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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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137 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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This week, it’s all about Prince. We’ve got tributes from Dan Zanes, Sandra Velasquez, Lucky Diaz, Lloyd H. Miller, Sugar Free Allstars, and more,...

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  • Added: Apr 26, 2016
  • Length: 53:24
  • Purchases: 1
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This week, we’ve got new music from Sir Crazy Pants, Phoebe Lichty, and Sturgill Simpson from his amazing new record, and more — plus music from Ru...

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  • Added: Apr 18, 2016
  • Length: 54:57
  • Purchases: 1
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This week, we’ve got new music from Frances England, Aaron Nigel Smith, Sugar Free Allstars, and more — plus a dance party with Diana Ross. It’s in...

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  • Added: Apr 11, 2016
  • Length: 50:45
  • Purchases: 1
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Heavens, folks: It's the premiere visit from our friends at the Tumble Science Podcast for Kids, plus new music from Miss Paula and the Candy Bandi...

Bought by KMRE-LP and KCMJ Community Radio


  • Added: Apr 03, 2016
  • Length: 51:19
  • Purchases: 2
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This week, we’ve got new music from The Okee Dokee Brothers, The Que Pastas, Violent Femmes, Miss Paula and the Candy Bandits, and more. It’s indie...

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  • Added: Mar 30, 2016
  • Length: 50:26
  • Purchases: 1
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Bill's sick so it's less talk and more rock. Plus Mal Blum live in the studio, new music from Frances England and Mista Cookie Jar and Sugar Free ...

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  • Added: Mar 21, 2016
  • Length: 52:07
  • Purchases: 1
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This week, we’ve got new music from Red yarn, Frances England, and Mista Cookie Jar, plus some old Husker Du and CandyBand. And more! It’s indie mu...

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  • Added: Mar 14, 2016
  • Length: 50:32
  • Purchases: 1
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It's our last show before SXSW is underway, so we're previewing that plus the River's Meltdown in Northampton!

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  • Added: Mar 07, 2016
  • Length: 53:59
  • Purchases: 1
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We've got new music from Matt Heaton, Sugar Free Allstars, and Sugarcrash Kids (those bands should be related but aren't), plus more!

  • Added: Feb 28, 2016
  • Length: 49:48
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We've got brand new music from Jim Cosgrove & Jazzy Ash, Sugar Free Allstars, Turkey Andersen, and Frances England -- plus music from Dr. John, Bri...

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  • Added: Feb 23, 2016
  • Length: 56:42
  • Purchases: 1
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More SXSW previews, plus new music from The Not-Its! and Moona Luna.

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  • Added: Feb 16, 2016
  • Length: 55:08
  • Purchases: 1
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This week, we’re continuing to preview this year’s South by Southwest, plus we’ve got new music from David Wax Museum’s Suz Slezak, Lucky Diaz, Joe...

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  • Added: Feb 08, 2016
  • Length: 49:33
  • Purchases: 1
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We're continuing to preview SXSW, plus we've got new music from Lard Dog, Michael & the Rockness Monsters, and much more!

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  • Added: Feb 02, 2016
  • Length: 54:33
  • Purchases: 1
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We've got world premiere music from Turkey Andersen, new songs from Danny Weinkauf, The Not-Its!, Julie Beman, Phoebe Lichty, and more! Plus we're...

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  • Added: Jan 26, 2016
  • Length: 54:56
  • Purchases: 1
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It's our tribute to David Bowie, who always knew kids were a different species.

Bought by KSRQ and KMRE-LP


  • Added: Jan 11, 2016
  • Length: 52:38
  • Purchases: 2
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Not one but two world premieres! One from The Not-Its!, and one from The Que Pastas! Plus new music from Beleza, The Umoza Music Project, Joe McDe...

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  • Added: Jan 09, 2016
  • Length: 50:40
  • Purchases: 1
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Stevie Wonder! Linda Perry & Sara Gilbert! Moona Luna! Molly Ledford & Billy Kelly! Mojo Nixon! Mike Doughty! Exclamation points!

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  • Added: Jan 04, 2016
  • Length: 52:36
  • Purchases: 1
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It's our welcome to 2016 show, with a lovely visit from the African Children's Choir, plus music from Elizabeth Mitchell, Bruce Robision & Kelly Wi...

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  • Added: Dec 29, 2015
  • Length: 50:40
  • Purchases: 1
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On this week’s show, we’ve got Monte Belmonte and his family filling in for us. He’s got music from Annie, Wilco, the Muppets, and of course…KISS!

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  • Added: Dec 16, 2015
  • Length: 51:25
  • Purchases: 1
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It's our annual holiday show, with new music from Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, The Rockin' Rhinos, and more!

Bought by KMRE-LP and KSRQ


  • Added: Dec 14, 2015
  • Length: 53:14
  • Purchases: 2