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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51 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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With new music from Lucky Diaz & the Family Jam Band and MC Frontalot, plus many other good things -- including Rock Paper Scissors advice from Ella!

  • Added: Sep 01, 2014
  • Length: 53:26
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New music this week from Steve Weeks, Papa Crow, Rolie Polie Guacamole, and the Hipwaders -- plus Ella Jenkins, Brian Eno, De La Soul, Frank Turner...

  • Added: Aug 24, 2014
  • Length: 53:32
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With world premiere music from Recess Monkey and The Not-Its! collaborating to celebrate Zooglobble's 10th anniversary this year, and ours next -- ...

  • Added: Aug 19, 2014
  • Length: 59:20
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With new music from Gustafer Yellowgold, The Not-Its!, MC Frontalot, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, and more! Plus Fugazi, The Julie Ruin, Junior Senior,...

  • Added: Aug 12, 2014
  • Length: 53:47
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With official niece of Spare the Rock Hope, plus new music from the Whirlygigs, Kristin Kellner, Sara Hickman, The Pop Ups, The Good Ms. Padgett, a...

  • Added: Aug 05, 2014
  • Length: 51:34
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ScribbleJim & ScribbleElaina bring the rock as guest hosts!

  • Added: Jul 26, 2014
  • Length: 53:26
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Guest hosted by the Belmonte Family from affiliate station 93.9 The River!

  • Added: Jul 23, 2014
  • Length: 55:24

  • Added: Jul 10, 2014
  • Length: 49:48
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With exclusive in-studio performances from Dan Zanes, Erin Ivey, and Jad Fair, and new music from Charlie Hope, Alina Celeste, Mister G, The Not-It...

  • Added: Jul 02, 2014
  • Length: 54:20
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With brand-new music from the Whizpops, The Pop Ups, and Jazzy Ash, plus James Brown, Big Star, and, for the 4th of July, Sharon Jones & the Dap Ki...

Bought by KVNF


  • Added: Jun 29, 2014
  • Length: 55:25
  • Purchases: 1
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With Sara Hickman stopping by to introduce the world premieres of two songs from her new record, plus brand new music from The Not-Its!, Mister G, ...

  • Added: Jun 25, 2014
  • Length: 54:19
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With an in-studio from Charlie Hope, plus new music from Karen K & Mista Cookie Jar and The Not-Its! Plus so much more.

Bought by KFOK-LP


  • Added: Jun 16, 2014
  • Length: 55:28
  • Purchases: 1
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With a guest DJ set from Walter Martin (The Walkmen), plus new music from Bari Koral Family Rock Band, The Not-Its!, and much more. Plus, we're co...

Bought by KFOK-LP


  • Added: Jun 10, 2014
  • Length: 52:43
  • Purchases: 1
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We've got exclusive live music from Walter Martin, plus world premiere music from Eric Herman -- and new stuff from Joanie Leeds, Bill & Karlee Gof...

Bought by KFOK-LP


  • Added: Jun 01, 2014
  • Length: 54:12
  • Purchases: 1
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World premiere music from Brady Rymer & the Little Band That Could, plus new Zee Avi, Danny Weinkauf, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, and Koo Koo Kanga Roo...

Bought by KFOK-LP


  • Added: May 27, 2014
  • Length: 54:57
  • Purchases: 1
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New music from Walter Martin, Recess Monkey, Father Goose, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, Lucky Diaz, Joanie Leeds, and more, plus Dick Dale, Madness, Pat...

  • Added: May 19, 2014
  • Length: 51:57
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We've got a guest DJ set from Django Jones, plus new music from Randy Kaplan, Kishi Bashi, and Koo Koo Kanga Roo. PLUS SPECIAL AMPHIBIAN GUESTS.

  • Added: May 13, 2014
  • Length: 52:24
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We have a terrific in-studio from Lee Alexander, plus new music from Little Miss Ann, Danny Weinkauf, Lucky Diaz & the Family Jam Band, Father Goos...

  • Added: May 04, 2014
  • Length: 52:13
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ALL KILLER NO FILLER. In-studio from Story Laurie, world premiere from the Okee Dokee Brothers, new music from The Pop Ups and Recess Monkey and Cl...

Bought by KFOK-LP


  • Added: Apr 29, 2014
  • Length: 50:20
  • Purchases: 1
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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!

Bought by KFOK-LP


  • Added: Apr 21, 2014
  • Length: 53:46
  • Purchases: 1