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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309 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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This week, we’ve got another new song from Mike Phirman, plus great tunes from Jonathan Richman, The Salteens, Guided By Voices, Alison Faith Levy,...

Bought by KMRE-LP


  • Added: Jun 01, 2018
  • Length: 53:58
  • Purchases: 1
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We've got new music from Jumpin' Jamie, The Oots 'n' Oots, and Mike Phirman, plus songs from Kimya Dawson, Lunch Money, The Jam, and more!

Bought by KCMJ Community Radio and KMRE-LP


  • Added: May 30, 2018
  • Length: 51:10
  • Purchases: 2
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We've got new music from the Hey Lolly Band and Oots 'n' Oots, plus Sleater-Kinney, Lucky Diaz, ELO, and Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings!

  • Added: May 27, 2018
  • Length: 53:02
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This week, we’ve got world premieres form Kira Willey and the Deedle Deedle Dees, plus songs from Peelander Z, Tonya Donnelly, and Quiet Company! ...

  • Added: May 26, 2018
  • Length: 56:41
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We've got new music from Lisa Loeb and Ants Ants Ants and the Deedle Deedle Dees. And much more!

Bought by KMRE-LP


  • Added: May 21, 2018
  • Length: 55:09
  • Purchases: 1
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This week, we’ve got Bear and Lion from Bears & Lions doing a guest DJ set, plus new music from the Oots and Oots and Frank Turner…and more! It's ...

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  • Added: May 14, 2018
  • Length: 54:31
  • Purchases: 1
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What a show! We've got Shawn Colvin and Superchunk coming by Studio 1A (not together), plus new songs from Josh Lovelace, Jumpin' Jamie, Gunnar Mad...

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  • Added: May 05, 2018
  • Length: 53:43
  • Purchases: 1
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New music from Jesse Baylin and Jumpin' Jamie and Like Father Like Son and Elizabeth Mitchell w/ Suni Paz and Marshall Escamilla! Good heavens!

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  • Added: Apr 30, 2018
  • Length: 52:12
  • Purchases: 1
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This week, we’ll hear some firefly songs in honor of spring, plus tracks from Pianosaurus, Justin Roberts, The Ramones, and more! It's indie music...

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  • Added: Apr 23, 2018
  • Length: 55:13
  • Purchases: 1
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This week, we chat with Elizabeth Mitchell about her new album with Suni Paz, plus we'll hear new songs from that album, Marshall Escamilla, Sudan ...

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  • Added: Apr 16, 2018
  • Length: 51:37
  • Purchases: 1
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This week, we’ve got new music from Laurie Berkner and Vered, plus we say goodbye to the Thermals by finding one song from them that’s arguably kid...

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  • Added: Apr 11, 2018
  • Length: 55:42
  • Purchases: 1
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This week, we’ve got new music from Papa Siama with Auntie Dallas and from Mr. Singer and the Sharp Cookies, plus songs from Tom Petty, ScribbleMon...

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  • Added: Mar 26, 2018
  • Length: 53:26
  • Purchases: 1
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We've got more Meltdown previews, plus new Superchunk! And Joan Jett! And Andra Day!

  • Added: Mar 25, 2018
  • Length: 51:26
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This week, we’ve got new music from Dolly Parton, Frank Turner, and Snackbeard, plus more previews of the River’s Family Music Meltdown and Book Ba...

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  • Added: Mar 19, 2018
  • Length: 52:46
  • Purchases: 1
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SXSW is done (long live SXSW). Now we turn to the River's Family Music Meltdown & Book Bash!

Bought by KMRE-LP


  • Added: Mar 11, 2018
  • Length: 54:11
  • Purchases: 1
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It's our big SXSW preview, including brand new songs from Red Yarn, 123 Andres (both of whom will be here), as well as new songs from Dolly Parton,...

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  • Added: Mar 06, 2018
  • Length: 01:12:30
  • Purchases: 1
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This week, we’re previewing South by Southwest week with music from Red Yarn, Laura Doherty, the Que Pastas, and more, plus celebrating spring trai...

Bought by KCMJ Community Radio and KMRE-LP


  • Added: Feb 27, 2018
  • Length: 49:31
  • Purchases: 2
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We've got new music from The Oot 'n' Oots, Phredd, Josh Lovelace, Falu, Andrew & Polly, and Papa Siama with Auntie Dallas! And, if you can believe ...

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  • Added: Feb 19, 2018
  • Length: 53:20
  • Purchases: 1
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We've got a special guest host Emma, plus new music from Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer and Falu's Bazaar...plus AC/DC, Lucky Diaz, Blackalicious, The J...

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  • Added: Feb 14, 2018
  • Length: 55:28
  • Purchases: 1
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We've got They Might Be Giants in the studio, plus new songs from Queue Queue and Junkyard Symphony--plus lots more fun!

Bought by KIDE Hoopa Tribal Radio 91.3fm and KMRE-LP


  • Added: Feb 05, 2018
  • Length: 55:30
  • Purchases: 2