and new music from ...

Bought by KMRE-LP


  • Added: Jan 31, 2017
  • Length: 54:09
  • Purchases: 1
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We've got new music from Little Miss Ann and Amy D, Joey Dox, plus songs from Los Lobos, Beastie Boys, Lead Belly, and more!

Bought by KMRE-LP


  • Added: Jan 22, 2017
  • Length: 56:33
  • Purchases: 1
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We’ve got new music from El Tule and Rodney Whittenberg, plus Representative John Lewis talking about sit-ins and music from Elizabeth Mitchell, th...

Bought by KMRE-LP


  • Added: Jan 17, 2017
  • Length: 54:12
  • Purchases: 1
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We’ve got new music from The Deedle Deedle Dees and Katie Ha Ha Ha, both of which are hard for me to say, plus music from Nina Simone, Elvis Costel...

Bought by KMRE-LP


  • Added: Jan 09, 2017
  • Length: 56:45
  • Purchases: 1
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With Ella and Liam back in the host chairs, we'll chat about Abigail Adams, Thao Nguyen, and more!

  • Added: Jan 04, 2017
  • Length: 55:35
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Happy New Year! We've got new music from Keith Munslow & Bridget Brewer, plus a ton of other fun stuff.

Bought by KMRE-LP and KSRQ


  • Added: Dec 28, 2016
  • Length: 52:34
  • Purchases: 2
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It’s Christmas weekend, so we’re doing a lot of holiday music, from folks like Fountains of Wayne, Elvis, Low, Sugar Free Allstars, and more! It’s ...

Bought by KSRQ and KMRE-LP


  • Added: Dec 20, 2016
  • Length: 52:48
  • Purchases: 2
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It's mostly holiday time, folks, and so we've got mostly holiday music!

Bought by KMRE-LP


  • Added: Dec 11, 2016
  • Length: 50:50
  • Purchases: 1