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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32 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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With a guest DJ set from Danny Weinkauf of They Might Be Giants, new music from Sugar Free Allstars, Walter Martin (Walkmen), and so much more!

  • Added: Apr 21, 2014
  • Length: 53:46
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World premiere music from Recess Monkey! Brand-new music from Banana Baron, Father Goose, Hullabaloo, Danny Weinkauf, Lee Alexander, and Dog on Fle...

  • Added: Apr 15, 2014
  • Length: 55:02
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With an in-studio from Danny Weinkauf of TMBG, an interview AND a world premiere from Lucky Diaz & the Family Jam Band, new music from Zee Avi, The...

  • Added: Apr 09, 2014
  • Length: 56:08
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With the niece and nephews from Portland, plus new music from Zee Avi, world premiere music from Danny Weinkauf, and so much more!

Bought by WSLR


  • Added: Mar 31, 2014
  • Length: 54:19
  • Purchases: 1
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Tons of Meltdown previews, plus new music from Koo Koo Kanga Roo, Danimal, Lee Alexander, Andres Salguero, and Stacey Peasley!

  • Added: Mar 24, 2014
  • Length: 53:48
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With new music from Kishi Bashi, Pointed Man Band, Ponds & Fleshman, Andres Salguero, and Jazzy Ash, plus Meltdown (Northampton) previews and more!

  • Added: Mar 16, 2014
  • Length: 51:46
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With Meltdown previews, Fugazi, pancake songs, and much more!

  • Added: Mar 09, 2014
  • Length: 51:10
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Previews of the Austin and Northampton Meltdowns, plus much more!

  • Added: Mar 02, 2014
  • Length: 54:10
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With new music from Walter Martin (The Walkmen), Ella Jenkins, and Daddy Dave, plus Bill Withers, the, uh, Surfers, Rare Earth, and more!

Bought by KFOK-LP


  • Added: Feb 25, 2014
  • Length: 46:03
  • Purchases: 1
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New music from Dog on Fleas, Marsha Goodman-Wood, plus previews of the Meltdown!

Bought by KFOK-LP


  • Added: Feb 17, 2014
  • Length: 53:32
  • Purchases: 1
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With an in-studio from Salim Nourallah, plus new music from Mil's Trills and Stacey Peasley, and much much more!

Bought by KFOK-LP


  • Added: Feb 10, 2014
  • Length: 51:18
  • Purchases: 1
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New music from Pointed Man Band; Chris Doud, Willy Tea Taylor, & Joy No Knows; Jazzy Ash; Jelly of the Month Club; and Danny Lion...plus so very mu...

  • Added: Feb 04, 2014
  • Length: 52:53
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With a tribute to Pete Seeger, plus new music from Chibi Kodama, Jazzy Ash, and Pointed Man Band. Plus: Queen!

Bought by KFOK-LP


  • Added: Jan 28, 2014
  • Length: 56:03
  • Purchases: 1
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Mil's Trills in the studio plus new music from Baron Von Rumblebuss, Rainbow Beast, Mother Falcon, Wiggly Tendrils, and Nora & One Left!

Bought by KFOK-LP


  • Added: Jan 21, 2014
  • Length: 54:06
  • Purchases: 1
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New music from Chibi Kodama and Human Tim + Robot Tim, plus so very much more!

  • Added: Jan 13, 2014
  • Length: 53:48

  • Added: Jan 06, 2014
  • Length: 56:05
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Mister G, Manu Chao, Medeski Martin & Wood, Mojo Nixon, Matt & Kim, Mike Park, Miz B, Mocean Worker, Mariana Iranzi, Milkshake. That's just the ac...

  • Added: Dec 30, 2013
  • Length: 53:47
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Happy New Year! All sorts of fun, including new music from Danny Lion, Rainbow Beast, and Mil's Trills, plus probably the last Jingle Punx for ano...

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: Dec 25, 2013
  • Length: 49:20
  • Purchases: 1
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It's our Christmas episode, with music from Elizabeth Mitchell, Lori Henriques, Dr. Dog, Run-DMC, the Hold Steady, and much much more!

  • Added: Dec 15, 2013
  • Length: 51:16

  • Added: Dec 07, 2013
  • Length: 52:48