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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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222 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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It's our main holiday show of the year, featuring a new song from Brady Rymer plus lots of old favorites including, yes, Run-D.M.C.

Bought by KMRE-LP


  • Added: Dec 10, 2017
  • Length: 55:46
  • Purchases: 1
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We're kicking off some holiday programming, plus new songs from Josh Lovelace, Lucas Miller, Ha Ha Tonka, and A Horse A Spoon A Bucket!

Bought by KCMJ Community Radio and KMRE-LP


  • Added: Dec 04, 2017
  • Length: 54:57
  • Purchases: 2
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On this week’s show, for no particular reason, we’ve got a whole mess of biographical songs—we’ll play songs about Marie Curie, Nellie Bly, Mary An...

Bought by KMRE-LP


  • Added: Nov 27, 2017
  • Length: 49:51
  • Purchases: 1
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On this week’s show, we’re celebrating Thanksgiving with songs from Best Coast, Koo Koo Kanga Roo, DJ Khaled with Chance the Rapper, and more! It’...

Bought by KSRQ and KMRE-LP


  • Added: Nov 13, 2017
  • Length: 53:09
  • Purchases: 2
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We've got new music from Gustafer Yellowgold, Henriques^2, Johnny Bregar, and much more!

  • Added: Nov 12, 2017
  • Length: 55:01
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On this week’s show, we’ve got brand new music from Belly — yes, Belly! — and from NeedToBreathe’s Josh Lovelace. Plus more! It’s indie music for...

Bought by KMRE-LP


  • Added: Nov 06, 2017
  • Length: 53:29
  • Purchases: 1
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Lloyd H. Miller from the Deedle Deedle Dees is hanging out for the whole show this week, and playing some new songs! Plus brand new They Might Be ...

Bought by KMRE-LP


  • Added: Nov 01, 2017
  • Length: 52:41
  • Purchases: 1
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Dan Zanes grabbed our computer and is guest hosting the whole show, all themed around Lead Belly!

  • Added: Oct 25, 2017
  • Length: 55:46
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It's the Fids & Kamily Awards! (And if you're reading this before Thursday 10/19 at noon central, don't tell anyone the results!)

Bought by KMRE-LP


  • Added: Oct 17, 2017
  • Length: 57:38
  • Purchases: 1
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On this week’s show, we’ve got new music from Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Austin’s own SaulPaul, Lisa Loeb, and Dan Zanes, featuring Chuck D and Memph...

Bought by KMRE-LP


  • Added: Oct 10, 2017
  • Length: 54:34
  • Purchases: 1
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On this week’s show, we’ve got some ACL Festival previews, plus new songs from Phredd, Otis the Destroyer, The Hipwaders, and Lucy Kalantari. It’s...

Bought by KMRE-LP


  • Added: Oct 03, 2017
  • Length: 53:33
  • Purchases: 1
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On this week’s show, we’ve got a guest DJ set from Recess Monkey’s Jack Forman, plus new music from Spaghetti Eddie and Thunder & Sunshine It’s in...

Bought by KMRE-LP


  • Added: Sep 26, 2017
  • Length: 54:05
  • Purchases: 1
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We've got SaulPaul in the studio, plus new songs from Bark, Mariana Iranzi, Koo Koo Kanga Roo, PLUS AC/DC PEOPLE.

Bought by KMRE-LP


  • Added: Sep 18, 2017
  • Length: 53:03
  • Purchases: 1
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On this week’s show, we’ve got MomAndPop stopping by the studio, plus new music from Phredd, Gustafer Yellowgold, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and Alph...

Bought by KMRE-LP


  • Added: Sep 10, 2017
  • Length: 54:02
  • Purchases: 1
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We've got new music from Jack Forman, Dan Zanes (with Billy Bragg), Future Hits, and much more!

Bought by KMUN and KMRE-LP


  • Added: Sep 04, 2017
  • Length: 56:00
  • Purchases: 2
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This week, it’s our back to school show! Plus we’ve got new music from Dan Zanes with Valerie June, Jeremy Messersmith, Lucas Miller, and more. I...

Bought by KMRE-LP


  • Added: Aug 30, 2017
  • Length: 49:53
  • Purchases: 1
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It's our farewell-for-now to Ella, so she's picked all the songs. It's a great show.

Bought by KMRE-LP and KUT


  • Added: Aug 23, 2017
  • Length: 56:34
  • Purchases: 2
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This weeks' show is dedicated to our listeners and friends in Charlottesville, where we are heard on 106.1 The Corner.

Bought by KMRE-LP


  • Added: Aug 15, 2017
  • Length: 53:44
  • Purchases: 1
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It's our 12th birthday! We've got new music from Caspar Babypants, Froggins & Bug, Bazillions, and much more!

Bought by KMRE-LP


  • Added: Aug 08, 2017
  • Length: 56:09
  • Purchases: 1
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On this week’s show, we've got new music from Señor Fancypants and Ralph’s World, plus a whole mess of music about ice cream, because it’s August! ...

Bought by KMRE-LP


  • Added: Aug 01, 2017
  • Length: 52:49
  • Purchases: 1