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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349 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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This week, we’ve got new music from Okee Dokee Brothers and Go Banana Go, plus we’ll listen to songs from Elska, Golden Smog, The Jimmies—and a who...

  • Added: May 24, 2020
  • Length: 55:31
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This week, we’re mostly diving into some older songs, with tracks from Stevie Wonder, The Sippy Cups, Morphine, Alina Celeste, and more—plus one ne...

  • Added: May 21, 2020
  • Length: 56:05
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This week, we've got new music from Pears for Bears and the Okee Dokee Brothers, plus a whole set of songs about trains. Trains! Trains are the bes...

  • Added: May 13, 2020
  • Length: 57:03
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This week, we've got new music from Lucky Diaz, Carrie Ferguson, Okee Dokee Brothers, The Que Pastas, and Go Banana Go! Plus we'll hear from Love &...

  • Added: May 04, 2020
  • Length: 54:58
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This week, we'll chat with the fellows from Go Banana Go, including Brian from Ninja [Special Hug] Party, plus we'll hear new songs from Pears 4 Be...

  • Added: Apr 30, 2020
  • Length: 56:49
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This week it's a show all about friendship. We'll play songs by Bill Withers, Elizabeth Mitchell, Big Star, The Nields, Queen, White Stripes, and m...

  • Added: Apr 23, 2020
  • Length: 58:41
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This week, we’ll hear new music from Pears for Bears — that’s the new project from Molly from Lunch Money — and from Jack Forman and Future Hits, p...

  • Added: Apr 16, 2020
  • Length: 55:02
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This week, we miss in-studios and live music and being around people, so we’re doing all in-studio performances, featuring SaulPaul, Harry and the ...

  • Added: Apr 09, 2020
  • Length: 56:59
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This week, we continue previewing the online No Nap Happy Hour, plus we have a whole cat segment with new songs from The Doubleclicks and Too Many ...

  • Added: Mar 31, 2020
  • Length: 54:02
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This week, we’ll preview songs from artists playing in our new No Nap Happy Hour series, an online family music livestream series on Saturdays and ...

  • Added: Mar 25, 2020
  • Length: 55:16
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This week, we’ve got socially distant music for you, including new music from Jose-Luis Orozco, Justin Roberts, Alastair Moock, and Future Hits, pl...

  • Added: Mar 18, 2020
  • Length: 56:43
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This week, it’s a look at what we were going to feature at our showcases during South by Southwest, with songs from acts who were going to play as ...

  • Added: Mar 12, 2020
  • Length: 56:18
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This week, we’ll celebrate International Women’s Day with three guest DJ sets from amazing woman artists—Joanie Leeds, Sonia De Los Santos, and Luc...

  • Added: Mar 02, 2020
  • Length: 55:29
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This week, we’ll preview more of what’s coming up during South by Southwest, plus we’ll hear songs from Black Pumas, Woody Guthrie, The Ditty Bops,...

  • Added: Feb 23, 2020
  • Length: 55:30
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This week, we’ll preview some of the shows coming up during South by Southwest, plus we’ll have new music from Justin Roberts, Bonnie “Prince” Bill...

  • Added: Feb 13, 2020
  • Length: 52:07
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This week, Moon Hooch comes by the studio and plays some songs for us, plus we’ll hear new music from Polo From, Stella & the Very Messed, Justin R...

  • Added: Feb 12, 2020
  • Length: 54:40
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This week, we’ll hear brand new music from Justin Roberts and Danny Weinkauf, plus songs from Lisa Loeb, The Jam, Sweet Spirit, Moona Luna, El Tule...

  • Added: Feb 04, 2020
  • Length: 51:56
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This week, we’ll hear brand new music from Justin Roberts, plus songs from Ezra Furman, Sharon Jones, Quiet Company, and more! It's indie music for...

  • Added: Jan 28, 2020
  • Length: 53:15
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This week, we’ll preview a couple of upcoming live shows from SaulPaul and 123 Andres, plus hear songs from Weezer, Woody Guthrie, Willie Nelson, a...

  • Added: Jan 21, 2020
  • Length: 52:49
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This week, we’ll remember Neil Peart with a Rush song, plus we’ll hear new Austin music from Stella & the Very Messed and Andy Sprouts. Plus songs ...

  • Added: Jan 13, 2020
  • Length: 54:41