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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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76 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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Show 495: with new music from The Nields, Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer, Cat Doorman, and Molly Ledford & Billy Kelly! Plus we celebrate Liam's 13th bi...

  • Added: Feb 22, 2015
  • Length: 55:06
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With a guest DJ set from Kira Willey, new music from vogelJoy and Mista Cookie Jar & the Chocolate Chips, and much more!

Bought by KCMJ Community Radio


  • Added: Feb 15, 2015
  • Length: 55:33
  • Purchases: 1
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It's a very special show this week, guest hosted by Jacqueline Schimmel, bass player and music nerd extraordinaire, known to our audience from her ...

  • Added: Feb 08, 2015
  • Length: 50:56
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With world premiere music from Cat Doorman, plus new music from Molly Ledford & Billy Kelly, They Might Be Giants, and the Doubleclicks. Also Kish...

  • Added: Feb 02, 2015
  • Length: 51:48
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New music from Bunny Clogs, Molly Ledford & Billy Kelly, They Might Be Giants, and Koo Koo Kanga Roo! Plus Beatles, Bears & Lions, Frances England...

  • Added: Jan 25, 2015
  • Length: 54:05
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With new music from mömandpöp and Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, plus Jonathan Richman, Elizabeth Mitchell, Asylum Street Spankers, Electric Light Orchest...

  • Added: Jan 20, 2015
  • Length: 54:34
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Guest hosted by 93.9 The River's The Belmontes!

  • Added: Jan 12, 2015
  • Length: 48:30
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With a guest DJ set from In the Nick of Time's Nick Deysher, plus new Koo Koo Kanga Roo, and much more!

  • Added: Jan 06, 2015
  • Length: 52:13
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With the premiere of new music from Bunny Clogs, plus new songs from They Might Be Giants (kicking off our year as a member of the Dial-A-Song Radi...

  • Added: Dec 30, 2014
  • Length: 53:03
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Happy new year! We've got new music from Lori Henriques and Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis, plus a bunch of other great New Years (and old years) mu...

  • Added: Dec 24, 2014
  • Length: 56:27
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With new music from Pete Donnelly and Mista Cookie Jar & the Chocolate Chips, plus a whole mess of holiday music, including the annual appearance o...

  • Added: Dec 16, 2014
  • Length: 54:42
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We've got world premiere music from Readeez and Big World Audio Theatre, plus new Suz Slezak, Lucky Diaz, Lori Henriques, and Nathalia. Plus Jingl...

  • Added: Dec 10, 2014
  • Length: 56:32
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This week, we've got new music from The Twigs and the David Wax Museum's Suz Slezak, plus Ben Folds, Kimya Dawson, Laura Doherty, Kepi Ghouli, Kool...

  • Added: Dec 02, 2014
  • Length: 52:11
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Happy Thanksgiving! We've got new music from Nathalia, Todd McHatton, and In the Nick of Time, plus just a fun rest of the show!

  • Added: Nov 23, 2014
  • Length: 57:38
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With new music from They Might Be Giants, Key Wilde & Mr. Clarke, Sara Hickman, Dave and the Boombox, Nick Cope, and Mista Cookie Jar!

  • Added: Nov 17, 2014
  • Length: 53:33
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With an amazing in-studio from Eef Barzelay, plus new music from Moona Luna (with help from Secret Agent 23 Skidoo) and Nathalia. It's a pretty gr...

  • Added: Nov 10, 2014
  • Length: 52:43
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With new music from Lori Henriques, Jason Didner & the Jungle Gym Jam with Suzi Shelton, plus Fishbone, Brian Eno, De La Soul, Elizabeth Mitchell, ...

  • Added: Nov 03, 2014
  • Length: 53:12
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With Ralph's World in-studio, plus new music from Lori Henriques, Key Wilde & Mr Clarke, Professor Presley, and OK Go!

  • Added: Oct 29, 2014
  • Length: 54:09

  • Added: Oct 21, 2014
  • Length: 53:32
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With an in-studio from SteveSongs, and the 2014 top ten of the Fids & Kamily Music Awards!

  • Added: Oct 16, 2014
  • Length: 57:32