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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270 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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This week, we’re being grateful, with thankfulness songs from Big Star, Mi Amigo Hamlet, Elizabeth Mitchell, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweat...

  • Added: Nov 15, 2018
  • Length: 52:50
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This week, we’ve got new songs from Scott Keever, Lori Henriques, Sulinha, plus songs from Father Goose, Man or Astro-Man?, Dan Zanes, and more! It...

  • Added: Nov 12, 2018
  • Length: 52:52
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This week, we’ve got new songs from Mister G, Marsha & the Positrons, and Austin’s SaulPaul, plus songs from Too Many Zooz, Ziggy Marley, Velvet Un...

  • Added: Nov 06, 2018
  • Length: 53:53
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The mighty Koo Koo Kanga Roo are on tour and they took over the show for the week too!

  • Added: Oct 30, 2018
  • Length: 54:09
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This week, we’ve got music from Lisa Loeb backstage at the ACL Festival, plus new music from Lori Henriques, Koo Koo Kanga Roo, Tim Kubart, and Mar...

  • Added: Oct 16, 2018
  • Length: 55:17
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This week, we’ve got new music from Tony Pete and Danny Weinkauf, plus songs from Lisa Loeb, Gladys Knight & the Pips, El Tule and more, including ...

  • Added: Oct 09, 2018
  • Length: 55:08
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We've got new music from Brady Rymer & David Gibb, Sonia de la Santos, the Happy Racers, The Not-Its!, and Koo Koo Kanga Roo -- plus songs from Pau...

  • Added: Oct 02, 2018
  • Length: 53:05
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This week, Marian Call is coming by the studio and she’ll sing a song about sled dogs, plus we’ve got new songs from Hopalong Andrew and Tim Kubart...

  • Added: Sep 26, 2018
  • Length: 54:31
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This week, we’ve got a world premiere from the Okee Dokee Brothers, plus new songs from Mister G, The Not-Its, Tim Kubart, and Lianne Bassin—plus a...

  • Added: Sep 18, 2018
  • Length: 54:38
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This week, we’ve got new songs from the Hold Tight, Stay Bright benefit record for RAICES’s work at the border, new SaulPaul and Sonia de los Santo...

  • Added: Sep 10, 2018
  • Length: 51:02
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This week, SaulPaul comes by Studio 1A, plus we’re playing more songs from the Hold Tight, Stay Bright benefit record for RAICES’s work at the bord...

  • Added: Sep 05, 2018
  • Length: 53:31
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We've got new songs from a benefit for RAICES’s work at the border, plus new songs from Dan Zanes, SaulPaul Frances England, and more! It's indie ...

  • Added: Aug 27, 2018
  • Length: 55:29
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We've got new music from Recess Monkey, Mi Amigo Hamlet, Best Coast, and The Not-Its, plus tracks from Koo Koo Kanga Roo, Velvet Underground, Golde...

  • Added: Aug 21, 2018
  • Length: 53:18
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We've got a super lovely in-studio with NeedToBreathe’s Josh Lovelace, who has a great new kids’ record out, plus new music from Best Coast. And mo...

Bought by KMXT and KCMJ Community Radio


  • Added: Aug 15, 2018
  • Length: 51:16
  • Purchases: 2
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It's our 13th birthday! We're celebrating with new music from Frances England, Culture Abuse, Mi Amigo Hamlet, and Papa Siama with Auntie Dallas, a...

  • Added: Aug 08, 2018
  • Length: 54:55
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We've got a grab bag of fun for you this week, with songs from Run DMC, CandyBand, Nena, Sugar Free Allstars, and more! It's indie music for indie...

  • Added: Jul 31, 2018
  • Length: 51:53
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We've got new songs from Recess Monkey, Frances England, and Josh Lovelace! We've got music from Dixie Chicks and Curtis Mayfield and Ralph's World...

  • Added: Jul 24, 2018
  • Length: 52:38
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We've got new music from Frances England, Lucy Kalantari, Father Goose, Uncle Devin, and Secret Agent 23 Skidoo--plus a preview of the Tumble Scien...

Bought by KMRE-LP


  • Added: Jul 18, 2018
  • Length: 56:51
  • Purchases: 1
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We've got world premieres from Raffi and from Lucky Diaz (covering Pianosaurus!), plus songs from Kelly Hogan, REM, and more! It's indie music for ...

  • Added: Jul 11, 2018
  • Length: 56:41
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We've got new music from Lucky Diaz, Andrew & Polly, and Mista Cookie Jar, working together to raise money for RAICES's work in the Valley, plus a ...

Bought by KMRE-LP


  • Added: Jul 03, 2018
  • Length: 57:36
  • Purchases: 1