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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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169 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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We're getting a little closer to the holidays, so we're playing a few more holidays songs. But we're also playing T. Rex, Prince, Laura Freeman, Su...

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  • Added: Dec 05, 2016
  • Length: 50:28
  • Purchases: 1
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This week, we’ve got new music from Shine and the Moonbeams, Sally Timms & Jon Langford, Father Goose, and more.

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  • Added: Nov 29, 2016
  • Length: 50:49
  • Purchases: 1
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This week, we’re going back in time a bit, with songs from Big Star, Cibo Matto, Bob Marley, Dick Dale, and more. It’s indie music for indie kids.

  • Added: Nov 14, 2016
  • Length: 54:19
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We're exploring some ideas of love, freedom, and other such things. It might be election related.

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  • Added: Nov 13, 2016
  • Length: 55:30
  • Purchases: 1
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This week, we’re counting down the top ten family music releases from the last year in the Fids & Kamily consensus rankings, voted on by DJs and cr...

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  • Added: Nov 07, 2016
  • Length: 48:54
  • Purchases: 1
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This week, we’ve got Rhett Miller coming by the studio, plus new music from Secret Agent 23 Skidoo and — for real — a Pulitzer Prize winning New Yo...

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  • Added: Nov 01, 2016
  • Length: 50:44
  • Purchases: 1
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This week, we celebrate 17+ years of Ella costumes with what you could call her house band, The Deedle Deedle Dees. Plus new music from Lucy Kalan...

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  • Added: Oct 26, 2016
  • Length: 51:50
  • Purchases: 1
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This week, we’ve got more new tracks from the new David Bowie tribute, Let All The Children Boogie, including Antibalas doing Let’s Dance and Nakia...

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  • Added: Oct 17, 2016
  • Length: 49:22
  • Purchases: 1
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Brand new music from Let All The Children Boogie: A Tribute To David Bowie, plus tracks from Willie Nelson, Koo Koo Kanga Roo, Calliope Musicals, a...

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  • Added: Oct 08, 2016
  • Length: 51:54
  • Purchases: 1
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We've got new music from Andrew & Polly, plus songs from The Sippy Cups, Erin Flynn, AudraRox, Sam Cooke, ScribbleMonster, and much more!

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  • Added: Oct 02, 2016
  • Length: 48:26
  • Purchases: 1
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This week, we’ve got new music from The Deedle Deedle Dees and Koo Koo Kanga Roo plus songs from Fugazi, The Ting Tings, and Staci Grey! It’s indie...

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  • Added: Sep 26, 2016
  • Length: 50:22
  • Purchases: 2
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With new music from Priscilla Ahn, Baron Von Rumblebuss, Justin Roberts, and more, plus a Tumble Science Podcast discussion of ants!

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  • Added: Sep 19, 2016
  • Length: 50:35
  • Purchases: 1
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With a premiere from Austin's own Bob Schneider & Luc Schneider, a Tumble visit all about fireflies, and much more!

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  • Added: Sep 12, 2016
  • Length: 51:37
  • Purchases: 1
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It's an encore presentation of our tenth anniversary from a year ago or so! Check it out as we look back at our first decade on the air!

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  • Added: Aug 31, 2016
  • Length: 57:56
  • Purchases: 1
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This week, we’ve got Joanie Leeds stopping by Studio 1A, plus new music from the PrettySing Collective, Justin Roberts, Nathalia, Dan Vapid, and more.

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  • Added: Aug 29, 2016
  • Length: 52:43
  • Purchases: 1
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Sugar Free Allstars in the studio! New Billy Kelly! Jonathan Richman! Kermit Ruffins! SO MUCH MORE.

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  • Added: Aug 22, 2016
  • Length: 49:49
  • Purchases: 1
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This week, we’ve got music from Frances England, The Travoltas, Throwing Muses, Asylum Street Spankers, Beck, and more, plus Secret Agent 23 Skidoo...

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  • Added: Aug 16, 2016
  • Length: 51:49
  • Purchases: 1
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New music from Billy Kelly, Lucy Kalantari, Danny Weinkauf, Brady Rymer, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, and much much more!

Bought by KMXT and KMRE-LP


  • Added: Aug 09, 2016
  • Length: 56:19
  • Purchases: 2
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We've got a quirky little show for you this week, folks, with Walter Martin, Mike Watt, Red Yarn, Sonia de la Santos, Mike Watt, and much more.

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  • Added: Jul 31, 2016
  • Length: 52:52
  • Purchases: 1
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This week, we’ve got lots of science — coming from Secret Agent 23 Skidoo and the Tumble Science Podcast for Kids, plus music from Manu Chao, Justi...

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  • Added: Jul 24, 2016
  • Length: 52:30
  • Purchases: 1